Archives

Wagon

Wagon (Period)

Wagon (Period)

Covered wagon (Accepted)

Covered wagon (Accepted)

A wagon is a four-wheeled cart for carrying goods, usually made to be drawn by a horse or ox; it’s also known simply as a “cart”.  Its “proper” coloration is brown, the color of wood; it faces dexter by default.  The examples from period armory, as in the arms of de Brambilla, mid-15th C. [Triv 69], show open grates for the wagon’s sides; most wagons in Society armory have solid sides.

A two-wheeled variant, the “oxcart” (Italian baroccio), is found in the canting arms of di Barozi, mid-15th C. [Triv 76].

Pageant wagon (Accepted)

Pageant wagon (Accepted)

War-wagon (Accepted)

War-wagon (Accepted)

Society variants of the wagon include the “covered wagon”, with a cloth covering stretched over circular hoops; the illustration is taken from the Douce psalter, c.1320.  Similar is the “pageant wagon”, a wheeled litter, with curtains and ornamentation.  Finally, there’s the “war-wagon”, with an embattled top and arrow slits.  None of these variants have yet been attested in period armory.  For related charges, see wheelbarrow.

Æsa the Fierce bears:  Vert, a wagon within an annulet argent.

Gunnora Aldyne bears:  Azure, on a pale between two carts argent, a mouse rampant azure.

Gavin Reynes bears:  Or, a pageant wagon gules, its pennon staves and pennons azure, and its frontal curtain azure charged with a cross Or.

Alail Horsefriend bears as a badge:  Per fess azure and argent, a war-wagon counterchanged and enflamed to sinister chief proper.

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Wall

Wall (Period)

Wall (Period)

Wall issuant from base, with door (Period)

Wall issuant from base, with door (Period)

A wall is a stone barrier or fence.  It may be found attached to an edifice, such as a tower or castle; the arms of Vinay, c.1370, show a tower with a wall extending to sinister [Gelre 50].  However, the wall was frequently used as an independent charge in its own right.

Two forms of wall are found in period armory.  The default form is embattled and throughout, negligibly different from a fess embattled; this form is found in the arms of Wineck, c.1460 [GATD 20v].  The other form of wall issues from base, which must be explicitly blazoned; this form is found in the arms of Kettenberg or Calterberg, also c.1460 [GATD 20v].  The latter form of wall may be fortified with watch towers, or have a port or gate; such details are always blazoned.  The illustration shows a wall issuant from base with a gate.

As walls are assumed to be of stone, they are frequently drawn masoned, even when not explicitly blazoned.  For related charges, see bridge, fence.

Joella of Blue Lion’s Keep bears:  Per fess argent and azure, a lion passant and a tower, conjoined to sinister to a wall, all within a bordure counterchanged.

Ziegfried Gunter von Wieselburg bears:  Or, a wall issuant from base gules, the gate closed proper, and issuant from the battlements a demi-weasel rampant sable.

Griffith Jenner bears:  Sable, a wall issuant from base argent masoned and portalled sable and in chief three A-frame plumb lines Or.

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Water-bouget

Water-bouget (Period)

Water-bouget (Period)

A water-bouget is a pair of water bags on a yoke, drawn in a highly stylized heraldic form.  It is one of the most ancient of charges, dating from 1244 in the arms of de Ros (Roos, Ross, Rous) [Asp2 212].  There are several period depictions of the water-bouget; no difference is counted between them.  The illustration is taken from the Garter stall plate of Sir John Bourchier, d.1474.  See also bottell (leather).

Constance Grey bears:  Azure, three water-bougets Or.

Elspeth of Seal Cove bears:  Purpure, a water-bouget erminois.

Margaret de Mey bears:  Gules, three water-bougets argent.

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Wave

Wave (Disallowed)

Wave (Disallowed)

Japanese great wave (Disallowed)

Japanese great wave (Disallowed)

A wave is a crest or swell on the surface of a body of water.  Two stylizations are found in Society heraldry, one Occidental and one Oriental; neither is permitted any longer, though for different reasons.

