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Snail

Snail (Period)

Snail (Period)

The snail is a slow-moving gastropod noted mainly for its shell.  It is sometimes more fully blazoned a “house-snail” in period, as in the canting arms of Shelley, 1610 [Guillim1 154].

The snail faces dexter by default.  As the snail has no limbs, one can hardly blazon it as “statant”, “passant”, or whatever.

Society armory also has examples of the “slug”, essentially a snail without its shell.  It follows the same conventions as the snail.

Peridot of the Quaking Hand bears:  Azure, a snail guardant argent.

Alana O’Keeve bears:  Vert, three snails Or.

Justinian the Sluggard bears:  Checky gules and argent, a slug guardant contourny sable.

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

Shell

Snail shell (Period)

Snail shell (Period)

Whelk (Period)

Whelk (Period)

A shell is the hard outer covering used by some molluscs and fish for protection.  The most common heraldic shell is the escallop, but others are also found:  the “whelk”, with its opening to chief by default, found in the canting arms of Shelley, 1526 [Wagner 93]; and the “snail shell”, with its opening to dexter by default, found in the canting arms (German Schnecke) of Schneckhaus, 1605 [Siebmacher 72].  These are drawn in a somewhat stylized manner.  Society armory also has instances of other sea-shells, such as the “nautilus shell”, “cowrie shell” and the “sand-dollar”, which are emblazoned more naturalistically.

Period heralds seem to have used whelks and escallops interchangeably; therefore, Society armory grants no difference between the various types of shell.  See also snail.

Muriel qui porte les chaperons bears:  Vert, three whelks argent.

Ealasaid an Dubhghlais bears:  Gules, a fess checky sable and Or between four snail shells argent.

Ia of the Sea bears:  Vert scaly argent, a nautilus shell, opening to dexter chief Or.

Amina of Songhay bears:  Or, a bald Mooress’s head cabossed and on a chief sable three cowrie shells fesswise argent.

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

Sea-nettle

Sea-nettle (Accepted)

Sea-nettle (Accepted)

The sea-nettle is the marine creature today called the “jellyfish”, with a round body and dangling, frond-like tentacles.  The creature was known in period – the illustration is taken from Gulielmi Rondeletii’s Libri de piscibus marinis: in quibus verae piscium, published in 1554 – but no examples of the sea-nettle’s use in period armory have been found.  The sea-nettle has its tentacles to base by Society default.

Luciana Pesce bears as a badge:  A sea-nettle gules.

Ceara inghean Ui hUisce bears:  Argent, a sea-nettle purpure, between in chief two mullets azure, a ford proper.

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

Scorpion

Scorpion (Period)

Scorpion (Period)

The scorpion is a venomous arthropod, treated as an insect for heraldic purposes; its medieval reputation was of viciousness and treachery.  It’s found in the canting arms of de Scorpionis, mid-15th C. [Triv 325], and the arms of Cole, c.1520 [DBA2 395].

The scorpion is tergiant, tail to base by default.  We have an example of scorpions tergiant inverted, in the arms of Cole, 1610 [Guillim1 153]; scorpions tergiant inverted are considered consonant with period practice in the Society.  See also crab.

Albrecht Waldfurster bears:  Purpure, a scorpion argent.

Aurelia Nomadikē bears:  Gules, three scorpions Or.

Katherene de la Huerta bears:  Argent, three scorpions gules.

Juan Diego de Belmont bears:  Argent chapé gules, a scorpion inverted sable.

This entry was posted on June 2, 2014, in .

Insects

Butterfly (Period)

Butterfly (Period)

Spider (Period)

Spider (Period)

The term “insect”, as used here, refers to any “bug-type” creature:  true insects, arachnids, and other arthropods.  Examples found in period heraldry include the “ant”, also called an “emmet” for canting purposes [Guillim1 151]; the “beetle”, found in the arms of Teufel, 1605 [Siebmacher 42]; the “butterfly”, also called a “papillon”, found in the arms of Burnynghill, c.1410 [TJ 1447]; the “grasshopper”, in the arms of Woodward, c.1500 [DBA2 380]; the “spider” [Guillim1 151]; the “stag beetle”, whose pincers are drawn as actual stag’s attires, in the crest of Hartwell, early 16th C. [Bedingfeld 104]; and the “fly”, sometimes specified as a “gad-fly”, “house-fly”, or “horse-fly”, in the arms of da Varexio, mid-15th C. [Triv 364].

