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Urinal

Urinal in its basket (Period)

Urinal in its basket (Period)

A urinal is a vessel used by physicians for storing or transporting urine samples.  It consists of a glass flask protected by a cylindrical wire basket; its full period blazon is “a urinal in its carrier” (ung orynall dedens son case), as in the crest of Louis Caerlion, a physician, 1493 [Bedingfeld 63].

Jaquelinne Sauvageon bears:  Azure, a urinal argent basketed Or.

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

Sundial

Cylindrical sundial (Accepted)

Cylindrical sundial (Accepted)

A sundial is a timepiece, whereon a gnomon casts a shadow on a graduated surface; the position of the shadow shows the time of day.  There are many types of sundials; the exact form must be specified in the blazon.  The illustration shows a cylindrical sundial, also called a “shepherd’s dial”; the artifact was known and used from ancient Rome to Elizabethan England [Hester Higton, Sundials: An Illustrated History of Portable Dials, 2001, pp.13-18].  No form of sundial has been found in period armory.

For related charges, see quadrant.  See also astrolabe, clock, equatorium, sphere.

Manus le Dragonier bears as a badge:  A cylindrical sundial argent.

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

Square, carpenter’s

Carpenter's square, point to dexter chief (Period)

Carpenter’s square, point to dexter chief (Period)

A carpenter’s square, or squire, is an L-shaped instrument, used for truing right angles; the edges are often marked as rulers, though this is artistic license.  It is found in the arms of Atlow, c.1520 [DBA2 401].  A similar charge, the “engineer’s square”, is found in the canting arms (German Winkel) of Wynckler or Winckler, c.1450 [Ingeram 25; also Siebmacher 161].

The square doesn’t seem to have a default orientation; it must be specifically blazoned; but period examples always display the square with one arm vertical and the other horizontal.  The illustration shows a carpenter’s square, point to dexter chief.

Thomas Quilliam bears:  Azure, a carpenter’s square, point to chief argent.

Maimuna al-Bukhariyya bears as a badge:  Argent, a carpenter’s square palewise, corner to dexter chief gules.

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

Sphere

Sphere, or armillary sphere (Period)

Sphere, or armillary sphere (Period)

Terrestrial sphere (Period)

Terrestrial sphere (Period)

A sphere, more fully termed an “armillary sphere”, is an astronomical instrument representing the sky.  The name comes from the Latin armilla, “hoop, ring”; the instrument consists of a set of rings, forming the framework of a sphere, with the Earth at its center.  The rings represent the ecliptic, tropics, celestial equator, &c, of the sky.  The armillary sphere is a period heraldic charge, found in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Joiners, 1571 [Bromley & Child 153].

There is also the “terrestrial sphere”, a globe of the Earth showing the lines of latitude and longitude, and perhaps a vague suggestion of continents.  It too is a period charge, found in the crest of Sir Francis Drake, 1581 [Wagner 72].

Celestial sphere (Period)

Celestial sphere (Period)

Finally, there is the “celestial sphere”, showing the constellations and the band of the Zodiac:  what the sky would look like from the “outside”, as it were.  The celestial sphere is found in the crest of Bull, watchmaker to Elizabeth I [Parker 547].

For related charges, see astrolabe, clock, orb, roundel.

Brian Caradoc Walsh bears:  Gules ermined, an armillary sphere Or.

Romas the Mapmaker bears:  Per fess gules mullety Or and vert, a dance and in base a terrestrial sphere Or.

Aurelia Saturnina bears:  Purpure, a celestial sphere argent between three bees proper.

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

Quadrant

Quadrant (Accepted)

Quadrant (Accepted)

A quadrant is a period astronomical instrument used for measuring elevation from the horizon.  It consists of a graduated quarter-circle (hence the name) with a movable index and a sight; an example with heraldic interest is a horary quadrant engraved with the badge of Richard II, 1399 [Marks & Payne 35].  For related charges, see astrolabe, sphere, sundial.

Iosif of Novgorod bears:  Sable, on a bend sinister embattled counter-embattled argent between in chief three estoiles and in base a quadrant Or, a scarpe gules.

Christoforo Antonio Passavanti bears:  Sable, a quadrant Or.

Gosfrei Kempe bears as a badge:  Or, a quadrant gules.

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

Hourglass

Hourglass (Period)

Hourglass (Period)

An hourglass is a wasp-waisted glass container, partially filled with sand; it was used for measuring time, by letting the sand trickle from the top half to the bottom.  The first known illustration of an hourglass is a fresco in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, c.1339 [Eric Bruton, The History of Clocks and Watches, p.27]; it’s found in the arms of White, 1534 [Parker 335] and of von Kerstlingerode, 1605 [Siebmacher 179].  The hourglass is palewise by default.

The hourglass should not be drawn as transparent glass, through the use of chasing or voiding; it should be solidly tinctured.

Galleron de Cressy bears:  Azure, three hourglasses Or.

Gareth de Grey bears:  Sable, an hourglass argent.

