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Habit, monk’s

Monk's habit (Accepted)

Monk’s habit (Accepted)

A monk’s habit is an item of clothing which is worn by monastic orders to set them apart from the laity.  It typically consists of a tunic with a long cowl, or hooded robe, worn over it, tied at the waist with a cincture.  Though a period garment, we’ve no examples of a monk’s habit in period armory (except when being worn by a human figure).  The illustration is taken from the Très Riches Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry, c.1415, in a scene from the life of St. Gregory.  The monk’s habit is shown affronty by Society default.

Cain the Black bears:  Gyronny arrondi argent and gules, a monk’s habit sable.

This entry was posted on January 31, 2014, in .

Halifax Gibbet

Halifax Gibbet (Accepted)

Halifax Gibbet (Accepted)

The Halifax Gibbet was an instrument of execution, more modernly called a “guillotine”:  a heavy blade, sliding down in its frame to decapitate the condemned.  It was hard at work in Halifax as early as the 13th Century [Alister Kershaw, The History of the Guillotine, 1993, p.21]; but needless to say, it was never used in period armory.

Sean Holden bears:  Argent, a wooden Halifax Gibbet proper bladed sable.

This entry was posted on January 31, 2014, in .

Ham

Ham (Accepted)

Ham (Accepted)

A ham is a severed thigh of pork, usually cured to prevent spoilage.  It’s a period foodstuff – the illustration is taken from a book of hours from Poitiers, c.1475, now in the Pierpont Morgan Library  – but no period examples of its use in heraldry have been found.  The Society’s default for the ham is fesswise, with the narrow end (the “handle”) to sinister.  See also leg.

Morgan of Osprey bears as a badge:  A ham reversed sable boned argent enflamed on the upper edge proper.

This entry was posted on January 31, 2014, in .

Hammer

A hammer is a tool for striking or pounding, consisting of a blunt heavy head mounted on a handle.  It’s found in the canting arms of Martel as early as 1275 [Asp2 220].  The hammer’s default orientation is palewise, head to chief, with the main striking surface facing dexter.  Its “proper” tinctures are with a black metal head and a brown wooden handle.

As regarding types of hammers, there seems to be no default form of hammer in medieval armory, and certainly not in Society armory.  Probably no other charge has engendered such confusion of types and terms.  One type of hammer has been variously blazoned a “sledge hammer”, a “smith’s hammer”, and a “stone hammer”; the term “war hammer” has been applied to three very different types.  Indeed, the unmodified term “hammer” might be emblazoned as any form of hammer; the exact variant thus counts for no heraldic difference.  Except for the mallet and the Thor’s hammer, the illustrations should be considered representative samples rather than definitions.

Hammer (Period)

Hammer (Period)

Two forms of mallet (both Period)

Two forms of mallet (both Period)

Medievally, the most common form of hammer was drawn with claws or spikes opposite the striking face, and a handle not overlong; the illustration is taken from the arms of Martel, c.1370 [Gelre 48v].  This form is also blazoned a “martel” for canting purposes; though it’s usually assumed to be a weapon, the clawed form is also found in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, 1490 [Bromley & Child 22].

Another common form of hammer in period was the “mallet”, a craftsman’s tool rather than a weapon, found in the canting arms of Mailly as early as c.1275 [ANA2 483].  The mallet’s form might vary by country or century, but was predominantly depicted in one of two basic forms, as in the illustration.

War-hammer (Period); modern war-hammer (Accepted)

War-hammer (Period); modern war-hammer (Accepted)

Thor's hammer (Accepted)

Thor’s hammer (Accepted)

Also in period we find the “war-hammer”, definitely intended as a weapon:  it had a clawed striking face for breaking through armor.  It’s found in the arms of Tusser, 1559 [Bedingfeld 50], though some modern blazons mistake it for a battle-axe.  The Society has also used the term “war-hammer” for other charges, far less documentable to period.

 

Of the variant forms unique to Society armory, the most common is the “Thor’s hammer” or “mjolnir”, a token of the Norse thunder god.  It alone among the hammers has its haft to chief by default.  The illustration is a composite of Viking age mjolnir-pendants, from finds at Birka, Rømrsdal, and Skåne.

Armorer's hammer (Accepted); bung-starter (Accepted)

Armorer’s hammer (Accepted); bung-starter (Accepted)

Chasing hammer (Accepted); carver's mallet (Accepted)

Chasing hammer (Accepted); carver’s mallet (Accepted)

Society armory also gives us examples of the “armorer’s hammer”; the “bung-starter”, a long-handled bludger for breaking open a barrel of beer; the “chasing hammer”, used by jewelers; the “carver’s mallet”, used by woodcarvers; the “smith’s hammer”, sometimes called a “cross peen hammer”; the “ball peen hammer”; the “sledgehammer”; and the “stone (throwing) hammer”.  Of these, the stone throwing hammer has not been documented to period, either as an artifact or as a charge; pending such documentation, the stone throwing hammer has been disallowed for Society use.

