The badger is a carnivorous burrowing beast with a reputation for tenacity. It is also called a “brock”, “bauson”, or “grey”, especially for canting purposes: e.g., the arms of Brokhole, temp. Henry IV [DBA2 293], or the badge of Lord Grey of Codnor, 1392 [Hope2 183]. The badger has no “proper” tincture, or rather, its proper tincture is too ill-defined to be registerable; but it’s most frequently drawn with distinctive facial markings, as in nature, to aid identification. The badger is statant by default.
Nachum Avram ben Benjamin ben Meir bears: Azure, a brock passant argent, incensed proper.
Roesia de Grey bears: Vert, a badger rampant Or maintaining a rose argent, barbed, slipped and leaved sable.
Stiamna Gruamda bears: Or, in pale two badgers sable.
A bag is a cloth or leather container that can be tied shut at the top, used for holding money or other small items. The most common form in Society heraldry may also be blazoned a “drawstring bag”, “sack”, or “pouch”; it is a period charge, found in the canting arms of von Sax, 1413 [Conz.Const. clxx], and of von Montsax, 1605 [Siebmacher 202]. (The prefix “string-” helps differentiate these from the basic “(wool-)bag” or “(pilgrim’s) purse” of mundane heraldry.) The bag is typically drawn filled, as in the illustration; and this is sometimes made explicit in blazon, e.g., “money-bag”.
The Society has a few examples of special-purpose bags, usually identified through context: e.g., a “bag with a harp issuant” may be assumed to be a harp-bag, a protective covering for the harp.
The term “bag” was also used in medieval blazon to denote a bundle of goods sold in commerce; for clarity’s sake, in Society blazon, the contents of the bag are explicitly blazoned, as with the bag of madder. For related charges, see scrip.
Fabiano Figlio degli Due Sacchi bears: Per pale embattled Or and gules, two sacks, their necks tied with cords, counterchanged.
Anton von Heidelberg bears: Lozengy vert and Or, in pale an owl argent perched atop a drawstring pouch fesswise gules.
Renna of Battersea bears as a badge: A lion-posted harp fesswise reversed argent issuant from a bag erminois, lined vert. [Harp-bag]
A bag of madder is a bundle of madder roots, wrapped in cloth and bound with cords for transport. It’s a period charge, found in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Dyers, c.1530 [Bromley & Child 79]. The bag of madder is fesswise by default. For related charges, see cushion, wool-pack.
Elysant d’Antioch bears: Argent, a bend sinister between a tree blasted sable and a bag of madder gules corded sable.
Nikolai Kolpachnik Spiach’ev bears as a badge: A bag of madder erminois.
A bagpipe is a double-reed musical instrument with a windbag that also supplies sonant force to a set of drone reeds. It’s sometimes more fully blazoned “a set of bagpipes”; though known across Europe, bagpipes are most strongly associated with Scotland. Bagpipes are found in period armory, in the canting arms (Italian cornamusa) of Cornamusini, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 278:287], and as the badge of Aubrey of Breconshire, 1531 [Siddons II.2 18]. One amusing example, the arms of Fitz-Ercald, c.1520, shows three hares playing bagpipes [DBA1 294].
As to the bagpipe’s depiction, the Luttrell Psalter, c.1340, has an example of a single-droned bagpipe; no period bagpipe has been found with more than two drones. The third drone wasn’t added to the Highland bagpipes until the 18th Century [Grove 2:472]; three-droned pipes are therefore disallowed in Society armory. The bagpipe’s chanter is to dexter by Society default.
Geoffrey MacHugh of Mull bears: Vert, a set of bagpipes argent.
Conchúr McClawrane Vc Leoid bears: Argent, an arrow bendwise gules, overall a bagpipe azure.
Malcolm of Fife bears: Azure, in pale two bagpipes argent within a bordure Or semy of acorns proper.
The bagwyn is a monster similar to an antelope, but with a bushy tail, fringes of fur on the legs, and long swept-back attires. It was used as a badge by the Earl of Arundel, c.1539 [Dennys 150].
The bagwyn does not seem to have a default posture; the illustration shows a bagwyn rampant.
Aureliane Rioghail bears: Argent, a bagwyn lodged to sinister pean, attired and unguled Or, gorged of a chaplet of gladiolus flowers Or slipped and leaved vert, and in base a pair of breys, all within a bordure azure.
