… I have asked around in the Royal Studies Network group on facebook, and met some really cool people with interests in seals. Next year I’d love to organise an interdisciplinary conference on visual representations of identity and power, but I’ve said this before about other topics… plus I’m involved in the #powerofthebishop conference which may well become an annual event!
However, I’ve had a little look at some reading on the symbolism of wolves and such, and it seems that wolves are basic heraldic devices which can mean all sorts of things. It’s essentially a symbol of physical force and aggression/power, which can be spun to have either positive or negative connotations depending on the one using it. It enjoyed limited popularity as a device in the British Isles, with lions and eagles being more popular here. I’m getting this from Aleksander Pluskowski’s book, Wolves and the Wilderness in the Middle Ages, and I stll need to check out reviews and stuff on his work and read around the subject… Lots more reading to be done!
The fleur-de-lys also seems to have had international royal associations, with queens of Hungary using it as well as others. So.
My thanks to Chris Mielke of Central European University and Elena Woodacre of the University of Winchester for the info and help so far!