Search Results for: well

Well

Open well (Period)

Open well (Period)

Covered well (SFPP)

Covered well (SFPP)

A well is a vertical shaft sunk into the earth, from which water is drawn.  It’s usually depicted as the edifice built around the hole to prevent accidents:  a short masonwork wall.  It’s commonly round, as in the arms of Pronner von Tahlhausen, 1605 [Siebmacher 98]; but there are also period examples of square wells (in the canting arms of Hadiswell, 1586 [Bedingfeld 58]) and hexagonal wells (in the canting arms of da Fontana, mid-15th C. [Triv 149]).

Some period arms depict wells (of all shapes) with a swape, or lever arm for drawing water.

In more modern heraldry, the well is depicted with a wooden cover or roof, and a cradle for a pail and rope [Franklyn 346].  This form of well was the first form registered in the Society; while still permitted, its use is now considered a step from period practice.

Neither form of well is the Society default.  The type of well must be explicitly blazoned:  either “open” or “roofless”, or “covered” or “roofed”.

Japanese well-frame (Accepted)

Japanese well-frame (Accepted)

There is also the “Japanese well-frame” or “well-curb” (igeta), with examples dating to the 15th Century; it’s found in the 17th Century Mon of Inoue [Xavid Pretzer, O-umajirushi: A 17th Century Compendium of Samurai Heraldry, p.218; cf. Hawley 79].  The motif is formed of four laths fretted; period examples show the laths either fretted as on a delf, or as on a mascle.  The latter is the Society default.  As the Japanese well-frame could also be blazoned in Western European terms, it is not a step from period practice.

For related charges, see fountain.

Jon Blackwell bears:  Argent, a covered well sable.

Alina Meraud Bryte bears:  Per fess rayonny azure and argent, an open book argent and a roofless well gules.

Gwenllian Brighid Hertewelle bears:  Vert, in pale a stag’s head cabossed Or and a roofless stone well argent.

Kameyama Kengōro bears as a badge:  Argent, the kanji shu within a Japanese well-frame sable.

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

Heraldic Drawing, part 2: Monsters

A few years after my first Heraldic Drawing class, I co-taught a class at a KWHSS in Caid, alongside Dame Zenobia Naphtali, Black Stag Herald.  We documented the sorts of monster used in period coats of arms (a much smaller set than those used in badges), and I made up a handout on how to draw them.

It includes tips on how to draw beasts and birds as well, and I think I explain those charges better than I did in my Heraldic Drawing handout.  Anyway, it’s now available to you here:  Drawing Heraldic Monsters.

As before, feel free to download for your own use, but do not distribute:  provide a link to Mistholme, and encourage folks to visit me.  The more the merrier.

This entry was posted on July 18, 2015, in .

Heraldic tabards at KWHSS

My wife and I taught our class on Heraldic Tabard Construction at KWHSS this weekend, and it was fun!  Lots of interest in both the slide presentation and the hands-on practicum.  As I promised, I have posted the handouts for the class here on the website, under “Miscellany“, but let me also provide them here.

Just so you’ll know, I intend to post the notes from previous years’ classes here as well, as time permits.  Watch this space.

tablayout1          tablayout2          tablayout3          Tabard Construction          English          Continental          German

Wave

Wave (Disallowed)

Wave (Disallowed)

Japanese great wave (Disallowed)

Japanese great wave (Disallowed)

A wave is a crest or swell on the surface of a body of water.  Two stylizations are found in Society heraldry, one Occidental and one Oriental; neither is permitted any longer, though for different reasons.

The Occidental ocean wave may be stylized as one of the single elements of the wavy-crested line of partition; or it may be drawn naturalistically, with foam and spray.  These stylizations are considered either “landscape heraldry” or intrusively modern, and are therefore disallowed.

In Japanese Mon, the nami or Great Wave employs a different stylization, as borne by Oguri [Hawley 75]; but it cannot be described using European blazonry terms.  This brings it outside the Society’s domain; it is therefore disallowed.

