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Basket

Basket (Period)

Basket (Period)

A basket is a small container of woven cane or straw, with a handle for carrying.  The unqualified term refers to a generic round hand-basket; this form is found in the arms of Lyttylborne or Littleborn, c.1480 [DBA1 106; Parker 45; Bedingfeld 58].  Medieval heraldry has also the “bread-basket”, a two-handled basket filled with breadloaves, as found in the arms of Milton or Middleton Abbey, 1405 [DBA1 106, Parker 46].  For related charges, see fan (winnowing).  See also urinal.

Morwydd Fyngwen bears:  Azure, a basket Or, in chief three snowflakes argent.

Caterina Leonora de Forza d’Agro bears:  Or, a round-bottomed basket within a bordure vert.

Lisabetta Bartholomea Zanca bears:  Per pale gules and azure, a handbasket and a base Or.

This entry was posted on November 22, 2013, in .

Bat

Bat (Period)

Bat (Period)

The bat is a winged mouse-like beast; it’s also called a “reremouse”, “flittermouse” or “chausoriz”.  12th-Century bestiaries treated it as a bird, but with membranous wings rather than feathered; medieval thought considered the bat an embodiment of darkness (and dark emotions such as melancholy).  The bat is found as an heraldic charge in the arms of Burnynghill, c.1410 [DBA1 289].  It is displayed and guardant by default; indeed, so common was that posture for the bat that using any other posture is deemed a step from period practice; inverting the bat (in any posture) is disallowed altogether.

Elynor O’Brian bears:  Argent, three bats sable.

Thomas the Diaemus bears:  Vairy vert and argent, a bat displayed sable.

Antoine d’Aubry bears:  Quarterly ermine and gules, two reremice ermine.

This entry was posted on November 22, 2013, in .

Battering ram

Battering ram (Period)

Battering ram (Period)

A battering ram is a long shaft with a hard head, a weapon for breaking down doors and walls in a siege; the head is stylized as a ram’s head.  It wasn’t a common charge in period armory, but we’ve one example in the arms of Bertie, c.1550, who became Lords Willoughby of Eresby in 1555 (and Earls of Lindsey in 1626).  [“Parish Records of St. Michaels, Stamford”, The Reliquary, vol.xix, 1879, p.110; cf. Guillim1 227].  The battering ram is fesswise, head to dexter, by default.

Nicholas the Unshod bears:  Gules, a battering ram argent, armed and trimmed Or.

Willelm Castleford bears:  Sable, in chief a battering ram Or armed and garnished argent.

This entry was posted on November 22, 2013, in .

Beacon

Beacon (Period)

Beacon (Period)

A beacon is a signal tower, consisting of a pole with a fire-basket at the top, and a ladder on one side for those who feed the fire.  It is always drawn flammant, but the fact is often explicitly blazoned.  The beacon is found in the arms of Daunt, c.1510 [DBA1 106], but it’s better known as one of the badges of Henry V, d.1422 [HB 110].  See also brazier, lighthouse, torch (cresset).

The Riding of Beaconsgate bears:  Azure, a beacon within a laurel wreath Or.

Valdemar Wendel Bayard bears:  Per pale sable and gules, a beacon enflamed Or.

Wenyeva atte grene bears:  Per chevron argent and vert, three beacons enflamed counterchanged.

This entry was posted on November 27, 2013, in .

Bear

Bear sejant erect (Period)

Bear sejant erect (Period)

The bear is a large and rather ponderous beast, whose medieval reputation is mostly one of greediness.  It appears in armory as early as 1280, in the canting arms (Latin ursus) of Urs [ANA2 56].

Bears may be drawn muzzled in mundane armory, even when not specifically blazoned so.  Society armory also allows the “polar bear”, with a longer neck and wedge-shaped body; no difference is granted for this, and indeed, the distinction is frequently left unblazoned.

There doesn’t seem to be a default posture for bears; the illustration shows a bear sejant erect.

Morven of Carrick bears:  Checky gules and Or, a bear statant erect sable.

Sigismund Greussen bears:  Gules, a bear rampant ermine.

Hannah bat Aharon bears:  Or, in pale three bears passant gules.

Alan Silverbear bears:  Sable, in base a polar bear statant argent.

This entry was posted on November 27, 2013, in .

Beard

Beard (Period)

Beard (Period)

Moustache (Accepted)

Moustache (Accepted)

The beard is the facial hair of the human male, particularly that grown on the chin and jaws; it’s considered a facial ornament, at least by men.  It’s a period heraldic charge, found in the canting arms (Italian barba) of Barbani, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 272:87; cf. Woodward 203].

