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Eagle

Eagle (Period)

Eagle (Period)

The eagle is the monarch of the birds, the medieval symbol of majesty and vision (literally and figuratively).  It is thus a frequent charge in medieval armory, dating from the earliest heraldic records, as in the arms of the Kingdom of Germany, c.1244 [ANA2 193].  More than any other bird of heraldry, it is drawn in a highly stylized manner:  with a crest, ruffled feathers, and ornate wings and tail.  German emblazons may add klee-stengeln, wing-bones, and they are sometimes explicitly blazoned; they are considered artistic details.

The eagle is displayed by default; however, the form of display may differ according to time and place.  In later-period England, eagles displayed held their wings with their tips up; while in early Germany, eagles displayed had the wingtips down, in the posture called “displayed inverted” in English.  As the distinction is mostly one of emblazonry, it is granted no heraldic difference, and indeed is usually left unblazoned.

A variant of the eagle is the “alerion” or “allerion”, a beakless, footless eagle found in the arms of the Duchy of Lorraine; this form had been recognized as a variant by the end of our period [de Bara 213].  It may only be shown displayed.

Double-headed eagles are also found, most famously in the arms of the Holy Roman Emperor c.1220 [Asp2 34], but also in lesser armory such as Bluet, c.1282 [ANA2 196].  (As the Imperial eagle was shown through history with either one or two heads, no difference is granted for the number of heads.)  Triple-headed eagles are not permitted, by Society precedent.  For related charges, see falcon, phoenix, roc, vulture.

The Award of the Alerion, of the Barony of Lochmere, bears:  Per fess engrailed azure and argent, an alerion counterchanged.

Al Altan bears:  Or, three eagles gules.

John Aquila of Eaglesdown bears:  Purpure, an eagle close to sinister Or.

Andrei de Sevastopol bears:  Gyronny argent and gules, a double-headed eagle displayed sable.

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Ear

Rabbit's massacre (Period)

Rabbit’s massacre (Period)

Human ear (Accepted)

Human ear (Accepted)

An ear is an organ for hearing.  Animals’ ears are found in period armory, e.g., as the crest of Wedenou or Weidenau, 1394 [Gelre 88].  This form of ear is blazoned in various texts either as “asses’ ears” or as “hare’s (or rabbit’s) ears”; when attached to a bit of scalp, they may be termed, e.g., a “rabbit’s massacre”.  Society armory also has a single example of human ears.  In all cases, the type of animal to which the ear belonged should be blazoned.

 

 

Simon of Gardengate House bears:  Gules, a comet palewise inverted and on a chief argent three human ears gules.

Zafira bint Zahira bears:  Gules estencelly Or, a rabbit’s massacre argent within a bordure lozengy argent and sable.

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Edelweiss

Edelweiss (Accepted)

Edelweiss (Accepted)

The edelweiss is an Alpine flower, famed for growing in inaccessible spots in the mountains.  It was known to period Europeans, and was believed to have medicinal properties, but does not appear to have been used in period heraldry.  The Society default is affronty; an “edelweiss proper” is argent, seeded Or.

The Order of the Edelweiss, of Drachenwald, bears:  An edelweiss Or seeded gules, within and conjoined to an annulet argent.

Alesia Anna von Altmul bears:  Per fess indented azure and Or, in chief two edelweiss argent seeded Or.

Appolonia von Württemberg bears:  Quarterly purpure and argent, two edelweiss blossoms proper, a bordure counterchanged.

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Edifices

Edifices are usually made of stone, and may be drawn as masoned even when this is not explicitly blazoned.  (For that reason, it needn’t be blazoned.)  There was tremendous variation in the period depiction of edifices:  a given emblazon might be blazoned in several ways, and a given blazon rendered with equal looseness.  As a rule of thumb, those edifices with doors tended to have the door facing the viewer by default.

Some edifices, particularly castles and towers, may have special roofs which must be blazoned:  a “spired tower” has a conical roof, a “domed tower” a hemispherical roof.  (Sometimes the latter is drawn “onion-domed”, as found on mosques.)

For specific edifices and related charges, see:  altar, arch, bridge, castle, church, column, cornice, dolmen, dome, door, drawbridge, fence, fireplace, fountain, gate, house, lighthouse, pavilion, portcullis, rastrillo, torii, tower, wall, well, windmill.

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Eel

Eel (Period)

Eel (Period)

The eel is a fish with a long, serpentine body, distinguished from the serpent by its tail and fins (though, sadly, these are frequently omitted in period art).  It’s usually found in heraldry for the sake of a cant, as in the arms of di Pescera, mid-15th C. [Triv 288], the civic arms of Ahlen, 1605 [Siebmacher 220], or the arms of Ellis, 1610 [Guillim1 168].  Eels may also be called “congers” for canting purposes; small eels are also called “grigs”.

