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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The ODINK Family, Netherlands | Family Coat of Arms carved in wood | Heraldic WOOD CARVING

Patrick Damiaens
Heraldic Wood Carver

ODINK Family, The Netherlands 
A Heraldic Family Coat of Arms 
carved in wood

Patrick Damiaens, Heraldic Wood Carver

Family coat of arms carved in wood
One of my specialties is the carving of Heraldic family coat of arms and Crests in wood. To carve a family coat of arms in wood is a bit of a personal challenge for me. Heraldry is a most interesting subject and I always look forward to taking on new assignments involving heraldic Coat of Arms.

You learn about interesting people that captivate the imagination, all of whom have their own fascinating life story or family history. And for me personally it’s always nice to hear that my craftsmanship and quality are greatly appreciated.

Every heraldic coat of arms is different. Most of the time, it starts with an example that serves as a source of inspiration in the form of a drawing, an old sketch or some photographic material delivered to me by the client.
In some cases it occurs that the design for the family coat of arms is not entirely suited as the blueprint for the carving of it in wood.

This might be due to the fact that the design is in a format which is a lot smaller than what the client had in mind (e.g. a large heraldic panel), in which case the family coat of arms has to be redesigned. If one were to simply enlarge the small design, the proportions or the composition of the design would be distorted. 

Usually things have to be added to the composition in order to make better use of the available space. It might also be that there is no logic to how the mantling was arranged, and it’s entirely possible that the design was never meant to be carried out in wood. After all, wood has its limitations.

It is equally important that the relief fits the dimensions of the coat of arms.
We always try to resolve these small and sometimes larger issues together with the client.


Odink Family
Much has been written and published about various families named Odink. This pertains mainly to older families both under the name Odink and Odinck. Characteristic of the fact that the name is written in different ways is a charter from the 17th century, in which an ancestor is and in which his surname was written in several different ways.

The original seal is a house mark in the shape of the letter V/Roman numeral 5 crossing another V/Roman numeral 5 adorned with garlands on top and on both sides. Instead of a helmet, a crown is used on top. 

Paper heraldry
The seal stems from a period that’s also known as “paper heraldry”. In the 17th and 18th century paper heraldry ushered in a “decadent” period, where they would use contrived and twisted baroque and rococo cartouches in shield shapes. Artists lost track of the proportions between shield, crown, helmet and shield bearer and on the shield, they would depict so many figures that the main characteristic of heraldry, recognition, was lost.

House mark
A house mark is described by certain writers as a hereditary family crest for people who weren’t of noble birth. The ressemblance in shape to the old Germanic runes is striking, yet there is no historical connection between the two; styllistically house marks are also related to cuneiform script, but the ressemblance in both cases rest solely on the necessity to use shapes that were easily carved or applied.
It is often assumed that people who used house marks were illiterate. But when we take a closer look at Derk Odink (I) and the time that he and his descendants lived in as well as the circumstances they were in, and when we take into account the fact that they all used a seal to stamp their charters, we can safely assume that they were in fact not illiterate.
It is believed that the house mark had been around much longer, but there’s no way to be certain of this.

After one of the descendants of the Odink family found the charter, signed by Derk Odink (III) on 12 February 1793, the crest was registered according to the heraldry guidelines on 17 February 2012.



Carving a Heraldic Coat of Arms in lime wood.
Different steps.

The heraldic drawing, is placed on to the wood

Heraldic wood carving

Modelling of the Mantling

Carving the heraldic helmet

Carving the Heraldic Family shield

The ODINK Family Coat of Arms carved in wood, Netherlands

The carved heraldic helmet

Family Crest carved in Limewood



  1. Thank you for confirming the Odink Coat of Arms. I have searched for several years to find information on this crest. Both my father and grandfather had this crest inscribed on their wedding rings but I could not trace its origin. Beautiful!

    Debra Odink

    1. Dear Debra, The info from the Odink CoA and family history is provided by my client. If you need more info. Please send me an email and help you further. https://www.facebook.com/patrick.damiaens.ornamental.woodcarver