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Falcon

Falcon (Period)

Falcon (Period)

The falcon is a raptor, a bird of prey, which can be domesticated for use by hunters.  It is found as early as c.1295, in the canting arms of Fauconer [ANA2 204].  Heraldically, the falcon category includes “hawks”; there is considerable overlap in their attributes, though, strictly speaking, falcons and hawks are of differing species.  In any event, the terms are considered interchangeable in heraldry.

The falcon is close by mundane and Society default (though Society blazons often specify the posture, nonetheless); when blazoned “proper” (and no species is specified), it is understood to be brown.

Falcons are often depicted as “belled and jessed”, with thongs and bells tied to the legs in the traditional falconer’s manner; this may be done even when not explicitly blazoned, as in the illustration.  Falcons are also sometimes found “hooded”, with a leather hood over the head; this fact is always blazoned.  A few period armories show the falcon atop a perch, as in the arms of Weele, 1610 [Guillim1 161].  The falcon may be found “preying” or “trussing” upon a smaller beast or bird, holding it in its talons while ripping it with its beak.  For related charges, see eagle.

Joseph Hawk bears:  Per fess embattled sable and argent, three hawks counterchanged.

Eliane Duran bears:  Azure, a falcon ermine belled and jessed Or.

Estienne de Condé bears:  Argent, three falcons vert.

This entry was posted on January 26, 2014, in .

Fan

Winnowing fan (Period)

Winnowing fan (Period)

Fan (Accepted)

Fan (Accepted)

A fan is a device for generating a current of air.  In medieval heraldry, the default fan was more fully termed a “winnowing fan” or “vannet”; it was used to blow the chaff from grain.  It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms of Septvans or Sevans, c.1275 [ANA2 556]; the handles are to chief, the wide part to base, by default.

In Society heraldry, the default fan is the handheld folding fan, used to cool humans.  This form is open or spread, with the wide part to chief, by default.  The folding fan is found in later period portraits (as in the “Ditchley” portrait of Elizabeth I, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, c.1595), but no examples are known in European armory.  However, a similar form, with paper covering the ribs, is found in Japanese Mon; this form (ogi) was borne by Satake Yoshinobu, 1569-1633 [Hawley 59].

Feather fan (Period)

Feather fan (Period)

Liturgical fan (Accepted)

Liturgical fan (Accepted)

Three other fans are found in Society armory.  There’s the “feather fan”, with plumes attached to a handle; it’s similar to a feather-edged fan found in the arms of Hintaller, mid-16th C. [NW 56].  There’s also the “liturgical fan”, a solid piece of stiffened fabric, used in church to keep insects away from the Host [EB X:168].  Finally, we have the “flag fan” (ventuolo) of 16th C. Italy, a stiff vane of woven fiber or parchment on an offset handle, as seen in Boissard’s Habitus Variorum Orbis Gentium, 1581.

 

Flag fan (Accepted)

Flag fan (Accepted)

All of these fans are palewse, with handles to base, by default.  Additionally, the asymmetrical flag fan has its vane to dexter by default; it is granted no difference from a banner (cf. flag).

See also basket.

Bronwyn Morgana MacPherson bears: Per bend azure and Or, a fan and a whelk shell counterchanged.

Emrys FitzRainold de Venoix bears:  Per fess rayonny azure and gules, three vanneaux Or.

Christiana Haberdasher bears:  Gules, a feather fan argent handled Or.

Regina from Adiantum bears:  Ermine, three liturgical fans gules.

Aurora Lucia Marinella bears:  Per pale gules and azure, in pale a flag fan fesswise flag to chief and a cushion Or.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .

Fasces

Fasces (Period)

Fasces (Period)

A fasces is an axe bound in a bundle of sticks (called a fascine in Latin).  The fasces was the symbol of civil justice, dating from Roman times; it’s found in the arms of Cardinal Mazarin, 1601 [Parker 250].  Its association with 20th Century Fascists does not bar the fasces from Society use, though care should be taken.  Its default orientation is palewise, as with the axe.

Charles of the Jacs bears:  Sable, a broken fasces Or.

