[Read more about the Delgado Family Crest origin and symbolism below.]
It was so timely that I viewed parts of the inspiring Royal Wedding on the same day that I intended to write the post for my recently completed Delgado Family Coat of Arms. In the highlights of the wedding, the various media showed glimpses of the handsome program given out to guests. As a graphic artist, I was very curious to view the layout and design of such a prominent visual article. I checked online to see if there were any opportunities to view the program and was so pleased to find our most generous new royal couple had the forethought to share the program free online for all to see!
Well, there were some very beautiful layouts. I love the black and white photo of them. I love the charming watercolor map of the parade route. Although, I found the font layouts on most of the rest of the pages quite boring. But, that’s not really what I wanted to mention here on this blog. What really moved me to get on my article was the beautiful Coat of Arms layout (pg 25 of the program) that shows the crests of both families with text describing the symbolism. It’s just wonderful.
The program goes into the clever symbolism shown in both William’s Royal crest and Catherine’s family crest. I especially loved the playful visual split down the middle of Catherine’s family coat of arms as a pun reference to the name “Middleton.”
After completing the Delgado Family Crest using traditional retablo techniques, I had talked to my husband about the meaning and significance of the imagery to our kids. I am not a Delgado by name. My children are not Delgados. My married name is Wells. I am a descendant of one of the original Conquistadors, Manuel Delgado, that settled here in New Mexico more than 400 years ago. But that is not why I honor the name in my retablo work. I have incorporate the name in my artwork because it was my great-great grandfather Francisco Delgado who defined himself as a traditional Spanish Colonial Artisan tinsmith and who made the great effort to give that legacy to his children and grandchildren. Without him and his perseverance, I would not have found this important element of myself.
So, I thought if I am to use this name, I should understand it more fully. I have been using a generic Delgado crest here and there, but I thought it would really become a part of me if I painted it using my traditional retablo style and techniques. I researched the name and crest symbolism. I took my time with the piece and I reworked many areas, especially the text, to get it just right.
It was a wonderful exercise for me to recreate with my own hands
this symbol that I had used so liberally to date. It is a part of me now and I am a part of it. With each step I take to slow down and kneel to the story of that which came before me, I feel enriched, blessed, honored and humbled to be a part of this flow.
And, now I look at this magnificent fairytale couple, beginning their journey into a life people think they would want, (but would probably hate) and I wish them good will in marrying their two disjointed symbols of family together. And, they can now add their own symbols to a new crest that both honors the past and gives hope to a better future. And, I will look forward to painting a Wells crest for my family and my children that will merge the traditional Wells crest (which I have yet to research) and perhaps elements of the Delgado crest into a unique and original crest for this generation.
DELGADO FAMILY CREST ORIGINS
The family name Delgado originates from the Latin word, “delicatus” (the root of the word “delicate”), and refers to the word “thin” or “fine.”
It is so hard for me to associate these meanings with any Delgado I can remember. For me, “Delgado” conjures up images of war horses and canons, symbols of strength, power, confidence and leadership. I am coining the word “aggressive creativity” as part of my description of the modus operandi of a Delgado. The only association I can remotely connect with thoughts of filiment-like structure in the world of Delgado, is their very presence. There is something about Delgados that is so fleeting and ethereal. You cannot hold a Delgado in your hand, in your grip. So slippery and mobile, Delgados are like the valence cloud around the nucleus of an atom–you may only roughly predict where they might go next.
DELGADO FAMILY CREST SYMBOLISM
The center shield in blue represents the quality of loyalty in both a personal sense and towards the Royal obligations owed to Spain. The 7 eight-pointed stars represent the enlightenment of God. I loved painting these elements and spent a great deal of time shading and shaping them. I used to draw this exact eight-pointed dimensional star over and over as a child. maybe this was why–some genetic memory of my family’s connection. The blood red second shield represents the quality of honor and forthrightness. The eight cauldrons represent the wealth of the (presumable) lord and perhaps specific number of estates held at the time. I only own one at the moment, so maybe I should eliminate 7 cauldrons. Although, technically, our lot is a compilation of two lots, so maybe I could keep two cauldrons.
The outer shield (described as “silver”) is suspected to have been added later and may have been bestowed on the family by the King of Spain for acts of service for country or it may be some element added as part of a nuptial bond. The Spanish phrase on the outer ring reads “Ave Maria Gratia Plena,” or “Hail Mary Full of Grace.” Although I’m not sure if it was intentional, I love the balance of the symbolism of the light of God in the center and the love of Mary on the bounding ring. This “silver” ring is an especially interesting addition to the crest since the tinsmiths were derived from the silversmiths of Spain. I would have liked to somehow incorporated a hint of our family tin style, but I asked Jason to add a tin frame around the finished board. I will post a picture of the finished piece after he tins it up!
I did not leave enough room to put the text in the way I had envisioned so I decided to ghost in the covered letters so that the full words could be read. Although it was a correction, I ended up liking the effect. I used a font with the thought that the letters should look carved from the material and added highlights using color lifting and shading as needed. I used a more traditional calligraphic font for the “Delgado” banner.
This piece will be available in the Tintero Gallery in Old Town (as soon as Jason finishes the tin frame) and will soon be available online. It measures 7″ x 12″ before the tin. I’ll be offering framed and unframed prints soon as well!