Similar to the beard is the “moustache”, which is the hair grown on a man’s upper lip only.  No example of the moustache, per se, is known in period armory.  However, based on the example of the beard, the moustache is considered acceptable in Society heraldry.

 

Tomaso da Barbiano bears as a badge:  A beard gules.

Pietro de Sant’Agata bears:  Argent, a beard sable and a tierce vert.

Robin of Gilwell bears:  Ermine, on a chief double-arched to base gules a moustache Or.

This entry was posted on November 27, 2013, in .

Beasts

Beasts in Society heraldry tend to follow the same conventions as those in mundane heraldry.  Any special Society usages for a given beast will be found in the entry for that beast.

Any beast known to period Europeans may be used in Society armory – though, if the beast is not itself European, its use may be considered a step from period practice.  (An exception is made for non-European beasts actually used in period European armory:  the elephant is probably the best-known example.)

For specific beasts, see:  antelope (natural), ape, badger, bat, bear, beaver, boar, bull, camel, cat, deer, dog, elephant, ermine, fox, goat, hedgehog, horse, hyena, ibex (natural), lion, mole, mongoose, mouse, panther (natural), rabbit, rhinoceros, sea-lion (natural), sheep, squirrel, tyger (natural), wolf.  See also demi-beast.

Gareth the Russel bears:  Azure, a skunk statant proper.

David of Staffa bears:  Or, a hippopotamus statant azure, a base engrailed vert.

Sven Örfhendur bears:  Argent, a sloth pendant contourny vert from a rod fesswise sable.

Rosatrude the Shrew bears:  Or, a water shrew statant to sinister sable marked argent.

This entry was posted on November 27, 2013, in .

Beaver

Beaver rampant (Period)

Beaver rampant (Period)

The beaver is a wise and gentle beast, whose medieval reputation was of industry and, strangely enough, chastity:  because its testicles were held to have medicinal value, it was said the beaver would bite them off when hunted, and thus escape its hunters.  It is found in period armory in the canting arms (German Biber) of Biber, c.1340 [Zurich 212], and of von Bibra, 1605 [Siebmacher 100].

The beaver is drawn in heraldic art with a broad, flat tail, as seen in nature – the tail is the beaver’s defining trait – but there’s little further resemblance between the herald’s depiction and the naturalist’s.  (The Society makes an exception when the beaver is blazoned “proper”; it’s then colored brown, and is more likely to be drawn naturalistically.)  There doesn’t seem to be a default posture; the illustration, from the arms of Bibrach or Biberach, 1413 [Conz.Const. ccviii, also Siebmacher 196], shows a beaver rampant.

Esteban Castore bears:  Vert, a beaver sejant erect gnawing on a silver birch tree proper.

Dauidh Fullam bears:  Per bend sinister gules and Or, a beaver sejant erect counterchanged.

Issabella Oger of Buckie bears:  Argent, a beaver rampant azure.

This entry was posted on November 27, 2013, in .

Bee

Bee (Period)

Bee (Period)

The bee is an industrious insect whose medieval reputation was of diligence, and (because it was thought bees never slept) of vigilance.  It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms of Bestone or Beeston, c.1460 [DBA1 389].

The bee is volant en arrière (sometimes called “tergiant”, and misblazoned “displayed”) by default.  The Society defines its “proper” tinctures with argent wings, upper body Or, lower body striped Or and sable; a bee proper is treated as a metal for contrast purposes.

The Order of the Bee, of Ealdormere, bears:  Argent, a bee gules.

Signe Scriffuerska bears:  Gules, three bees Or.

Cristoforo Donatello dei Visconti bears:  Sable semy of bees argent.

This entry was posted on November 27, 2013, in .

Beehive

Beehive (Period)

Beehive (Period)

A beehive is a box or other shelter for a colony of bees; it may also be termed a “bee skep”.  The heraldic form is the medieval variety, which is basket- or dome-shaped.  The beehive is a period charge, found in the arms of Fray, mid-16th C. [Bedingfeld 58].

Beehives are often depicted beset by bees, which fact is always blazoned.  See also bee.

Therasia Mellita bears:  Gules semy of bees, a beehive Or.

Artemisia of Nicaea bears:  Purpure, a beehive argent within bees in annulo Or.

Barbara MacAuley bears:  Azure, a beehive between four bees in cross argent.

This entry was posted on November 27, 2013, in .