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Currier House, Harvard University


Registration number 20060927E


This certifies that the heraldic arms of Currier House, Harvard University are registered as an original design and are described by the blazon below

Arms: Gules an apple tree surrounded at the base by a bench Or, in chief on a bar Argent a barrulet engrailed Sable.


Source

Website: http://currier.harvard.edu/

Design rationale

The Currier House arms comprise a red shield, emblazoned with an apple tree surrounded by a bench, all in gold. Above the tree is a black bar, or barrulet, with scalloped edges trimmed with white borders. The red field represents Harvard, the gold tree is the logo that Currier has used since its opening in 1971, and the black bar is taken (like Adam's rib) from the two diagonal stripes of the Radcliffe arms. The tree in fact represents the "Radcliffe apple tree," used as a symbol in the fund drive to complete the construction of Currier House. The narrow white borders are required by a heraldic convention but also refer to the white chevron originally proposed for the Harvard College arms. The combination of Harvard and Radcliffe symbols on the House arms serves as a reminder of Radcliffe's historical role in promoting the education of women at Harvard. The design refers indirectly to the Currier family. The family does not have ancestral arms, but the name, of French origin, denotes artisans who performed the second operation in preparing leather for tanning, that of scraping off the hair. A hide was laid over a rounded log and scraped with a highly curved knife, whose sharp edge was on the inside. At either end of the blade were wooden handles. Such "Currier knives" are suggested by the scallops induced in the horizontal black Radcliffe barrulet. The black barrulet indicates the important place that black and other minority students have had in education at Radcliffe and Harvard. The seven scallops recall the diatonic scale and thereby the strong interest in music and other arts in Currier House. A merely implied reference to the preparation of hides was chosen, in place of a representation of actual knives, to suggest that education is a sort of scraping and tanning of the students to make them more supple and useful for life.

Registered by

Michael Swanson

Categories

Education, US, C, H

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