Archives

Wristguard

Wristguard (Accepted)

Wristguard (Accepted)

A wristguard is a piece of armor designed to protect the wrist and forearm from impact; it might also be called a “vambrace”. It’s a period artifact, but no period examples of its use as an heraldic charge are known. The illustration is based on a Spanish vambrace dated c.1550 [Stone 653]. The wristguard is palewise by Society default.

In period armory, there is also the “coudière” or “elbow guard”, to protect the elbow; it was the badge of Ratcliffe (Radeclyff), Lord Fitzwalter, 1513 [Walden 212; HB 136].  There was also the full arm armor, from shoulder to fingertips, including the gauntlet; this was the badge of Bourgh (Bourght, Borough) de Gaynsbourght, c.1510 [Walden 251; HB 79].  This is correctly termed a “garbralle” or “garde-bras”, though the term was also used in period for the coudière; technically, any protection for the arm could be considered a garde-bras, that being the literal meaning of the term.

The Order of the Silver Guard, of Drachenwald, bears:  A silver wristguard bearing a dragon passant coward, wings addorsed, maintaining in dexter forepaw a sword erect.

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

Shield

Kite shield (Accepted); round shield (Period)

Kite shield (Accepted); round shield (Period)

Escutcheon (Period)

Escutcheon (Period)

A shield is a piece of defensive armor, generally carried in one hand, freeing the other hand for a sword.  As an heraldic charge, the most common form of shield is the escutcheon or heater shield.

 

Another type is the “buckler” or round shield; also called a “targe” or “target”, it’s found as an heraldic charge as early as 1312, in the arms of Bosun [ANA2 359].

 

Madu (Probable SFPP)

Madu (Probable SFPP)

Other types of shield found in Society heraldry include the “madu” or “madhu”, an Indian shield with horns projecting from either side [Stone 423]; the “kite shield”, depicted in this form in the Bayeux Tapestry, c.1070; and the “shield of David”, another name for the star of David.  See also roundel.

Edwin Bersark bears:  Gules, a roundel so drawn as to represent a round shield battered in long and honorable service argent.

Umbar in Harchiral Dandachi bears:  Argent, chaussé ployé cotised and in chief a kindjal dagger palewise inverted sable surmounted by a madu shield fesswise gules.

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

Mail

Mail shirt (Period)

Mail shirt (Period)

Bend of mail (Disallowed)

Bend of mail (Disallowed)

Mail is a type of armor, consisting of myriad rings of metal woven into a form; it is sometimes redundantly (and erroneously) termed “chain mail”.  Mail gauntlets, coifs, and shirts have been used in period heraldry – usually worn on a human, but sometimes charges in their own right, as in the mail shirt (illustrated) in the canting arms (from dial. Italian maja or maglia d’arme) of de Mayete, mid-15th C. [Triv 235].

There have also been cases of ordinaries being drawn as mail:  e.g., “a bend of mail”, showing the field through the rings.  This had been justified by the period examples of ordinaries of chain; the practice has been discontinued, and is no longer registered in Society armory.  (This should not be confused with ordinaries maily, which are solid charges bearing a field treatment.)

James of Penmore bears:  Vair ancient, a sinister arm embowed, armored and gauntleted of chain mail sable, grasping a closed book gules.

Rhiannon Mor MacFhearghius bears:  Gules, a bend sinister of chain mail between two Arabic lamps Or.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .

Horn, helmet

Helmet horn (probable SFPP)

Helmet horn (probable SFPP)

The helmet horn (kuwagata) is a Japanese helmet crest, borne by a branch of the Tokugawa c.1600 [Hawley 64].

Nakagawa no Ienobu bears:  Sable, a kuwagata helm crest and in chief a fan inverted of five bamboo leaves within a hexagon voided argent.

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

Helm

Helm (Period)

Helm (Period)

A helm is a piece of armor designed to enclose and protect the head; its use as an heraldic charge dates from c.1285, in the arms of Daubeney [ANA2 475].  Throughout period, the type of helm would change, from the great helm in the canting arms of Helmshoven or Helmishofen, c.1340 [Zurich 358] to the barred tournament helm in the arms of Schaden, 1605 [Siebmacher 188]; but in each case, the charge was a “helm”, drawn according to the style of the time.

In Society armory, the “great helm” or “barrel helm” has been ruled the default, though it is sometimes explicitly blazoned.  This is the form in the illustration.  Other types of full helm (e.g., “sallet”, “spangenhelm”, “barbute”, &c) must be specified; the type carries no heraldic difference.  If such a helm is blazoned “plumed”, it carries a single feather as a crest and favor; period helms, when used as charges, sometimes had other crests as well, as in the arms of Schaden, above.

Morion (Period); kettle helm (Period)

Morion (Period); kettle helm (Period)

There are also helms that do not enclose the head, but sit atop it.  Of these, the “kettle helm” (also called a “chapel-de-fer” or “eisenhut”) is the most common:  a broad-brimmed metal hat, more in use by the infantry than the chivalry.  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Sowys, c.1460 [RH] and of Spiegel, 1605 [Siebmacher 179].

There is also the “morion”, which in some texts is used as another term for the chapel-de-fer; it’s now accepted to mean a Spanish style of iron hat, with turned-up brim and a ridge-crest.  This form of morion came into armorial use in the late 16th Century, as in the crest of Ramburgh, 1583 [Gwynn-Jones 104].

