Hautboy (Period)

Hautboy (Period)

An hautboy, or hautbois, is a double-reed musical instrument, the ancestor to the modern oboe; the name means literally “high-wood”.  It’s also called a “shawm” or “shaum”, though this name implies a more rustic instrument; the distinctions are heraldically negligible.  The hautboy is found as a charge in the arms of Bourden, 1610 [Guillim1 200].

Like the recorder, the hautboy and shawm come in a variety of sizes and ranges (e.g., the “treble shawm” shown in the illustration).  Their default orientation is palewise, bell to base, with the fingerholes facing the viewer.  Their “proper” coloration is brown, the color of wood.  For related charges, see krummhorn, rackett.

Mór Bran bears:  Per bend sinister argent and vert, a crow sable and an hautboy bendwise sinister argent.

Simon de Rouen bears:  Per bend sinister gules and purpure, in pale three hautboys bendwise within a bordure Or.

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