Gaius Cornelius Ursus bears:  Quarterly vert and argent, two fasces vert.

Eóin mac Raghnaill bears:  Or, on a bend sinister sable between two falcons striking to sinister and to dexter gules, an arrow inverted bound in a fascine Or.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .

Feather

Feather (Period)

Feather (Period)

A feather is one of the growths covering a bird’s wings and body; it consists of a quill or central shaft with a flat leaf-like surface growing from it.   It is also termed a “plume”, though this term is usually reserved for ostrich tail feathers; some authors would define a “plume” as a bunch of ostrich feathers, so it is best to be specific.

The feather is sometimes misblazoned a “quill” or a “quill pen”.  Strictly speaking, the quill is the central shaft of the feather, and the quill pen is a quill with its end carved into a nib.  These distinctions are often blurred in Society heraldry, and the terms are close to synonymous in practice.  It is still best to use the correct term.

In mundane heraldry, the default feather is an ostrich plume, as in the “shield for peace” of Edward the Black Prince, c.1350 [HB 152]; the Society’s default feather is a more generic shape, such as a goose feather (as in the illustration).  It is palewise by default, with the quill point to base.

For related charges, see pen, plumetty.  See also leaf, quill of yarn.

Antoine de Breton bears:  Quarterly gules and purpure, a feather bendwise Or.

Adelicia Marie d’Argent bears:  Argent, a sheaf of three peacock feathers proper, tied Or.

Salina of the Dale bears:  Gules, two merlin feathers in pile, points crossed in nombril point argent.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .

Fence

Weir (Period)

Weir (Period)

Park pales (Accepted)

Park pales (Accepted)

A fence is an enclosure around a field or piece of land, less massive or permanent than a wall, and usually made of wood or similar material.  In period armory, the typical form was a wattle fence, drawn as wicker branches woven around posts; this form is found in the arms of Stapfer, 1605 [Siebmacher 199].  The wattle fence is also blazoned a “weir” or “yair”, which in period was submerged in streams and used to trap fish; it’s found in the canting arms of Zare, 1542 [Lindsay].

In Society armory, there’s one example of a fence made from “park pales”:  closely set pointed stakes, modernly called a picket fence.  The illustration is taken from Parker [442], who cites the use of park pales in several armories; but none have been dated to period.  See also edifice.

George Warde bears:  Vert, a weir Or.

Edelgard Erzsébet von Württemberg bears as a badge:  Between the peaks of a mountain of two peaks argent issuant from park pales gules a hurst of trees proper.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .

Fer-a-loup

Fer-à-loup (Period)

Fer-à-loup (Period)

A fer-à-loup (French fer à loup, “wolf iron”) is a forestry implement, found in Continental heraldry.  In French blazons, it may also be called a hameçon à loup; in German blazons, a wulfsangel; mundane texts also call it a “wolf-claw” or “wolf-trap”.  The fer-à-loup is a period charge, found early on in the arms of von Stein or Stain, c.1340 [Zurich 203]; in the arms of von Stein, the charge remains in that form through the end of period [Siebmacher 111].

On other coats, however, the fer-à-loup’s form evolved over time:  in some cases, with a solid bar appearing between the blade and its loop; in other cases, being reinterpreted as an axe-head.

The fer-à-loup’s convex cutting edge is to chief by medieval and Society default.  See also knife.

Rognvaldr bassi bears:  Per saltire gules and Or, a fer-à-loup sable.

Ulfarr MacDhughaill bears:  Per pale sable and azure, a fer-a-loup and an orle Or.

Arnþóra of Wemyss bears as a badge:  A fer-a-loup inverted gules.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .

Fess

Fess (Period)

Fess (Period)

Dance (Period)

Dance (Period)

The fess is an heraldic ordinary, a horizontal stripe across the center of the shield.  Its diminutive is the “bar”, or in extreme cases the “barrulet”; Society blazonry does not recognize any other terms for the fess’s diminutives.

 

The “dance” is another name for the fess dancetty; some texts hold that it was an independent charge in medieval times.  The term is authorized for use in Society blazonry, in the hope it will reinforce the medieval definition of “dancetty”.

