Search Results for: heron


Torque, or torc (Accepted)

Torque, or torc (Accepted)

A torque, or torc, is a piece of jewelry, a stiff necklace of precious metal wires twisted together.  Though found in several cultures, it’s most strongly associated with the Celts; though a period artifact, it was not used in period heraldry.  The torque’s opening is to base by Society default; the ends may be described in blazon with animal heads, but no difference is granted for this.  For related charges, see brooch.

The Shire of Draca Mor bears:  Ermine, within a serpent-headed torc opening to chief vert surmounted by a sword sable, a laurel wreath vert.

Brand aux Deus Leons bears:  Sable, a lion-headed torque and in chief a bar raguly Or.

Rhonwen Angharad bears:  Vert, a heron-headed torc argent.

This entry was posted on June 5, 2014, in .


Crane in its vigilance (Period)

Crane in its vigilance (Period)

The crane is a long-legged aquatic bird with a long neck and bill.  It was often depicted “in its vigilance”, standing on one foot and grasping a stone in the other.  The medieval bestiaries held that the crane would stand this way; should it fall asleep, it would drop the stone and awaken.  As an heraldic charge, the crane dates from c.1270, in the canting arms (French grue) of the Counts de Gruyere [ANA2 191].

Heron (Period)

Heron (Period)

Similar to the crane are the “heron”, the “stork”, the “egret”, and the “ibis”.  The heron is distinguished by the long tuft on its head; it’s found in the canting arms of Heron, c.1255 [ANA2 192].  The stork is often depicted with a serpent or eel in its bill, even when this is not specifically blazoned; it is found in the arms of Egglescliffe, Bishop of Llandaff, 1323 [DBA2 151].  The ibis and egret appear to be Society innovations, and are generally drawn as found in nature.  All of these birds are close by default; though frequently drawn with one leg raised, this is considered an artistic detail, usually left unblazoned.


Japanese crane displayed (SFPP)

Japanese crane displayed (SFPP)

A particular depiction of the crane is the “Japanese crane” (tsuru):  legless, with its wings displayed in annulo, the whole forming almost a crescent.  It was used in the Mon of Mori Nagayoshi, d.1585 [Hawley 48].  The Japanese crane is permitted in Society armory, but as a non-European charge, it carries a step from period practice.

Grimbold of Settmour bears:  Ermine, a crane in its vigilance azure.

Brennan O Loughran bears:  Azure, two herons addorsed argent.

Karl von Süssen bears:  Vert, a stork passant, wings elevated and addorsed argent, grasping in its beak a fish Or, all within a bordure argent.

Sybilla Keisalovitch bears:  Argent, an ibis close to sinister reguardant, dexter leg upraised gules, within a bordure compony gules and argent.

Kamiizumi Hirotarō bears:  Argent, a Japanese crane displayed purpure.

This entry was posted on January 4, 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 .