 

 

Smith's hammer (Accepted); ball-peen hammer (Accepted)

Smith’s hammer (Accepted); ball-peen hammer (Accepted)

Sledgehammer (Accepted); stone throwing hammer (Accepted)

Sledgehammer (Accepted); stone throwing hammer (Disallowed)

For related charges, see pick.  See also mace, pole-arm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raymond of Stratford bears:  Gules, a hammer bendwise argent.

Marteau de Forgeron bears:  Quarterly gules and Or, a warhammer bendwise sable.

Lughaid Eamon MacDiarmid bears:  Or chaussé ployé vert, a smith’s hammer sable.

Sandor Hackbrett bears: Argent, two hammers in saltire vert.

Falan Bitor bears:  Per chevron argent and gules, three mallets counterchanged.

Amartine du Bon Coeur bears:  Per saltire argent and azure, four ball-peen hammers in cross, handles to center counterchanged.

Ragnar the Bold bears:  Quarterly sable and Or, a Thor’s hammer argent within a bordure counterchanged.

Laeghaire O Laverty bears as a badge:  A carver’s mallet bendwise sinister sable.

William of Woodland bears as a badge:  Gules goutty d’Or, a wooden bung-starter palewise proper.

This entry was posted on February 1, 2014, in .

Hand

Hand (Period)

Hand (Period)

Fist (Period)

Fist (Period)

A hand is a human appendage used for grasping and holding; it is found in the canting arms (French main) of Malmains, c.1275 [ANA2 469].  The default hand is the dexter hand, the default posture is apaumy and couped.  Sinister hands are very frequently found in period armory, as well.  While Society armory grants no difference between left and right hands, current practice is to explicitly blazon the handedness.  The hand is unclothed by default; sometimes it is found issuant from a cuff, which fact is blazoned.

Hands are found in other postures besides apaumy.  The hand may be “clenched”, forming a fist; indeed, this form may be simply blazoned a “fist”, as in the canting arms (German Faust) of Fausten, 1605 [Siebmacher 211].  A variant of this form is a fist with the index finger extended, as in the arms of Angiolini, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 278:273].

Pair of hands in birkat kohanim (Period)

Pair of hands in birkat kohanim (Period)

Hand of benediction (Period)

Hand of benediction (Period)

A pair of hands “in birkat kohanim” has the hands slightly tilted towards each other, the fingers spread but with the index and middle fingers together, as well as the ring and little fingers.  This hand gesture is used as a Jewish blessing.  The motif is found in period armory, in the arms of Rabbi Abraham Menachem Rapoport, d.1596 [Nathan Ausubel, Pictorial History of the Jewish People].

Similarly, a “hand of benediction” is a gesture used in Christian blessing:  the hand is apaumy, with the thumb and two fingers upright, the other fingers curled into the palm.  It’s quite frequent in books of hours, and is depicted in modern heraldry texts [Guide 131], but makes very few appearances in period armory:  e.g., the crest of Boyd, 1582 [Dunvegan Armorial, fo.253], or the attributed arms of Prester John, c.1530 [BSB Cod.Icon 391:55].  A vested arm ending in a hand of benediction is found in the episcopal arms of Sechau or Seckaw, 1605 [Siebmacher 12].

Hand of Fatima (Accepted); hand of glory (Disallowed)

Hand of Fatima (Accepted); hand of glory (Disallowed)

Of postures peculiar to the Society, there is the hand “aversant”, the opposite of apaumy, with the back of the hand to the viewer.  Other hand variants include the “hand of Fatima”, a two-thumbed hand, a symbol of Islam; and the “hand of glory”, a hand enflamed, which is not permitted in Society heraldry.

In British heraldry, a sinister hand apaumy gules is used as the augmentation for baronets; and the “hand of Ulster”, a dexter hand apaumy gules, is a reserved charge in Irish heraldry.  For these reasons, Society armory disallows the use of red hands apaumy on white backgrounds, when they appear to be in the form of an augmentation.

For related charges, see arm, foi, gauntlet.  See also glove-puppet.

Mia Sperling bears:  Sable, a hand ermine.

Molly Gill Brae bears:  Argent, a hand fesswise vert.

Chrystofer Larchmont bears:  Gyronny vert and Or, a dexter fist erased gules.

Iaenbryht Græghar bears:  Per pale gules and vert, in chief a hand in benediction argent.

Hadrardus Blach bears:  Gules, on a bend argent a sinister fist and a dexter fist both fesswise with index fingers extended sable, in chief a compass rose bendwise argent.

