Queen Marie Casimire’s coat of arms
Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów

Passage to knowledge

Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów

Queen Marie Casimire’s coat of arms Hanna Widacka
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Marie Casimire de la Grange d’Arquien, primo voto Zamoyska, secundo voto Sobieska, wife of the Crown Grand Hetman and the later Queen of Poland, was born to a family on the one hand impoverished, but on the other proud of its eminent and very distant ancestors. French genealogies trace the origins of the d’Arquiens from Clovis through Charlemagne, Hugh Capet and St Louis, while Marie Casimire’s coat of arms, composed of a number of elements, seems to confirm the long-lasting history of her lineage.

The said coat of arms, best visible in printed portraits of Marie Casimire (for instance works by Jacques Blondeau and Francesco Leone), comprises a number of fields. Its elements include three vertical wavy sashes, the Maltese cross, three hammers (among others); the heart-shaped field features three running deer directed either to the right or to the left.

When engraving the plate with Marie Casimire Sobieska’s coat of arms in Warsaw, Charles de La Haye placed only one selected element on the chest of the crowned White Eagle, namely the central one, featuring three running animals. He located the Eagle in a cartouche held on either side by crossed palm branches and topped with a closed royal crown. Underneath the composition La Haye chased the following six-verse inscription: With Fame of ancient man and nobility / of Royal Highness, with Crown dignity / Shower’d thine family Coat of arms be / By God the Almighty, His Arm anoints thee / Same Arm shall grant age mature and old / With perpetual Sceptre, orb and crown gold.

The copperplate engraving was published on the back of the title page of Vincenzo Bruno’s print Delicye nieba y ziemie albo rozmyślania o siedmi osobliwszych uroczystościach [Dainties of heaven and earth or reflections upon seven singular ceremonies], published in Cracow in 1693 by Mikołaj Aleksander Schedl and dedicated to Marie Casimire. In terms of composition and style, it corresponds with another of La Haye’s prints, depicting the Sobieskis’ Janina coat of arms and published in a different print by Bruno, namely Skarbnica taiemnic boskich [Treasury of divine mysteries] (Kraków 1693).

Marie Casimire’s parents, Henri de la Grange Marquis d’Arquien and Françoise de la Châtre, were married in 1634. Born to them were two sons and five daughters. Most of the siblings followed their beloved sister to Poland.


Charles (Carl) de La Haye: Queen Marie Casimire’s coat of arms, copperplate engraving, publ. 1693.

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