The Society’s default for waves changed over the years; both dexter-facing and sinister-facing waves have been called the default.  (Dexter-facing waves have been default more often, and both the illustrated waves face dexter.)  The most recent Society practice has been to blazon the wave’s orientation explicitly.  For related charges, see stream.

Genevieve du Puits bears:  Azure, a wave reversed argent and in chief a sun sable, fimbriated argent.

Ryugen Morite bears:  Sable, a Japanese dragon’s head issuant from a Great Wave reversed issuant from sinister increscentwise argent.

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

Vulture

Vulture (Period)

Vulture (Period)

The vulture is a carrion-eating bird, whose medieval reputation was for greediness and gluttony.  It’s characterized by the lack of feathers on its face.  The vulture was also called a “gripe” in period blazon [Bossewell II.118].  It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms (German Geier) of Geyer von Osterberg, 1605 [Siebmacher 34].  The vulture is close by default.

The vulture should be drawn as the European form of the bird, and not as the buzzard of the New World.  The latter is deemed a step from period practice.  For related charges, see eagle.

Serlo of Litchfield bears:  Gyronny gules and Or, a vulture close sable.

Edvard Gayer bears:  Argent, two vultures rising respectant, wings inverted and addorsed, a chief engrailed sable.

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

Vajhra

Three-pronged vajhra palewise (SFPP)

Three-pronged vajhra palewise (SFPP)

A vajhra is a short bar of metal or carved stone, with clawed ends; it is a Buddhist priest’s holy symbol cum weapon, and is also known as a “priest’s lightning bolt”.  The vajhra is found as a charge in Japanese Mon, as borne by Kasuga [Hawley 96], and as an artifact in period India; it has thus been accepted for Society use.

The vajhra has no Society default orientation; the number of prongs should be specified in the blazon as well.  The illustration shows a three-pronged vajhra palewise.

Evan ap Llywelyn of Caernarfon bears as a badge:  Sable, two vajhra in cross within a lotus blossom pierced argent.

Kuji Ka Onimusashi bears:  Vert, a sheaf of forked arrows inverted surmounted by a three-pronged vajhra fesswise Or.

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

Vair

Vair, ancient (Period)

Vair, ancient (Period)

Vair, later period (Period)

Vair, later period (Period)

Vair is one of the principal furs in heraldry, consisting of a series of panes, alternately white and blue, completely tiling the field.  It was originally meant to represent squirrel-skins, sewn together with the back-fur and belly-fur alternating.  There are several varieties of vair, all of which are considered mere artistic variations of one another.

The earliest depiction of vair, dating from the Matthew Paris shields c.1244, had rounded edges.  Originally, the peaks didn’t touch the straight edges of the rows; by c.1400, the peaks might extend to the rows’ edges.  These depictions are sometimes termed “vair ancient” in modern heraldry texts; the stylization is not blazoned in Society armory, being left to the artist.  By the end of period, a more angular form of vair was used, tessellated with vair-bells; this form is the modern standard depiction.  Period heraldic tracts also gave names to different patterns of arranging the panes:  e.g., “counter-vair”, with the panes set base-to-base, and not alternating colors; and “vair en pointe”, with the panes staggered.  There are other forms as well, some of which came to be used in post-period armory.

Potent (Period)

Potent (Period)

One style of depicting vair came to be called “potent”, because the panes resembled potents or crutches.  Again, no difference is counted between vair and potent.

Vair furs may use other tinctures besides white and blue.  Such cases must be explicitly blazoned:  e.g., “Vairy Or and gules”, the canting arms of Ferrers, c.1244 [Asp2 222].  See also papellony, plumetty.

Kat’ryna Neblaga Volchkova bears:  Vair, flaunches gules.

Gauvain Eisenbein bears:  Vairy en point erminois and azure, a bordure gules.

Steven MacEanruig bears:  Potent, on a pile sable a cross crosslet argent.