Sulima ibn Jafar bears:  Azure, a hand of Fatima couped between three goblets argent.

Jethro Stille bears as a badge:  Per fess azure and Or, two hands in birkat kohanim and a double-headed eagle counterchanged.

This entry was posted on February 1, 2014, in .

Handgun rest

Handgun rest (Period)

Handgun rest (Period)

A handgun rest is a long spiked pole with a forked top, designed to act as a brace and support for early firearms.  Although a period artifact, dating from the late 16th Century [Stone 461], the handgun rest per se doesn’t appear to have been used in armory.  The charge is acceptable for Society use, not only as a period artifact, but by its similarity to period charges:  the artifacts in the arms of Waldstromer von Reichelsdorff, 1605 [Siebmacher 108], or the “oarlocks” (Italian scalmi) in the arms of de Galber, mid-15th C. [Triv 166].  By whatever name, the charge is palewise by default.  See also fork.

Eadmond du Battlemont bears:  Per pale embattled gules and Or, to dexter a handgonne rest Or and to sinister a slow match, ends in chief enflamed, proper.

Craig Joyful bears:  Or, a handgun rest azure surmounted by a chevron inverted gules.

Edward the Tall bears:  Argent, two oarlocks in saltire and on a chief azure three garbs Or.

This entry was posted on February 1, 2014, in .

Harp

Harp (Period)

Harp (Period)

A harp is a stringed musical instrument, with many strings stretched across an open triangular frame.  As an heraldic charge, it appears c.1450, in the arms of Lantschad or Landschaden [Ingeram 268].  The harp was frequent in arms attributed to King David; it acquired its present association with Ireland under the Tudors.

There are many variants of the harp in heraldry, depending on time and place.  The most common form is the “Irish (or Celtic) harp” or “cloyshacke”, as in the illustration:  this may always be used if no other form has been specified in the blazon.  Some Society blazons specify the shape of the forepillar (e.g., “carved in the shape of a woman’s body”), but this was not done in period; it’s considered an artistic detail worth no heraldic difference.   In Society armory, the harp has the forepillar to dexter by default; a “harp proper”, like all wooden charges, is brown.

For related charges, see lyre.  See also jew’s-harp.

The Ministry of Arts bears:  Purpure, an Irish harp Or.

Lucien de Pontivi bears:  Sable, in fess two harps argent.

Theodosius Athanasius bears:  Argent, a Byzantine harp azure, a bordure compony azure and Or.

This entry was posted on February 1, 2014, in .

Harpy; Frauenadler

Harpy guardant (Period)

Harpy guardant (Period)

Frauenadler (Period)

Frauenadler (Period)

The harpy is a monster from Greek myth, where it’s defined as a vulture with the head and breast of a woman, whose reputation is for bloodthirst.  The harpy is found as a charge in the arms of Entyrdene or Tenterden, c.1460 [RH; also Dennys 127]; frequently, only the woman’s head is shown, not the breasts.  The harpy’s default posture seems to be close and guardant, but this is frequently made explicit.

Two other woman-bird monsters are usually classed as harpies, though their connotations differ.  Like the harpy, they have the head and breast of a woman.  The “frauenadler” has the body of an eagle; it’s a German charge, found in the arms of Rysdorfer or Rysdorp, c.1370 [Gelre 98], and more famously in the civic arms of Nürnberg, early 16th Century [Dennys 129].  Its default posture seems to be displayed and guardant, but again, this is frequently made explicit.

The “sirin harpy” is a charge unique to the Society:  a benign creature from Russian legend, with the body of a partridge.  Its “proper” coloration is with Caucasian human parts, the plumage a mix of brown, grey and purple, with no one color predominating.  Like the standard harpy, the sirin harpy seems to be close by default.

Szabó Éva Mária bears:  Sable, a harpy and on a chief argent two roses gules.

Kazimira Suchenko bears:  Argent, a frauenadler azure, face and breast proper.

Clea de Húnedoara bears as a badge:  Argent, a brunette sirin harpy statant guardant to sinister proper within a bordure engrailed purpure.

This entry was posted on February 1, 2014, in .

Harrow

Harrow (Period)

Harrow (Period)

A harrow is a farming tool for breaking up and smoothing the soil of a field; it’s dragged flat across the field, sometimes weighted with stones.  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of de Calchatera, mid-15th C. [Triv 93], and the canting arms of Harrow, 1610 [Guillim1 202].  The harrow is palewise, with the yoke for the rope to chief, by default.

Loxley of Côte du Ciel bears: Or, a wooden harrow proper and a chief enarched azure.

This entry was posted on February 1, 2014, in .

