Archives

Gemel

Two bars gemel (Period)

Two bars gemel (Period)

The term “gemel” means “twin”, and was the medieval term for what is today blazoned a “bar gemelle” or “bar gemel”:  a twinned bar, i.e., two bars adjacent.  The illustration shows two bars gemel (four bars total).

In Society armory, other ordinaries may likewise be gemelled.  An ordinary gemel looks no different from that ordinary voided, but the usage is not the same:  an ordinary gemel has no charges in its interior.  It is considered a single, self-contained unit.  See also fess, ordinary.

Brunissende Dragonette bears:  Per fess sable and gules, a bar gemel argent.

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

Fusil

Fess of five fusils (Period)

Fess of five fusils (Period)

A fusil, in its correct medieval sense, is a single segment of an indented ordinary:  i.e., a “fess indented”, a “fess fusilly”, and a “fess of five fusils (conjoined)” were equivalent blazons and yielded the same emblazon (as illustrated).  The fusil can thus have no independent existence outside an indented ordinary.  Medieval blazons called a single geometric rhombus shape a “lozenge”, and never a “fusil”, no matter what its proportions; current Society blazons follow this precedent.  (Nonetheless, some early Society blazons followed the Victorian assumption that a fusil was a “skinny lozenge”:  an independent charge, somewhat narrower than a lozenge.)  For related charges, see lozenge.

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

Flaunches

Flaunches (Period)

Flaunches (Period)

Flaunches (singular “flank”) are heraldic ordinaries, issuing from the corners of the chief, and proceeding in circular arcs to base.  Their origin is obscure:  they’re said to represent the gaps in a lady’s sideless surcoat.

Flaunches always occur in pairs; there are no single flaunches.  They were sometimes charged in period, the earliest instances dating to c.1460, with the arms of Greyby [Hope 62].  Flaunches may therefore be charged in Society heraldry.

Some texts consider flaunches to be sub-ordinaries, but Society heraldry doesn’t recognize that distinction.  Flaunches do share the restrictions on other single-sided ordinaries, however:  they may not be voided, cotised, or fimbriated.  There are no diminutives of flaunches in Society heraldry, nor may they be borne enhanced.

Karen de Wyvern bears:  Erminois, a pair of flaunches purpure.

Chad MacBean bears:  Sable, flaunches argent.

Kat’ryna Neblaga Volchkova bears:  Vair, flaunches gules.

This entry was posted on January 28, 2014, in .

Fess

Fess (Period)

Fess (Period)

Dance (Period)

Dance (Period)

The fess is an heraldic ordinary, a horizontal stripe across the center of the shield.  Its diminutive is the “bar”, or in extreme cases the “barrulet”; Society blazonry does not recognize any other terms for the fess’s diminutives.

 

The “dance” is another name for the fess dancetty; some texts hold that it was an independent charge in medieval times.  The term is authorized for use in Society blazonry, in the hope it will reinforce the medieval definition of “dancetty”.

 

Bar gemel (Period)

Bar gemel (Period)

Humet (Period)

Humet (Period)

The “bar gemel” (literally “twinned bar”) is visually equivalent to a fess voided; medieval heralds also blazoned it simply a “gemel” or “gemelle”.  Unlike the fess voided, it is considered an independent charge, and no other charges come between its two halves.  (The spacing for “two bars gemel” will be uneven, unlike the spacing for “four bars”.)

 

In like manner, the “humet” is a medieval name for a fess humetty; the term is not much used today, since other ordinaries may also be humetty.

 

Fess nowed (Period)

Fess nowy (Period)

Fess enarched (Accepted)

Fess enarched (Accepted)

The “fess nowy” (literally “knotted”) doesn’t refer to a peculiar knotting or fretting, but is used in the sense of a knot of wood:  a circular node or lump at the fess’s center.  Examples have been found in 15th C. heraldic texts; the treatment is permitted for Society use.

The “fess embattled” is embattled only on its upper edge, unless specifically blazoned “(embattled) counter-embattled” or “bretessed”.  The “fess enarched” curves to chief unless otherwise specified; it was originally meant to depict the convexity of the shield, and consequently carries no heraldic difference from the plain fess.  The “fess doubly-arched” is not permitted.  See also wall.

