Popinjay (Period)

Popinjay (Period)

The popinjay is a brash and flashy bird, which the ancients knew could be taught to talk; it’s also termed a “parrot” in mundane blazons.  As a charge, it dates from the earliest heraldry, as in the arms of Thwenge or Tuenge, 1255 [ANA2 401].  The popinjay is close by default, but period emblazons often showed it with one foot raised, even when not so blazoned (as in the illustration).  When “proper”, its coloration is vert, beaked gules; frequently it is also drawn with a red ringed neck as well.

Parrot-like birds that were known to period Europeans (e.g., the cockatoo) may be registered in Society heraldry, but their use is considered a step from period practice.

Damian Papyngeye bears:  Plumetty argent and vert, a popinjay purpure.

Leonor Alcon bears:  Per chevron vert and argent, three popinjays counterchanged.

Rosamund von Schwyz bears:  Argent, a popinjay vert within an orle of fleurs-de-lys purpure.

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