Eels are naiant by default, their bodies wavy.  See also sea-serpent.

Gregoire le Gris bears:  Or, an eel erect embowed counterembowed, a chief embattled azure.

Osweald Hæfring bears:  Gules, in pale two eels naiant Or.

Magdalen Mwrray bears:  Azure, two eels haurient respectant Or and in chief a roundel argent.

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Eel-fork

Eel-fork (Period)

Eel-fork (Period)

Salmon-spear, or eel-spear (Period)

Salmon-spear, or eel-spear (Period)

An eel-fork, or eel-spear, is a tool used by fishermen in taking eels. It consists of a multi-tined head with broad, flat points; the shaft is not shown.  Examples of the artifact can be found as early as the 16th Century; as a charge, the eel-fork is found in the arms of Stretele or Stratley, c.1413 [DBA2 350; cf. Parker 220].  The illustration is based on a period artifact.

Similar to the eel-fork is the “salmon-spear” or “harping iron”, often shown in armory with a fish transfixed on its tines, as seen in the arms of Ränntl, mid-16th C. [NW 151].  It differs from the eel-fork in that its tines are narrow and barbed, rather like a trident head.  (Nonetheless, this form was also, confusingly, blazoned as an “eel-spear” [cf. Guillim1 220]; there seems to have been no consistent distinction between the various forms.)

The eel-fork and its variants have their points to base by default.  For related charges, see fork.

Varukh syn Iarygin bears:  Per bend sinister argent and vert, four eel-forks conjoined in cross by their bases counterchanged.

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Egg

Egg (Period)

Egg (Period)

An egg is a hard-shelled ovoid, laid by birds for the making of more birds.  It is a rare but period charge, found in the arms of Jaworsky, 1605 [Siebmacher 75].  The egg used in Society heraldry is the hen’s egg, with one end narrowing; this end is to chief by Society default.  See also cartouche, roundel.

Prudence the Curious bears:  Vert, an egg argent and a chief embattled Or.

Eginolf von Basel bears: Per fess gules and bendy gules and azure, in chief an egg argent.

Magdalena Flores bears:  Ermine, on an egg gules a fleur-de-lys Or.

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Elephant

Elephant (Period)

Elephant (Period)

The elephant is a gigantic beast characterized by its tusks, ears, and prehensile trunk; some early emblazons show it with cloven hooves as well.  It was considered a symbol of modesty and chastity by the medievals.  As an heraldic charge, the elephant dates from c.1340, in the canting arms of the Grafs von Helfenstein [Zurich 79].

The elephant is statant by default; its “proper” tincture is grey with argent tusks.  It is sometimes shown with a castle or tower on its back, such as recorded in the Visitation of Wales, 1530 [Woodcock & Robinson 149]; in such a case, the fact must be explicitly blazoned.  The castle is said to recall war elephants with howdahs, described by Alexander the Great when he tried to conquer India; if the elephant’s tower is actually drawn as a howdah, its use carries a step from period practice.

Tristan d’Alsace bears:  Azure, three elephants statant argent.

‘Abd al-Hakim ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Shaddad al-Tomüki bears:  Argent, an elephant rampant sable maintaining in its trunk a coronet gules.

Edmund Foxe bears:  Sable, an elephant argent maintaining atop its back a tower, a bordure embattled Or.

Katherine Meade bears as a badge:  An elephant rampant ermine bearing on its back a howdah gules.

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Enfield

Enfield rampant (Accepted)

Enfield rampant (Accepted)

The enfield is a chimerical monster, with the body of a greyhound, the head of a fox, the forelimbs of an eagle, and the hindquarters and tail of a wolf.  It’s been described as “a relative latecomer” to the heraldic scene [Dennys 156]; though no period examples of the enfield have yet been found, its form is in keeping with other monsters of the Tudor era.  The enfield is thus accepted for Society use.

Some etymological arguments suggest that the enfield and the alphyn are both variants of the same non-heraldic monster.

The enfield doesn’t seem to have a default posture; the illustration shows an enfield rampant.

Elayne Greybeard the Eclectic bears:  Vert, an enfield rampant guardant to sinister Or.

Lucrezia Lorenz bears:  Sable, an enfield passant to sinister Or.

Tavotai Koghunnoxaiyin bears:  Per fess Or and gules, an enfield rampant counterchanged.

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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.

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