Artist: Laurent Granier, France
Registered in The Chinese Armorial, November 18, 2012.
Arms: Tierced per pale, in the first and third pales Gules a six-pointed star in chief and a fleur-de-lys Argent in base, in the second pale Or a numeral 4 with a vertical bar through its arm Sable issuant from a heart Gules.
Crest: On a wreath Gules and Or, a neck and head of a Chinese dragon Sable, langued Gules, facing upwards, holding between its teeth a two-handed sword Or, handle Gules, wards upward in bend.
Helm: A steel jousting helmet, with edges and rivets Or.
Mantling: Gules doubled Or.
Motto: UN EN VAUT QUATRE
Assumed: December 18, 2007.
Background and History:
Cyrill Eltschinger is a Swiss businessman who has lived in China since 1994. He founded I.T. UNITED (1998), a software outsourcing information technology company that was later merged and became Softtek China in August 2007.
He wrote the book Source Code China – The New Global Hub of IT Outsourcing (©2007, John Wiley &Sons) and is one of very few selected foreign business residents to have been presented with the “Great Wall Friendship Award” by the Mayor of Beijing (2008), H.E. Mr. Guo Jin Long. Mr. Eltschinger was also amongst the rare foreigners approved to carry and run with the Olympic flame in China during the 2008 Olympic torch relay.
In 2007, he commissioned French heraldry master, Mr. Laurent Granier, to design coats of arms for him and his fiancée, Maureen Yeo. The new coats of arms were used on banners in their medieval-theme wedding in Switzerland.
Mr. Eltschinger's coat of arms combines charges from his father's coat of arms (Eltschinger) and his mother's coat of arms (de Gottrau, a notable noble family) to create a new lineage mark. This change was driven by the fact that Mr. Eltschinger’s father got his coat of arms from his mother’s side. Hence Mr. Eltschinger established a true, new lineage of arms by combining elements from the shields of his parents, who came to him via his grandmother’s family, and from his mother’s family.
Eltschinger (father's) coat of arms
from Fribourg, Switzerland.
Artist: Laurent Granier (France).
de Gottrau (mother's) coat of arms.
from Fribourg Switzerland.
Artist: Laurent Granier (France).
The numeral 4 appears on the de Gottrau coat of arms and is Mr. Eltschinger's lucky number. His motto "Un en vault quatre" could be interpreted to mean "One is worth much" (or "You are worth a lot") but translates literally to "One is worth four” hearts (of heart).
Editor's Note: The Chinese consider the number 4 to be unlucky. However, the French have many idioms that use the number four to mean many or much, e.g., un de ces quatre matins, quatre à quatre, faire les quatre cents coups. Mr. Eltschinger's motto, "On en vaut quatre" is another such idiom.
His wife's shield has four Chinese swords, which would seem odd for a Chinese until one considers that the French view the number differently. By using the number 4 on the husband's coat of arms and his French motto and by putting four swords on the wife's shield, the Eltschingers are converting the number 4 from an uneasy sign in the Asian culture, into a powerful and ancient symbol of strength, life, and honour by giving it French connotations.
Thanks to Laurent Granier for providing information about the coats of arms, wedding, and use of heraldry of Cyrill Eltschinger and Maureen Yeo.