 

Bar gemel (Period)

Bar gemel (Period)

Humet (Period)

Humet (Period)

The “bar gemel” (literally “twinned bar”) is visually equivalent to a fess voided; medieval heralds also blazoned it simply a “gemel” or “gemelle”.  Unlike the fess voided, it is considered an independent charge, and no other charges come between its two halves.  (The spacing for “two bars gemel” will be uneven, unlike the spacing for “four bars”.)

 

In like manner, the “humet” is a medieval name for a fess humetty; the term is not much used today, since other ordinaries may also be humetty.

 

Fess nowed (Period)

Fess nowy (Period)

Fess enarched (Accepted)

Fess enarched (Accepted)

The “fess nowy” (literally “knotted”) doesn’t refer to a peculiar knotting or fretting, but is used in the sense of a knot of wood:  a circular node or lump at the fess’s center.  Examples have been found in 15th C. heraldic texts; the treatment is permitted for Society use.

The “fess embattled” is embattled only on its upper edge, unless specifically blazoned “(embattled) counter-embattled” or “bretessed”.  The “fess enarched” curves to chief unless otherwise specified; it was originally meant to depict the convexity of the shield, and consequently carries no heraldic difference from the plain fess.  The “fess doubly-arched” is not permitted.  See also wall.

The King of Atlantia bears:  Per pale argent and azure, on a fess wavy cotised counterchanged a crown vallary Or, overall a laurel wreath vert.

Brunechilde de Ravenel bears:  Azure, a fess Or cotised argent.

Robert Conyers bears:  Per pale argent and azure, a fess counterchanged.

Gwen Hir bears:  Azure, a fess fusilly argent.

Marcus Tullius Calvus Cambrensis bears:  Or, a dance sable.

Cadan Sacart bears:  Vert, two bars engrailed Or.

Duban O’Guinn Silverwolf bears:  Vert, three bars gemelles argent within a bordure ermine.

Ruaidhrí Mac Diarmada bears:  Argent, a fess nowy azure charged with a plate.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .

Fetterlock

Fetterlock (Period)

Fetterlock (Period)

A fetterlock is a semi-circular manacle, put on a horse’s ankle to prevent it from running away.  It is open (unlocked) by Society default.  While the bolt mechanism may be either to chief or to base in mundane heraldry, the most common attitude is with bolt to base, as in the Yorkist badge of the fetterlock-and-falcon, used since Edward IV [Hope2 169, HB 97]; this is the Society default.  For related charges, see padlock, shackle.

Mons von Goarshausen bears:  Per pale gules and sable, three closed fetterlocks Or.

Nikolai Jagger bears:  Per chevron gules and sable, a fetterlock within a bordure argent.

Marsle Lokart bears:  Azure, a closed fetterlock argent and in chief three hearts Or.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .

Field treatment

A field treatment is a regular pattern, done in a contrasting tincture on a field, and considered part of the tincture.  Unlike diapering, which is an artistic flourish, a field treatment adds heraldic difference.  Treatments may also be applied to the tincture of a charge.

At one time, Society heraldry recognized several field treatments; many of these, as a result of later research, are no longer permitted.  For specific entries, see honeycombed, maily, masoning, papellony, scaly.  For related items, see fretty, grillage, plumetty, semy.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .

Fireball

Fireball (Period)

Fireball (Period)

Grenade (Period)

Grenade (Period)

A fireball is a metallic sphere, spewing flame; it was thrown at the enemy as an incendiary device.  It is a period charge, found in the arms of Dancaster, 1556 [Parker 257].  When “proper”, the sphere is sable, and the flames gules and Or.

 

Society heraldry distinguishes between the fireball, which spews four flames in cross, and the “grenade” or “(fire)bomb”, which spews a single flame to chief.  See also weapons.

 

The Prince of the Sun bears:  Argent, a fireball proper within a laurel wreath, in chief an ancient crown azure.

Ian of Loch Naver bears:  Argent chapé sable, a fireball gules enflamed proper.

Willoc of Evensong Forest bears:  Sable, a grenade argent flamed Or.

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