Archives

Caduceus

Caduceus (Period)

Caduceus (Period)

A caduceus is a winged rod, with two serpents entwined about it; it was the token of the Greek god Hermes (or Mercury, to the Romans).  In period it was considered a merchant’s symbol; in modern America, it has become the symbol of the physician.  The caduceus is a period charge, found in the allusive arms of Mercurio or Mercurius, c.1555 [BSB Cod.Icon 267:781].

Rod of Aesculapius (Accepted)

Rod of Aesculapius (Accepted)

A similar charge is the “rod of Aesculapius”, also called “Aaron’s rod”:  this is a stick or staff, entwined with a single serpent.  It, not the caduceus, is more correctly a symbol of the medical profession.  When blazoned “proper” in Society armory, the staff is brown and the serpent green.

At one time, Society armory reserved both the caduceus and the rod of Aesculapius to medical professionals.  Currently, there are no restrictions on either charge.  For related charges, see staff, thyrsus.

Carlina Vincenzi bears:  Azure, three caducei Or.

Merfyn Gareth ap Mouric bears:  Sable, an Aaron’s rod argent.

Mary Teresa Hathaway bears:  Azure, a rod of Aesculapius and in chief three roses slipped and leaved fesswise argent.

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Calamarie

Calamarie (Accepted)

Calamarie (Accepted)

Polypus (Accepted)

Polypus (Accepted)

The calamarie is a water-dwelling mollusc, its body pointed at one end and with multiple tentacles (usually ten) at the other end.  In period, it was also called a “cuttle-fish”; its modern name is the squid.  Though known in period, no examples of the calamarie have been found in period armory.  The calamarie has its tentacles to chief by Society default.

The calamarie has been used as the modern interpretation of a sea monster from Norse legend, known as the “kraken”, which would grab passing ships and break them apart.  At one point in the Society’s history, the calamarie was blazoned as a “kraken”.  However, given the lack of evidence that the mythical kraken was ever depicted as a giant squid in any art predating the 18th Century, the term is no longer used.  (There are a handful of Society blazons still using the term, mostly for canting purposes.)

Similar to the calamarie is the “polypus”, distinguished by its rounded head and eight tentacles; it’s known modernly as the octopus.  Again, though known in period, no examples of the polypus have been found in period armory.  The polypus has its tentacles to base by Society default.

Both the calamarie and the polypus should be drawn so their tentacles may be clearly distinguished; they should mostly occupy the space opposite the head, with less than half recurving back to the midsection of the creature and none going past its head.  See also fish.

The Order of the Kraken, of Atlantia, bears:  A kraken Or.

Jon Searider bears:  Barry wavy argent and azure, a calamarie sable.

Alphonse d’Ayr bears:  Vert, a polypus argent orbed azure wearing a skull-cap gules, a chief invected ermine.

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Caldera gringolada

Caldera gringolada (Period)

Caldera gringolada (Period)

A caldera gringolada is a charge from Iberian armory, consisting of a stylized cauldron with multiple serpents’ heads issuant from the opening (or the ends of the bail).  (The name derives from the same root as the cross gringoly.)  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Pacheco, c.1540 [Nobreza xvii], and appears to be uniquely Iberian.

As an artistic variant, the Society grants no difference between a standard cauldron and a caldera gringolada. For related charges, see pot.

Selene Colfox bears as a badge: A caldera gringolada barry sable and Or, the serpents Or.

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Caltrap

Caltrap (Period)

Caltrap (Period)

A caltrap, or caltrop, is an iron device with four spikes; caltraps were strewn before enemy horsemen to hinder their progress.  The spikes are so arranged that, no matter how the caltrap lands, one spike is always vertical.  In heraldry, the caltrap thus has a point to chief by default.  It’s found in the arms of Creston, c.1520 [DBA2 222], and the canting arms of Trappe, 1563 [Woodward 353].  See also mullet.

Selena of the Northern Woods bears:  Sable, a caltrap Or.

Toen Fitzwilliam bears:  Vert semy of caltrops argent.

Fiona nic Kineth bears:  Per pale gules and argent, two caltraps counterchanged.

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Calygreyhound

Calygreyhound rampant guardant (Period)

Calygreyhound rampant guardant (Period)

This monster has a cat’s face, a tufted body and tail, eagle’s forelegs, and frond-like horns.  It is period, dating from the mid-15th Century, as a badge of the de Veres, Earls of Oxford [Dennys 153].

The calygreyhound does not appear to have a default posture; the illustration shows a calygreyhound rampant guardant.

The Baron of Rivenoak bears:  Quarterly Or and argent, a calygreyhound rampant to sinister between three laurel wreaths sable.

Arin Sturrock of Appin bears:  Bendy of six argent and azure, a calygreyhound rampant guardant Or.

Eowyn Feemaister bears:  Or, two calygreyhounds combattant guardant sable.

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Camail

Camail (Period)

Camail (Period)

A camail is a flexible strip of mail hung from the bottom of a helm, intended to protect the neck and shoulders; it is also called an “aventail”. The camail is a period charge, used as the badge of George, Duke of Clarence, d.1478 (possibly as a cant on “gorget”), and then as the badge of his grandson, Henry Pole, Baron Montague, d.1539 [Siddons II.1 124].

