Search Results for: bowl


Bowl (Period)

Bowl (Period)

A bowl is a rounded container or dish, shown in side-view or three-quarter view.  In its simplest form, with a flat bottom (a form which may also be blazoned a “basin” or “bason”), it’s found in the arms of St. Albon, mid-16th C. [Bedingfeld 58].  The illustration shows a slightly more ornate, footed form, as found in the canting arms (German Schüssel) of Raumschüssl, mid-16th C. [NW 64].

The “Bowl of Hygeia” is a bowl or cup with a serpent entwined about it, or issuant from it; it is the modern symbol of pharmacists.  At one point, it was only permitted to those with the proper medical credentials; but at this writing, its Society use is unrestricted.

A related charge is the “standing dish” or “platter”, found in the canting arms of Standysch, c.1460 [RH; see also Gwynn-Jones 95].  This was depicted essentially as a roundel with internal detailing, and even period heralds did not always distinguish between the two charges.

For related charges, see brazier, cup, lamp.

The Order of the Dragon’s Bowle, of Drachenwald, bears:  A dragon passant coward sable charged with a bowl per pale Or and gules.

Elene Kirchenknopf bears:  Per bend urdy argent and azure, a bowl and a sinister hand counterchanged.

Ambros Celidonis bears:  Vert, in bend sinister a double-sail-backed salamander statant bendwise embowed argent, and a bowl fesswise Or flammant proper.

This entry was posted on December 2, 2013, in .


Vessels are hollow containers for holding easily spilled contents.  They come in a wide variety of shapes, depending on their intended purpose; they may be made of metal, wood, horn, ceramic or glass.  If glass is intended, the charge should not be drawn as though transparent, through the use of voiding or chasing, but should be solidly tinctured.

For specific entries, see:  amphora, apothecary jar, barrel, bottell, bottle, churn, cup, flask, horn (drinking), ink bottle, pitcher, pot, saltcellar, tankard, tub, urinal, vase.  For related charges, see bowl, bucket, caldera gringolada, cupping-glass, frying pan, hourglass, mortar and pestle, water-bouget.

This entry was posted on June 8, 2014, in .

Spoon; Ladle

Spoon (Period)

Spoon (Period)

Ladle (Period)

Ladle (Period)

A spoon is an eating utensil, with a small shallow bowl attached to a handle.  It is found in the canting arms of Sponeley, 15th C. [Neubecker 136], as well as the arms of von Korkwitz, 1605 [Siebmacher 72].  The spoon is affronty by default, with the bowl to chief.

A similar charge is the “ladle”, with a deeper bowl and a long hooked handle, used for serving soup or other liquids.  It too is a period charge, found in the canting arms (from dial. Italian cazùu, “ladle”) of de Cazullis de Crema, mid-15th C. [Triv 98], and of de Cazaviis, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 270:283].  The ladle is palewise, handle to chief, by Society default.

Unique to the Society is the “spurtle”, of which we have a single registration.  The blazon is misleading:  a spurtle is a Scots cooking tool for turning oatcakes, dated in the OED to the 16th Century, which is not the charge used in the Society.  That charge is drawn as a notched spoon, resembling the utensil modernly called a “spork”.  Given the discrepancy of the terminology, and the modern nature of the artifact, it is unlikely to be currently registerable without documentation.

See also fork, strainer.

The Shire of Canale bears:  Sable, a ladle reversed and on a gore dexter Or a laurel wreath sable.

The Madrone Culinary Guild bears:  Gules, in fess a spurtle, a dagger, and a spoon palewise Or.

Máirgrég ingen mic Gillebrath bears:  Lozengy sable and Or, a spoon gules.

This entry was posted on June 3, 2014, in .

Smoking pipe

Smoking pipe (Accepted); hookah (probable SFPP)

Smoking pipe (Accepted); hookah (probable SFPP)

A smoking pipe is a tube with a bowl at one end, for smoking tobacco or other weeds.  In Society heraldry, the standard smoking pipe is long-stemmed, made of clay; this form of pipe was manufactured in England as early as 1586 [EB XXI:633], but no examples are known of its use in period armory.  (In Society armory, the same form has also been blazoned a “Saracen’s smoking pipe” or a “clay pipe”.)  The smoking pipe is fesswise, bowl to dexter, by Society default

There’s also the “hookah” or “Turkish water-pipe”, where the fumes are filtered through water or wine.  It has not been shown to be period, but it was used in Persia in the 17th Century (though not for tobacco).

