Sunday, 1 September 2013

Elefanthy and Klebercz Family Coats of Arms

 Above is an image of the Elefanthy family coats of arms, redrawn and published in Peter Kerestes' recent scholarly volume on the ancient nobility of Nitra County (2010). The image is based on two wax seals, one pressed by Emericus Elefanthy (around 1580 - 1593), the other by Valentinus Elefanthy in 1634. Older literature interpreted the crest as a palm tree, while it is currently thought to be a crossbow. The shape of the crest was retained in the stork crest of the Klebercz family, most probably descendants of the Upper Lefantovce branch of the family (this branch was thought to have been extinct by Fugedi by 1472, but Kerestes in his publication corrects this and states that this, the other main branch of the Elefanthy, in reality survived until the 17th century).

The stork crest  is probably a later interpretation of the original Elefanthy crest, to distinguish different branches and still keep the familiar shape, because a stork with outstretched wings is very rare in Hungarian heraldry.