Hat

Albanian cap (Period)

Albanian cap (Period)

Cap of maintenance (Period) (Reserved)

Cap of maintenance (Period/Reserved)

A hat is an article of clothing which covers the head.  There are a wide variety of hats used in heraldry; no type of hat is the default, and there exists no standard “generic” hat.  The exact type of hat thus needs to be blazoned; this was frequently done by a simple description, e.g., “a conical hat”, as in the arms of von Bornstedt, 1605 [Siebmacher 177].  One form quite common in Continental heraldry is blazoned in modern French as un bonnet albanais, an “Albanian cap”, although we can find no connection between it and Albania.

One specific type of hat found in period armory was the “cap of maintenance” or “cap of dignity”.  It was used in Scots crests to signify baronial status; but it was used in English crests after 1350 by non-peers [Hope2 155].  It was also used as a charge in its own right, as in the incredibly ugly civic arms of Gloucester, 1536 [Hope2 335, Parker 333].  In the Society, the cap of maintenance is reserved to members of the Order of the Pelican.

Jew's hat (Period)

Jew’s hat (Period)

Another hat in period armory was the judenhut or “Jew’s hat”; this form of hat was mandatory garb for Jews starting in the 11th Century, but soon became a mark of honor among them.  It’s found in the canting arms of Judden, c.1370 [Gelre 94], and was used in the armory of both Jews and Gentiles [Edward Kandel, “The Origin of Some Charges:, Coat of Arms vol.1 (N.S.) No.95, Autumn 1975, p.208].  It is accepted for use in the Society.

 

 

 

 

Cardinal's hat (Period)

Cardinal’s hat (Period)

Mitre (Period)

Mitre (Disallowed)

Of religious headgear, the “mitre” was used as a charge almost exclusively in arms and crests of bishops and bishoprics; the few secular examples, such as the arms of Kirchberg, mid-16th C. [NW 175], are not sufficient to dispel this appearance of presumption.  The mitre has been disallowed, pending further examples of its secular use.  The “cardinal’s hat” or “protonotary hat”, on the other hand, is commonly found in secular armory with no religious implications, such as the arms of von Dobeneck, 1605 [Siebmacher 151].

 

 

Jester's cap (Accepted)

Jester’s cap (Accepted)

Flat cap (Accepted)

Flat cap (Accepted)

Of hats unique to Society armory, a popular type is the “fool’s cap” or “jester’s cap”:  a forked hat of two or three points, with bells at the points.  This sits on the head, as opposed to the (more period) jester’s hood, which completely covers the head.  There is also the “flat cap”:  a brimmed beret, which may be jewelled or befeathered, as exemplified in the drawings of Holbein, 16th C.

 

 

 

Phrygian cap (Accepted)

Phrygian cap (Accepted)

Double-horned hennin (Accepted)

Double-horned hennin (Accepted)

The “Phrygian cap” is a floppy, conical hat found in Greek art.  The “hennin” is a woman’s head covering, from the 15th C., with either a single conical point or a double-horned form; the type must be specified.  Though the hennin was usually worn with a veil, in Society armory it may be drawn with or without a veil, at the artist’s discretion; the illustration shows a double-horned hennin.  The “arming cap” is a close-fit skullcap, worn inside a helm as insulation.

 

 

 

Cap of Mercury (Accepted)

Cap of Mercury (Accepted)

Finally, the “petasus” or “cap of Mercury” is a flat wide hat with wings; it was one of the accoutrements of the Greek god.  For related charges, see head (human’s), helm, hood.

Alice Jean Huewy bears:  Azure, on a bend sinister argent three Albanian caps reversed palewise azure.

Casamira Jawjalny bears:  Azure, a jester’s hat lozengy gules and Or and a chief Or.

Edmund Renfield Wanderscribe bears:  Per bend potenty gules and argent, a sun in his splendour Or and a cap of Mercury azure, winged argent.

Lucrezia di Bartolomeo bears as a badge:  Purpure, on a heart Or a double-horned hennin gules, trimmed argent, a bordure Or.

Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib bears:  Azure, in saltire a ladle inverted and a recorder between four Jewish hats Or.

Christopher Thomas bears:  Argent, a flat cap purpure plumed and on a chief azure three Pierrot masks argent.

Valentine Christian Warner bears:  Vert, three long conical caps Or turned up ermine.

Declan of Drogheda bears:  Argent, a Phrygian cap purpure.

Brendan Kanobe bears:  Argent, a sugar-loaf hat gules and a bordure sable.

Dirk of Drei Eichen bears:  Or, a cardinal’s hat gules and on a chief sable, three fleurs-de-lys Or.

Sveinn Harðfari bears:  Per bend Or and bendy gules and Or, a demon’s head couped affronty gules wearing an arming cap sable.

This entry was posted on February 1, 2014, in .