Heraldry and the Bohnstedt Coats-of-Arms;
Swedish Bohnstedt Arms

A contemporary representation of the Swedish Bohnstedt Coat-of-Arms

In 1860, Teodor Ludvig Bohnstedt, who was a member of the Swedish branch of the family, was raised to the status of Untitled Nobility because of his achievements in agriculture and industry. The following year he was introduced to the House of Nobility ("RiddarHuset") in Sweden, where he presented his coat-of-arms, and which was then placed in the RiddarHuset.

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1-2. Original depictions of the Swedish Bohnstedt arms, found in Swedish heraldic archives
3. Swedish Bohnstedt coat-of-arms as depicted in the Early Stammbaum

We do not know for certain where his coat-of-arms originated. Evidence suggests that these arms, or at least the palm tree on the shield, might have been based upon an older coat-of-arms bearing one tree that was discovered by Edgar Bohnstedt. (see Heraldry and the Bohnstedt Coats-of-Arms; Prussian Bohnstedt Arms).

1. A contemporary representation of the Swedish Bohnstedt Coat-of-Arms

2. There is a possibility that these arms may have first been used by Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt, but in a simpler form, without the devices in the crest.
Teodor Ludvig von Bohnstedt, Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt's son, who was raised to nobility in 1860

After talking with Claes Bohnstedt of Göteborg, Sweden; it became apparent that the "Palm-Tree arms" had a different form prior to the usage by Teodor Ludvig von Bohnstedt. Claes was certain that this coat-of-arms had been used by the family prior to Teodor Ludvig's time, at least as far back as Teodor's father, and that the devices on the crest had been added, probably by Teodor.

However, it seems quite clear that the features in the crest of the Swedish arms are symbolic of the industrial pursuits of Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt and his sons. The palm tree symbolizes productivity, while the hammer and torch in the crest most likely symbolize industry and mining - Teodor had been very active in the mining industry for a time.


The Shield

The Palm Tree: The palm is ...

A classic symbol of fecundity [productivity] and of victory.

While the palm tree specifically has a certain symbolism, so does the tree in general. Therefore the palm tree may incorporate the symbolism of both palm in particular and trees in general. The symbolism of trees is described in the next section dealing with the "Prussian" coat-of-arms.


The Crest

Hammer and Torch: Although there are older, more mystical interpretations of the hammer and the torch, I suspect that these devices were added with a more immediate and practical symbolism in mind; industry and mining.

Arrow: The ring with the arrow attached which appears on the crest is the classic astronomical symbol for Mars. In mystical lore and symbolism Mars itself represents the male principle of dynamic action. The heraldic artist who added these devices to the crest was probably trying to represent this idea along with the hammer and torch. Since Mars is associated with the color red, it seems more logical for the artist to have made the Mars arrow red instead of blue. On the other hand the artist was probably trying to keep to proper heraldic tradition by using one metal and one primary color as much as possible.

Leaves: The leaves might be palms, or they might be some other sort of leaf. I suspect that they are palms because the tree on the shield is a palm.


The Colors and Metals

Or (Gold or yellow): Heroic, valiant, dynamic
Azure (Blue): Loyalty, devotion, truth, religious feeling
Vert (Green): Fertile, fresh, adaptable


Book References
- Cirlot, J.E. A Dictionary of Symbols. 1971 (English translation)

See Also:
1-5 /
Heraldry and the Bohnstedt Coats-of-Arms; German Westfalen Bohnstedt Arms
1-8 /
Carl Fredrik Bohnstedt, and the C.F. Bohnstedt Firm
1-9 /
Teodor Ludvig von Bohnstedt, and the Bohnstedt Nobility
1-19 /
Heraldry and the Bohnstedt Coats-Of-Arms; Prussian Bohnstedt Arms
1-39 /
Genealogy 1-3: Sweden

5-3 / Appendix C: Heraldry and the Bohnstedt Coats-of-Arms; Overview