Archives

Mace

Spiked mace (Period); flanged mace (Period)

Spiked mace (Period); flanged mace (Period)

Morningstar (Accepted); civic mace (Accepted)

Morningstar (Accepted); civic mace (Accepted)

A mace is a heavy club-like weapon; the metal head is often spiked, knobbed, flanged or otherwise shaped to best penetrate armor.  In heraldry, if a specific shape of head is desired, it must be blazoned:  e.g., the “spiked mace”, or the “flanged mace”.  The spiked mace seems the more common form in heraldry; in German armory, it dates to c.1340, in the arms of Wurmlingen [Zurich 439].  The flanged mace is found in the arms of di Veccii, mid-15th C. [Triv 362].

The mace was also a symbol of secular authority in mundane heraldry.  In this form, it is termed a “civic mace”, and is so highly decorative as to be unsuitable as a weapon.

Similar to the mace is the “morningstar” or “morgenstern”, which has a spiked mace’s head attached by a chain to a handle.  None of these variants carry any heraldic difference.  For related charges, see flail, hammer, staff.

The Constable of the West bears:  Azure, a flanged mace Or.

Heather MacTeague bears:  Quarterly sable and gules, four maces argent.

Regina Gunnvor Morningstar bears:  Argent ermined gules, a morningstar bendwise sinister within a bordure sable.

This entry was posted on May 17, 2014, in .

Mail

Mail shirt (Period)

Mail shirt (Period)

Bend of mail (Disallowed)

Bend of mail (Disallowed)

Mail is a type of armor, consisting of myriad rings of metal woven into a form; it is sometimes redundantly (and erroneously) termed “chain mail”.  Mail gauntlets, coifs, and shirts have been used in period heraldry – usually worn on a human, but sometimes charges in their own right, as in the mail shirt (illustrated) in the canting arms (from dial. Italian maja or maglia d’arme) of de Mayete, mid-15th C. [Triv 235].

There have also been cases of ordinaries being drawn as mail:  e.g., “a bend of mail”, showing the field through the rings.  This had been justified by the period examples of ordinaries of chain; the practice has been discontinued, and is no longer registered in Society armory.  (This should not be confused with ordinaries maily, which are solid charges bearing a field treatment.)

James of Penmore bears:  Vair ancient, a sinister arm embowed, armored and gauntleted of chain mail sable, grasping a closed book gules.

Rhiannon Mor MacFhearghius bears:  Gules, a bend sinister of chain mail between two Arabic lamps Or.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .

Maily

Mailly field (Disallowed)

Mailly field (Disallowed)

Maily, or mailed, is a field treatment unique to the Society.  The field is semy of annulets interlaced, to form the appearance of mail armor.  The treatment has been disallowed, as incompatible with period armorial design.

Charles d’Arnaud bears:  Gules mailed Or.

Edmund Godric Scrymgeour bears:  Quarterly azure and argent all mailly counterchanged.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .

Man-serpent

Man-serpent erect and guardant (Period)

Man-serpent erect and guardant (Period)

The man-serpent is a monster, a serpent with a human face or head.  In period, it usually had a woman’s head, as in the supporter of Graf von Cossentania, 1483, and as the crest of Walter Bonham, c.1547 [Dennys CoA].  While usually found guardant in mundane heraldry, it is nonetheless explicitly blazoned so; the illustration shows a man-serpent erect and guardant.  See also serpent.

Lucien of Bath bears:  Per chevron throughout Or and vert, two chaplets of thorn vert and a man-serpent erect guardant tail nowed Or faced proper crined gules.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .

Man-tyger

Man-tyger passant guardant (Period)

Man-tyger passant guardant (Period)

The man-tyger is a monster, consisting of a lion with a human head; sometimes the feet have been replaced by human hands.  It’s been suggested [Dennys 116] that the monster is an heraldic representation of the baboon of nature:  the cant with Babyngton, who used the man-tyger as a badge in 1529, supports this theory.  The man-tyger is very similar to the manticore, and may be considered an artistic variant.

The man-tyger doesn’t seem to have a default posture, so this must be explicitly blazoned; the illustration shows a man-tyger passant guardant.  For related charges, see lamia.  See also sphinx.

Godfrey of Inwood bears:  Vert, a bat-winged man-tyger sejant guardant within a bordure argent.

Beathach mu Saoileachedainn bears:  Azure, a winged man-tyger salient guardant within a tressure wreathed Or.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .

Mancatcher

Mancatcher (Accepted)

Mancatcher (Accepted)

A mancatcher, or catch-pole, is an implement for restraining people at a safe distance:  in war, to pull soldiers from horses; in peace, to capture escaping felons.  It consists of a long pole with a spring-loaded collar at the end.  The mancatcher was a period artifact – the illustration is based on a 16th Century German example [Stone 434] – but it was not used in period armory.  The mancatcher is palewise, collar to chief, by Society default.  For related charges, see pole-arm, streitgabelklinge.

