Search Results for: falcon


Falcon (Period)

Falcon (Period)

The falcon is a raptor, a bird of prey, which can be domesticated for use by hunters.  It is found as early as c.1295, in the canting arms of Fauconer [ANA2 204].  Heraldically, the falcon category includes “hawks”; there is considerable overlap in their attributes, though, strictly speaking, falcons and hawks are of differing species.  In any event, the terms are considered interchangeable in heraldry.

The falcon is close by mundane and Society default (though Society blazons often specify the posture, nonetheless); when blazoned “proper” (and no species is specified), it is understood to be brown.

Falcons are often depicted as “belled and jessed”, with thongs and bells tied to the legs in the traditional falconer’s manner; this may be done even when not explicitly blazoned, as in the illustration.  Falcons are also sometimes found “hooded”, with a leather hood over the head; this fact is always blazoned.  A few period armories show the falcon atop a perch, as in the arms of Weele, 1610 [Guillim1 161].  The falcon may be found “preying” or “trussing” upon a smaller beast or bird, holding it in its talons while ripping it with its beak.  For related charges, see eagle.

Joseph Hawk bears:  Per fess embattled sable and argent, three hawks counterchanged.

Eliane Duran bears:  Azure, a falcon ermine belled and jessed Or.

Estienne de Condé bears:  Argent, three falcons vert.

This entry was posted on January 26, 2014, in .

Mount; Mountain

Mount (Period)

Mount (Period)

Trimount, or mount of three hillocks (Period)

Trimount, or mount of three hillocks (Period)

A mount is the heraldic representation of a hill.  It’s drawn as a rounded hillock issuant from base; it’s equivalent to a “base enarched to chief”.  The mount is sometimes drawn naturalistically, with tufts of grass; Society heraldry considers this artistic license, and it’s often ignored in Society emblazons.  A “mount proper” is vert, and some texts claim that mounts are vert by default; but they have no default coloration in Society heraldry.

If the mount is not issuant from base, but cut off at the bottom, it must be blazoned “couped”.  The mount may also have more than a single hillock, especially in Italian heraldry:  three, six, or ten hillocks are possible, and would be blazoned, e.g., “a mount of three hillocks” (or “coupeaux”, or “peaks”), as in the illustration.  (The mount of three hillocks may also be termed simply a “trimount”.)  The multi-hilled form of mount dates from at least 1413, in the arms of the Kings of Hungary [Conz.Const. xcix].

Mountain (Period)

Mountain (Period)

A variant of a mount is the “mountain”, representing a mountain instead of a hill.  The mountain is usually drawn more naturalistically, with rocky crags and a peak; the exact details are not blazoned.  It too is period, in the canting arms of di Monti da Cara, mid-15th C. [Triv 235].  Like the mount, it is issuant from base unless otherwise specified.

Multiple mountains may be conjoined to form a “mountain range”, as in the canting arms of Siebenbürger, 1605 [Siebmacher 46].  The period example requires a long, narrow area for displaying the range; the mountains issue from the lower edge by default.  The number of mountains in the range need not be specified.

The mount should not be confused with the “mound”, which is another name for the orb.  For related charges, see base, point, rock.

The Prince of the Summits bears:  Azure, a gryphon passant and on a mountain argent, a goblet azure within a laurel wreath vert.

William de Montegilt bears:  Sable, a two-peaked mountain couped Or, capped argent.

Morna ó Monadh bears as a badge:  Purpure, a mount of three hillocks Or.

Jan Rafiel Shkoder bears:  Vert, a mount of six hillocks between two falcon’s heads erased Or.

Alys de Montcharmont bears:  Azure mullety, on a bend argent a mountain range vert.

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


Hawk's lure (Period)

Hawk’s lure (Period)

A lure is a pair of bird’s wings tied together at the end of a cord; it’s swung on the cord, mimicking a flying bird, to recall a falcon in flight.  It is more fully called a “hawk’s lure” for that reason.  It’s a period charge, found in the allusive arms of Fauconer, 1385 [DBA2 386].  The lure’s cord is to chief by default.

A lure is not the same charge as a “vol”, “wings conjoined” or “wings conjoined in lure”, though they are similar.

The Royal University of Scirhavoc bears:  Or, on a pale purpure three hawk’s lures Or.

Katerine del Val bears:  Vert, in bend three hawk’s lures argent.

William Wildblood bears:  Vert, a hawk’s lure argent, a bordure Or.

This entry was posted on May 17, 2014, in .

Hood, hawk’s

Hawk's hood facing dexter (Period)

Hawk’s hood facing dexter (Period)

A hawk’s hood is a covering for the head of a hawk or falcon, used as a blindfold to keep the bird tranquil.  It has no eyeholes, and is usually more decorative than a normal human hood.

Though a period artifact, the hawk’s hood was evidently not an independent charge in period armory.  Period heraldic examples show it worn by a hawk, as in the crest of von Waldecker, c.1450 [Ingeram 191].  It doesn’t seem to have a default orientation; the illustration shows a hawk’s hood facing to dexter.

Arik Alton bears as a badge:  A hawk’s hood affronty argent.

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


Fetterlock (Period)

Fetterlock (Period)

A fetterlock is a semi-circular manacle, put on a horse’s ankle to prevent it from running away.  It is open (unlocked) by Society default.  While the bolt mechanism may be either to chief or to base in mundane heraldry, the most common attitude is with bolt to base, as in the Yorkist badge of the fetterlock-and-falcon, used since Edward IV [Hope2 169, HB 97]; this is the Society default.  For related charges, see padlock, shackle.