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

Triskelion; Triskele

Triskelion of armored legs (Period)

Triskelion of armored legs (Period)

Triskelion arrondi, or triskele (Accepted)

Triskelion arrondi, or triskele (Accepted)

A triskelion is a design first used in classical Greek art, with three embowed limbs conjoined in pall.  The name derives from the Greek tri, skelos, “three legs”; the classical form does indeed use three bent legs, conjoined at the thighs.  However, mundane armory doesn’t tend to use this term in blazon; most instances of triskelions are blazoned as “three arms” or “three legs” conjoined, and listed as such in mundane ordinaries.  (The illustration shows the legs in armor, as in the arms of the Kings of the Isle of Man, c.1275 [ANA2 478].)

In Society heraldry, the most common form of triskelion is the “triskelion arrondi” or “triskele”:  three pointed limbs, smoothly curved, and embowed.  (The embowment is part of the definition of a triskelion; without it, the design would simply be three charges conjoined in pall.)

Triskelion pommetty (Accepted); triskelion gammadion in annulo (Disallowed)

Triskelion pommetty (Accepted); triskelion gammadion in annulo (Disallowed)

Some of the Society’s triskelions are based on certain crosses.  Thus we have the “triskelion pommetty” and the “triskelion gammadion in annulo”.  (The latter form, having been adopted by certain white supremacist groups, is no longer registerable.)  Presumably, one could have a “triskelion fleury” as well, or some other triskelion based on a variant of cross.

Triskelions may also be made up of other charges, so long as they are bent or embowed.  Thus there might be a “triskelion of dragon’s heads”, a “triskelion of three scarves”, or a “triskelion of chevrons”.  One example of this type, the “triskelion of spirals”, has been deemed a step from period practice, but still permitted.

Similar to the triskelion is the “pentaskelion” which, as its name implies, has five limbs instead of three.

Triskelions may turn either clockwise or counter-clockwise; the fact is not blazoned.  The most famous mundane triskelion, in the arms of the Isle of Man, has been depicted in period art going either direction; and the same is true of triskeles in Society heraldry.  It is left to the artist’s license, and no difference is counted for it.  For related charges, see arm, cross, leg, pall.

The King of Trimaris bears:  Argent, on a fess wavy between two triskeles azure a crown of five points, each point tipped with a mullet argent, between overall a laurel wreath counterchanged.

Finngall McKetterick bears:  Or, a triskelion of armored human legs vert.

Douglas Longshanks bears:  Sable, a pentaskelion of armored legs argent.

Terryl of Talavera bears:  Argent, a triskelion arrondi azure, between in pale two torteaux.

Sorcha ar Menez bears:  Vert, a triskelion of spirals argent between in cross four mullets pierced Or.

Colm the Defrocked bears:  Vert, a triskelion of demi-birds argent.

Goraidh Ailean na Gordanaich bears:  Purpure, a triskelion pommetty pallwise Or.

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

Tree

A tree is a large plant, with a main wooden trunk branching into foliage at the top.  Its “proper” coloration is with green leaves and brown trunk.  A tree “fructed” is bearing fruit, whose color may be specified; the fructing may also be considered artistic license, and added to a tree whether blazoned so or not.

Oak tree (Period)

Oak tree (Period)

Pine tree couped (Period)

Pine tree couped (Period)

In heraldic art, the tree’s leaves and fruit may be drawn much larger than in naturalistic art.  Early examples, such as the canting arms (German Eich, “oak”) of von Eyck, c.1360 [Gelre 32v] show a very simplified and stylized form of tree.  Later depictions, such as the oak tree in the allusive arms (Italian bosco, “wood”) of dal Bosco, mid-15th C. [Triv 78], are closer to natural art but still exaggerate the size of the leaves and fruit [see also de Bara 75-77].  (Swedish heraldic art in particular is noted for this.)  Finally, by the end of period, trees were drawn very naturalistically, as with the oak tree in the arms of Eychhauser, 1605 [Siebmacher 63], to the point that the type of tree becomes difficult to tell.  The exaggerated style is therefore encouraged in the Society; a tree whose type cannot be determined is likely to be blazoned simply as a “tree”.

