Mantle (Period)

Mantle (Period)

A mantle is an article of clothing, a long outer garment draped over the shoulders, covering one’s clothes.  Originally meant to provide warmth and protection, the mantle became an item of regalia for chivalric orders, such as the Order of the Garter.  It’s found as a charge in its own right, however, as in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, 1481 [Bromley & Child 174].  The mantle is affronty, slightly open, by default; it is frequently edged or lined of another tincture, and often shown with long cords in front for balance.

Hooded cloak (Accepted)

Hooded cloak (Accepted)

Similar to the mantle is the “hooded cloak”, likewise an article of outer garb draping the shoulders, with a hood covering the head.  Unlike the mantle, the hooded cloak is utilitarian in design and use.  It’s a period garment, with examples dating from at least 1312 [Neubecker 180]; but its use as an heraldic charge seems to be unique to the Society.  The hooded cloak is shown affronty, or turned slightly to dexter, by Society default, with the front of the cloak slightly open.

For related charges, see hood.



The Order of the Golden Mantle, of the East, bears:  A mantle Or.

Angharad Clog Llwyd ferch Madog ap Maradudd bears:  Vert, a hooded cloak argent lined sable, on a chief embattled argent three increscents sable.

Þorbjorn rauðfeldr bears:  Argent, a hooded cloak gules.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2014, in .


Hexagonal gemstone (Period); step-cut gemstone (Accepted)

Hexagonal gemstone (Period); step-cut gemstone (Accepted)

Jewelry are items of personal adornment, usually made from precious metals or stones.  While they are often shown worn on a human form, they are also used as charges in their own right.  Examples from Society armory include cameo busts, wristlets and arm-rings, and necklaces.

Individual gemstones are also sometimes found as charges, as in the civic arms of Beihlstein, 1605 [Siebmacher 226].  Gemstones should be cut in a period style:  for instance, the gem in the arms of Beihlstein is hexagonal.  In Society armory the step-cut (or emerald-cut), as seen in Holbein’s portraits, is the most common.  By default, gemstones are drawn as seen from above – gemstones in profile are considered a step from period practice – and should be solidly tinctured, not chased.  Post-period gem cuts, such as the brilliant cut, may not be registered.

The illustration shows an hexagonal gemstone, as in the arms of Beihlstein, and a step-cut gemstone as frequently seen in Society armory.  For specific entries, see:  brooch, crown, paternoster, ring, torque.

The Baron of Gyldenholt bears as a badge:  Azure, a hexagonal gemstone Or.

Gerold Bright Angel bears:  Gules, a double cameo bust within two wings conjoined Or.

Branwen of Cherry Bay bears:  Gules, a boar’s-tooth necklace in orle throughout argent.

Lucia Greenstone bears:  Argent, a step-cut emerald palewise vert.

This entry was posted on February 14, 2014, in .


Jerkin (Accepted)

Jerkin (Accepted)

A jerkin is a close-fitting jacket, generally sleeveless and hip-length, worn as an item of clothing from the early 16th Century.  Elizabethan jerkins were often richly decorated, but some jerkins (worn by soldiers rather than courtiers) were made of leather (a “buff jerkin”) or quilted cloth.  Although a period artifact, we’ve no examples of the jerkin’s use in period heraldry per se.  However, the “slashed doublet”, long-sleeved and buttoned down the front, is found in the canting arms (Italian giubbone, dial. zupone) of Zupponi, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 275:71].

A related charge, the “pelisson”, a fur-trimmed outer garment from the 12th and 13th Centuries, is found in the canting arms (Italian pelliccione) of de Pilizonis, mid-15th C. [Triv 276].

The jerkin is affronty by Society default.  See also cuirass.

Bébhinn le Cuilter bears:  Vert, a sewing needle bendwise sinister, eye to base argent, overall a quilted jerkin Or, all within a bordure argent.

Elaine Howys of Morningthorpe bears as a badge:  A jerkin per pale gules and Or.

This entry was posted on February 12, 2014, in .


Hose (Period)

Hose (Period)

A hose (plural “hosen”) is a close-fitting piece of clothing, covering the leg from the thigh to the sole.  It’s a period charge, both when worn on a leg or in its own right; an example of the latter is found in the canting arms of Hose or Hoese, c.1275 [ANA2 550].