Mons von Goarshausen bears:  Per pale gules and sable, three closed fetterlocks Or.

Nikolai Jagger bears:  Per chevron gules and sable, a fetterlock within a bordure argent.

Marsle Lokart bears:  Azure, a closed fetterlock argent and in chief three hearts Or.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .


Fasces (Period)

Fasces (Period)

A fasces is an axe bound in a bundle of sticks (called a fascine in Latin).  The fasces was the symbol of civil justice, dating from Roman times; it’s found in the arms of Cardinal Mazarin, 1601 [Parker 250].  Its association with 20th Century Fascists does not bar the fasces from Society use, though care should be taken.  Its default orientation is palewise, as with the axe.

Charles of the Jacs bears:  Sable, a broken fasces Or.

Gaius Cornelius Ursus bears:  Quarterly vert and argent, two fasces vert.

Eóin mac Raghnaill bears:  Or, on a bend sinister sable between two falcons striking to sinister and to dexter gules, an arrow inverted bound in a fascine Or.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .


Eagle (Period)

Eagle (Period)

The eagle is the monarch of the birds, the medieval symbol of majesty and vision (literally and figuratively).  It is thus a frequent charge in medieval armory, dating from the earliest heraldic records, as in the arms of the Kingdom of Germany, c.1244 [ANA2 193].  More than any other bird of heraldry, it is drawn in a highly stylized manner:  with a crest, ruffled feathers, and ornate wings and tail.  German emblazons may add klee-stengeln, wing-bones, and they are sometimes explicitly blazoned; they are considered artistic details.

The eagle is displayed by default; however, the form of display may differ according to time and place.  In later-period England, eagles displayed held their wings with their tips up; while in early Germany, eagles displayed had the wingtips down, in the posture called “displayed inverted” in English.  As the distinction is mostly one of emblazonry, it is granted no heraldic difference, and indeed is usually left unblazoned.

A variant of the eagle is the “alerion” or “allerion”, a beakless, footless eagle found in the arms of the Duchy of Lorraine; this form had been recognized as a variant by the end of our period [de Bara 213].  It may only be shown displayed.

Double-headed eagles are also found, most famously in the arms of the Holy Roman Emperor c.1220 [Asp2 34], but also in lesser armory such as Bluet, c.1282 [ANA2 196].  (As the Imperial eagle was shown through history with either one or two heads, no difference is granted for the number of heads.)  Triple-headed eagles are not permitted, by Society precedent.  For related charges, see falcon, phoenix, roc, vulture.

The Award of the Alerion, of the Barony of Lochmere, bears:  Per fess engrailed azure and argent, an alerion counterchanged.

Al Altan bears:  Or, three eagles gules.

John Aquila of Eaglesdown bears:  Purpure, an eagle close to sinister Or.

Andrei de Sevastopol bears:  Gyronny argent and gules, a double-headed eagle displayed sable.

This entry was posted on January 16, 2014, in .


Birds in Society heraldry follow most of the conventions as those of mundane heraldry.  As a rule of thumb, most birds are statant close by default; indeed, a bird displayed (other than an eagle) is considered a step from period practice.

There are some bird postures unique to Society heraldry.  A bird “migrant” or “migratory” is tergiant, wings displayed or displayed inverted, head erect; with no other qualification, a bird is migrant to chief.  The posture carries a step from period practice.  A bird “stooping” is volant to dexter base, with the body bendwise sinister and the wings addorsed and swept back.  A bird “striking” has its wings elevated and addorsed, its head lowered, and its talons extended; for purposes of difference, it is indistinguishable from a bird rising.

Any bird known to period Europeans may be used in Society armory – though, if the bird is not itself European, its use may be considered a step from period practice.  (An exception is made for non-European birds actually used in period European armory.  The turkeycock is perhaps the prime example of this.)  The unmodified term “bird” can be used in blazon to refer to a generic bird, vaguely pigeon-shaped; it will conflict with all “standard” birds, as classified below.

In terms of difference between birds, as of this writing the Society’s policy classes every bird into one of four categories:  crane-shaped (cranes, storks, herons), swan-shaped (swans, geese, ducks), poultry-shaped (chickens, quail, peacocks), and “standard bird” (corbies, doves, raptors).  (One might assume a fifth category, “other”, to cover anomalies such as the ostrich.)  Birds from different categories, when in period postures for those birds, will usually be considered completely different for purposes of conflict.

For specific birds, see:  cock, crane, crow, dove, eagle, falcon, firebird, goose, hummingbird, martlet, moorcock, ostrich, owl, peacock, pelican, penguin, popinjay, roc, sea-mew, simurgh, swallow, swan, turkeycock, vulture.

Grim Finch bears:  Argent, a bend per bend sable and azure, in chief a finch volant, wings addorsed azure.

Eleanor of Pica bears:  Vert, a magpie proper maintaining in its dexter talon a feather argent.

Linnet of Liddington bears:  Quarterly azure and Or, four linnets counterchanged.

Luke Aucher bears:  Argent, a great auk close sable and a chief rayonny gules.

Robin Vinehall the Ambivalent bears:  Or, in fess two robins close addorsed, tails crossed in saltire proper.

Wilhelmina Brant bears:  Or, two pheasants respectant and in chief three garden roses slipped vert.

Beverly FitzAlan de Stirkelaunde bears:  Gules, a pigeon between flaunches argent.

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