Crisiant ferch Eirian bears: Per fess sable and argent, a pale counterchanged, overall a bagwyn rampant guardant gules.
A balance is a weighing instrument, consisting of a lever arm with two pans. Though often used in medieval commerce, it’s best known as one of the attributes of the Roman goddess Justitia (Justice), and is thus a symbol of justice and fairness.
Sometimes the balance is loosely termed “a set of scales”, though in strict fact the scales are simply the balance arm and pans alone; since scales have been registered as charges in their own right, it’s best to use the correct term.
Two forms of the balance are found in Society armory, the exact form being specified in the blazon. The form found in medieval armory is the “hand balance” or “hanging balance”, with a handle to chief; it’s found in the allusive arms (Latin iustus, “just”) of di Iusti, mid-15th C. [Triv 180].
Standing balance (Disallowed)
Society armory also has the “standing balance” on a pedestal, a modern symbol of the legal profession. With no examples from period, either as an artifact or in period armory, the standing balance is no longer permitted for Society use.
Marcus Parvus Constantinopolitanus bears: Gules, three standing balances argent.
Conrad Tolbert Regnault bears: Azure, a sword proper supporting on its point a pair of scales Or.
Theodore Barrister bears: Vert, a hanging balance and a chief Or.
The barbel is a fish noted for the whisker-like sense organs around its mouth, which give the fish its name (Latin barbam, “beard”). It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms of the Dukes of Bar, c.1370 [Gelre 26v]. The barbel is frequently found haurient, its body slightly embowed (as in the illustration), but there doesn’t seem to be a default posture.
Randolph MacMorris bears: Per bend azure and gules, a bend Or and overall a barbel haurient contourny argent.
A pair of barnacles is a pincer to be clamped on an unruly horse’s nose; it was sometimes used as an instrument of torture. It may also be termed “a pair of breys”, especially for canting purposes, as in the arms of Geneville or Joinville, lords de Broyes, 1255 [ANA2 222]. Barnacles’ default orientation is with the hinges to chief; they were also frequently found “extended”, or spread fesswise, in period armory, that fact being blazoned.
Barnacles were originally drawn more realistically, but had assumed a stylized form by the end of period. The first illustration is taken from Gelre, c.1370 ; the second, from Legh, 1576 . The latter is the form most usually found in modern heraldry texts, and thus in Society emblazons.
Ysoria de Brai bears: Gules, a pair of barnacles argent.
Penelope Stoddard bears: Sable, in pale three pairs of barnacles extended Or.
Brigit Ní Sheachnasaigh bears: Per bend sable and argent, a pair of barnacles counterchanged.
A barrel is a cylindrical wooden vessel, often for liquids, made of staves held together with hoops; it’s also known as a “cask” or “tun”, or (in one 16th Century grant) a “kilderkin”. In some Society examples it may be blazoned a “keg”, particularly if it has a spigot inserted. The barrel is a period charge, found in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Vintners, 1447 [Bromley & Child 253].
The barrel is fesswise by default; its “proper” tincture is brown. For related charges, see tub.
Ingvarr olfúss bears: Gules, three barrels Or.
Brandy of Mirkwood bears: Per pale undy ermine and gules, in pale three casks azure hooped Or.
Timothy Okenbarrel bears: Argent, a pall inverted gules between three barrels proper.
The base is an heraldic ordinary, occupying the bottom one-third to one-fourth of the shield. It is subject to most of the usual treatments – embattled, indented, &c – but because it has only one edge, a base may not be “dancetty”, nor may it be fimbriated, cotised, or voided. The base has no diminutives.
A “ford proper” is a base wavy barry wavy (azure and argent); it’s azure and argent on a light field, and argent and azure on a dark field. The ford proper is used to represent water or for canting purposes, as in the canting arms of Oxford, early 15th Century [DBA1 212]. Other tinctures may not be termed a “ford”, but must be blazoned explicitly; i.e., one would not blazon a “ford vert and Or”, but rather a “base wavy barry wavy vert and Or”. For related charges, see mount, point.
Jean-Philippe Firmin d’Amiens bears: Azure, a base Or.
Erik of Northhold bears: Bendy barry argent and vert, a base rayonny gules.
Philippa Swynford bears: Or, a boar passant gules and a ford proper.