Malachi Tay bears:  Azure, a chevron argent ermined vert, overall a mancatcher issuant from base Or.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .

Mandrake

Mandrake (Period)

Mandrake (Period)

The mandrake is a plant whose root resembles a human figure; it is normally depicted with vague human features.  It may also be called “mandragora”.  The mandrake’s narcotic properties made it a favorite with mystics and herbalists.

In armory, the mandrake is rarely found in period armory:  e.g., the arms of Bodyam or Bodyham, c.1540 [Dennys 129; cf. also BSB Cod.Icon 291:43].  The mandrake is affronty by default; Society practice grants it difference from a human figure.

Cairistiona nic Bheathain bears:  Vert, a mandrake Or.

Martin Andreas of Windsor bears:  Azure, a mandrake argent between three goblets Or.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .

Manticore

Manticore statant guardant (Accepted)

Manticore statant guardant (Accepted)

The manticore is a monster, consisting of a lion’s body with a human face (sometimes head), a scorpion’s tail, and sometimes horns.  It was described in medieval bestiaries as also having three rows of teeth, but that detail seldom appears in Society armory.  The manticore is very similar to the man-tyger, and may possibly be an artistic variant; but no period heraldic examples of the monster have been found (though one 1613 grant misused the term to describe the lamia) [Gwynn-Jones 106; cf. Dennys 115].

The manticore doesn’t seem to have a default posture, so this must be explicitly blazoned; the illustration shows a manticore statant guardant.

Chèr du Bonvin de Bellevue bears:  Argent, a manticore rampant to sinister gules and a gore sinister azure.

Antonin Malyi Barsukov bears:  Per pale sable and azure, a manticore rampant within an orle Or.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .

Mantle

Mantle (Period)

Mantle (Period)

A mantle is an article of clothing, a long outer garment draped over the shoulders, covering one’s clothes.  Originally meant to provide warmth and protection, the mantle became an item of regalia for chivalric orders, such as the Order of the Garter.  It’s found as a charge in its own right, however, as in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, 1481 [Bromley & Child 174].  The mantle is affronty, slightly open, by default; it is frequently edged or lined of another tincture, and often shown with long cords in front for balance.

Hooded cloak (Accepted)

Hooded cloak (Accepted)

Similar to the mantle is the “hooded cloak”, likewise an article of outer garb draping the shoulders, with a hood covering the head.  Unlike the mantle, the hooded cloak is utilitarian in design and use.  It’s a period garment, with examples dating from at least 1312 [Neubecker 180]; but its use as an heraldic charge seems to be unique to the Society.  The hooded cloak is shown affronty, or turned slightly to dexter, by Society default, with the front of the cloak slightly open.

For related charges, see hood.

 

 

The Order of the Golden Mantle, of the East, bears:  A mantle Or.

Angharad Clog Llwyd ferch Madog ap Maradudd bears:  Vert, a hooded cloak argent lined sable, on a chief embattled argent three increscents sable.

Þorbjorn rauðfeldr bears:  Argent, a hooded cloak gules.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .

Martlet

Martlet (Period)

Martlet (Period)

The martlet is an heraldic bird, in many ways a stylized and generic bird.  Blazoned as a merle, merlette, or merlotte (“blackbird”), it was found in French armory as early as c.1185, in the canting arms of Mello [Pastoureau 150].  In English armory, the French term quickly became conflated with the martinet, a type of swallow or swift [Brault 241], and soon became highly stylized in form.  The martlet is found as early as c.1244, in the arms of the Earls of Pembroke [ANA2 210].  It remained a popular charge through the end of our period:  of the birds, only the eagle was more frequently used.

While the martlet’s exact form varied throughout period, by far the most common trait was its lack of legs:  small tufts of feathers take their place.  (This is due to the legend that the martlet was always airborne, never lighting on the ground.)  For purposes of Society blazonry, this lack of legs is the martlet’s defining characteristic.  The martlet was sometimes drawn without a beak (especially in France), and sometimes drawn with the forked tail of the swallow (especially in England), but neither of these were common in period.  The illustration is taken from the arms of Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, in the Luttrell Psalter, mid-14th C.

In the English system of cadency, the martlet is the brisure of the fourth son.  The martlet is close by default.

Éadaoin na Slebhte bears:  Gules, three martlets Or.

Tamsin Wylde bears:  Barry vert and argent, six martlets Or.

Lie de Camurac bears:  Per chevron vert and azure, three martlets argent.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .