A gameboard is a square or rectangular piece of wood, with a regular pattern inscribed on its surface, used for playing certain board games. In heraldry, they are usually drawn as delfsor billets fesswise with details in contrasting tinctures.
The type of game must be specified in the blazon, since each game uses a different board. For instance, the “chessboard” is found in the arms of von Pirdenhofen, c.1560 [BSB Cod.Icon 390:793]; it might be drawn with fewer than the regulation eight ranks and files. The “backgammon board”, with its pattern of triangles, is found in the arms of Pegies or Pegez, 1435 [DBA2 193]. (The game was played much as it is today, though it was called “tables” or “nardshir” in medieval times.)
Byzantine chessboard (Accepted)
Twelve-man morris board (Accepted)
Any period gameboard may be used in Society armory: examples include the “nine-man (or twelve-man) morris board”, with a pattern of squares, and the “Byzantine chess-board”, with a radial checkered pattern.
Marguerite de Villars bears: Argent, a Maltese cross between four fleurs-de-lys in saltire gules, overall a nine-man morris board saltirewise Or, marked sable.
Ryan of Rickford bears: Or, a nine-man morris board chased within an orle azure.
Coilean mac Caiside bears as a badge: A Byzantine chess-board checkered sable and argent.
A garb is a bundle of grain, bound about the middle; the grain is wheat, unless specified otherwise. Garbs are ancient charges, dating from 1244 in the arms of the Earls of Chester [Asp2 219].
In period blazon, the term “sheaf” is considered synonymous with “garb”; in particular, the term “oatsheaf” was used to refer to a garb of oats. However, for charges other than grain, the term “sheaf” refers to a specific arrangement of charges (see sheaf); some Society armories have an explicit number of grain stalks (e.g., five) in this arrangement, and blazoned as a “sheaf”, despite the chance of confusion.
Teresa la Marchant bears: Per pale sable and Or, a garb counterchanged.
Njall of Fur bears: Argent, three garbs azure.
Medb ingen Muiredaich bears: Vert, three garbs argent.
Otuell Gowe bears as a badge: In pale an oatsheaf issuing from an open well Or.
Garlic is a pungent herb, a strong flavouring for food and a talisman against some evils. It’s generally shown as a “bulb”, which fact is explicitly blazoned; garlic bulbs are found in the canting arms (German Knoblauch) of Knobloch, 1605 [Siebmacher 210]. The bulb’s point is to chief by Society default.
Period armory also gives us the “garlic plant”, which shows the stalk as well as the bulb; it’s found in the arms of Luchau, c.1370 [Gelre 42]. See also fruit.
Myfanwy Crisiant ferch Dafydd bears: Gyronny purpure and Or, a bulb of garlic argent.
Desdemona Polizziano bears: Purpure, a garlic bulb, a chief dovetailed argent.
A gate is an entrance in a fence or wall; it usually swings on hinges. The default heraldic gate is a “corral gate”, sometimes called a “field-gate” or “farm-gate”; this is sometimes explicitly blazoned. The gate is drawn as a barred wooden frame, not solid like a door. It’s found in the arms of von Haxthausen, 1605 [Siebmacher 186]. The gate’s “proper” coloration, as with all wooden charges, is brown.
There is also the “gateway”, two huge doors hinged on towers; the charge is unique to Society armory, and is no longer permitted. See also door, drawbridge, portcullis.
The Shire of Caversgate bears: Sable, a gate within and conjoined to a stone archway within a laurel wreath Or.
Eric of Coppergate bears: Argent, a farm gate within an orle engrailed gules.
A gauntlet is a piece of armor for the hand. It is a period charge, found in the arms of de Wauncy, c.1312 [ANA2 470]. The gauntlet may be of mail or plate, depending on the period and the artist’s discretion; it was frequently depicted without separated fingers (so-called “clamshell” gauntlets). In the Society, the default gauntlet is the dexter gauntlet, and its default posture is apaumy. Other postures are also found, though sometimes blazoned as, e.g., “a mailed fist” instead of “a gauntlet clenched”.
