Pelican in her piety (Period)

Pelican in her piety (Period/Reserved)

The pelican is a marine bird, which in medieval legend would revive its dead young with blood from its own breast.  Its most common posture is thus blazoned a “pelican in its piety”:  wings addorsed, piercing its breast with its beak to feed its young.  (The posture is also sometimes blazoned a “pelican vulning itself”, particularly if no hatchlings are depicted.)

Period depictions of this bird do not show it as found in nature, with a baggy-bottomed beak, but with a long slender beak resembling that of a stork, and with ruffled feathers.

The pelican was used in the canting arms of Pelham as early as 1386 [DBA2 177].  In Society armory, the pelican is reserved to the Order of Peerage of the same name, and its members.

The Order of the Pelican bears:  A pelican in its piety.

Dorio of the Oaks bears:  Azure, a chevron ployé cotised and in base a pelican in its piety argent.

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