Orange tree fructed and eradicated (Period)

Orange tree fructed and eradicated (Period)

Palm tree couped (Period)

Palm tree couped (Period)

Many types of tree are found in heraldry.  The oldest and most common type is the oak tree, found in the canting arms of Okestead, 1275 [ANA2 551].  (Indeed, if no specific type of tree is blazoned, the oak may always be used.)  Many other types of tree are also found in period: the pear tree in the canting arms of Piriton, c.1285 [ANA2 551], the walnut tree in the canting arms (Latin nux) of de Noxigiis, mid-15th C. [Triv 247], the olive tree in the canting arms of Oliveira, c.1540 [Nobreza xxxv], the beech tree in the canting arms (German Buche) of Bucher, 1605 [Siebmacher 64], the rowan tree in the canting arms (Italian sorbo) of Sorballi, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 273:239].  (It should be obvious by now that cant was the primary reason in period for choosing a type of tree.)  Society armory has instances of the pine, the linden, the ash, the yew, and the palm, among others.

Willow tree (Period)

Willow tree (Period)

Poplar tree (Period)

Poplar tree (Period)

Of special note are the willow and poplar trees.  The willow tree is found in period armory in the canting arms (Latin salix) of von Salis, 1605 [Siebmacher 204].  The form used in period armory is the white willow; if the “weeping willow tree” is intended, it must be specified in blazon.  No difference is granted between these variants.

The poplar tree had been ruled a step from period practice, based on the lack of period examples – particularly as it’s usually depicted, as the elongated “Lombardy poplar” [Fox-Davies, The Art of Heraldry, p.65].  However, the poplar tree in this form has since been documented, in the arms of Cardinal Dominic de Capranica, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 267:179].  The Lombardy poplar, as it’s modernly known, is the default heraldic poplar tree for Society use.

Tree blasted and eradicated (Period)

Tree blasted and eradicated (Period)

Tree stump eradicated (Period)

Tree stump eradicated (Period)

Both the top and the base of a tree are subject to variation.  At the base, the Society default is with a small upper portion of the roots showing, as might be seen in nature.  The roots may also be “eradicated”, with the entire root system showing, as if forcibly uprooted from the ground; or “couped”, with the trunk cut cleanly, and no roots shown at all.  The illustrations show an oak tree (with default roots), a pine tree couped, and an orange tree eradicated (and fructed as well).

At the top, the default is with leaves or foliage; but it also may be “blasted” or leafless, showing only the bare branches.  This variant is found in de Bara, 1581 [77], who terms it un arbre sec (“a dry tree”).  The illustration shows a tree blasted and eradicated.

A “stump” or “stock” is the bottom part of the tree, left after the tree has been felled; it was the canting badge of Zouche, c.1510 [HB 162].  The stump’s top edge is usually couped, but is sometimes found “snagged”, with the rough top surface tilted to the viewer.  In Society blazonry, a “trunk” is a somewhat longer form of stump, while a “log” is simply a cleanly lopped form of a ragged staff.  The illustration shows a stump eradicated.

Hurst of trees couped (Period)

Hurst of trees couped (Period)

A group of trees with their foliage conjoined may be called a “hurst”.  When thus conjoined, the number of trees, even when blazoned, counts for no difference.  Hursts are often issuant from a mount in mundane heraldry, but this fact is always specifically blazoned in Society heraldry.  The illustration shows a hurst of trees couped.

For related charges, see:  bush, créquier, slip, staff (ragged).  See also fruit, leaf.

The King of Drachenwald bears:  Or, in fess three pine trees eradicated gules, overall a dragon passant coward, all within a laurel wreath, in chief an ancient crown sable.

The Baron of Gyldenholt bears:  Azure, on a hurst Or a laurel wreath vert, a bordure Or.

The Order of the Willow, of the Middle, bears:  Purpure, a weeping willow tree eradicated Or.

Ioseph of Locksley, the Rhymer, bears:  Vert, a tree eradicated argent.

Melodia of Okhurste bears:  Per bend Or and argent, a tree blasted and eradicated azure.