 

 

 

Roman helm (Accepted); Norman helmet (Accepted)

Roman helm (Accepted); Norman helmet (Accepted)

Winged helm affronty (Accepted); horned helm affronty (Accepted)

Winged helmet affronty (Accepted); horned helmet affronty (Accepted)

Of the helm variants unique to the Society, those blazoned a “winged helm” or “horned helm” are usually considered Viking helmets; these are metal caps with wings or horns, rather than full helms, though they may have eye-guards.  (They have more in common with Victorian idealization than anything the Vikings actually wore.)  The “Norman helm” is essentially a steel cap with a nasal.  The “full-faced Saxon helmet” is the famous helm of Sutton Hoo.  Helms of antiquity are not uncommon:  Greek, Roman, and horned Corinthian helms have been registered.

The “Viking” helms, the Sutton Hoo helm, and the kettle helm are affronty by default; all other helms face dexter by default.  For related charges, see hat, head (human’s), hood, skold.

The Shire of the Freelords of Stone Keep bears:  Sable, a Greek helmet Or within a laurel wreath argent.

The Order of the Silver Morion of Mons Tonitrus bears:  Sable, a morion and a bordure denticulada argent.

Mikhail Karten bears:  Quarterly gules and checky azure and Or, a plumed great helm facing to sinister argent.

Olaf of Axar bears:  Vert, three horned helmets argent.

Wilhelm von dem Bajwarishen Berg bears:  Purpure, in pale two chapels de fer between as many flaunches Or, each flank charged with a spear purpure.

Gina Dragoni bears:  Or, a full-faced Saxon helmet crested of a dragon purpure.

This entry was posted on February 10, 2014, in .

Gauntlet; Glove

Gauntlet (Period)

Gauntlet (Period)

A gauntlet is a piece of armor for the hand.  It is a period charge, found in the arms of de Wauncy, c.1312 [ANA2 470].  The gauntlet may be of mail or plate, depending on the period and the artist’s discretion; it was frequently depicted without separated fingers (so-called “clamshell” gauntlets).  In the Society, the default gauntlet is the dexter gauntlet, and its default posture is apaumy.  Other postures are also found, though sometimes blazoned as, e.g., “a mailed fist” instead of “a gauntlet clenched”.

 

 

 

Glove (Period)

Glove (Period)

Mitten (Period)

Mitten (Period)

Similar to the gauntlet is the “glove”:  like the gauntlet, a covering for the hand, but an article of clothing instead of armor, made of leather or cloth instead of metal.  It’s found in the canting arms (German Handschuh) of Handschuhsheim, c.1450 [Ingeram 268]. The glove follows the conventions and defaults of the gauntlet (indeed, one branch of the Wauncy family bears gloves), which are those of hands.  In fact, both gauntlets and gloves are often assumed to have a hand inside them.

Finally, there is the “mitten”, a knitted (or nailbound) fingerless glove.  The mitten is a period charge, used in the crest of von Lens, c.1370 [Gelre 82], and in the arms of Folderer, mid-16th C. [NW 55].  It follows the same conventions and defaults as gloves and gauntlets.

Murdoch of Muirhead bears:  Gules, in bend three clenched gauntlets Or.

Lisette la fauconniere d’Amboise bears:  Plumetty Or and sable, a sinister glove fesswise reversed gules.

Sigrid Bríánsdotter bears as a badge:  A sinister mitten vert.

This entry was posted on January 29, 2014, in .

Escutcheon

Escutcheon (Period)

Escutcheon (Period)

An escutcheon is a heater-shaped shield, used as a charge in its own right since c.1244, in the arms of de Munchensy [Asp2 217].  Its default orientation is with its flat side to chief.  In Society heraldry, to avoid the appearance of augmentations or arms of pretense, escutcheons used as charges should not themselves be charged.

Claude le Champenois bears:  Barry sable and argent, an escutcheon gules.

Brendan McNeill O’Neill bears:  Vert, three escutcheons Or.

Reis ap Tuder ap Wyn bears:  Azure semy of escutcheons Or.

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

Cuirass

Cuirass (Period)

Cuirass (Period)

A cuirass is a piece of armor, designed to protect the torso; it is also called a “breastplate” for that reason.  It’s found in the arms of Balbirny of that Ilk, 1542 [Lindsay], possibly as a cant on “byrnie”, or mail hauberk.  The cuirass is affronty by default.  For related charges, see jerkin, mail.

Khalid al-Khadir bears:  Sable, a cuirass and on a chief argent, in sinister a decrescent azure.

Richard Devlin Bordeaux bears:  Gules, a breastplate argent, a point pointed and on a chief Or three gunstones.

This entry was posted on January 12, 2014, in .

Chamfron

Two chamfrons (Period, Accepted)

Two chamfrons (Period, Accepted)

A chamfron, or chanfron, is a piece of armor designed to protect a horse’s head during battle.  It is affronty by default; period examples could be shown with a plumed crest attached to the top as well.

The illustration shows two forms of chamfron.  The dexter chamfron is the period heraldic form, taken from the badge of the Earl of Shrewsbury, c.1513 [HCE xxix].  The sinister chamfron is based on an actual piece of horse armor, dated 1558 [Neubecker 73].

The Society Equestrian Marshal bears:  Sable, two tilting lances in saltire and in chief a chamfron Or.

Gisele Maria Overton bears:  Per pale vert and purpure, a chamfron Or.

Constancia Tattersall bears:  Argent goutty, on a chamfron azure a cross patonce argent.

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

Camail

Camail (Period)

Camail (Period)

A camail is a flexible strip of mail hung from the bottom of a helm, intended to protect the neck and shoulders; it is also called an “aventail”. The camail is a period charge, used as the badge of George, Duke of Clarence, d.1478 (possibly as a cant on “gorget”), and then as the badge of his grandson, Henry Pole, Baron Montague, d.1539 [Siddons II.1 124].

The camail is fesswise by default. The illustration is taken from Montague’s standard, c.1510 [Walden 179]. See also armor.

Kristoff Karlsson bears: Vert, a camail and in chief a pair of smith’s tongs fesswise Or.

This entry was posted on December 11, 2013, in .