Bull passant (Period)

Bull passant (Period)

This beast is the male bovine, noted for its size, strength, and temper.  The term here includes such bovines as the “ox”, the “steer”, and the “bison” or “buffalo”; though the buffalo is usually drawn with larger horns (as in the arms of Desenberch or Wezenborg, d.1393 [Gelre 53]), the exact term is often chosen for the sake of a cant.  As a charge, the bull dates from at least c.1370, in the arms of von Plessen [Gelre 100v]; in mundane armory, it is often drawn with a ring through its nose, even when this is not explicitly blazoned.

There is also the “cow”, the female bovine, drawn with prominent udders; and the “calf”, the young bovine, drawn without horns (as in the canting arms of Vele, 1275 [ANA2 166]).  Finally, Society armory includes the “yak”, the hairy wild bull of Asia.

None of the bovine family seems to have a default posture; the illustration shows a bull passant.  See also pelt.

The Baron of Stierbach bears:  Per fess embattled argent and gules, three bulls courant counterchanged, that in base within a laurel wreath argent.

Eadmund de Tonge of Arkengarth bears:  Pean, a bull passant to sinister argent.

Angus Murdoch Stewart bears:  Argent, a cow rampant purpure within a bordure gules.

Clifford of York bears:  Or, a yak statant guardant sable armed argent.

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