A hempbreak, or hemp-bray, is a tool for crushing hemp or flax stalks, thus loosening the fibers for removal. It consists of a flat, legged base, with a hinged blade or toothed lid atop it. The hempbreak is a period charge: the form with the blade is found in the arms of von Habel, 1605 [Siebmacher 138], while the form with the toothed lid is the canting badge of Bray, early 16th C. [Siddons 37; also Walden 199].
The hempbreak is found in period armorial art both open and closed, with the hinge both to dexter and sinister; its exact orientation is thus not blazoned, and is not worth difference. The illustration shows the English (toothed) form of the charge. See also table.
Jahn Van Breeman bears: Vert, a hempbreak argent.
Ormr Grimolfsson bears: Per bend sinister sable and azure, a hempbreak Or.