Society armory also has examples of the “sock”, intended to cover only the foot no highter than mid-calf.  Though a period article of clothing, we have no examples of socks in period armory.  Hosen and socks have their openings to chief by default.  See also shoe.

Michael Oldcastle of Ravenspur bears as a badge:  Argent, a pair of hosen inverted and addorsed palewise vert.

Alane O’Maoilriain bears as a badge:  Per chevron vert and argent, two lyres argent and a pair of hosen gules.

Johanna Katrin Jensdatter bears:  Argent, in fess two socks, on a chief azure three sheep passant argent.

This entry was posted on February 11, 2014, in .


Monk's hood (Period)

Monk’s hood (Period)

Jester's hood (Accepted)

Jester’s hood (Accepted)

A hood is an article of clothing, a covering for the head; it differs from the hat in that it completely encloses the head.  The most common form in period armory seems to be the “monk’s hood”, as in the civic arms of Güglingen, 1605 [Siebmacher 226].

Varieties unique to Society heraldry include the “jester’s hood”, with a forked top and bells; the “executioner’s hood”, which covers the face as well; and the “teaching master’s hood”, with a long tasseled end.



Executioner's hood (Accepted); teaching master's hood (Accepted)

Executioner’s hood (Accepted); teaching master’s hood (Accepted)

The executioner’s hood and jester’s hood are affronty by Society default; all other hoods face dexter by default.  For related charges, see head, helm, mantle.

William Worm bears:  Gules, a monk’s hood Or.

Alfredo el Bufón bears:  Per pale azure and argent, a jester’s belled hood of two ears affronty counterchanged.

Mark of Glastonbury bears:  Or, a fess azure, overall a lion rampant gules wearing the hood and tippet of a teaching master sable, turned up and tasselled ermine.

Telbyrne Morningstar bears:  Per chevron Or and sable, an executioner’s hood sable, fimbriated in base Or, between in chief two double-bitted axes sable.

This entry was posted on February 11, 2014, in .


Albanian cap (Period)

Albanian cap (Period)

Cap of maintenance (Period) (Reserved)

Cap of maintenance (Period/Reserved)

A hat is an article of clothing which covers the head.  There are a wide variety of hats used in heraldry; no type of hat is the default, and there exists no standard “generic” hat.  The exact type of hat thus needs to be blazoned; this was frequently done by a simple description, e.g., “a conical hat”, as in the arms of von Bornstedt, 1605 [Siebmacher 177].  One form quite common in Continental heraldry is blazoned in modern French as un bonnet albanais, an “Albanian cap”, although we can find no connection between it and Albania.

One specific type of hat found in period armory was the “cap of maintenance” or “cap of dignity”.  It was used in Scots crests to signify baronial status; but it was used in English crests after 1350 by non-peers [Hope2 155].  It was also used as a charge in its own right, as in the incredibly ugly civic arms of Gloucester, 1536 [Hope2 335, Parker 333].  In the Society, the cap of maintenance is reserved to members of the Order of the Pelican.

Jew's hat (Period)

Jew’s hat (Period)

Another hat in period armory was the judenhut or “Jew’s hat”; this form of hat was mandatory garb for Jews starting in the 11th Century, but soon became a mark of honor among them.  It’s found in the canting arms of Judden, c.1370 [Gelre 94], and was used in the armory of both Jews and Gentiles [Edward Kandel, “The Origin of Some Charges:, Coat of Arms vol.1 (N.S.) No.95, Autumn 1975, p.208].  It is accepted for use in the Society.





Cardinal's hat (Period)

Cardinal’s hat (Period)

Mitre (Period)

Mitre (Disallowed)

Of religious headgear, the “mitre” was used as a charge almost exclusively in arms and crests of bishops and bishoprics; the few secular examples, such as the arms of Kirchberg, mid-16th C. [NW 175], are not sufficient to dispel this appearance of presumption.  The mitre has been disallowed, pending further examples of its secular use.  The “cardinal’s hat” or “protonotary hat”, on the other hand, is commonly found in secular armory with no religious implications, such as the arms of von Dobeneck, 1605 [Siebmacher 151].



