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Basic Heraldry

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This presentation shows the Basics of Heraldry for use within the High Fantasy Society.

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Basic Heraldry

  1. 1. Basic Heraldrywithin the Combined Realms
  2. 2.  In medieval times it was difficult to keep a pictorial record of large numbers of Coats of Arms. A large part of a heralds job was to record and recognize coats of arms. They would identify people in tournaments as well as on the battlefield. It would have been impractical to carry around a large collection of pictures. In addition, even if they were recorded pictorially, a single Coat of Arms would likely vary from artist to artist. In such a case, two examples of the same Coat of Arms might not be recognizable as being the same. The system of describing coats of arms needed to be standardized and exact. So, to describe the appearance of a coat of arms, a special set of terminology was used. This language of heraldry is called "Blazon".
  3. 3.  A blazon can also be the description of a particular coat of arms. Because the practice of heraldry was formalized by the Normans, most of the terminology is derived from Old French. It should be noted that the terminology in this introduction is that used in English heraldry. Although it is almost entirely universal among European languages, there are as well numerous variations. When a herald "blazons a coat" he is describing in a very specific code the "field" (background) and the "charges" (things on the field). The field must be described in terms of its coloring, if and how it is divided (parted) and the "partitions" themselves. In addition to the field, Blazon also describes any charges that are to appear on the field in terms of such aspects as, their coloring, what shape they are (or what they represent), where they are placed, or if in groups, how they are arranged, and even (in the case of living things) how they are behaving (their "attitude"). A heraldic picture is called an emblazon.
  4. 4.  Emblazons are visual manifestations of heraldic insignia, typically displayed on shields or flags. Because emblazons are awkward to work with, heraldry uses a specialized jargon called blazon to describe shields and flags. Persons skilled in heraldry can discuss shields entirely in blazon, without ever drawing the emblazons. As a noun, the word "blazon" is also used to refer to the heraldic description of a shield or flag.
  5. 5.  Emblazons are visual manifestations of heraldic insignia, typically displayed on shields or flags. Because emblazons are awkward to work with, heraldry uses a specialized jargon called blazon to describe shields and flags. Persons skilled in heraldry can discuss shields entirely in blazon, without ever drawing the emblazons. As a noun, the word "blazon" is also used to refer to the heraldic description of a shield or flag. The great advantage of blazon over plain English is that blazon terms are defined more precisely than English ones. As a result, one can describe a shield more accurately and in fewer words with blazon than one can in plain English. The distinction between blazon and emblazon is an important one, since there is not a one-to-one correspondence between blazons and emblazons. In many cases, a particular emblazon can be blazoned (=described in heraldic language) in more than one way. And no two heraldic artists will emblazon (=draw) a given blazon in exactly the same way. But for well-designed heraldry, the blazon captures the important features of the emblazon, and, given a blazon, a trained heraldic artist should be able to produce a reasonable facsimile of the original emblazon.
  6. 6. Achievement of Arms• What you see here is not a Coat of Arms. It is an Achievement of Arms. A Coat of Arms is only the shield shape (escutcheon) and the design upon it (though it is not always a shield, depending on who is bearing the arms). A. Crest B. Torse or wreath C. Helm D. Mantling or lambrequin E. Shield F. Scroll G. Motto H. Supporters
  7. 7.  A crest is a component of an heraldic display, so called because it stands on top of a helmet, as the crest of a jay stands on the birds head. In English the word "crest" is commonly (but erroneously) used to refer to an entire heraldic achievement of armorial bearings. The technical use of the heraldic term crest refers to just one component of a complete achievement. The crest has evolved from the three- dimensional figure placed on the top of the helms as a further means of identification. The crest rests on top of a helmet which itself rests on the most important part of the achievement: the shield. The crest is a common adjunct of the shield, and consists of any object or objects placed above it. When shown above the shield, the crest normally arises out of a wreath made of twisted ribbons of the two principal tinctures of the shield. Other times it may surmount a "cap of dignity" in place of the wreath. Crests are not always found with a shield, they are not a required addition. The crest is blazoned as if it were a charge. " A crest of…."
  8. 8.  The torse or wreath, is a twisted roll of fabric wound around the top of the helm and crest to hold the mantle. the protective cloth covering worn over a knights helmet, the torse is represented in two colors, generally the same pair of colors used on the mantle. The torse was made up of a pair of ribbons twisted together, tinctured of the principal metal and colors of the shield, the livery colors. The torse was sometimes held to represent the token which the crusader’s lady-love gave him when he left for the wars, a sort of hankie which he twisted round the top of his helmet, masking the join where the crest was fixed to it. The torse is also often used as a decoration on a heraldic animal, either as a form of crown, or as a wreath around the neck. The Torse is blazoned as "On a wreath of the colors x and y…"
  9. 9.  Crowns and coronets are emblems of the rank of the bearer. Coronets (small crowns specifying the bearer’s rank in the peerage) are emblems of rank that are shown, when depicted, between shield and helmet. There are different coronets specified for the ranks of baron, viscount, earl, marquess, and duke. Among the relics of this usage is the crest coronet, a coronet that supports the crest either instead of the wreath or in addition to it and resting upon it.. Another relic is the chapeau, or cap of maintenance, a cap with ermine lining that was once worn on the helmet before the development of mantling and that is sometimes used instead of the wreath to support the crest. These are blazoned by name.
