Well

Open well (Period)

Open well (Period)

Covered well (SFPP)

Covered well (SFPP)

A well is a vertical shaft sunk into the earth, from which water is drawn.  It’s usually depicted as the edifice built around the hole to prevent accidents:  a short masonwork wall.  It’s commonly round, as in the arms of Pronner von Tahlhausen, 1605 [Siebmacher 98]; but there are also period examples of square wells (in the canting arms of Hadiswell, 1586 [Bedingfeld 58]) and hexagonal wells (in the canting arms of da Fontana, mid-15th C. [Triv 149]).

Some period arms depict wells (of all shapes) with a swape, or lever arm for drawing water.

In more modern heraldry, the well is depicted with a wooden cover or roof, and a cradle for a pail and rope [Franklyn 346].  This form of well was the first form registered in the Society; while still permitted, its use is now considered a step from period practice.

Neither form of well is the Society default.  The type of well must be explicitly blazoned:  either “open” or “roofless”, or “covered” or “roofed”.

Japanese well-frame (Accepted)

Japanese well-frame (Accepted)

There is also the “Japanese well-frame” or “well-curb” (igeta), used in Mon [Hawley 79], but not yet dated to period.  The motif is still permitted in Society armory; its Society default has the laths fretted as on a mascle.  For related charges, see fountain.

Jon Blackwell bears:  Argent, a covered well sable.

Alina Meraud Bryte bears:  Per fess rayonny azure and argent, an open book argent and a roofless well gules.

Gwenllian Brighid Hertewelle bears:  Vert, in pale a stag’s head cabossed Or and a roofless stone well argent.

Kameyama Kengōro bears as a badge:  Argent, the kanji shu within a Japanese well-frame sable.

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