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Wing

Wing (Period)

Wing (Period)

Wings are those limbs of a flying creature that provide the lifting force.  Those of birds are feathered, those of bats membranous; the feathered wing is the default type, to be used unless otherwise specified.  All wings are displayed by default.
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A wing may be used as a single charge; this usage dates from c.1295, in the English arms of Peek [ANA2 556].  Both dexter wings and sinister wings are found in period armory.  The mundane default has varied between countries and times; the Society default is the dexter wing. 
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Wing terminating in a hand, sustaining a sword fesswise reversed (Period)

Wing terminating in a hand, sustaining a sword fesswise reversed (Period)

Issuant from a sinister wing, a hand maintaining a sword (Period)

Issuant from a sinister wing, a hand maintaining a sword (Period)

In German heraldry, the single wing may “terminate in a hand” (often maintaining a sword, as in the illustration), with the hand opposite the wing’s severed end; it’s found in the arms of the Dukes of Calabria, 1413 [Conz.Const. xcviii].  This is distinguished in blazon from a hand or claw “issuant from a wing”, where the hand issues from the wing’s severed end; it’s found in the arms of the Marquis de Vilena, c.1370 [Gelre 62v].  (There is also an example of a wing terminating in an eagle’s head, in the arms of von Ernberg, 1605 [Siebmacher 103].)  These variations are always blazoned.
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Vol, or pair of wings conjoined (Period)

Vol, or pair of wings conjoined (Period)

Pair of wings conjoined in lure (Period)

Pair of wings conjoined in lure (Period)

Wings are also found in pairs, with a dexter and a sinister wing, frequently conjoined.  (The difference is subtly blazoned:  two separate, dexter wings would be blazoned “two wings”, while a dexter wing and a sinister wing would be “a pair of wings”.)  This usage dates from c.1285, in the arms of Derneford [ANA2 555].

A pair of wings may be conjoined: this was considered artist’s license, as the same arms could be drawn either with the wings conjoined or separate. A pair of wings displayed and conjoined may also be blazoned a “vol”, the French term for the motif; this is seen in the arms of von Hohenfels, 1606 [Siebmacher 140]. If the conjoined wings are displayed with tips inverted, they are known as “wings conjoined in lure”, as in the arms of Jane Seymour, d.1537 [Woodcock & Robinson pl.19].

Finally, of Society-unique charges, we find the “set of seraph’s wings”:  six wings conjoined, arranged as if attached to a seraph.

Bat’s wings are much less common in medieval armory than bird’s wings:  Your Author knows but a single example, the badge of Daubeney, Earl of Bridgewater, d.1548 [HB 81].  For related charges, see lure.

The Baron of the Angels bears as a badge:  A set of seraph’s wings Or.

The College of Cathanar bears:  Vert, a sinister hawk’s wing argent and in canton a laurel wreath Or.

Matill of Windkeep bears:  Purpure, three sinister wings argent.

Brioc Morcannuc bears:  Azure, a vol Or.

Herman Mandel bears:  Barry and per pale sable and Or, a wing terminating in a hand maintaining a sword all within a bordure gules.

Etienne Michel de Calais bears:  Argent, in pale three pairs of bat-wings conjoined gules.

Gustavus von Goslar bears:  Or, an eagle’s dexter wing terminating in an eagle’s head sinister facing sable, a chief rayonny gules.

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 .

Tress of hair

Looped tress of hair (Period)

Looped tress of hair (Period)

A tress of hair is a plaited length of human hair, knotted at the ends. It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms (Italian trecce) of de Trecio, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 270:825], and in the badge of Zouche, c.1520 [Walden 163].  The illustration shows a simple looped tress, as in the badge of Zouche; the arms of de Trecio show the tress with the ends of the loop crossed in base, which fact is blazoned.  See also knot.

Katja the Forthright bears as a badge:  A looped tress of hair Or surmounted by a single-sided comb sable.