Christian of Orange bears:  Argent, an orange tree fructed proper issuant from a mount vert.

Catalina Estevez de Teixeira bears:  Quarterly Or and gules, a yew tree eradicated proper.

Mustafa al-Jabal Tariqi bears:  Argent, a palm tree couped gules within a bordure sable.

Allendale of the Evergreens bears:  Argent, a pine tree proper.

Tala al-Zahra bears:  Argent, an olive tree fructed and eradicated and a bordure gules.

Toly Woodsman bears:  Per chevron argent and azure, three tree stumps counterchanged.

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

Tower

Tower (Period)

Tower (Period)

Spired tower (Period); domed tower (Period)

Spired tower (Period); domed tower (Period)

A tower is a fortified edifice, roughly cylindrical with an embattled top; the door faces the viewer by default.  The tower is frequently depicted with a cruciform arrow-slit facing the viewer; this is frequently left unblazoned.  When blazoned “proper”, the tower is grey (i.e., argent), the color of stone.  The tower is often drawn masoned, even when not explicitly blazoned so.

The top of the tower is subject to variation.  A “tower triple-towered” has three tiny towers issuant from its top, as in the arms of Amcotte or Amcots, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 291:94].  A tower may be “spired”, with a conical roof, as in the arms of Harta or Harsdorf, mid-16th C. [BSB Cod.Icon 308:372].  Or it may be “domed”, hemispherically by default, as in the arms of Burnsen, 1562 [BSB Cod.Icon 265:122]; the Society has examples of “onion-domed” towers as well.

Tower conjoined to wall extending to sinister (Period)

Tower conjoined to wall extending to sinister (Period)

Siege tower (Accepted)

Siege tower (Accepted)

A tower may be conjoined to a wall extending to sinister, as in the arms of Tour de Vinay, c.1370 [Gelre 50].  It may be “ruined” or “ruinous”, with the foundation intact but the top crumbled away.  A “tower enflamed” has flames issuant from the top, and often the windows as well.

Finally, there are the tower variants unique to the Society:  The “pagoda” is an Buddhist temple building with characteristic eaves.  The “minaret”, associated with mosques, is a spire with a balcony near the top, where the muezzin may call the Faithful to prayer.  The “siege tower”, or “belfroi”, is a wheeled siege engine which permits attackers to climb into a castle while safe from the defenders; it faces dexter by default, and its “proper” coloration is wooden brown.

Minaret (probable SFPP)

Minaret (probable SFPP)

Pagoda (questionable)

Pagoda (questionable)

Period heralds drew no distinction between the tower and the castle, treating them interchangeably; the exact blazon was often chosen solely for a cant, as with the arms of Towers, c.1310 (bearing what we would deem “castles” though the cant makes them towers) [ANA2 169].  Society heraldry distinguishes the castle from the tower for the sake of the artist, but grants no heraldic difference.  For related charges, see lighthouse.  See also bridge, wall.

The Baron of the Lonely Tower bears:  Quarterly sable and gules, in pale a tower and a laurel wreath argent.

The Shire of the Isles bears:  Barry wavy argent and azure, a tower within a laurel wreath gules.

Ann of the White Tower bears:  Sable, a tower argent.

William of Hoghton bears:  Per bend sinister sable and Or, in bend two towers counterchanged.

Adrian Buchanon bears:  Per pale wavy azure and gules, a pallet wavy between a tower argent, portalled to sinister, and a siege tower proper.

Margherita di San Gimignano bears:  Per bend argent and azure, a conical tower erminois.

Alysandra the Whyte Moor bears:  Per bend sinister vert and argent, an onion-domed tower Or and a dragon’s head couped at the shoulder gules.

Joella of Blue Lion’s Keep bears:  Per fess argent and azure, a lion passant and a tower conjoined to sinister with a wall, all within a bordure counterchanged.

Ito Nori bears:  Per fess Or and sable, three flames and a pagoda counterchanged.

Yolanda del Campo de Cerdana bears as a badge:  Counter-ermine, in fess a minaret and a dome conjoined at their bases argent illumined Or.

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