The paper describes a collection of Florentine coats of arms, which was digitised and made accessible on the Web. In addition to the traditional approach of textual description and indexing, an additional retrieval mode was chosen based on the visual specification by users of the content of images representing the coat of arms. This seems an interesting alternative for two reasons. Firstly, the texts of the database are only available in German language. Secondly, heraldry uses a specific and complex terminology which makes the textual approach difficult for laypersons. Therefore an additional visual approach seems to be an interesting solution for an international audience.