Balance

Hanging balance (Period)

Hanging balance (Period)

A balance is a weighing instrument, consisting of a lever arm with two pans.  Though often used in medieval commerce, it’s best known as one of the attributes of the Roman goddess Justitia (Justice), and is thus a symbol of justice and fairness.

Sometimes the balance is loosely termed “a set of scales”, though in strict fact the scales are simply the balance arm and pans alone; since scales have been registered as charges in their own right, it’s best to use the correct term.

Two forms of the balance are found in Society armory.  The form found in medieval armory is the “hand balance” or “hanging balance”, with a handle to chief; it’s found in the allusive arms (Latin iustus, “just”) of di Iusti, mid-15th C. [Triv 180].  As the period form of the charge, the hanging balance is now considered the default balance for Society armory, although it’s often blazoned explicitly.

Standing balance (Disallowed)

Standing balance (Disallowed)

Society armory also has the “standing balance” on a pedestal, a modern symbol of the legal profession.  This form is always specified in blazon.  With no examples from period, either as an artifact or in period armory, the standing balance is no longer permitted for Society use.

Marcus Parvus Constantinopolitanus bears:  Gules, three standing balances argent.

Conrad Tolbert Regnault bears:  Azure, a sword proper supporting on its point a pair of scales Or.

Theodore Barrister bears:  Vert, a hanging balance and a chief Or.

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