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Daisy

Daisy (Period)

Daisy (Period)

The daisy is a bright, cheerful flower, the medieval symbol of innocence.  It is a period charge, found in the canting arms of Day, 1543 [Parker 193].  It may also be blazoned a “marguerite”, especially for canting purposes.  The daisy is shown affronty by default; its “proper” tincture is argent, seeded (or “eyed”) Or.

Similar to the daisy is the “sunflower”, also known as a “heliotrope”:  a larger flower with more prominent seeding.  When “proper”, the sunflower is Or, with its seeding either black or brown at the artist’s discretion.  It’s found in the arms of Florio, 1614 [Parker 559].

Ealasaid of the Isles bears:  Purpure, three daisies argent seeded Or.

Margaret MacIain of Lochwood bears:  Gyronny purpure and Or, each Or gyron charged with a daisy azure.

Cristina Rose da Napoli bears:  Azure, a sunflower proper, on a chief argent three goblets gules.

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Deer

Stag at gaze (Period)

Stag at gaze (Period)

The deer is a hooved, antlered beast famed for its speed; it was medievally considered the embodiment of purity and nobility among the beasts.  The term “deer” is the generic term; more specific terms may be used in blazons, the exact term often chosen for canting purposes.  These include “stag”, “hart”, and “buck” for the male; “doe” or “hind” for the female; and “fawn” or “yearling” for the young.  The male is characterized by his antlers (called his “attires”):  the buck is held to have broader, more palmate attires than the stag [Bromley & Child 12], but this subtle distinction was not consistently followed in period.  The female and young are antlerless.  Both genders are found in period armory:  the stag c.1310, in the arms of Leghville, and the hind c.1275, in the arms of the Counts von Tierstein [ANA2 57].

Reindeer passant (Period)

Reindeer trippant (Period)

Other beasts of the deer category include the “reindeer”, the “roe” or “roebuck”, and the “elk”.  These variants are distinguished by the shape of their attires:  the elk and roe are shown more or less as in nature, while the reindeer has an heraldic stylization of two horns up, two down, as seen in the arms of Bowet, Archbishop of York, c.1460 [RH].  The roe seems to be chosen mostly for the cant, as in the arms of Rogers, c.1480 [DBA2 294].  The elk of Europe is the same beast as the “moose” of modern North America; the latter term had been used in Society blazons at one point, but is no longer registered, in favor of the period term.  The elk is a period charge, found as a supporter of the Worshipful Company of Curriers, 1583 [Bromley & Child 62].

A “deer proper” is understood to be brown.  There are some special terms used to blazon deer:  A deer “at gaze” is statant guardant; a deer “lodged” is couchant; a deer “trippant” is passant.  The illustrations show a stag at gaze, and a reindeer trippant.  For related charges, see antelope (natural).

The King of the Outlands bears:  Vert, a stag argent, attired and unguled, salient from between the boughs of a laurel wreath, in chief a Saxon crown, all within a bordure embattled Or.

The Shire of Buckland Cross bears:  Argent, two bucks counter-salient in saltire proper within a laurel wreath vert, a bordure embattled sable.

Elisabeth Goodchilde bears:  Pean, a stag trippant erminois.

Sigmundr Ulvr bears:  Or, in pale three harts springing within a bordure sable.

Arianwen de Lynn bears:  Quarterly azure and gules, a hind courant to sinister within an orle argent.

Greta Rahikainen bears:  Azure, three reindeer trippant argent.

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Delf

Delf (Period)

Delf (Period)

A delf is a shovelful of sod or dirt.  It is found in the canting arms of Delves, c.1460 [DBA2 298]; it was considered equivalent to a billet, in both blazon and emblazon.

The delf is always drawn in a highly stylized manner, as a square; and it’s treated more as a polygon than as an actual object.  For related charges, see die, gameboard, tablet (weaver’s).

Vittorio Maria del Fabbro bears:  Lozengy azure and argent, a delf sable.

Tibor of Rock Valley bears:  Vert, a delf Or.

Angelique Thibodeau bears:  Per chevron azure and argent, three delfs voided counterchanged.

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Demi-beast

Demi-lion (Period)

Demi-lion (Period)

Any beast can be cut in half to become a demi-beast, and used as a charge.  The treatment is found in period armory:  demi-lions are found in the arms of Hamme, c.1312 [ANA2 243].  While demi-beasts may, of course, be issuant – e.g., from base, from a fess, or from a line of division – they are frequently found as discrete charges.

A demi-beast is erect by default, even when this is not the default posture of the full beast.  The severed part is couped by default; if the demi-beast is erased, the fact must be blazoned.  The couping is roughly fesswise, and frequently includes a snippet of the tail as well.  The illustration shows a demi-lion.

Katherine Brianna Coldrake Kyven bears:  Argent, three demi-horses rampant to sinister purpure.

Rhianwen ni Dhiarmada bears:  Sable, a demi-unicorn rampant Or crined and horned argent.

Brian mac Tomáis Uí Fhoghladha bears:  Argent, a demi-goat erased gules.

Ivan Geirsson bears:  Sable, three demi-lions Or.

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Die

Die (Period)

Die (Period)

A die is a small cube used in games of chance, usually made of wood, bone, or ivory, with a different number of spots (1 through 6) on each side.  Dice existed in period, both as artifacts and as heraldic charges; they were one of the few medieval charges that were shown in trian aspect, though Continental emblazons often show them face-on.  When emblazoned, the numbers shown on the die are usually left to the artist – though in one case, the arms of Ambesas (c.1275), for canting’s sake the dice are traditionally depicted showing a point of ‘1’ (aces) [ANA2 351].

For related charges, see delf, tablet (weaver’s).

Dathi Thorfinnsson bears:  Pean, two dice in pale argent spotted sable.

