:: Coat of Arms
The Hobler Coat
of Arms associated with the family of James Francis Helvetius
Hobler is European in origin. It is not the surname
coat of arms normally associated with the Hoblers of
England. The English coat of arms features a blue shield
with six red roses on a gold fess, between six gold acorns.
Clearly, this is not the German-Nordic arms as carried by the
family of JFH Hobler. Family members refer to the arms as the 'Hobler' coat of arms but
its origins are yet to be determined. What we do know is
that the arms were in use in the mid 1800s by JFH Hobler's eldest
son Francis, referenced by the 'Hobler' blazon.
Family Coat of Arms
above stained glass window is located in the Dining Room Hall of
the City of London School, London ENG.
Original image compliments of Terry J. Heard (Archivist,
London School), 2007
Image digitally rendered by Erica Rowyn, 2008
The arms are
represented by an edged shield featuring a red field covered in
grapevines. A white bend is accompanied by an Eurasian brown
bear walking upward towards the hoist. The helm is a traditional Esquire, or Gentleman's Helmet.
That is, it is steel in profile, ornamented with gold and is
presented with the visor down. The wreath (torse) is red and
white, while the crest features the head of a bear. The
surrounding mantle is white and gold. The arms feature the motto Dominus
providebit, which is Latin for the Lord will provide.
The arms are very
similar to those of the arms of Bern, the homeland of the JFH
Hobler's ancestors in Switzerland. According to
T. F. Mills (18 October, 1997), Count Berchtold V of
Zahringia founded the city of Bern in 1160. Legend
claims that he killed a large bear in the forest near
the new town and named Bern in honour of the beast.
What is interesting to note
however, is that the Hobler bear appears to resemble a
she-bear in that it does not posses the mandatory red phallic
symbol as dictated by Swiss convention.
"The bear is a common charge in heraldry, inherited from its totemic use among Germanic
peoples and interpreted as symbolizing strength, cunning and ferocity in the protection of one's
kindred. Numerous cities around the world have adopted the bear in their arms, notably the Swiss capital Bern, which takes its name from the German for bear,
Bär. The bear is also the name-emblem of Berlin Bärlein meaning small bear. In Switzerland, heraldic bears had to be painted with bright red penises, or be mocked for using she-bears. The omission of this led to a war in 1579 between St. Gallen and the canton of
Bears in heraldry. (2008, June 14). In Wikipedia,
The Free Encyclopedia.
heraldic beats are displayed as either male or female.
During Victorian times a tendency towards a strict
moral code saw them evolve as asexual creatures.
It's quite possible that this is the case in the
Hobler example above.
lack of a red phallic symbol may be a genuine mistake or a deliberate anglicising of
the arms to accommodate the English branch of the
family. Another scenario is that the arms are not Swiss
in origin, perhaps pre-dating to a French or German
It's equally possible that
the brown she-bear is an accurate representation of
the Hobler bear. Perhaps the female bear
possesses a symbolic meaning specific to the Hobler
brown bear has brown fur, which
ranges in shade from yellow, red to nearly black.
Over time they have roamed throughout Europe so as a
locality marker the depiction of a bear on the arms
provides little in the way of information.
Suffice to say that the bear in heraldry generally
represents strength, cunning and tenacity
in the defence of family.
The hunt for the bear as
depicted in the
Tschachtlan chronicles. The original
coat of arms (black bear on white shield)
feature in the picture above the gate.
Compliments of Wikipedia.
Bern Coat of Arms
interest is the use of grapevines on the red field. According to
Hobler descendant Isabella Simpson, in a letter to niece
Dulcie Simpson Robertson (1920), the Hobler family owned
extensive vineyards in Vaud. Wealth and prosperity experienced
by descendants is said to have originated from this ownership.
Arms of Twann (birthplace of Jacob Hubler) depict a vine
tree between two sickles. Although
relatively small in wine circles, Twann currently offers
over a hundred different wines from 19 wine vintners.
Perhaps there is some credence to the writings of Dulcie
As for the
remainder of the blazon, the use of a bend generally denotes defence
or protection. This is amplified in the use of the bear,
which also implies protection of ones kindred. The wreath is
generally made from a pair of ribbons that are twisted together,
representing either the principal metal and/or the colours of the
shield. White (also represented as Silver) is said to
symbolise peace, sincerity and in some instances nobility.
Red is the colour of fortitude & generosity, often associated
with the warrior or martyr.
to the coat of arms, the Hoblers also have a family crest or
seal (depending on application). The crest is the
figure which sits on the torse above the helmet on the
family coat of arms. It is generally based on the shield
although occasionally a beast will be added despite the lack
of an animal on the shield. While the Hobler family
crest, as exampled above in the arms, features a bear couped
(cut in a straight horizontal line), personal letterhead
used by the Hobler family, utilises a variation of the
crest. Instead of a bear couped, the crest on the
letterhead depicts a bear-sejant, or standing bear (as
pictured right). Beneath the crest is the Latin phrase
Esse quam videri
(pronounced e-sA kwäm-wi-'dA-rE) meaning
be rather than to seem.
Original letterhead images compliments of Australian descendant Liisa Hobler, 2002
digitally rendered by Erica Rowyn, 2008