Similar to the gauntlet is the “glove”: like the gauntlet, a covering for the hand, but an article of clothing instead of armor, made of leather or cloth instead of metal. It’s found in the canting arms (German Handschuh) of Handschuhsheim, c.1450 [Ingeram 268]. The glove follows the conventions and defaults of the gauntlet (indeed, one branch of the Wauncy family bears gloves), which are those of hands. In fact, both gauntlets and gloves are often assumed to have a hand inside them.
Finally, there is the “mitten”, a knitted (or nailbound) fingerless glove. The mitten is a period charge, used in the crest of von Lens, c.1370 [Gelre 82], and in the arms of Folderer, mid-16th C. [NW 55]. It follows the same conventions and defaults as gloves and gauntlets.
Murdoch of Muirhead bears: Gules, in bend three clenched gauntlets Or.
Lisette la fauconniere d’Amboise bears: Plumetty Or and sable, a sinister glove fesswise reversed gules.
Sigrid Bríánsdotter bears as a badge: A sinister mitten vert.
The term “gemel” means “twin”, and was the medieval term for what is today blazoned a “bar gemelle” or “bar gemel”: a twinned bar, i.e., two bars adjacent. The illustration shows two bars gemel (four bars total).
In Society armory, other ordinaries may likewise be gemelled. An ordinary gemel looks no different from that ordinary voided, but the usage is not the same: an ordinary gemel has no charges in its interior. It is considered a single, self-contained unit. See also fess, ordinary.
Brunissende Dragonette bears: Per fess sable and gules, a bar gemel argent.
The gillyflower is a modest flower, the ancestor of the modern carnation; it was prized in period for its use in garlands. As an heraldic charge, it is found in the arms of Pace, Bishop of Bangor, d.1533 [Parker 286]. The gillyflower is drawn in a stylized heraldic form; its “proper” coloration is gules, slipped vert. The illustration shows a gillyflower slipped and leaved.
Dorathea Osborne bears: Or, a gillyflower gules slipped and leaved vert, a bordure azure.
Grainne inghean ui Ghobhann bears: Quarterly indented vert and sable, three gillyflowers in bend argent seeded Or.
Damiana d’Avignon bears: Argent, three gillyflowers purpure slipped and leaved, a bordure vert.
A gimlet is a tool designed to drill small holes in wood. It consists of a metal shaft with a cross handle at one end and a threaded point at the other. It’s a period charge, dating to 1548 in Vigil Raber’s Armorial of the Arlberg Brotherhood of St. Christopher, fo.30. The gimlet is palewise, point to base by default.
Matilda de Seton bears as a badge: A gimlet argent handled Or.
A gittern is a stringed musical instrument, found from the end of the 13th Century until supplanted by the Renaissance guitar. There has been a great deal of confusion about the gittern: the name has been wrongly used to describe other instruments (e.g., the citole), and the gittern itself has been called other names (e.g., a mandora). Such agreement as we can find among modern musicologists makes the gittern a smaller version of the round-backed lute, with the entire instrument, body and neck, carved from a single piece of wood. The gittern had four strings (or courses of strings), and was played with a plectrum. The illustration is taken from the figure in Amiens Cathedral, 1375 [Grove 9:907].
Very similar to the gittern, and adding to the confusion, was the 16th Century “cittern”: a descendant of the citole, it had a flat back (unlike the gittern’s rounded back) and a somewhat longer, fretted neck. Like the gittern, it had four courses of strings, and was played with a plectrum [Grove 5:877].
Both the gittern and the cittern have the same default orientation in Society heraldry: affronty, with strings facing the viewer, and with neck to chief. See also viol.
Thomas of St. John bears as a badge: Argent, a gittern bendwise sinister sable.
Margaret Katheryn Cameron bears: Ermine, in saltire a short sword and a cittern proper, overall a rosebud Or, stalked and leaved vert.