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Rabbit

Rabbit statant (Period)

Rabbit statant (Period)

The rabbit is a pacifistic beast, the medieval symbol of both timidity and sexual appetite.  Heraldically, the category includes the “hare”; while the hare is held to be drawn with longer ears, the two terms are usually considered interchangeable.  Other medieval terms for the beast include “coney” and “leveret” (as in the canting arms of Coningesby and Levyer, respectively).  The rabbit is found in armory as early as 1320 [DBA1 294].

Rabbits and hares are sejant by default, though in period that posture was often drawn so low as to be indistinguishable from statant; they are often found couchant or salient as well.  The illustration shows a rabbit statant.  A “rabbit (or hare) proper” is understood to be brown.

Markus Wilhelm von Reilingen bears:  Quarterly gules and azure, a rabbit sejant Or.

Donata Bonacorsi bears:  Purpure, a hare sejant argent.

Ellyn Dawndelyon d’Azay bears:  Or, a coney rampant to sinister sable.

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Rackett

Rackett (Accepted)

Rackett (Accepted)

A rackett is a double-reed musical instrument, dating from the 16th Century [Grove 20:719].  It has a compact body in which multiple air columns are drilled and joined, thus achieving the low notes of a bassoon in a very small space.  No examples of the rackett have been found in medieval armory.  For related charges, see hautboy.

Stefan von der Heide bears:  Argent semy of musical notes sable, on a pale gules a rackett Or.

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Rainbow

Rainbow (Period)

Rainbow (Period)

A rainbow is a multi-colored arc found in the sky in rainy or misty weather.  As depicted in heraldry, it’s an arc fesswise, embowed to chief, the ends terminating in clouds.  The default heraldic rainbow has four bands; when blazoned “proper”, these bands are Or, gules, vert, and argent, with argent clouds [Parker 488].  On a light field, the bands’ order is changed:  azure, vert, Or, and gules, with the tincture of the clouds to be specified.  The rainbow is a period charge:  a rainbow throughout proper is found in the arms of von Mosen, 1605 [Siebmacher 159].

The “natural rainbow proper”, a Society invention, has white clouds, and seven colored bands, as found in nature:  red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.  As it’s the rainbow, not the clouds, that must be recognized, a natural rainbow proper may not be used on a color field.  Its use is considered a step from period practice.  See also heavenly bodies.

The Baron of Sundragon bears:  Argent, a rainbow gules, argent, azure, Or and purpure, clouded within a laurel wreath azure.

Adriana of Hawkwood bears:  Ermine, a rainbow proper clouded azure, a bordure sable.

Gabrielle Cartier bears:  Or, a natural rainbow proper clouded sable, a chief indented pean.

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Rake

Rake (Period)

Rake (Period)

A rake is an agricultural tool with prongs or teeth set transversely at the end of a long handle; it’s used for gathering leaves, grass, hay, &c from the ground.  It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms (German Rechen) of Rechenberg as early as c.1370 [Gelre 34v].  The rake is palewise, handle to base by default.

Iliya Volkov bears as a badge:  A rake argent.

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Rastrillo

Rastrillo (Period)

Rastrillo (Period)

A rastrillo is a charge from Spanish armory, of uncertain origin.  It has been described variously as a form of portcullis and as the head of a rake.  It is certainly a period charge, found in the arms of Sarasa, mid-16th C [Armeria 285].

Isabella Benalcázar bears as a badge:  A rastrillo azure.

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Recorder

Recorder (Accepted)

Recorder (Accepted)

A recorder is a musical instrument of the woodwind family, with a fipple mouthpiece and six or more finger holes; the earliest surviving example dates to c.1390.  Though a period instrument, the recorder doesn’t appear to have been used in period armory.

Recorders came in several sizes, particularly in the Renaissance [Grove 21:41]; the alto recorder, seen in the illustration, seems to be the Society default.  The recorder is shown palewise and affronty, with the finger holes to the viewer, by Society default; its “proper” tincture is brown, the color of wood.  For related charges, see cornetto, flute, hautboy, krummhorn.

Jame the Hayree Harryson bears:  Azure, three recorders in fess and a bordure Or.

Cáelainn ingen Muiredaig bears:  Per pale vert and sable, three recorders bendwise Or.

Morgan of Surrey bears:  Azure, a recorder within a bordure rayonny Or.

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Reptiles

The term “reptile” here applies to all large, scaled, cold-blooded creatures; not just true reptiles, but amphibians as well.  Any reptile known to period Europeans may be used in the Society – though, if the reptile is not itself European, its use may be considered a step from period practice, as is the case for the alligator.  (An exception would be made for non-European reptiles actually used in period European armory, but no examples have been adduced.)

For specific entries, see: frog, lizard, serpent, tortoise.

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Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros (Period)

Rhinoceros (Period)

The rhinoceros is a ponderous beast, slow to anger, and famed for its hide’s inpenetrability.  It’s a period charge, found as the crest of William Wade, 1574 [Woodcock & Robinson, Heraldry in Historic Houses of Britain, p.163], and as the crest of the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries, 1617 [Bromley & Child 1-3].  The period heraldic examples seem to be directly based on a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer, 1515 – as is the illustration.  The rhinoceros is statant by default.

Süleyman al-Hazar bears:  Vert, in pale three rhinoceroses passant argent.

Kendall Tempest bears:  Argent, a rhinoceros rampant gules.

Fedor Turov syn bears:  Azure, a rhinoceros Or.

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Ribbon

Ribbon (Disallowed)

Ribbon (Disallowed)

A ribbon, or riband, is a long narrow strip of silk, linen, &c.  Though the ribbon had at one time been used as a charge in its own right in Society heraldry, the practice is now disallowed.  Ribbons may still be used, however, in conjunction with another charge:  e.g., as the decoration on a chaplet.

Sometimes the term “riband” was used to mean a diminutive of the bend by 19th Century heraldic writers, but it is more often used in its normal sense; and always so in Society heraldry.  For related charges, see escroll.

The Gyllene bandets orden, of Nordmark, bears:  A ribbon Or.

Aegina de Spencer bears:  Gules, a mascle of two ribbons entwined, two ends pendant from chief Or, thereon in cross four sunflowers proper.

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Ring

Gemmed ring (Period)

Gemmed ring (Period)

A ring is a piece of jewelry worn on the finger, consisting of a precious metal band set with gems.  It is termed a “gemmed (or finger) ring” to distinguish it from an annulet.  The gemmed ring is a period charge, found in the arms of von Enzberg, c.1450 [Ingeram 104; also Siebmacher 110]; the gemstone is to chief by default.

The Baron of Stromgard bears as a badge:  A gem ring argent gemmed gules.

Katerina von Altenstein bears:  Or, a raven and on a chief sable three finger rings Or gemmed argent.

Sofiye Darkhawk bears:  Argent, a wolf statant erect contourny reguardant sable, breathing flames and sustaining a finger ring gules, gemmed azure.

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