Escutcheons of Science
 Gmelin Coat-of-Arms

Johann Georg Gmelin, Sr.  (1674-1728)
Philipp Friedrich Gmelin  (1721-1768)
Johann Friedrich Gmelin  (1748-1804)
Leopold Gmelin  (1788-1853)
Christian Gottlob Gmelin  (1792-1860)
(prominent chemists from Tübingen)

Per pale; [1] Azure, a dolphin uriant entwined around an anchor Argent.  [2] Gules, on a
fess Argent  [tilted bendwise]  between two mullets of six points Or, a Wolfsangel contourny Sable.

The above is a copyrighted picture reproduced here by permission.  © 2009   by Jochen Wilke.

Motto :  Festina Lente  (hasten slowly).
[ That maxim is traditionally symbolized by a dolphin coiled around an anchor.
The dolphin stands for swiftness, the anchor is for caution and safety.]

 Festina Lente

Festina Lente  (hasten slowly)  was the official motto  (or "Royal Proverb")  of Emperor Augustus  (who reigned alone over the Roman Empire from 27 BC to AD 14).  He adopted the corresponding  dolphin coiled around an anchor  as his personal symbol.  That well-known icon was used as an explicit reference to Augustus himself on the reverse of some silver  denarii  minted during the reigns of the three emperors of the Flavian dynasty: Vespasian (AD 69-79) Titus (AD 79-81) and Domitian (AD 81-96).  The Flavians may have done that for political reasons:  Advertising the personal symbol of Augustus helped compensate for their lack of actual family ties with the first five emperors of Rome  (i.e., the Julio-Claudian dynasty).

The abbreviated markings on the coin shown above read:  TRPOT = tribunica potestas  (Tribune of the People),  COS VIII = Eight times a consul, PP = Pater Patriae  (Father of the Country).  There are other examples of silver  denarii bearing a  dolphin entwined around an anchor  that were struck at different dates:
  • In AD 80  under the reign of Titus
  • In AD 81  (COS VII) and 82 (COS VIII) under the reign of Domitian.
  • In AD 96  under the reign of Domitian.
 Wolfsangel  (Military Symbol) 
 SS-Panzerdivision 'Das Reich'

The  Wolfsangel  at left, shown  contourny  in the Gmelin arms,  is a masonic symbol of ancient Nordic origin  ( unrelated  to the Eihwaz rune).  In an horizontal position it's also called a werewolf.  The  upright version  (looking like a backward Z with a central stroke)  can be called a  thunderbolt.  Without a central stroke, that heraldic charge would be blasoned Doppelhaken in German or  crampon  in French  (e.g., Biedenfeld: In Schwarz ein liegender silberner Doppelhaken ).  It is a more recent (medieval) symbol for the double hooks used by soldiers to climb the wall of fortified castles.  Arguably, the legendary danger of such climbs makes this a symbol for military bravery...

 Third Reich (German Nazi Party) 
 Gules, on a plate a fylfot in saltire Sable In modern times, the  Wolfsangel  has become a tainted nazi symbol whose "use" is strictly forbidden by German Criminal Law Para 86(1).4.  Like the  Swastika  (gammadion, or fylfot)  pictured at left,  the  Wolfsangel  can no longer be used as a benign ancient mystic symbol by masons or anybody else ...  Other runic symbols used by the Nazis are often not as tainted as the  Wolfsangel, which was used as the divisional marking for Hitler's infamous  2.SS-Panzerdivison  Das Reich.  The  inverted  version of the Wolfsangel symbol was used as the graphical basis for the logo of  Aryan Nations  (AN)  the neo-nazi American organization founded in 1970 by Richard Girnt Butler  (1918-2004).

blog (2007)   |   The Dolphin of Legend and of Heraldry   |   Titus and the Dolphin

Leopold Gmelin (1788-1853)  son of the naturalist  Johann Friedrich Gmelin (1748-1804)  was a grandson of  Philipp Friedrich Gmelin (1721-1768; FRS 1758), the  younger son  of the first bearer of the coat-of-arm  (see below).  This younger branch of the family may or may not have borne the coat-of-arms described here.

Leopold Gmelin  introduced  Gmelin's test  and invented  red prussiate  (1822).  He was a collaborator/mentor of  Friedrich Wöhler  (1800-1882)  founder of organic chemistry.

Christian Gottlog Gmelin (1792-1860),  professor of chemistry and pharmacy at the  University of Tübingen  was a grandson of Johann Konrad Gmelin and a great-grandson of the traveler Johann Georg Gmelin, Jr. (1709-1855)  himself the eldest son of Johann Georg Gmelin, Sr. (1674-1728)  who was the  first bearer  of the above coat-of-arms.

Several alumni of the  University of Tübingen  were awarded the  Nobel Prize in Chemistry :

Gmelin Family + Wikipedia (in German)   |   Leopold Gmelin   |   Christian Gottlog Gmelin (1792-1860)      Gmelin
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