Scarab (Accepted)

Scarab (Accepted)

Dragonfly (Accepted)

Dragonfly (Accepted)

In Society armory, we have examples of the “cockroach”; the “dragonfly”; the “ladybug”; the “moth”; the “praying mantis”; and the “scarab”, usually stylized as in ancient Egyptian art.  Smaller insects, such as the flea, have been deemed unsuitable for Society use.

All winged insects are volant en arrière by default; this posture may also be blazoned simply “volant”, and in the Society is sometimes misblazoned “displayed” as well.  Unwinged insects are in general tergiant by default, with heads to chief; the exceptions are the grasshopper, which is statant, and the praying mantis, which must be explicitly blazoned.  Their posture is sometimes qualified by such terms as “extended”, “displayed”, &c; such qualifiers are usually superfluous.

Permissible insect postures other than the defaults are limited.  As of this writing, insects may not be rampant, but may be statant.  Winged insects may not be rising; when winged insects are statant, Society convention has their wings addorsed.  Those insects tergiant by default may be tergiant inverted, if their identifiability is not compromised, but this is usually considered a step from period practice.

Generally, insects do not have “proper” tinctures, but Society armory has a few cases.  The “butterfly proper” is tinctured as found in nature; the breed of butterfly must then be specified.  The “ladybug proper” is gules, spotted sable (with the legs and head usually sable as well).

The illustrations show a butterfly, a spider, a scarab, and a dragonfly; all are in their default postures.  For specific entries, see bee, scorpion.

Liùsadh ni Nheill bears:  Purpure, two papillons in pale Or.

Daria Joan de Courtenay bears:  Argent, a praying mantis rising, wings addorsed vert.

Adrianna de la Telaraña bears:  Per pale sable and Or, a spider tergiant counterchanged.

Daffyd of Emmett bears:  Gyronny of twelve gules and Or, an emmet sable.

Andrew of Seldom Rest bears:  Or, a dragonfly displayed gules.

Laurent le Noir bears:  Pean, a winged scarab within a bordure Or.

Tyr of Mordenvale bears:  Azure, on a bend sinister cotised Or a stag beetle sable.

Johannes Gotzmann bears:  Argent, a grasshopper contourny, a bordure vert.

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

Escallop

Escallop (Period)

Escallop (Period)

An escallop is the shell of a bivalve mollusc; it is also called a “scallop”, “cockle” or “cockleshell”.  The escallop is an ancient charge, found in the arms of Dacre c.1282 [ANA2 351]; it was used as a pilgrim’s badge in medieval times, as it was the symbol of St. James, patron of pilgrims.  The escallop has its hinge to chief by default.

Karl von Kugler bears:  Checky Or and sable, an escallop azure.

Nuala inghean Murchadha bears:  Vert, six escallops Or.

Llywelyn ap Evan bears:  Per fess azure and vair ancient, three escallops in chief argent.

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

Bee

Bee (Period)

Bee (Period)

The bee is an industrious insect whose medieval reputation was of diligence, and (because it was thought bees never slept) of vigilance.  It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms of Bestone or Beeston, c.1460 [DBA1 389].

The bee is volant en arrière (sometimes called “tergiant”, and misblazoned “displayed”) by default.  The Society defines its “proper” tinctures with argent wings, upper body Or, lower body striped Or and sable; a bee proper is treated as a metal for contrast purposes.

The Order of the Bee, of Ealdormere, bears:  Argent, a bee gules.

Signe Scriffuerska bears:  Gules, three bees Or.

Cristoforo Donatello dei Visconti bears:  Sable semy of bees argent.

This entry was posted on November 27, 2013, in .