This paper analyses two late sixteenth-century armorials with the coats of arms of the 235 participants of a tournament, organized in May 1439 on the central market square, the Grote Markt, of Brussels. The armorials, trustworthy copies of a now lost original, recorded the performance of an exclusive social category in public space, and express in a distinctive visual way the internal hierarchy of the tourneying society: team leaders, leaders of large companies, leaders of of small companies, and 'ordinary' participants. The heraldic elements that were essential to this hierarchic arrangement - banners, pennons, shields – were actually used during the tournament, as well as the depicted helmets and crests. It goes without saying that these occasional rolls were important for the nobility of the Low Countries, both at the time of the tournament and at the time of their creation in the last decades of the sixteenth century. Inclusion of their coats of arms in the armorials ensured the participants of a place in the collective memory. The compilers of the armorials played an essential role in defining the nobility as a social category since participating in a tournament meant that you lived nobly and that your peers considered you as a nobleman. The two copies of the original armorial in the last decades of the sixteenth century reproduced the social classification within the nobility in the second quarter of the fifteenth century. It shows that the same mechanisms of social distinction still played a role at that time.