Illustrated Architecture Dictionary
.......................... Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary

Fleur-de-lis / Fleur-de-lys
flur de LEE
Plural: fleurs-de-lis / fleurs-de-lys


Architecture

A stylized three-petaled iris flower tied by an encircling band, used as the heraldic bearing of the royal family of France (chosen by Charles V)

In French, "fleur-de-lis" means "flower of the lily."

A very old emblem, the Empress Theodora (A.D. 527) bore one on her crown. The coat of arms of ancient France (1179) was blue field sprinkled with fleur-de-lis. English kings later used the symbol on their coats of arms to emphasize their claims to the throne of France.

Due to its three "petals," the fleur-de-lis has also been used to represent the Holy Trinity.

Fleur-de-lis is also an emblem of royalty given to the Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven.

"Louis VII of France dreamed of irises before setting out on the Crusades in 1137 and considered them to be a sign, and therefore adopted the flower as his emblem. It became known in France as the Fleur de Louis. They were popularized in England by Edward III, although they were dropped as a national standard during the Napoleonic Wars. Adopted by Christianity as a symbol of the trinity." - Gus Tassara, "Plant Symbolism"

Commonly found in Gothic and Gothic Revival styles.

Furniture

Used as decoration on furniture, also.

Similar to Prince of Wales feathers


Examples from Buffalo:


Other examples:


Photos and their arrangement © 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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