The King of Atlantia bears:  Per pale argent and azure, on a fess wavy cotised counterchanged a crown vallary Or, overall a laurel wreath vert.

Brunechilde de Ravenel bears:  Azure, a fess Or cotised argent.

Robert Conyers bears:  Per pale argent and azure, a fess counterchanged.

Gwen Hir bears:  Azure, a fess fusilly argent.

Marcus Tullius Calvus Cambrensis bears:  Or, a dance sable.

Cadan Sacart bears:  Vert, two bars engrailed Or.

Duban O’Guinn Silverwolf bears:  Vert, three bars gemelles argent within a bordure ermine.

Ruaidhrí Mac Diarmada bears:  Argent, a fess nowy azure charged with a plate.

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

Cross: Rayonnant

Cross rayonnant (Period)

Cross rayonnant (Period)

The “cross rayonnant” may also be called a “cross irradiated”.  Its construction is similar to the medieval rose en soleil.  It is cited in the Rous Roll, 1483, as the attributed arms of the ancestor of the Earls of Warwick.

David Trueheart bears:  Sable, a chevron inverted enhanced and in base a cross couped rayonnant argent, all within a bordure ermine.

Francesca Laura di Firenze bears as a badge:  On a cross couped rayonnant argent a fleur-de-lys gules.

This entry was posted on January 10, 2014, in .

Cross: Quarter-pierced

Cross quarter-pierced (Period)

Cross quarter-pierced (Period)

The “cross quarter-pierced”, as an ordinary, was originally blazoned as “party (or checky) of nine pieces” in the 15th Century, and was treated as a field [Hope 63].  It was only later considered a modified ordinary, due to the influence of discrete (i.e., non-ordinary) crosses quarter-pierced (or “square-pierced”):  e.g., the cross moline quarter-pierced in the arms of Colville, 15th C. [Scots 48].

Jennifer of Cat’s Leap bears:  Per saltire azure and Or, a cross quarter-pierced counterchanged.

This entry was posted on January 10, 2014, in .

Cross: Quadrate

Cross (nowy) quadrate (Accepted)

Cross (nowy) quadrate (Accepted)

The “cross quadrate” is sometimes, more fully, termed a “cross nowy quadrate”.  It appears to have been an artistic flourish in period, at least for discrete crosses:  we’ve examples of the arms of Jerusalem with the center cross quadrate [Gelre 69v], which cannot be considered a cadency change.  The treatment is accepted for Society use; difference is granted when applied to a cross throughout (i.e., an ordinary), but not when applied to a discrete cross.

Eleanor FitzPatrick bears:  Per pale gules and Or, a cross quadrate couped counterchanged.

This entry was posted on January 10, 2014, in .

Cross: Parted and fretted

Cross parted and fretted (Period)

Cross parted and fretted (Period)

The “cross parted and fretted” may also be blazoned a “cross of two pallets and two barrulets fretted”.  It is a period treatment [Legh 31].

Nathan Hartman bears:  Quarterly sable and azure, a cross parted and fretted argent.

Brian Kunaganos bears:  Argent, a cross parted and fretted within a bordure purpure.

Ceinwen Haele Cynwyth bears:  Quarterly vert and purpure, a cross parted and fretted with an annulet Or.

 

This entry was posted on January 10, 2014, in .

Cross: Nowy

Cross nowy (SFPP)

Cross nowy (SFPP)

The “cross nowy” or “cross nowed” (literally “knotted”) doesn’t refer to a peculiar knotting or fretting, but is used in the sense of a knot of wood:  a node or lump at the intersection.  The nowing is circular by default, as in the illustration, but other shapes have been registered:  e.g., a “cross nowed of a lozenge” or a “cross nowy quadrate“.  While the term is found in modern heraldry texts [Volborth 21], no period examples of the cross nowy have yet been found; its use is considered a step from period practice.

Seamus mac Dhuibhne bears:  Azure, a cross nowy argent within a bordure compony sable and Or.

This entry was posted on January 10, 2014, in .

Cross: Humetty

Cross humetty (Accepted)

Cross humetty (Accepted)

The “cross humetty” is sometimes considered synonymous with the cross couped; but most writers feel they differ, in that the cross humetty is couped parallel to the edge of the shield.

Amelinne la bouchiere bears:  Or, on a cross humetty sable five escallops argent.

This entry was posted on January 9, 2014, in .