The base is an heraldic ordinary, occupying the bottom one-third to one-fourth of the shield. It is subject to most of the usual treatments – embattled, indented, &c – but because it has only one edge, a base may not be “dancetty”, nor may it be fimbriated, cotised, or voided. The base has no diminutives.
A “ford proper” is a base wavy barry wavy (azure and argent); it’s azure and argent on a light field, and argent and azure on a dark field. The ford proper is used to represent water or for canting purposes, as in the canting arms of Oxford, early 15th Century [DBA1 212]. Other tinctures may not be termed a “ford”, but must be blazoned explicitly; i.e., one would not blazon a “ford vert and Or”, but rather a “base wavy barry wavy vert and Or”. For related charges, see mount, point.
Jean-Philippe Firmin d’Amiens bears: Azure, a base Or.
Erik of Northhold bears: Bendy barry argent and vert, a base rayonny gules.
Philippa Swynford bears: Or, a boar passant gules and a ford proper.