Aethelwyn Castrel of Arran bears:  Sable, three dice Or spotted sable.

Kaleeb al-Akhdar bears:  Argent, a die gules marked argent.

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Distaff

Distaff (Period)

Distaff (Period)

A distaff is a long staff that holds the fiber ready for spinning.  It is a period charge:  the illustration is taken from the civic arms of Lüdger, 1413 [Conz.Const. ccv].  The distaff is normally shown “dressed”, or with the fiber loaded in chief; it is palewise by default.  See also drop-spindle, quill of yarn.

The Costumer’s Guild of An Tir bears:  A distaff Or.

Gwennan nic Ailpein an Locha Seile bears:  Vert, a distaff between two flaunches Or.

Esmeria de Rus bears as a badge:  A distaff purpure.

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Dog

Talbot passant (Period)

Talbot passant (Period)

The dog is a domesticated beast bred for herding, hunting, and guard duty; it was the medieval archetype of loyalty and fidelity.  The most common breed of dog found in period heraldry, dating from 1285, is the floppy-eared hunting hound:  this breed is variously blazoned a “kennet” (in the canting arms of Kennet c.1285 [DBA1 293]), or more famously as a “talbot” (in the canting arms of Talbot c.1450 [DBA1 202]).  It might also, more simply, be blazoned a “hound”, as in the canting arms of Hondgate, temp. Henry VI [DBA2 295].  The illustration shows a talbot passant.

 

 

 

Greyhound courant (Period)

Greyhound courant (Period)

Alaunt statant (Period)

Alaunt statant (Period)

Another breed frequent in period heraldry is the “greyhound” or “levrier”, a fast slender breed (here shown courant).  As a charge, it dates from c.1285, in the canting arms of Maleverer [ANA2 111].  (We also have a period example of the greyhound blazoned as a “gower” – i.e., a goer, a fast dog – in the canting arms of Gower, c.1460 [DBA2 295].)

Period armory also gives us the “alaunt” or “alaund”, a short-eared mastiff, in the arms of Woode c.1460 [RH]; the illustration shows an alaunt statant.

The terms “cur”, “mongrel”, &c, (and of course “dog”) may also be used, to refer to a generic dog; such terms are often chosen for the sake of a cant.  In Society heraldry, while any demonstrably period breed of dog may be registered, the use of specific breeds beyond those found in period heraldry carries a step from period practice.

For related charges, see fox, hyena, wolf.

Mary of Tamar bears:  Or, two levriers rampant addorsed, tails couped sable.

Otta the Terrible bears:  Gules, two talbots combattant Or.

Evan Hawkins bears:  Or semy of arrows gules, an alant rampant collared azure.

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Dolmen

Dolmen (Accepted)

Dolmen (Accepted)

A dolmen is an edifice erected by the ancient Britons and Celts, consisting of a large flat stone laid across upright stones (called “menhirs”).  Modern scholars still debate as to the purpose of dolmens:  suggestions include tombs, monuments, altars, or observatories (probably a combination of these).  We have no examples of the dolmen in period heraldry, but as a period artifact, it’s acceptable in Society armory.

The Society’s default dolmen is a trilithon:  two uprights and one crosspiece.  It is occasionally so blazoned, and certainly any other number of uprights or crosspieces must be explicitly blazoned.  Society armory also has examples of menhirs standing alone.

For related charges, see arch, torii.  See also rock.

Cadwalladyr Stone of Stonecroft bears as a badge:  Vert, a dolmen of three uprights capped by two lintels argent.

Gwyneth merch Macsen bears:  Sable, a dolmen and in chief a mullet of eight points argent.

Juelda of Salisbury bears:  Azure, a dolmen Or and a ford proper.

Colgrym of Avebury bears:  Vert, in fess a dragon Or between two menhirs argent.

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Dolphin

Dolphin (Period)

Dolphin (Period)

Natural dolphin naiant (Accepted)

Natural dolphin naiant (Accepted)

The dolphin was considered in medieval times the fastest and noblest of the fish.  The unmodified term refers to the heraldic form of the dolphin, which is the default:  a fierce fish with a spiny dorsal fin, and sometimes tusks.  It’s found in the canting arms of the Dauphin of France as early as c.1370 [Gelre 46].  The dolphin’s default posture is naiant; when blazoned “proper”, it is vert detailed gules.

The cetacean dolphin, as found in nature, must be specified as such in blazon, usually as a “natural” or “bottlenosed dolphin”.  When blazoned “proper”, it is colored in grey tones, and is considered equivalent to argent.  For related charges, see whale.

The Order of the Dolphin of Caid bears:  Azure, a dolphin embowed uriant to sinister argent.

Beatrice Delfini bears:  Per chevron argent ermined gules, and azure, a dolphin haurient embowed Or.

Diantha Sylvana Galatea Athalie de Castalia bears:  Per pale argent and azure, two dolphins uriant respectant counterchanged.

Angelina Nicollette de Beaumont bears:  Gules, a bottlenosed dolphin embowed and in chief a sprig of three orange blossoms slipped and leaved fesswise proper.

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Dome

Dome (Accepted)

Dome (Accepted)

A dome is an edifice, or more precisely, a portion of an edifice:  a hollow hemispherical vault, supported on its outer edges by a circular wall.  Domes were found from Roman times, as on the Pantheon, AD 112; by Renaissance times the dome had become a usual architectural feature of a cathedral or mosque.

As an heraldic charge, the dome appears to be unique to Society armory:  in such instances, only the dome itself is depicted, with very little of its supporting building.  The illustration is taken from Brunelleschi’s dome for the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, c.1430 [EB VIII:397].

Andrew of Seldom Rest bears as a badge:  Gules, on a bend Or a selle sable, a dome vert, and a rest azure.

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