Sheaf

Sheaf of spears (Period)

Sheaf of three spears (Period)

A sheaf is a bundle or cluster of objects.  The unmodified term is normally considered equivalent to a garb, and this is sometimes made explicit (e.g., “a sheaf of wheat”).  But in blazonry, the term also refers to a group of three charges, two in saltire surmounted by another palewise.  The term is most often used with arrows:  a “sheaf of (three) arrows” is a common motif, found in the arms of Joskyn, c.1435 [DBA1 11].  But the term has also been used in mundane blazons for charges other than arrows [Franklyn 302], and it has been adopted for use in Society blazons as well.  (It thus replaces older, more awkward neologisms, such as “in estoile” or “in gyronny”).

The illustration shows a sheaf of three spears.  It is also possible to have more than three charges in a sheaf, but such cases must be explicitly blazoned.

Aidan of Kilkenny bears:  Argent, three sheaves of arrows sable flighted vert.

Conaire Anluan MacMurchadha bears:  Vert, a sheaf of three spears argent within a bordure checky vert and Or.

Kilic ibn Sungur ibn al-Kazganci al-Turhani bears:  Sable, a sheaf of five swords argent within an orle Or.

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