Sea-lion

Sea-lion (Period)

Sea-lion (Period)

Natural sea-lion (seal) sejant (Accepted)

Natural sea-lion (seal) sejant (Accepted)

The sea-lion is an heraldic sea-monster, with the foreparts of a lion and the tail of a fish; it is also sometimes blazoned a “morse”, especially for canting purposes.  It’s found in the attributed arms of “King Palaeologus”, c.1282 [ANA2 493]; in true heraldry, in the arms of Imhof, 1605 [Siebmacher 206].

Period depictions may show the sea-lion with a lion’s clawed forepaws, or with webs between the toes; either form is correct.  (The latter is more often found in English emblazons.)  There may also be a webbed dorsal fin; this too is artistic license.  The sea-lion is erect (rampant) by default, as in the illustration; it may also be found with its tail reflexed over its head, particularly in German armory.  The sea-lion’s “proper” tincture is with the leonine portion tawny brown and the piscine portion green.

The modified term “natural sea-lion” refers to the pinniped beast, more often termed a “seal”; the two beasts are heraldically indistinguishable, so the latter term is preferred in blazon.  No period heraldic examples of pinnipeds (e.g., seals, walruses, &c) have been cited from period armory, but they are acceptable for Society use.  The seal doesn’t seem to have a default posture; the illustration shows a seal sejant.

The Baron of Lyondemere bears:  Argent, a sea-lion proper grasping a laurel wreath vert, a base engrailed azure.

Ealasaid Nic Shuibhne bears:  Quarterly gules and sable, a sea-lion Or tailed argent.

Anne of Ockham bears:  Azure, a sea lion passant, its tail reflexed over its head, within a tressure argent.

Haleric Poleskowna bears:  Per bend vert and argent, a seal sejant erect to sinister counterchanged.

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