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

Tooth

Molar, or fanged tooth (Period)

Molar, or fanged tooth (Period)

A tooth is a bone-like structure set in the jaws of most vertebrates, used for biting and crushing food, displaying threats, and smiling. In mundane heraldry, the tooth is normally depicted as a human molar, with the roots extending to base; it is also blazoned (somewhat confusingly) as a “fanged tooth” [Franklyn 130]. It’s found in the canting arms (Dutch kies, “molar”) of Kies or Kees, as seen in a stained glass window dated c.1594, in the Sint-Janskirk (Church of St. John Baptist) in Gouda, Netherlands.

 

 

 

Fang (Disallowed)

Fang (Disallowed)

Elephant's tusk (Accepted)

Elephant’s tusk (Accepted)

A tooth that comes to a point may also be called a “fang”; such fangs have their points to base by Society default.  The fang is visually equivalent to a drinking horn; it has been disallowed for Society heraldry, due to its lack of ready identifiability.

 

A similar charge, which seems to be unique to the Society, is the “tusk”:  an elephant’s tooth, couped and with point to chief by default.  The tusk is still permitted as of this writing.

 

 

Wolves' teeth issuant from sinister (Period)

Wolves’ teeth issuant from sinister (Period)

“Wolves’ teeth” are a highly stylized German charge, consisting of three or four curved points issuant from the edge of the shield.  They usually issue from the flanks, as in the arms of Keudel, 1605; we’ve an example of them issuant from base, in the arms of Schinsky, 1605 [Siebmacher 135, 28].  Having wolves’ teeth issue from other points, such as from chief, is treated as a step from period practice, as is inverting them.  The point at which the teeth enter the shield, as well as the number of teeth, are always blazoned; the teeth should be drawn touching, or nearly so, at their bases.  The illustration shows three wolves’ teeth issuant from sinister.

 

Margery Kent of York bears:  Purpure, three teeth argent.  [Drawn as molars]

Octa Bluetooth bears:  Gyronny gules and argent, a bear’s tooth azure.

Cahan Kyle bears:  Azure, two tusks, tips crossed in saltire Or.

Duncan Bruce of Logan bears:  Or, three wolves’ teeth issuant from sinister sable.

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

Tongue

Dragon's tongue fesswise (Disallowed)

Dragon’s tongue fesswise (Disallowed)

A tongue is the movable muscular structure found in most beasts’ mouths.  It rarely occurs as an independent charge, even in the Society.  There is but one example of a “dragon’s tongue” in Society heraldry, but the charge is no longer permitted.

Sarkanyi Gero bears as a badge:  Per fess Or and azure, a triple dragon’s tongue in pale gules.

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

Tail

Lion's queue (Period); fox's tail couped, tip to base (Period)

Lion’s queue (Period); fox’s tail couped, tip to base (Period)

A tail is the caudal appendage of some beast, bird, or monster, used as a separate charge in its own right.  The type of creature must be specified in the blazon; period armory has examples of lion’s tails (in the arms of Pynchebek, c.1460 [RH]) and fox’s tails (the badge of Thomas of Woodstock, d.1397 [HB 104]).  Society armory has examples of dragon’s tails and yak’s tails, among others.  Tails are palewise and erased by default; while most tails (notably lions’ queues) have the severed end to base, other tails (such as the fox’s tail) must be explicitly blazoned.

The term “queue” refers specifically to a lion’s tail.  It may be “fourchy” (forked), or “nowed” (knotted), just as though attached to the lion.  The illustration shows a lion’s queue and a fox’s tail couped, tip to base.  See also ermine spot.

Shag Fevermore bears:  Pean, a lion’s tail queue-fourchy erect Or.

Victoria Fox bears:  Purpure, on a bend sinister argent between a pair of hands Or, three fox’s tails palewise, tips to base proper.

