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Firebird, Russian

Russian firebird volant bendwise (SFPP)

Russian firebird volant bendwise (Disallowed)

The Russian firebird is a fabulous bird from Russian folklore, whose feathers shine with light even when plucked.  It has strong parallels with the simurgh of Persian legend; indeed, given the similarities between the 19th Century Russian story of the prince Ivan and the firebird, and the 13th Century Persian story of the prince Isfandiyar and the simurgh, it would seem that the Russian firebird was a direct borrowing.  Certainly we have no evidence of the firebird (even in legend) before the 18th Century.  For this reason, the Russian firebird is no longer permitted to be registered; those already registered are considered a step from period practice.

All the Society’s examples of firebirds have the wings spread:  volant, displayed, &c.  The illustration shows a Russian firebird volant bendwise.  For related charges, see peacock, phoenix.

Tatiana Ivanovna bears:  Azure, a Russian firebird displayed Or, crested and its six tail feathers each charged with a heart gules.

Krzysia Wanda Kazimira bears:  Or, a Russian firebird volant gules, a bordure sable.

Giulietta da Venezia bears:  Per saltire purpure and sable, a Russian firebird volant bendwise argent.

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Fireplace

Fireplace with flames (Accepted)

Fireplace with flames (Accepted)

A fireplace is an open place in a room’s wall, lined with brick, in which fires may be lit to warm the room.  The fire is evidently blazoned explicitly.  Though a period artifact, the fireplace has not been adduced in period armory.  See also edifice.

Kalida Ivanovna bears:  Sable, within a fireplace argent, masoned sable, flames of fire proper.

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Fish

Fish naiant (Period)

Fish naiant (Period)

The term “fish”, as used in heraldry, refers to any marine creature not a monster.  The category includes the generic “fish”, which is drawn more or less like a trout, and which will conflict with all other types of fish.  More frequent in period heraldry are specific types of fish, such as the herring, the hake, the roach, and the salmon.  The distinctions between these specific types were often blurred: the exact type of fish was frequently chosen for a cant, as in the arms of Herring, Hake, de la Roche, and the Grafs von Salmen, respectively.

Also included in this category are the cetaceans, e.g., the porpoise or natural dolphin, the orca or killer whale, the narwhal, and the natural whale; though now known to be mammals, they are considered fish for heraldic purposes.

Finally, there are the crustaceans, e.g., the crab, the lobster, and the prawn.  These too are classed as fish in heraldry.  Unlike most other fish, however, crustaceans are tergiant by default.

As may be seen, given the wide variety of types of fish found in period armory, any fish known to period Europeans may be used in Society armory – though, if the fish is not itself European, its use is considered a step from period practice.  (An exception would be made for non-European fish actually used in period European armory, but no examples have been adduced.)  The examples of fish peculiar to Society armory include the North American “catfish”, the “swordfish”, and the “zydrach” – the latter being a period term for the hammerhead shark.

Salmon haurient (Period); chabot tergiant (Period)

Salmon haurient (Period); chabot tergiant (Period)

Three fish fretted in triangle (Period)

Three fish fretted in triangle (Period)

Fish are in general naiant by default.  Other fish postures include “haurient” (head to chief) and “uriant” or “urinant” (head to base); the word “embowed” might be added to any of these, although it is usually unnecessary.  Fish “fretted in triangle” are arranged as illustrated; the usage is described in Guillim, 1610 [170].  Non-crustacean fish tergiant are considered a step from period practice; an exception is made for flat fish such as the chabot, in the arms of Cabos or Cabot, c.1400 [Wapenboek Beyeren, fol.25v], where tergiant is their default posture.

In other respects, the fish of Society armory follow the same conventions as those of mundane armory.  The illustration shows a salmon haurient and a chabot (tergiant).  For specific entries, see:  barbel, calamarie, crab, dolphin, eel, lucy, sea-horse (natural), whale.

The Baron of Jararvellir bears:  Azure, on a fess between two catfish counternaiant Or, a laurel wreath vert.

The Shire of Frozen Mountain bears as a badge:  Three fish fretted in triangle gules.

Margery Colvere bears:  Azure, in pale two trout argent.

Ian O Kennavain bears:  Vert, a sturgeon in annulo Or.

Sean of Elmhurst bears:  Per bend azure and sable, a shark naiant to sinister argent.

Marina Jensdatter bears:  Gules, a salmon embowed within a bordure Or.

Jarvis of Hakesleah bears:  Purpure, three hakes haurient Or.