Caoimhín o Fiodhabhra bears:  Per chevron azure and Or, three hourglasses counterchanged.

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

Flask

Flask (Period)

Flask (Period)

Phial (Period)

Phial (Period)

A flask is a vessel, usually of glass or ceramic, with a constricted neck and a broad base.  Generally, the term implies a laboratory vessel, used for chemical or alchemical procedures:  the illustration is taken from de Bara, 1581 [132], who blazons it as un thalame philosophal.  The flask is a period charge, found in the canting arms (Italian fiasco) of Fiaschi, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 278:305].

There is also the “phial”, intended to hold small amounts of fluid (frequently for medicinal use).  Phials are found in the arms of Adam de Rous, surgeon, 1379 [DBA3 42], and cited in Bossewell, 1572 [II.117].  The Society also has a similar charge, the “ampulla”, a small two-handled bottle used for relics, holy oil, &c.  It’s smaller and more spherical.

Alembic flask (Accepted)

Alembic flask (Accepted)

One specific type of flask is the “alembic flask”:  used for distillation, it has a long sloping spout.  It should not be confused with an “alembick”, which a post-period term for another charge altogether; for this reason, Society heraldry explicitly blazons it an “alembic flask“.  It’s also frequently blazoned a “retort”, especially when drawn with a smooth, unbroken surface.  As a charge, the alembic flask/retort seems to be unique to Society armory; its spout is to dexter by Society default.  For related charges, see bottle, urinal.

The Alchemy Guild of the Barony of Rivenstar bears:  Quarterly gules, azure, vert and sable, a retort reversed purpure fimbriated Or.

Vasco Pereira de Faria bears:  Per bend Or and argent, an alembic flask vert.

Robert of the Angels bears:  Azure, on a bend cotised between two flasks argent, a recorder, bell to chief sable.

Lorenzo Alhambra bears:  Vert, on a chevron between three flasks argent, two salamanders combattant vert enflamed gules.

Michael Tryggve bears:  Purpure, an ampulla Or, billety vert.

This entry was posted on January 28, 2014, in .

Equatorium

Equatorium (Accepted)

Equatorium (Accepted)

An equatorium is a medieval astronomical instrument, dating from the 11th Century.  Based on the Ptolemaic theory of equants (epicycles, eccentrics, &c), it was used for predicting planetary positions.  No examples are known in period armory; the illustration is taken from a 15th C. French artifact in the Oxford Museum of the History of Science.  See also astrolabe, clock, sphere, sundial.

Alfred of Durham bears:  Paly sans nombre azure and argent, on a bend sinister engrailed between a hemispheric astrolabe and an equatorium Or, three estoiles gules.

Alya Zengerlin bears:  Per bend argent and sable, two mullets in bend purpure and an equatorium Or.

This entry was posted on January 16, 2014, in .

Compass

Compass (Period); pair of calipers (Accepted)

Compass (Period); pair of calipers (Accepted)

A compass is a mathematical instrument used for drawing arcs of circles.  It consists of two straight pointed legs joined by a pivot at one end.  The compass is a period charge, found in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, 1466 [Bromley & Child 40]; it’s sometimes termed a “pair of compasses” in modern parlance.

The compass is sometimes drawn with a semi-circular scale for measuring its spread; this is a period form, found in the arms of de Capitanis de Sesto, mid-15th C. [Triv 98], and of Petzlinger, 1605 [Siebmacher 98].  This form may be blazoned a “divider” or a “drawing compass” in the Society.

Very similar is the “pair of calipers”, an engineering instrument for measuring thicknesses and diameters; it differs from the compass only in the tips of its points, which are curved inward (or sometimes outward).

The distinction between the various forms of compass is not rigidly observed in Society heraldry; certainly there is no heraldic difference between them.  The defaults for compasses and calipers are the same:  points to base, and slightly spread.

The Ministry of Sciences bears:  Per pale Or and argent, a pair of calipers sable.

The Award of the Compass, of Northshield, bears:  A pair of compasses Or.

Arthur Lemner of Wesley bears:  Azure, in pale a drawing compass and a two-spouted oil lamp argent, enflamed Or.

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

Clock

Chamber clock (Accepted)

Chamber clock (Accepted)

A clock is a mechanism that tells the time of day.  It’s a period artifact, but no period heraldic examples of its use have been found.  (Its earliest known use as a charge is in 17th C. armory.)  The illustration is of the type known as a “chamber clock”, mid-16th C. [Ernest Edwardes, Weight-Driven Chamber Clocks of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, plates 18-19; cf. Amman 75].

There is also an example in Society armory of the “clockface”, with the hours (twelve by default) marked around the edge of a roundel.  The use of the clockface alone is deemed a step from period practice.  For related charges, see astrolabe, equatorium, sphere, sundial.

John Gal of Freeston bears:  Argent, a chamber clock azure faced argent.

Lillian Taylor bears:  Azure, on a round clockface argent numbered sable a lizard tergiant bendwise vert, all within a bordure argent ermined azure.

This entry was posted on December 19, 2013, in .