Jester's cap (Accepted)

Jester’s cap (Accepted)

Flat cap (Accepted)

Flat cap (Accepted)

Of hats unique to Society armory, a popular type is the “fool’s cap” or “jester’s cap”:  a forked hat of two or three points, with bells at the points.  This sits on the head, as opposed to the (more period) jester’s hood, which completely covers the head.  There is also the “flat cap”:  a brimmed beret, which may be jewelled or befeathered, as exemplified in the drawings of Holbein, 16th C.




Phrygian cap (Accepted)

Phrygian cap (Accepted)

Double-horned hennin (Accepted)

Double-horned hennin (Accepted)

The “Phrygian cap” is a floppy, conical hat found in Greek art.  The “hennin” is a woman’s head covering, from the 15th C., with either a single conical point or a double-horned form; the type must be specified.  Though the hennin was usually worn with a veil, in Society armory it may be drawn with or without a veil, at the artist’s discretion; the illustration shows a double-horned hennin.  The “arming cap” is a close-fit skullcap, worn inside a helm as insulation.




Cap of Mercury (Accepted)

Cap of Mercury (Accepted)

Finally, the “petasus” or “cap of Mercury” is a flat wide hat with wings; it was one of the accoutrements of the Greek god.  For related charges, see head (human’s), helm, hood.

Alice Jean Huewy bears:  Azure, on a bend sinister argent three Albanian caps reversed palewise azure.

Casamira Jawjalny bears:  Azure, a jester’s hat lozengy gules and Or and a chief Or.

Edmund Renfield Wanderscribe bears:  Per bend potenty gules and argent, a sun in his splendour Or and a cap of Mercury azure, winged argent.

Lucrezia di Bartolomeo bears as a badge:  Purpure, on a heart Or a double-horned hennin gules, trimmed argent, a bordure Or.

Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib bears:  Azure, in saltire a ladle inverted and a recorder between four Jewish hats Or.

Christopher Thomas bears:  Argent, a flat cap purpure plumed and on a chief azure three Pierrot masks argent.

Valentine Christian Warner bears:  Vert, three long conical caps Or turned up ermine.

Declan of Drogheda bears:  Argent, a Phrygian cap purpure.

Brendan Kanobe bears:  Argent, a sugar-loaf hat gules and a bordure sable.

Dirk of Drei Eichen bears:  Or, a cardinal’s hat gules and on a chief sable, three fleurs-de-lys Or.

Sveinn Harðfari bears:  Per bend Or and bendy gules and Or, a demon’s head couped affronty gules wearing an arming cap sable.

This entry was posted on February 1, 2014, in .

Habit, monk’s

Monk's habit (Accepted)

Monk’s habit (Accepted)

A monk’s habit is an item of clothing which is worn by monastic orders to set them apart from the laity.  It typically consists of a tunic with a long cowl, or hooded robe, worn over it, tied at the waist with a cincture.  Though a period garment, we’ve no examples of a monk’s habit in period armory (except when being worn by a human figure).  The illustration is taken from the Très Riches Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry, c.1415, in a scene from the life of St. Gregory.  The monk’s habit is shown affronty by Society default.

Cain the Black bears:  Gyronny arrondi argent and gules, a monk’s habit sable.

This entry was posted on January 31, 2014, in .

Gauntlet; Glove

Gauntlet (Period)

Gauntlet (Period)

A gauntlet is a piece of armor for the hand.  It is a period charge, found in the arms of de Wauncy, c.1312 [ANA2 470].  The gauntlet may be of mail or plate, depending on the period and the artist’s discretion; it was frequently depicted without separated fingers (so-called “clamshell” gauntlets).  In the Society, the default gauntlet is the dexter gauntlet, and its default posture is apaumy.  Other postures are also found, though sometimes blazoned as, e.g., “a mailed fist” instead of “a gauntlet clenched”.




Glove (Period)

Glove (Period)

Mitten (Period)

Mitten (Period)

Similar to the gauntlet is the “glove”:  like the gauntlet, a covering for the hand, but an article of clothing instead of armor, made of leather or cloth instead of metal.  It’s found in the canting arms (German Handschuh) of Handschuhsheim, c.1450 [Ingeram 268]. The glove follows the conventions and defaults of the gauntlet (indeed, one branch of the Wauncy family bears gloves), which are those of hands.  In fact, both gauntlets and gloves are often assumed to have a hand inside them.