Brian of Stonemarche bears:  Argent, a chevron inverted sable between a chabot gules and two chabots azure.

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Fishhook

Fishhook (Period)

Fishhook (Period)

A fishhook is a metal wire, barbed and bent into a U, cast at the end of a line to catch fish.  It is a period charge:  an early version is found in the arms of von Born, c.1370 [Gelre 41v], and later in the arms of von Angelloch, 1605 [Siebmacher 125] and Medvile, 1610 [Guillim1 220].

The fishhook is palewise, couped end to chief and barb to dexter, by default.  Some Society examples terminate in a ring, but the fact is considered an unblazoned artistic detail.  See also hook.

Uilliam Ó Seaghdha bears:  Sable, a fishhook Or.

Ragnarr fra Dyflinnarskiri bears:  Per chevron sable and Or, three fishhooks counterchanged.

Drosten Sutherland bears:  Gules, a fishhook reversed Or within a bordure per pale sable and argent.

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Flag

Flag (Accepted)

Flag (Accepted)

A flag is a piece of cloth attached to a pole, allowed to fly in the breeze.  Flags are normally found as artistic details on castles, ships, &c; they’re usually termed “pennons” in such cases.  However, flags are sometimes found as charges in their own right.  Flags stream to dexter by Society default.

 

 

 

 

Banner bendwise (Period)

Banner bendwise (Period)

Gonfanon (Period)

Gonfanon (Period)

There are some other special terms for different types of flags:  A “banner” is a square or rectangular flag on a staff, as in the civic arms of Würtzburg, 1413 [Conz.Const. cvi].  A “gonfanon” is a rectangular or heater-shaped flag, hung from ropes at its top corners, as in the arms of the Counts of Auvergne, c.1275 [Asp2 220].  A “wyn” is a stiff triangular vane; it is mostly used for the sake of a cant.

 

 

Vexillum (Accepted)

Vexillum (Accepted)

In Society armory we find the “vexillum”, a standard borne by maniples of the Roman army; it denoted lesser rank than the aquila or eagle standard.

Flags are considered a medium for heraldic display.  Thus when used as a charge in Society heraldry, the design on a flag is also checked for conflict.  An uncharged flag is not considered presumptuous.

Stoth, Stomper of the Gilded Moth bears:  Or, two square flags in saltire azure and vert, surmounted by another palewise gules, all staved proper.

Alroy Cullen bears:  Argent, in bend two pennoncelles fesswise gules flying to dexter from two wooden staves palewise proper, the dexter staff surmounted by the sinister pennoncelle.

Goldwyn of Britain bears as a badge:  A wyn Or.

Thomas d’Orleans bears as a badge:  Azure, upon a Roman vexillum issuant from base Or the letters A E T I sable.

Eldrich Gaiman bears as a badge:  A gonfanon counter-ermine.

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Flail

Flail (Period)

Flail (Period)

A flail is a weight, swung from a long handle by a joint or chain.  Originally used to thresh grain, it had certainly been adapted as a weapon by the 13th Century [Stone 230].  The flail is found as a period charge, in the canting arms (German Flegel) of Pflegelberg, c.1340 [Zurich 217], and again in the arms of Ungeraten, 1605 [Siebmacher 70].

Period depictions of the flail (as in the illustration) showed the weights to be clublike; the Society’s one example uses a spherical weight attached by a chain.  For related charges, see mace (morningstar).

Rurik Petrovitch Stoianov bears:  Gules, a saltire vairy Or and sable between three badger’s heads cabossed argent marked sable, one and two, and in base two flails in saltire surmounted by a sword Or.

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Flame

Flame (Period)

Flame (Period)

A flame is the area of combustion which gives off heat and light in a fire.  It may also, more fully, be termed “flames of fire”.  A single flame is drawn rather as a gout or ball, with several tongues to chief.  Flames are found in the canting arms of de la Fiama, mid-15th C. [Triv 194], and in the arms of Wells, c.1525 [DBA2 338].

Flame “proper” is red and gold; its exact depiction in Society armory has changed over the years.  At first, a “flame proper” was drawn as a “flame gules voided Or” on a light-tinctured field, and as a “flame Or voided gules” on a dark-tinctured field.  Currently, flame proper is drawn with alternating tongues of red and gold, which is more in keeping with period depictions of the charge.