The Occidental ocean wave may be stylized as one of the single elements of the wavy-crested line of partition; or it may be drawn naturalistically, with foam and spray.  These stylizations are considered either “landscape heraldry” or intrusively modern, and are therefore disallowed.

In Japanese Mon, the nami or Great Wave employs a different stylization, as borne by Oguri [Hawley 75]; but it cannot be described using European blazonry terms.  This brings it outside the Society’s domain; it is therefore disallowed.

The Society’s default for waves changed over the years; both dexter-facing and sinister-facing waves have been called the default.  (Dexter-facing waves have been default more often, and both the illustrated waves face dexter.)  The most recent Society practice has been to blazon the wave’s orientation explicitly.  For related charges, see stream.

Genevieve du Puits bears:  Azure, a wave reversed argent and in chief a sun sable, fimbriated argent.

Ryugen Morite bears:  Sable, a Japanese dragon’s head issuant from a Great Wave reversed issuant from sinister increscentwise argent.

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Weapons

Weapons are implements designed for combat or war; unlike armor, they are understood to be primarily offensive in nature.  As medieval heraldry was originally borne by the warrior class, weapons were often used as charges.

For specific entries, see:  arrow, axe, battering ram, bow, cannon, catapult, chaine shot, crossbow, fireball, flail, gun, hammer, knife, mace, pole-arm, pole-cannon, sling, spear, staff (club), sword, trident, vajhra, zulfikar.  See also quintain, quiver, scabbard.

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Weinleiter

Weinleiter bendwise (Period)

Weinleiter bendwise (Period)

A weinleiter is a handbarrow for carrying wine barrels, consisting of two long poles with two crosspieces.  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Vasant, 1605 [Siebmacher 106].  It doesn’t seem to have a default orientation; the illustration shows a weinleiter bendwise.

Tamara Samuilova of Thamesreach bears as a badge:  A weinleiter bendwise vert.

Hallr brjost Starsson bears as a badge:  Per pale Or and quarterly gules and argent, a weinleiter bendwise sinister sable.

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Well

Open well (Period)

Open well (Period)

Covered well (SFPP)

Covered well (SFPP)

A well is a vertical shaft sunk into the earth, from which water is drawn.  It’s usually depicted as the edifice built around the hole to prevent accidents:  a short masonwork wall.  It’s commonly round, as in the arms of Pronner von Tahlhausen, 1605 [Siebmacher 98]; but there are also period examples of square wells (in the canting arms of Hadiswell, 1586 [Bedingfeld 58]) and hexagonal wells (in the canting arms of da Fontana, mid-15th C. [Triv 149]).

Some period arms depict wells (of all shapes) with a swape, or lever arm for drawing water.

In more modern heraldry, the well is depicted with a wooden cover or roof, and a cradle for a pail and rope [Franklyn 346].  This form of well was the first form registered in the Society; while still permitted, its use is now considered a step from period practice.

Neither form of well is the Society default.  The type of well must be explicitly blazoned:  either “open” or “roofless”, or “covered” or “roofed”.

Japanese well-frame (Accepted)

Japanese well-frame (Accepted)

There is also the “Japanese well-frame” or “well-curb” (igeta), used in Mon [Hawley 79], but not yet dated to period.  The motif is still permitted in Society armory; its Society default has the laths fretted as on a mascle.  For related charges, see fountain.

Jon Blackwell bears:  Argent, a covered well sable.

Alina Meraud Bryte bears:  Per fess rayonny azure and argent, an open book argent and a roofless well gules.

Gwenllian Brighid Hertewelle bears:  Vert, in pale a stag’s head cabossed Or and a roofless stone well argent.

Kameyama Kengōro bears as a badge:  Argent, the kanji shu within a Japanese well-frame sable.

