Drop-spindle (Period)

Drop-spindle (Period)

A drop-spindle is a rod set in a whorl, used as a tool for winding fiber into thread by hand.  It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms of von Spindlwerg, mid-16th C [NW 137].  Guillim, 1610 [204], also terms it a “wharrow-spindle” or “fuseau”, and assigns it to the canting arms of Trefusis.

The drop-spindle is shown with a load of thread by default; the fact is sometimes explicitly blazoned, e.g., a “threaded” or “full” drop-spindle.  Empty drop-spindles are permitted, but must be so specified.

The period form of drop-spindle, with a small whorl and ellipsoidal load of thread (as in the illustration), is the preferred form for Society armory; the modern form, with a large disc-shaped or cone-shaped whorl and conical load, is no longer permitted.

For related charges, see lace bobbin, quill of yarn.  See also distaff, shuttle (weaver’s), spinning wheel, yarn.

Helva of Saxony bears:  Vert, a full drop-spindle argent.

Heiritha Cobbley of Stanford bears:  Per bend sinister azure and sable, a drop-spindle bendwise argent.

Scolastica la souriete bears as a badge:  A drop-spindle sable, threaded ermine.

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