Anvil enflamed (Accepted)

Anvil enflamed (Accepted)

The Society’s depiction of a “[charge] enflamed” has also changed over the years.  Originally, a “[charge] enflamed” was equivalent to “on a flame a [charge]” – with the exception of candles, lamps, torches, and the like, where “enflamed” simply means “lit”.  Currently, a “[charge] enflamed” is drawn as it would be in medieval armory:  with spurts of flame issuant from and surrounding the charge.  The illustration shows an anvil enflamed.

Charges have also been constructed of flame in the Society:  e.g., the “bordure of flame”, “cross of flame”, “sword bladed of flame”, &c.  This usage is no longer permissible, not only for lack of period examples, but because such charges’ identifiability is greatly reduced.

For specific charges which involve flame, see:  altar, beacon, brazier, fireball, fireplace, phoenix, salamander, torch.

The Baron of Starkhafn bears:  Per bend sable and checky argent and azure, in sinister chief a flame of fire proper within a laurel wreath argent.

William of Sark bears:  Sable, a flame proper.

Jumana al-Zarqa’ bears:  Argent, three flames sable.

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Flask

Flask (Period)

Flask (Period)

Phial (Period)

Phial (Period)

A flask is a vessel, usually of glass or ceramic, with a constricted neck and a broad base.  Generally, the term implies a laboratory vessel, used for chemical or alchemical procedures:  the illustration is taken from de Bara, 1581 [132], who blazons it as un thalame philosophal.  The flask is a period charge, found in the canting arms (Italian fiasco) of Fiaschi, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 278:305].

There is also the “phial”, intended to hold small amounts of fluid (frequently for medicinal use).  Phials are found in the arms of Adam de Rous, surgeon, 1379 [DBA3 42], and cited in Bossewell, 1572 [II.117].  The Society also has a similar charge, the “ampulla”, a small two-handled bottle used for relics, holy oil, &c.  It’s smaller and more spherical.

Alembic flask (Accepted)

Alembic flask (Accepted)

One specific type of flask is the “alembic flask”:  used for distillation, it has a long sloping spout.  It should not be confused with an “alembick”, which a post-period term for another charge altogether; for this reason, Society heraldry explicitly blazons it an “alembic flask“.  It’s also frequently blazoned a “retort”, especially when drawn with a smooth, unbroken surface.  As a charge, the alembic flask/retort seems to be unique to Society armory; its spout is to dexter by Society default.  For related charges, see bottle, urinal.

The Alchemy Guild of the Barony of Rivenstar bears:  Quarterly gules, azure, vert and sable, a retort reversed purpure fimbriated Or.

Vasco Pereira de Faria bears:  Per bend Or and argent, an alembic flask vert.

Robert of the Angels bears:  Azure, on a bend cotised between two flasks argent, a recorder, bell to chief sable.

Lorenzo Alhambra bears:  Vert, on a chevron between three flasks argent, two salamanders combattant vert enflamed gules.

Michael Tryggve bears:  Purpure, an ampulla Or, billety vert.

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Flaunches

Flaunches (Period)

Flaunches (Period)

Flaunches (singular “flank”) are heraldic ordinaries, issuing from the corners of the chief, and proceeding in circular arcs to base.  Their origin is obscure:  they’re said to represent the gaps in a lady’s sideless surcoat.

Flaunches always occur in pairs; there are no single flaunches.  They were sometimes charged in period, the earliest instances dating to c.1460, with the arms of Greyby [Hope 62].  Flaunches may therefore be charged in Society heraldry.

Some texts consider flaunches to be sub-ordinaries, but Society heraldry doesn’t recognize that distinction.  Flaunches do share the restrictions on other single-sided ordinaries, however:  they may not be voided, cotised, or fimbriated.  There are no diminutives of flaunches in Society heraldry, nor may they be borne enhanced.

Karen de Wyvern bears:  Erminois, a pair of flaunches purpure.

Chad MacBean bears:  Sable, flaunches argent.

Kat’ryna Neblaga Volchkova bears:  Vair, flaunches gules.

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Fleam

Fleam (Period)

Fleam (Period)

A fleam is a surgeon’s lancet, drawn in a highly stylized manner; it’s found in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Barbers, 1451 [Bromley & Child 14].  The blade is to chief by default.  The fleam is used as a symbol by the Society’s chirurgeons (and by some Kingdoms’ chirurgeon groups as well), but it is not considered a restricted charge in Society heraldry.

The Chirurgeonate bears:  Gules, on a goutte argent a fleam gules.

Danyel Leech bears:  Vert, three fleams Or.

Jeanne d’Aussay bears:  Per chevron azure crusilly Or, and argent, in base a fleam gules.

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