  10. 10.  On top of the shield is placed the helmet, upon which the crest is fastened by a wreath, coronet, or chapeau. Some helmets are displayed in profile and some in full face, with different metals and accoutrements. The shape of the helmet has varied greatly in heraldic representation. While the basic features of heraldry remain unchanged, the modes in which the insignia are shown have been subject to change and to fashion. The barrel-shaped helmet was used in the 13th century.
  11. 11.  When the helm and crest are shown, they are usually accompanied by a mantling or lambrequin. This was originally a cloth worn over the back of the helmet as partial protection against heating by sunlight. Today it takes the form of a stylized cloak tinctured of the principal metal and colors of the shield, the livery colors, hanging from the helmet. Typically, the outer surface of the mantling is of the principal color in the shield and the inner surface is of the principal metal. The mantling is sometimes conventionally depicted with a ragged edge, as if damaged in combat, though the edges of most are simply decorated at the emblazoners discretion. More elaborately styled mantles are used for kings and sovereign princes. It is blazoned as " A lambrequin of X and Y…" (X and Y being the primary tinctures used)
  12. 12.  The Scroll is a ribbon on which the motto is written. If there is no motto there will be no scroll. The scroll is tinctured of the principal metal and colors of the shield, known as the livery colors, generally the same pair of colors used on the mantle. It is blazoned as " a scroll of X and Y…" (X and Y being the primary tinctures used) Myths have grown around mottoes—time and again, a phrase or short sentence that began life as an inspiration or exhortation acquired a fantastic explanation. An armorial motto is a phrase or collection of words intended to describe the motivation or intention of the entity it represents. Most of these can be dismissed. Some mottoes are old war cries. Others are puns on the owner’s name or title, such as the Seton war cry of “Set on.” French and Latin are the most popular languages, but Gaelic and Greek also appear. Mottoes are generally changed at will and do not make up an integral part of the armorial achievement. Mottoes can typically be found on a scroll under the shield.
  13. 13.  Supporters are figures usually placed on either side of the shield and depicted holding it up. Supporters are traditionally beasts, birds, monsters, human or mythical animals that stand on either side and support the coat of arms. Today, many civic and municipal Coats of Arms have such supporters, but their use is mostly restricted to the above or for people who have achieved much notoriety. These figures may be real or imaginary animals, human figures, and in rare cases plants or inanimate objects. Often these can have local significance. Human supporters can also be allegorical figures, or, more rarely, specifically named individuals. There is usually one supporter on each side of the shield, though there are some examples of single supporters placed behind the shield, and the arms of Congo provide an extremely unusual example of supporters issuing from behind the shield. While such single supporters are generally eagles with one or two heads, there are other examples. Animal supporters are by default as close to rampant as possible if the nature of the supporter allows it (this does not need to be mentioned in the blazon), though there are some blazoned exceptions. Another addition that can be made to a Coat of Arms is the insignia of a baronet (or higher rank) or of an order of knighthood. This is usually represented by a collar or similar band surrounding the shield.
  14. 14.  Rule of Tincture Simply, the Rule of Tincture says that "good contrast" should exist between the field and the charges upon it, or between a charge and the charges on it. Good contrast is most often achieved by: 1. A metal and a color 2. An element equally divided of a color and a metal and any other element, provided identifiably is maintained 3. A color and a charge blazoned proper that is predominantly light The main duty of a heraldic device is to be recognized at a distance, and the dark colors or light metals are often too difficult to distinguish if they are placed on top of other dark or light colors, particularly in poor light. Though this is the practical genesis of the rule. Within the HFS, no one is forced to conform to the rule.
  15. 15.  The heraldic palette consist of seven basic tinctures: white/silver, blue, red, yellow/gold, purple, black, and green. But these names are never used in heraldry. . The basic tinctures are classified according to whether they are colors (dark) or metals (light). The Metals are Argent and Or. The Colors are Azure, Gules, Vert, Purpure, and Sable. The Stains, seen uncommonly, are; bleu-celeste, brunatre, cendree, de piedra, murry, rose or rouge, terry or amaranth, carnation or buff, sanguine, tenné and ochre.
  16. 16.  Or (gold, often depicted as yellow) is drawn as black dots. Argent (silver, often depicted as white) drawn as white Sable (black, depicted as black) drawn as a fully darkened area Gules (red, depicted as red) drawn as vertical lines Azure (blue, depicted as blue) drawn as horizontal lines Vert (green, depicted as green) drawn as diagonal lines from left to right Purpure (purple, depicted as purple) drawn as diagonal lines from right to left Murrey (mulberry depicted as berry-red) drawn as crossing diagonal lines Sanguine (blood depicted as blood-red) drawn as horizontal and diagonal lines from left to right Tenne (brown depicted as brown) drawn as vertical and diagonal lines from left to right Orange (orange), depicted as orange) drawn as segmented vertical lines Ermine (depicted as black ermine tails on white) Erminois (depicted as black ermine tails on yellow) Pean (depicted as yellow ermine tails on black) Papellone (scales) Plumete (feathers)
  17. 17.  A shield or flag usually consists of a field (= background) on which one or more distinct charges (= objects) are placed. The blazon of such a shield describes the field first, then the charges. The field may be a single, solid tincture. In this case, it is described by simply naming the tincture. For example, the arms of Brittany consist of a field ermine with no charges on it.
