Two chamfrons (Period, Accepted)

Two chamfrons (Period, Accepted)

A chamfron, or chanfron, is a piece of armor designed to protect a horse’s head during battle.  It is affronty by default; period examples could be shown with a plumed crest attached to the top as well.

The illustration shows two forms of chamfron.  The dexter chamfron is the period heraldic form, taken from the badge of the Earl of Shrewsbury, c.1513 [HCE xxix].  The sinister chamfron is based on an actual piece of horse armor, dated 1558 [Neubecker 73].

The Society Equestrian Marshal bears:  Sable, two tilting lances in saltire and in chief a chamfron Or.

Gisele Maria Overton bears:  Per pale vert and purpure, a chamfron Or.

Constancia Tattersall bears:  Argent goutty, on a chamfron azure a cross patonce argent.

This entry was posted on December 15, 2013, in .


Caltrap (Period)

Caltrap (Period)

A caltrap, or caltrop, is an iron device with four spikes; caltraps were strewn before enemy horsemen to hinder their progress.  The spikes are so arranged that, no matter how the caltrap lands, one spike is always vertical.  In heraldry, the caltrap thus has a point to chief by default.  It’s found in the arms of Creston, c.1520 [DBA2 222], and the canting arms of Trappe, 1563 [Woodward 353].  See also mullet.

Selena of the Northern Woods bears:  Sable, a caltrap Or.

Toen Fitzwilliam bears:  Vert semy of caltrops argent.

Fiona nic Kineth bears:  Per pale gules and argent, two caltraps counterchanged.

This entry was posted on December 11, 2013, in .


Bridle (Period)

Bridle (Period)

A bridle is a piece of harness for a horse, specifically for the horse’s head.  It consists of a framework of straps fitting over the head, with a bit to fit in the horse’s mouth; reins attached to the bridle help control the horse.  It’s a period charge, dating to c.1566 in the Milanese arms of Borromeo [Insignia Nomina Cognomina Patriae].  The bridle has the bit to chief by default. For related charges, see snaffle-bit.

Richard of Windhaven bears:  Sable, a bridle Or.

This entry was posted on December 4, 2013, in .

Barnacles, pair of

Pair of barnacles (early style) (Period)

Pair of barnacles (early style) (Period)

Pair of barnacles (later style) (Period)

Pair of barnacles (later style) (Period)

A pair of barnacles is a pincer to be clamped on an unruly horse’s nose; it was sometimes used as an instrument of torture.  It may also be termed “a pair of breys”, especially for canting purposes, as in the arms of Geneville or Joinville, lords de Broyes, 1255  [ANA2 222].  Barnacles’ default orientation is with the hinges to chief; they were also frequently found “extended”, or spread fesswise, in period armory, that fact being blazoned.

Barnacles were originally drawn more realistically, but had assumed a stylized form by the end of period.  The first illustration is taken from Gelre, c.1370 [109]; the second, from Legh, 1576 [104].  The latter is the form most usually found in modern heraldry texts, and thus in Society emblazons.

Nicolin Bray bears:  Gules, a pair of barnacles argent.

Penelope Stoddard bears:  Sable, in pale three pairs of barnacles extended Or.

Brigit Ní Sheachnasaigh bears:  Per bend sable and argent, a pair of barnacles counterchanged.

This entry was posted on November 22, 2013, in .