Rabbit statant (Period)

Rabbit statant (Period)

The rabbit is a pacifistic beast, the medieval symbol of both timidity and sexual appetite.  Heraldically, the category includes the “hare”; while the hare is held to be drawn with longer ears, the two terms are usually considered interchangeable.  Other medieval terms for the beast include “coney” and “leveret” (as in the canting arms of Coningesby and Levyer, respectively).  The rabbit is found in armory as early as 1320 [DBA1 294].

Rabbits and hares are sejant by default, though in period that posture was often drawn so low as to be indistinguishable from statant; they are often found couchant or salient as well.  The illustration shows a rabbit statant.  A “rabbit (or hare) proper” is understood to be brown.

Markus Wilhelm von Reilingen bears:  Quarterly gules and azure, a rabbit sejant Or.

Donata Bonacorsi bears:  Purpure, a hare sejant argent.

Ellyn Dawndelyon d’Azay bears:  Or, a coney rampant to sinister sable.

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