Lewis MacGregor bears:  Gules, a hookah Or, on a chief wavy argent a winged cat couchant guardant proper.

Dulcinea de Yerba Buena bears:  Per fess indented argent goutty purpure, and vert, overall two short-stemmed Saracen smoking pipes in saltire argent.

Morric Haast bears:  Sable, a saltire Or between in pale an hourglass fesswise and a clay pipe fesswise and in fess two dragon’s heads erased argent.

This entry was posted on June 3, 2014, in .


Roundel (Period)

Roundel (Period)

A roundel is an ancient heraldic charge, consisting of a simple circular shape.  Its use dates from the earliest heraldic records:  bezants are found in the canting arms of Biset, c.1244 [Asp2 222].

Roundels of different tinctures have special names in blazon:  A roundel Or may be termed a “bezant”; a roundel argent, a “plate”; gules, a “torteau”; vert, a “pomme”; sable, a “gunstone”, “pellet”, or “ogress”; azure, a “hurt”; purpure, a “golpe”.  The use of these special names is discretionary.  Note that only “bezant”, “plate”, “torteau” and “pellet” were used in period blazons.

Also included in the roundel family is the “fountain“, a roundel barry wavy azure and argent.  A Society-specific variant is the “t’ai-ch’i”, a roundel per fess embowed-counterembowed argent and sable, charged with two counterchanged roundels.  As a non-European motif, the t’ai-ch’i is deemed a step from period practice.

T'ai-ch'i (SFPP)

T’ai-ch’i (SFPP)

Roundel echancré (Disallowed)

Roundel echancré (Disallowed)

Roundels with complex edges (e.g., the “roundel echancré”, with three semi-circular notches; the “roundel embattled”; &c) have been registered in the past; but their use has been disallowed, pending evidence of period use.

The roundel is considered a shape upon which arms may be borne; thus, like the lozenge and escutcheon, when used as a fieldless badge it must not itself be charged.  See also astrolabe, bowl (dish), egg, moon, shield, sphere, yarn.

The Exchequer bears:  Azure, a pale checky gules and argent between six bezants in pale three and three.

Alewijn van Zeebrouck bears:  Sable, three roundels argent.

Nigel the Byzantine bears:  Purpure bezanty and a bordure Or.

Duncan of Blackrock bears:  Per fess and per bend sinister argent and vert, two pellets in bend.

Marius del Raut bears:  Per chevron ermine and sable, three roundels counterchanged.

Ynir Cadwallen bears:  Azure, a roundel echancré and in base a bar Or.

Morgan ap Llewellan Peregrine bears:  Sable, a t’ai-ch’i, the line of division forming a hawk’s head erect, voided, orbed argent.

This entry was posted on June 2, 2014, in .

Norse beasts

Norse serpent nowed (Disallowed)

Norse serpent nowed (Disallowed)

Norse beasts, or Norse serpents, are a class of monster characterized by long sinuous bodies, one or two legs (front and back), and a complex interlacing.  Some forms also have a head lappet or pigtail, which if long may be interlaced with the rest of the body.  Further details of Norse beasts are usually blazoned by the drawing style of their original sources; such drawing styles carry no heraldic difference.

The most common style of drawing Norse beasts is the “Urnes style”; it takes its name from the decorations of a small church in the Norwegian village of Urnes.   The Society-default Norse beast is blazoned a “Norse serpent nowed”, and is drawn in the Urnes style.  The charge is based on a carving on the Sjua stone, c.1190.

Norse "Jelling-beast" nowed (Disallowed)

Norse “Jelling-beast” nowed (Disallowed)

Other styles of drawing Norse beasts include the “Jellinge” style, the “Ringerike” style, and the “Borre” style.  These terms are usually included only for the artist’s sake.  The “Norse Jelling-beast nowed” is actually not in the Jellinge style; but the blazon may be used to define this particular Norse beast.  The charge is based on a design on a silver bowl from Lilla Valla, Gotland, c.1050.