Finally, there is the “mitten”, a knitted (or nailbound) fingerless glove.  The mitten is a period charge, used in the crest of von Lens, c.1370 [Gelre 82], and in the arms of Folderer, mid-16th C. [NW 55].  It follows the same conventions and defaults as gloves and gauntlets.

Murdoch of Muirhead bears:  Gules, in bend three clenched gauntlets Or.

Lisette la fauconniere d’Amboise bears:  Plumetty Or and sable, a sinister glove fesswise reversed gules.

Sigrid Bríánsdotter bears as a badge:  A sinister mitten vert.

This entry was posted on January 29, 2014, in .


Winnowing fan (Period)

Winnowing fan (Period)

Fan (Accepted)

Fan (Accepted)

A fan is a device for generating a current of air.  In medieval heraldry, the default fan was more fully termed a “winnowing fan” or “vannet”; it was used to blow the chaff from grain.  It’s a period charge, found in the canting arms of Septvans or Sevans, c.1275 [ANA2 556]; the handles are to chief, the wide part to base, by default.

In Society heraldry, the default fan is the handheld folding fan, used to cool humans.  This form is open or spread, with the wide part to chief, by default.  The folding fan is found in later period portraits (as in the “Ditchley” portrait of Elizabeth I, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, c.1595), but no examples are known in European armory.  However, a similar form, with paper covering the ribs, is found in Japanese Mon; this form (ogi) was borne by Satake Yoshinobu, 1569-1633 [Hawley 59].

Feather fan (Period)

Feather fan (Period)

Liturgical fan (Accepted)

Liturgical fan (Accepted)

Three other fans are found in Society armory.  There’s the “feather fan”, with plumes attached to a handle; it’s similar to a feather-edged fan found in the arms of Hintaller, mid-16th C. [NW 56].  There’s also the “liturgical fan”, a solid piece of stiffened fabric, used in church to keep insects away from the Host [EB X:168].  Finally, we have the “flag fan” (ventuolo) of 16th C. Italy, a stiff vane of woven fiber or parchment on an offset handle, as seen in Boissard’s Habitus Variorum Orbis Gentium, 1581.


Flag fan (Accepted)

Flag fan (Accepted)

All of these fans are palewse, with handles to base, by default.  Additionally, the asymmetrical flag fan has its vane to dexter by default; it is granted no difference from a banner (cf. flag).

See also basket.

Bronwyn Morgana MacPherson bears: Per bend azure and Or, a fan and a whelk shell counterchanged.

Emrys FitzRainold de Venoix bears:  Per fess rayonny azure and gules, three vanneaux Or.

Christiana Haberdasher bears:  Gules, a feather fan argent handled Or.

Regina from Adiantum bears:  Ermine, three liturgical fans gules.

Aurora Lucia Marinella bears:  Per pale gules and azure, in pale a flag fan fesswise flag to chief and a cushion Or.

This entry was posted on January 27, 2014, in .


Eyeglasses (Period)

Eyeglasses (Period)

Eyeglasses are a set of lenses mounted in a frame, used to correct faulty vision, dating from the 14th Century.  Period eyeglasses used thick circular lenses; the frames were either tied in place with ribbons, or else held in place by the hand for reading.  The illustration shows the latter type, as found in the arms of Latini, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 268:243].

Eyeglasses are normally solidly tinctured, i.e., the frames and lenses are one tincture.  If the lenses are of another tincture, they must be explicitly blazoned, e.g., “a pair of eyeglasses argent lensed vert”.  If the lenses are removed, so that the field shows through, the charge may simply be blazoned “eyeglass frames”.  See also mask.

The Order of the Grey Beard, of Trimaris, bears:  Per pale sable and azure, in saltire a crutch Or and a sword inverted proper, in chief a pair of eyeglasses argent, stringed Or.

Edward Glass bears:  Or, a pair of eyeglass frames sable.

Leif Andersson bears:  Argent, a pair of eyeglasses sable lensed and on a chief vert two boar’s heads couped Or.

This entry was posted on January 26, 2014, in .