The camail is fesswise by default. The illustration is taken from Montague’s standard, c.1510 [Walden 179]. See also armor.

Kristoff Karlsson bears: Vert, a camail and in chief a pair of smith’s tongs fesswise Or.

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Camel

Camel statant (Period)

Camel statant (Period)

The camel is a desert-dwelling beast famed for its ill temper – yet paradoxically, because it kneels to receive its load, a medieval symbol of humility as well.

The default camel is the single-humped camel, also called a “dromedary”; this is the form used in the arms of Schmotlzn, 1605 [Siebmacher 72].  If the “Bactrian camel” with two humps is intended, it must be so specified; it too is found in period armory, as the crest of Caunton, c.1528 [Woodcock & Robinson pl.13].

The camel can be shown “saddled and bridled” with tackle designed for camels; or “laden” with goods for transport.  It doesn’t seem to have a default posture; the illustration shows a camel statant.  See also ypotryll.

Ayesha of the Dancing Camel bears:  Sable, a camel courant Or.

Arnulf of Ad Flumen Caerulum bears:  Gules, a Bactrian camel passant argent crowned Or.

Jamal Damien Marcus bears as a badge:  A camel couchant argent, saddled and bridled gules.

Eadweard Boise the Wright bears:  Argent, a dromedary couchant contourny sable laden gules within a bordure azure.

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Camelopard

Camelopard trippant (Period)

Camelopard trippant (Period)

The camelopard, or cameleopard, was the medieval name for the beast we call a “giraffe”.  It was considered a monster, a hybrid of a camel and a leopard.  The camelopard was the badge of Sir Henry Crispe, 1553 [Siddons II.2 85]; Bossewell [II.53] described the creature in 1572, though judging from his illustration, he was working from hearsay.

The creature was also called a “camelopardel” in medieval times; 18th Century writers considered the camelopardel a distinct creature, a camelopard with swept-back horns.  No such distinction was made in period, however; and no difference is granted in Society heraldry between them.

The camelopard seems to have neither a proper coloration nor a default posture; the illustration shows a camelopard trippant (i.e., passant).

Ingirídr Hikri Fridriksdottír bears:  Argent, a cameleopard statant purpure.

Camille Lyon bears:  Gules, a cameleopard rampant argent spotted sable.

Xanthippe Ouranina bears:  Vert, two camelopards salient reguardant, necks crossed in saltire Or pellety.

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Candle

Lit candle (Period)

Lit candle (Period)

A candle is a stick of wax or tallow with a wick down its center; it’s used as a light source.  In period armory, candles are frequently found mounted in candlesticks, as in the arms of Emerlle, c.1520 [DBA2 222].  Occasionally, though, they’re found standing alone, as in the allusive arms (Italian cera, “wax”) of de Cerolis, mid-15th C. [Triv 99]; and this is their most common depiction in Society armory.  (The candle and candlestick should not be confused:  the latter is the mount or holder for the former.)

A lit candle can be so blazoned, or may also be blazoned “enflamed” or “flammant”.  The usual heraldic candle is a taper – the illustration shows such a candle, lit – but the less-slender “pillar candle” is also found in Society armory.  All candles are palewise by default.  For related charges, see torch.  See also lamp, lantern.

The College of San Ambrogio bears:  Sable, three candles in fess argent enflamed proper, within a laurel wreath Or.

The Ljusorden, of Nordmark, bears:  A pillar candle per pale sable and azure, enflamed Or.

Lara Sukhadrev bears:  Argent, a candle gules lit Or.

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Candlestick

Candlestick (Period)

Candlestick (Period)

A candlestick is a cupped or spiked metal holder for a candle.  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Kyle, 1542 [Lindsay], and of the Worshipful Company of Founders, 1590 [Bromley & Child 99].

The default candlestick is an ornate column, spiked on top; it is palewise by default.  If a candle is mounted in the candlestick, the fact is explicitly blazoned.

Menorah (Accepted); flat candlestick (Accepted)

Menorah (Accepted); flat candlestick (Accepted)

Of variant forms of candlestick, there is the “candelabrum”, a multi-armed candlestick, found in the arms of von Krage, 1605 [Siebmacher 151].  The number of arms is frequently blazoned, especially when five or fewer; three arms seem most common.  If the candelabrum has seven or nine arms, it may also be blazoned a “menorah”, used in some Jewish ceremonies; the illustration shows a period form with seven arms, but both forms have been registered.  The “morter” or “mortcour” is a mortuary candlestick, highly ornamented, for use at funerals; it’s found in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers, 1484 [Bromley & Child 259].  Finally, Society armory has the “flat candlestick” or “sconce”, a shallow dish with a handle.

Gilraen of Regen bears:  Vert, a candle and candlestick flamant Or.

Louise of Woodsholme bears:  Per fess embattled gules and erminois, in base a candle argent in a flat candlestick sable, enflamed proper.

Uilliam of Bronzehelm bears:  Sable, a three-armed candelabra lit Or.

Edwin the Unwyse bears:  Argent, a menorah sable.

Illuminada Eugenia de Guadalupe y Godoy bears as a badge:  A mortcour Or.

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