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spring guide 2021

Boutell's Heraldry

Boutell's Heraldry, 1966 print, the same version as carried by James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Boutell's Heraldry, 1966 print, the same version as carried by James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
photo © Bond Lifestyle
photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Pictures
Bond, posing as Sir Hilary Bray working late, studying Boutell's Heraldry. The book is opened at Plate X, an illustration inserted between page 144 and 145. between page
photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Pictures

photo © Bond Lifestyle
This is the Illustration that can be seen when Bond is studying the book in On Her Majesty's Secret Service
photo © Bond Lifestyle

photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Pictures
Sir Hilary Bray shows Bond his family's of Coat of Arms, with the Chevron, Bezants, and motto "Orbis Non Sufficit" (The World Is Not Enough)
photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Pictures

photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Pictures
When Bond leaves the room, he closes the book and takes it with him.
photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Pictures

photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Pictures
Bond carries the book from his room to Ruby's room.
photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Pictures

photo © Bond Lifestyle
The book in the film has the same blue text box on the cover as the 1966 edition pictured here
photo © Bond Lifestyle

photo © Bond Lifestyle
The book seen in the film is a 1966 Revised Edition print of the 1950 Edition.
photo © Bond Lifestyle

Boutell's Heraldry is reference guide about British heraldry and coat of arms.

A copy of the book is clearly seen and used by James Bond (George Lazenby) in the movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

In the film, Bond prepares his disguise for a trip to Piz Gloria: he will pose as Sir Hilary Bray, an expert in British heraldry. "I've also been reading up on the technical side of Heraldry" as he says to M, probably referring to the book.

When visiting the College of Arms in London, Bond meets the real Sir Hilary Bray. Bond is shown the coat of arms of his ancestor Sir Thomas Bond which consists of a Chevron (the reversed v-shape) charged with three Bezants (the circles, a feature used in heraldry probably inspired by Byzantine gold coins).

Sir Hilary Bray explains: "Have a look at this: arms of Sir Thomas Bond. Baronet of Peckham. Died. Argent on a chevron sable. Three bezants. Good motto, eh? "The world is not enough."

The technical description of the Chevron symbol (seen in Bond's Coat of Arms) can actually be found on page 42 of Boutell's book (figure 82). Bond's Chevron is charged with three Bezants, and you can read more about Bezants on page 57 of the book.

James Bond's coat of arms can be seen clearly in the film, but a first sketch of the coat of arms was already printed on the cover of the 1st edition of Ian Fleming's novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1st edition cover

More recently, the coat of arms have also be used in several Omega James Bond Limited Edition watches, for example the OHMSS Limited Edition model and Gold watch set which were launched in 2019.

James Bond Heraldry Coat of Arms Omega Limited Edition

The Boutell book is actually seen more closely in the film when Bond is at Piz Gloria. One evening at Piz Gloria, Bond is studying the heraldry book in his room. The book is opened at Plate X, one of the glossy color illustrated pages, showing "Quartered Arms with Two Crests" (you can find this in the book between page 144 and 145. Bond then decides to escape from his room. Using an eraser, large paper clip and thin metal rod from a ruler, Bond creates a device that he can sabotage his door. Right before he uses the device, he picks up the open book. He walks with the book in his hand from his room (nr. 4) to Ruby's room (nr. 8). The book is mentioned before, and he uses it as an excuse to visit Ruby ("to look at the pictures"). He leaves the book at Ruby's and when he returns to his room, another girl awaits him, asking for the book, and Bond pretends to look for it.

Buying guide
The book in the film is probably the Revised Edition of 1966, that's the one I have, as pictured on the left, which looks exactly the same. The top of the pages of Boutell's Heraldry book in the film are red, as can be seen when the book is laying on Bond's table. The cover has a large blue block with the title. This is important when you look on eBay for example, because there are variations of the book with red or yellow text blocks.

The correct edition of the book will show up on eBay now and then or you can look on AbeBooks. If you don't care about having the movie accurate book, but more looking for the most recent version of this reference guide, you can stil find recent editions of the book on Amazon.

Product Code: 
bo057

NPeal sweater

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