Archives

Windmill

Windmill (Period)

Windmill (Period)

A windmill is an edifice for drawing power from the wind, consisting of a roofed tower supporting four sails on a central axis.  The sails are set saltirewise by Society default.

The windmill was used in the rebus badge of Kingsmill, 1557 [Siddons II.2 336].  A pair of windmill’s sails alone were also used, in the arms of Newmarche, c.1460 [RH], and as the badge of Willoughby, 1449 [HB 157].  See also whirligig.

The Baron of Delftwood bears:  Quarterly azure and argent, a windmill, sails crosswise, and in sinister chief a laurel wreath counterchanged.

Alis of Tuscon bears:  Quarterly azure and argent, a windmill gules, vanes throughout and set saltirewise Or.

Marcos de Valencia bears:  Or, three windmills purpure.

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

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 .

Wall

Wall (Period)

Wall (Period)

Wall issuant from base, with door (Period)

Wall issuant from base, with door (Period)

A wall is a stone barrier or fence.  It may be found attached to an edifice, such as a tower or castle; the arms of Vinay, c.1370, show a tower with a wall extending to sinister [Gelre 50].  However, the wall was frequently used as an independent charge in its own right.

Two forms of wall are found in period armory.  The default form is embattled and throughout, negligibly different from a fess embattled; this form is found in the arms of Wineck, c.1460 [GATD 20v].  The other form of wall issues from base, which must be explicitly blazoned; this form is found in the arms of Kettenberg or Calterberg, also c.1460 [GATD 20v].  The latter form of wall may be fortified with watch towers, or have a port or gate; such details are always blazoned.  The illustration shows a wall issuant from base with a gate.

As walls are assumed to be of stone, they are frequently drawn masoned, even when not explicitly blazoned.  For related charges, see bridge, fence.

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

Ziegfried Gunter von Wieselburg bears:  Or, a wall issuant from base gules, the gate closed proper, and issuant from the battlements a demi-weasel rampant sable.

Griffith Jenner bears:  Sable, a wall issuant from base argent masoned and portalled sable and in chief three A-frame plumb lines Or.

This entry was posted on June 8, 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 .

Torii

Torii (SFPP)

Torii (SFPP)

A torii is an edifice, a Japanese gateway to a Shinto temple.  It consists of two uprights supporting a curved lintel, with a straight crosspiece below.  The torii is a period charge, found in the Mon of Torii Mototada, d.1600 [Hawley 95]; but as a charge from outside European armory, its use is considered a step from period practice.  For related charges, see arch, dolmen.

Shimomoto Yoshinaga bears:  Argent, three torii, tops to center, within and conjoined to an annulet sable.

Takashina Nichiro bears:  Azure, a torii gate within an orle of cinquefoils argent.

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

Staircase

Staircase bendwise (Period)

Staircase bendwise (Period)

A staircase is a flight of steps for ascending from one floor to a higher floor in a building.  It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms (Italian gradino, “step”) of Gradenigi and of Gradallon, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 272:361, 365].  By its definition, the staircase must be set diagonally; it is bendwise by default. See also edifices.

Estrith Rasmusdatter bears as a badge:  Gules, a staircase bendwise sinister Or.

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

Portcullis

Portcullis (Period)

Portcullis (Period)

A portcullis is a heavy metal grille, used to bar the gateway of a castle.  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Fyschcok, c.1480 [RH], but more famous as the badge of Beaufort, 1449, from whom the Tudor kings inherited it [Parker 473; HB 143, 111].

In period, English emblazons showed the portcullis with its chains on either side, hanging to base (as in the illustration); these need not be blazoned.  There are some examples in Continental heraldry of chainless portcullises, such as the arms of Hessen zu Wigdorf, 1605 [Siebmacher 136]; chainless portcullises in Society armory should be explicitly blazoned.

For related charges, see gate, rastrillo.  See also door, drawbridge, gridiron, strike.

Ernst of the Gate bears:  Per pale Or and sable, a portcullis gules.

Alexis Sinclaire bears:  Sable, three portcullises Or.

Almarr of Odder bears:  Azure, three portcullises argent.

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

Pavilion

Pavilion (Period)

Pavilion (Period)

A pavilion is a sumptuous tent, used for shelter at medieval tournaments.  As an heraldic charge, it dates at least from 1465, in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Upholders [Bromley & Child 249]; it is also called a “sperver”, or simply a “tent”.  The pavilion is usually drawn with a circular floor plan and a conical roof, as in the illustration; sometimes the roof is onion-domed.  The door flaps face the viewer by default, and are tied back to reveal the interior.  Larger tents, with two poles, are also found, as in the arms of von Hütte zu Heuspach, 1605 [Siebmacher 93]; such variant forms are blazoned explicitly.

 

 

Mongolian yurt (SFPP)

Mongolian yurt (SFPP)

The category includes such Society innovations as the “Mongolian yurt”, a form of tent consisting of skins or felt on a framework of poles.  As a non-European artifact, its use in Society armory is considered a step from period practice.  See also edifice.

Katherine of Adiantum bears:  Ermine, a pavilion gules.

Richild la Gauchere bears:  Or, five pavilions in saltire vert.

Ah Kum of the Ger-Igren bears:  Per fess argent and vert, a Mongolian yurt azure.

This entry was posted on May 23, 2014, in .

Lighthouse

Lighthouse (Accepted)

Lighthouse (Accepted)

A lighthouse is an edifice with a fire on top, used as an aid to navigation.  Though a period structure, dating from ancient times (e.g., the lighthouse of Pharos), it does not appear in medieval armory.  For related charges, see beacon, tower.

Spurius Furius Eruditus bears: Argent, a bend sinister wavy azure between an open flame lighthouse gules and a lymphad, sails furled, sable.

Karl Friedrich von Sturmhofen bears:  Argent, a lighthouse sable enflamed in chief gules within a bordure rayonny sable goutty argent.

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

House

house

House (Period)

A house is an edifice wherein a family dwells.  It is a period charge, found in the canting arms (German Haus) of Hasenried c.1340 [Zurich 549; see also Volborth 54].  There is no fixed form for the house in heraldic art, but the period examples seem to have sloped roofs, and doors facing front.

Brian of Leichester bears as a badge:  Per fess sable and argent, in chief a house and in base three roundels in fess counterchanged.

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