Boutell’s Heraldry is a reference work on British heraldry and the coat of arms.
A copy of the book is clearly seen and used by James Bond (George Lazenby) in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
In the film, Bond prepares his disguise for a trip to Piz Gloria: He will pose as Sir Hilary Bray, an expert on British heraldry. “I also checked the technical side of heraldry,” he says to M, probably referring to the book.
While visiting the College of Arms in London, Bond meets the real Sir Hilary Bray. Bond is shown the coat of arms of his ancestor Sir Thomas Bond, which consists of a chevron (the inverted V shape) loaded with three bezants (the circles, a feature used in heraldry and probably inspired by Byzantine gold coins ).
Sir Hilary Bray explains, “Look at this: Arms of Sir Thomas Bond. Baronet de Peckham. Died. Argent on a chevron sable. Three Bezants. Good motto, eh?” The world is Not Enough. “
The technical description of the chevron symbol (in Bond’s coat of arms) can be found on page 42 of Boutell’s book (Figure 82). Bond’s chevron is charged with three bezants, and you can read more about bezants on page 57 of the book.
James Bond’s coat of arms is clearly visible in the film, but an initial sketch of the coat of arms has already been printed on the cover of the 1st edition of Ian Fleming’s novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The Boutell book can actually be seen more closely in the film when Bond is at Piz Gloria. One evening at Piz Gloria, Bond studies the heraldry book in his room. The book is opened on panel X, one of the glossy, colorfully illustrated pages on which “quarter arms with two coats of arms” can be seen (this can be found in the book between pages 144 and 145. Bond then decides to flee his room with an eraser Using a large paper clip and a thin metal stick from a ruler, Bond creates a device with which he can sabotage his door. Just before using the device, he takes the open book and leaves his room with the book in hand (no.4 ) in Ruby’s room (# 8). The book was mentioned earlier and he uses it as an excuse to visit Ruby (“to look at the pictures”). He leaves the book with Ruby and when he returns to his awaiting In the room find another girl asking for the book and Bond pretends to be looking for it.
The book in the film is probably the revised 1966 edition, that’s what I have as pictured on the left, and looks exactly the same. The top of the pages of Boutell’s heraldry book in the film is red, as can be seen when the book is on Bond’s table. The cover has a large blue block with the title. This is important when looking up eBay, for example, as there are variations of the book with red or yellow blocks of text.
The correct edition of the book will be show up on eBay now and then or you can look at AbeBooks. If you’re not interested in the movie-accurate book, but are looking for the latest version of this reference guide, you can still find it current editions of the book on Amazon.