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Werewolf

Werewolf passant reguardant (Period)

Werewolf passant reguardant (Period)

The werewolf is a bloodthirsty monster from folklore, said to be a human who changes into a wolf during the full moon.  Its heraldic depiction, as found in the crest of Kaylewaye, late-16th C., is that of a wolf with human hands instead of feet, and human ears [Bedingfeld 92].

The werewolf has no default posture; the illustration shows a werewolf passant reguardant.

Jeanne Marie Lacroix bears as a badge:  A werewolf passant reguardant vert.

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Whale

Whale (Period)

Whale (Period)

Narwhal haurient (Accepted)

Narwhal haurient (Accepted)

The whale is a large sea-creature, known today as a cetacean mammal, but regarded in period as a fish; it was hunted from ships for its meat, oil and baleen.  It is found in period heraldic tracts (e.g., de Bara’s Blason des Armoiries, 1581 [88]), but Your Author has not found an unarguable example from period armory.

The medieval depiction of the whale was somewhat fanciful; the illustration is taken from Gesner’s De Avibus et Piscibus, 1560.  If a naturalistic depiction is desired, it must be specified as a “natural whale”, or more explicitly, e.g., a “sperm whale”.  The whale is naiant by default.

In Society armory, there is also the “narwhal” or “narwhale”, a cetacean with a long unicorn-like “horn” (actually its tooth).  It’s generally depicted as found in nature.  The illustration shows a narwhal haurient.  For related charges, see dolphin.

The Baron of Smoking Rocks bears:  Argent, a whale haurient embowed sable within a laurel wreath vert.

André of Stormhold bears:  Argent, a whale naiant azure.

Arinbjorn Talverri bears:  Or, a narwhal haurient purpure.

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Wheel

Wheel (Period)

Wheel (Period)

Dexter half of a wheel (Period)

Dexter half of a wheel (Period)

A wheel is a circular spoked frame, attached to an axle by its hub and permitted to spin freely.  Sets of wheels are normally found attached to wagons, but wheels are often found as charges in their own right.  The default wheel is more fully blazoned a “wagon-wheel” or “cartwheel”; it’s found as early as c.1340, in the arms of Berg [Zurich 232].  The number of spokes is usually left to the license of the artist – six or eight spokes seem to be the norm – but sometimes the number is explicitly blazoned.  The wheel’s “proper” coloration is brown, the color of wood.

Particularly in German heraldry, we find examples of partial wheels:  a quarter-wheel, as in the arms of von Billick, 1605 [Siebmacher 71], or a half-wheel, as in the arms of Rusetzker [Siebmacher 73].  The orientation of the partial wheel (e.g., “dexter half of a wheel”, as in the illustration) must be specified in blazon.

Catherine's wheel (Period)

Catherine’s wheel (Period)

Cog-wheel (Period)

Cog-wheel (Period)

Variants of the wheel include the “Catherine’s wheel”, the symbol of the martyr St. Catherine, with curved knife-blades radiating from the rim.  As an heraldic charge, it’s found in the arms of Brentingham, Bishop of Exeter 1370-94 [DBA3 443].  There is the “cog-wheel”, also called a  “gear-wheel” or “mill-wheel”, with an embattled outer edge, used in mechanisms from tiny clockworks to giant mill-works; it’s found in the canting arms (German Mühle, “mill”) of Mülinen c.1460 [GATD 20v].

Water-wheel (Accepted)

Water-wheel (Accepted)

Finally, there is the “water-wheel”, unique to Society armory, with vanes on the outer edge to draw power from running water.  See also grindstone, spinning wheel.

Cyprian of the Wheel bears:  Argent, a wooden cartwheel of twelve spokes proper.

Caterine Barré de Venoix bears:  Barry azure and Or, a Catherine wheel gules.

Iathus of Scara bears:  Ermine, a cog wheel gules.

Patrick MacFynn bears:  Per chevron vert and azure, a chevron argent between two natural dolphins embowed respectant Or and a water wheel argent.

Catherine de la Loire bears:  Purpure, a Catherine’s wheel missing the dexter chief quarter between three fleurs-de-lys argent.

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