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

Sole

Shoe sole (Period)

Shoe sole (Period)

Sole of a human foot (Accepted)

Sole of a human foot (Accepted)

The sole is the underlying part of a foot or shoe, that portion touching the ground.  The type of sole found in period armory is the shoe sole, which has its toe to chief by default; it’s found in the canting arms (dial. Italian söra) of de Sori, mid-15th C. [Triv 325], and illustrated in Bossewell, 1572 [III.17].

In Society armory, we find an example of the sole of a human foot.  While this charge is found in mundane armory in the arms of Voet [Woodward 207], it has not been dated to period.  Like the shoe sole, the human foot sole has its toes to chief by default.

For related charges, see prints.  See also leg, shoe.

Percival de la Rocque bears as a badge:  A shoe sole per pale purpure and gules.

Mat of Forth Castle bears as a badge:  The sole of a human foot vert.

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

Skull

Skull (Period)

Skull (Period)

A skull is the shell of bone found within a beast’s head; the default skull is a human skull, and is also called a “death’s head”, especially when drawn without the lower jaw.  It’s found in the arms of Bolter, 1632 [Guillim2 161], but is more famous as the attributed arms of Death [Neubecker 222].

There’s also a period example of an animal’s skull:  the cow’s skull in the canting arms of Capo di Vacca, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 275:23].

All skulls are affronty (cabossed) by default.  The field should not show through the eye and nasal cavities.  For related charges, see head, skeleton.

Jeremy of the East bears:  Argent, a skull sable.

Calam Stiùbhard bears:  Per pale gules and argent, a death’s head counterchanged.

Bodo Rosti bears:  Quarterly sable and gules, in bend sinister two jawless skulls argent.

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

Skeleton

Skeleton (Period)

Skeleton (Period)

Fish skeleton bendwise (Period)

Fish skeleton bendwise (Period)

A skeleton is the framework of bone supporting the body’s tissues.  The default skeleton is that of a full human figure; as with all other human figures, it is statant affronty by default.  The human skeleton is found in the civic arms of Londonderry, 1613 [records of Chief Herald of Ireland].  Lesser portions of the human body (e.g., arms) may also be skeletonized in Society armory.

There are also period examples of “fish skeletons”, in the canting arms (German Gräten) of Gradener or Gradner, c.1460 [GATD 19].  The illustration shows a fish’s skeleton bendwise.  More exotic skeletons, such as a bird’s skeleton, are deemed a step from period practice; in some cases (e.g. “dragon’s skeletons”), they have been ruled unidentifiable and thus unacceptable.

For related charges, see skull.

The Shire of Loch Báis bears:  Per fess azure and sable, a laurel wreath Or sustained by a skeletal cubit arm palewise argent.

Soshka Gregor’evich Vilanov bears as a badge:  A human skeleton argent crowned with a pearled coronet Or.

David Fisch bears:  Sable, a fish skeleton bendwise sinister embowed argent.

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

Prints

Paw print (SFPP)

Paw print (SFPP)

Prints are the impressions made by either animal or human feet; they are more fully termed “pawprints” or “hoofprints” (or, for human feet, “footprints”).  A single example of hoofprints has been found in modern German armory, in the civic arms of Gars, in Bavaria [Neubecker & Rentzmann, 10000 Wappen von Staaten und Städten, p.394]; prints are thus accepted for Society use, though they are considered a step from period practice.

While the type of animal is often blazoned, no heraldic difference is granted between various prints.  They are shown with the toe-marks to chief by Society default, as in the illustration.  For related charges, see sole.

Esther of Darkhaven bears:  Per fess sable and argent, in bend nine wolf-paw prints counterchanged five and four, in sinister chief a plate.

Artemas Maximus bears:  Or, a bear’s paw print gules.

Felix MacAvady bears:  Or, seven cat’s paw prints two, three and two sable.

Willelm le Pied bears:  Per bend sinister sable and azure, a footprint argent.

Watt Kidman bears:  Or, three goat’s hoofprints inverted Or.

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