Finally, there are individual creatures which, though found in Norse art, are not nowed or interlaced.  An example is the “Lisbjerg gripping beast”, which is taken from a pair of 9th C. oval brooches found in Lisbjerg, Jutland.

Lisbjerg gripping beast (Disallowed)

Lisbjerg gripping beast (Disallowed)

None of the styles of Norse beast are presently permitted in Society heraldry.  The terms are too obscure, and previous blazons have no uniformity; they convey no information to the artist or herald.  For related charges, see orm, serpent.

Brynhildr Kormaksdottir bears:  Gules, a Norse serpent nowed Or.

Bjorn of Havok bears:  Counter-ermine, a Lisbjerg gripping beast gules.

Asbjorn Gustavsson of Roed bears:  Azure, a “Norse Jelling-beast” nowed, erect and reversed argent.

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


Dove reguardant atop a nest (Period)

Dove reguardant atop a nest (Period)

A nest is a roost for birds, consisting of a shallow bowl woven of wooden twigs; its “proper” tincture is therefore brown.  It’s never found in period heraldry except when a bird is sitting in it, as in the crest of Nobrega, c.1540 [Nobreza xxº].  The illustration shows a dove reguardant sitting in a nest.  See also birdcage.

The Order of the Cygnets Nest, of Meridies, bears:  A swan sitting in a nest proper within and issuant from an annulet argent.

Danamas of Starlinghurst bears:  Azure, atop a demi-wall issuant from dexter base, a starling contourny argent perched in a nest Or.

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

Mortar and pestle

Mortar and pestle (Period)

Mortar and pestle (Period)

A mortar and pestle is a set of tools for grinding substances to powder.  The mortar is a hard, deep bowl; the pestle is a club, which does the grinding.  They are usually found together, with the pestle in the mortar.  Mortars and pestles are period charges:  the illustration is from the arms of Wakerley, mid-16th C. [Bedingfeld 58].  See also bowl, cup.

Willem Gerritsz van Wije bears:  Sable, three mortars and pestles Or.

Elizabeth Rea bears:  Per saltire argent and vert, a mortar and pestle sable.

Edain de Burgh bears:  Per pale vert and argent, three mortars with pestles counterchanged.

This entry was posted on May 22, 2014, in .


Lamp, lit (Period)

Lamp, lit (Period)

A lamp is a source of light, consisting of a container of oil with an emerging wick.  The earliest form, dating from at least Roman times, was simply a shallow bowl bearing a wick; the most usual medieval form had a conical base, which could be held in the hand or mounted on a fixture.  This is the default heraldic form of lamp, found in period armory in the arms of Wetewang, c.1410 [TJ 1555; see also Bedingfeld 90].

Arabic lamp, lit (SFPP)

Arabian lamp, lit (SFPP)

However, the most commonly found lamp in Society armory is the “Arabian lamp”, with a handle at one end and the wick in a spout at the other; it’s also been blazoned a “Greek lamp”, though the shape is unchanged.  It’s frequently drawn as the “Aladdin’s lamp” of modern imagery; we’ve no period examples of lamps in that form, neither as a charge nor as an artifact.  However, a basic boat-shaped form of lamp was used in period, as terra cotta artifacts:  the illustration is based on an 11th C. terra cotta lamp found in Sicily.  Based on that example, the Arabian lamp is still permitted for Society use as of this writing, though it carries a step from period practice.  The Arabian lamp has its handle to sinister by default.

Hanging oil lamp, lit (Accepted)

Hanging oil lamp, lit (Accepted)

Society armory also has the “hanging oil lamp”, with a shallow flat bowl of oil fastened to a vertical handle:  the handle can be hung from a hook over a drawing table.  Like the Arabian lamp, it isn’t found in period armory; however, the hanging oil lamp is a period artifact, as seen in the Opera of Bartoloneo Scappi, 1570, on which the illustration is based [Peter Thornton, The Italian Renaissance Interior, 1400-1600, plate 347; cf. also plates 23, 294].  Unlike the Arabian lamp, the hanging oil lamp doesn’t have a default orientation; it is left as an unblazoned detail.  (There’s also one instance in Society armory blazoned simply an “oil lamp”, with no handles; it’s the exception.)

