Search Results for: anchor


Anchor (Period)

Anchor (Period)

An anchor is a weighted hook that moors a ship.  It’s frequently found in period armory, as in the arms of Skipton, c.1410 [TJ 1507].

Heraldry has special terms for some parts of an anchor:  the shank (upright) is blazoned the “beam”, the stock (crosspiece) is the “timber”.  The timber is to chief by default, but anchors inverted were not uncommon in period heraldry.  An “anchor fouled of its cable” has its cable wrapped around the beam.

There were some variation in the heraldic depiction of the anchor; the illustration is taken from de Bara’s Blason des Armoiries, 1581 [64].  For related charges, see grappling iron.

Molle of Norwiche bears:  Sable, three anchors argent.

John of the Rudder bears:  Gules, an anchor Or.

Aethelstan Osricson bears:  Or, three anchors in pall, rings to center vert.

This entry was posted on November 15, 2013, in .


Passion nail (Period); tiler's nail (Period)

Passion nail (Period); tiler’s nail (Period)

A nail is a sharpened metal spike, driven with a hammer, used for holding together or anchoring pieces of stiff material (such as wood).  Nails are palewise, point to base, by default.

Heraldry doesn’t firmly define the different types of nails:  some of the names below have all been applied to the same type of nail.  The following definitions are in most general use:

In period armory, the most common form of nail has a square cross section (seen with one corner to the viewer, appearing triangular) and a pointed head.  It has been blazoned simply as a “nail” (cloue in French), as in the canting arms of Clouvyle or Clonvile, c.1520 [DBA2 513, Guillim1 209; also de Bara 59].  The same form, however, is also sometimes termed a “passion nail”, symbol of Christ’s Passion [Parker 447], and it is so blazoned in Society armory.  The passion nail is found in the civic arms of Nagolt, 1605 [Siebmacher 226].

The “tiler’s nail” is a builder’s implement, with a square cross section and a flat head; Parker [422] cites this form of nail in the canting arms of Tyler, which DBA1 [390] dates temp. Henry VII.

Horseshoe nail (Accepted); closing nail (Period)

Horseshoe nail (Accepted); closing nail (Period)

Parker also cites the “horse nail” or “horseshoe nail”, though giving no illustration; however, by assigning it to the arms of Clouvile, he apparently equates it with the default nail (i.e., passion nail).  In Society armory, the horseshoe nail is based on period artifacts.

Finally, there is the “closing nail”, used by glaziers to hold pieces of stained glass in place during leading.  It too is a period charge, having been borne (without authority) by the Worshipful Company of Glaziers in 1588 [Bromley & Child 115].

The types of nail are not always distinguished in emblazons, and no heraldic difference is granted between them.  For related charges, see rivet.  See also staple, tricune.

The Order of the Silver Nail, of the Barony of Stargate, bears:  Per chevron inverted sable and argent, a horseshoe nail and a horseshoe counterchanged.

Guy Nagel bears:  Or, two passion nails in saltire sable.

Padruig Maclennan bears:  Argent, a chevron gules between two crosses crosslet fitchy and in pile three tilers’ nails points conjoined all within a bordure embattled sable.

Christopher Starling bears:  Per bend sable and argent, a closing nail bendwise sinister argent.

Sigurðr inn danski bears as a badge:  A tiler’s nail Or.

This entry was posted on May 23, 2014, in .


A hook is a curved or barbed implement, usually of metal, used for holding onto something, and thus to catch, pull, or suspend it.  There are several specific types of hook in period heraldry, of which the fishhook is probably the most common.  Other types of hook are named according to their use.

Tenterhook (Accepted)

Tenterhook (Period)

Havette (Period)

Havette (Period)

The “tenterhook” is used to fasten cloth to a frame (called a “tenter”) for stretching or drying.  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Clerk or Clerkes, c.1480 [DBA4 172]; the form shown here is taken from Parker [331].  Period armory also has examples of the “havette” or “habick”, which performed the same function as the tenterhook; it’s found in the arms of Worshipful Company of Shearmen, 1510 (later incorporated into the Clothworkers, 1530) [Bromley & Child 48].


Hay hook (Period)

Hay hook (Period)

Flesh hook (Accepted)

Flesh hook (Accepted)

We also have period examples of the “hayhook”, for handling hay bales, in the canting arms (German Heu, “hay”) of von Hödorff or von Heudorff, c.1450 [Ingeram 120, Scheibler 82]; its handle is to base by default.  there is also the “meat hook”, for hanging meat, in the arms of da Peroxa, mid-15th C. [Triv 282].

Society armory gives us the “flesh hook”, a cooking tool used to take large portions of meat from the pot.  It’s a period artifact, as seen in the Luttrell Psalter c.1340, but as of this writing we have no confirmed examples of its use in period armory.  The flesh hook has its handle to base by Society default.

For related charges, see anchor, grappling iron.  See also crampon, fork, staple.

Joleicia of Litchfield bears:  Or, a bend raguly vert between two tenterhooks sable.

Milda de Hay bears:  Quarterly azure and vert, two hayhooks in saltire Or.

Huon Damebrigge bears as a badge:  In saltire a flesh hook and a strainer sable.

This entry was posted on February 11, 2014, in .

Grappling iron

Grappling iron (Period)

Grappling iron (Period)

A grappling iron is a metal hook, tied to a line and thrown at enemy ships so they may be pulled closer.  It is also called a “grappling hook” or “grapnel”.  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Stewyne, mid-16th C. [Bedingfeld 58].  The grappling iron is drawn with three or four flukes; it is palewise, flukes to base by default, though when held in a hand, the iron’s flukes are to chief.  For related charges, see anchor.

Hernando Herodes Montenegro de Mondragon bears as a badge:  In pale two grappling irons of four hooks, conjoined at the ring sable.

This entry was posted on January 31, 2014, in .

Ape clog

Ape clog (Period)

An ape clog, or ape’s clogge, is a large block of wood with a chain attached. It acts both as a perch for a pet ape (to which the chain’s other end would be attached) and as an anchoring weight. The ape clog is a period charge, used as a badge by William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, d.1450 [Siddons II.2 231; HB 147].

Rylyn Buchanan bears as a badge: An ape clog quarterly vert and sable, chained argent.

This entry was posted on November 19, 2013, in .


Anille (Period)

Anille (Period)

An anille is an architectural anchor-plate, used with tie-rods to brace and support masonry.  In German blazonry, it’s thus known as a Maueranker, “wall anchor”.  The anille is a period charge, found in the arms of van Oestvelt or Oostvelt, c.1370 [Gelre 96v].  It is fesswise by default.  See also millrind.

Avid Zvonikha bears:  Purpure, an anille argent.

This entry was posted on November 15, 2013, in .