Any form of lamp, if blazoned “flammant” or “enflamed”, is shown with the wick lit.  “Lit”, of course, works as well.  The lamps in the illustrations are all lit.

For related charges, see candle, lantern, torch.  See also pitcher.

The Royal University of Ithra bears:  Gules, on a sun Or eclipsed gules, an Arabian lamp flammant Or.

The Order of the Golden Beacon, of the Barony of Ynys Fawr, bears:  Per bend sinister azure and Or, a lamp argent enflamed Or.

Tiffanie du Claire bears:  Purpure, a [square] oil lamp enflamed between three stars of David one and two Or.

Arthur Lemner of Wesley bears:  Azure, in pale a drawing compass and a two-spouted oil lamp argent, enflamed Or.

Brigid Duncan bears:  Per bend vert and gules, a bend between a hanging oil lamp argent lit Or and a boar sejant Or.

This entry was posted on March 3, 2014, in .


Hunting horn (Period)

Hunting horn (Period)

A horn is an artifact, made from an animal’s horn, from which it gets its name.  The default horn is a musical instrument, more fully blazoned a “hunting horn” or “bugle horn”; it is found in the canting arms of Hornes c.1275 [ANA2 476].  It’s usually shown hung on cords, and may be garnished in bands of another tincture; these are considered artistic details.  In mundane armory, the hunting horn’s default orientation has changed over time; the Society default is fesswise, embowed to base, with bell to dexter.

Drinking horn (Period)

Drinking horn (Period)

Another use of the horn is as a drinking vessel; this is blazoned a “drinking horn”.  Unlike the hunting horn, it has no mouthpiece, and is not corded; it was usually shown unadorned, but in at least one instance was depicted with feet (so it could be set on a table without spilling), in the arms of Müris, c.1340 [Zurich 94].  In medieval heraldry, it seems to have had the same default orientation as the hunting horn; in Society armory, its default orientation is palewise, embowed to dexter, with bell to chief.

Pairs of drinking horns are common in Saracenic heraldry, where they are referred to as “trousers of nobility” [Mayer 19]; but the motif is blazoned in most European contexts as “a pair of drinking horns”.  By Society convention, a pair of drinking horns is “addorsed” (i.e., with the convex sides facing each other) by default; a pair of drinking horns “respectant” will have their convex sides outward.  A “pair of drinking horns” is thus distinguished from “two drinking horns”, each in its default orientation.

Shofar (Accepted)

Shofar (Accepted)

Spiral hunting horn (Accepted)

Spiral hunting horn (Accepted)

Of the horns with special names, the best known is the “shofar”, the ram’s horn blown on Jewish high holidays.  Depictions of the shofar date back at least to the 4th Century, as seen on a Roman bowl now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Though not found as a period heraldic charge, as a period artifact, the shofar is registerable in the Society.

There’s also the “spiral horn”, more fully blazoned a “spiral hunting horn”.  This isn’t made from animal horn at all, but from metal:  essentially a flat spiral trumpet, the ancestor of the modern French horn.  The illustration is based on an artifact dated 1570 [Montagu 107]; as a period artifact, the spiral hunting horn is registerable in the Society, though no heraldic examples have been found.

As with the hunting horn, the shofar and the spiral horn have their bells to dexter by Society default.  For related charges, see cornetto, sackbut.  See also inkbottle, tooth.

The Shire of Darton bears:  Sable, a hunting horn within a laurel wreath Or.

Magnus Birchleg bears:  Gules, a drinking horn bendwise sinister argent.

Rivka bat Schmuel Alfasi bears:  Per fess indented azure and gules, in pale a shofar, bell to sinister, and an estoile of eight rays Or.

Nikolaj Zrogowacialy bears:  Barry argent and azure, a spiral horn of three spirals reversed Or.

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