  18. 18.  The emblazon of the arms of Brittany look like this:
  19. 19. To describe a group of charges• To describe a group of charges, you usually specify at least three things:• the number charges in the group• the type(s) of charge(s) in the group• the tinctures of the charge(s)• in that order. For example, the following shield: is blazoned "Sable, a mullet argent."
  20. 20. To Recap• The first word, "Sable" describes the field, indicating that it is entirely sable.• The remainder of the blazon, "a mullet argent" describes a group of charges on the field: – "a" indicates that there is one charge in the group – "mullet" indicates that charges in the group are mullets (=stars) – "argent" indicates that the tincture of the group is argent.• It is helpful to think of a shield as being painted in layers. The field constitutes the first layer, and the first group of charges is placed in a second layer on the field. The following picture may help make this clear: The illustration shows how "Sable, a mullet argent." might look if viewed obliquely from below.• To summarize the syntax rules so far:• field before charges• number, then type, then tincture
  21. 21. FIELD DIVISIONS The field may be divided into multiple sections in certain conventional ways. The field is still considered to be a single layer, so no section is considered to be "on" any other. In general the sections of a divided field are blazoned in the order that one would read a page: primarily from top to bottom and secondarily from left to right, as one faces the shield.
  22. 22. TWO-PART FIELD DIVISIONS
  23. 23. THREE PART FIELD DIVISION
  24. 24. FOUR PART FIELD DIVISIONS
  25. 25. EIGHT-PART FIELD DIVISION
  26. 26. MANY-PART FIELD DIVISIONS
  27. 27. Ordinaries An ordinary is a charge that consists of one or more strips of some tincture which cover large areas of the shield. Every side of an ordinary is either straight or else parallels a curved edge of the shield. When learning these terms, it is useful to notice how the field divisions seen earlier correspond with the multi-edged ordinaries. Sometimes the rarer ordinaries are called subordinaries. It is easiest to classify them according to how many edges they have.
  28. 28. One Sided Ordinaries
  29. 29. Two Sides Ordinaries
  30. 30. Three Sides Ordinary
  31. 31. Four Sided Ordinaries
  32. 32. Inverted Ordinaries
  33. 33.  There are also special names for certain variants of the ordinaries, including diminuative (narrow) versions and other variants, such as the dance, the baton, and the shakefork. There are four special variants of ordinaries which will be discussed here, Fimbriation, Voiding, Gemels, Cottices and Diminutives,.
  34. 34.  Fimbriation is a narrow edging around plain- line ordinaries and other simple geometric charges. It is used primarily to seperate a charge and the field of the same type of tincture (metal/metal or color/color).
  35. 35.  The term voided applies to an ordinary or other simple geometric charge where only the outline of the charge is visible.
  36. 36.  Gemelling is a term which applies to two bars placed closely together. It is generally termed as a bar gemel
  37. 37.  Cottices (singular cost) are a normally found in pairs and are thin (double diminutives) versions of the ordinary they accompany and flank it on either side. When cottices are present, the ordinary is called cotised, except in the case of a pale, where it is considered endorsed.
  38. 38.  Diminutives are thinner, smaller versions of the ordinaries. For Example: the bar is a diminutive of the fess, in that the bar is a narrower version of the fess.
  39. 39.  HFS Armory is best served when we remember to exhibit good contrast between charges and the ground upon which they lie. The Rules for Submissions defines good contrast in terms of colors, metals, stains and combinations of them. To review: Colors are "dark" Metals are "light" Neutral is evenly composed of "light" and "dark". To describe a group of charges, you usually specify at least three things: the number charges in the group the type(s) of charge(s) in the group the tinctures of the charge(s) …in that order.
  40. 40.  We have seen how charges on the field are blazoned. It is also possible to have charges that lie completely on other charges, and do not meet the field at all. Such charges form a third layer of the design. Such charges are blazoned after the charges on which they lie. There are two forms: "... on an X, some Ys ..." "... some Xs (each) charged with some Ys ..." Form (1) is usually preferred, because it is shorter. But when there are multiple underlying charges, form (2) must be used. The following picture may help clarify what is meant by charges on charges: The illustration shows how "Sable, on a pale Argent a mullet of five points Sable." might look if viewed obliquely from below. Here is a summary of the syntax rules so far: field before charges number, then type, then tincture charges on charges are blazoned after the charges on which they lie
  41. 41.  Almost anything HFS appropriate can be used as a Charge in HFS heraldry. There are two reasons a charge is restricted or reserved:  Presumption (legally restricted within the Mundane world)  Offense Presumptuous charges make a mundane claim to a specific thing. For example, a Papal cross says "I am the Pope ." Since this is a mundane office, no one in the context of the HFS may claim to be the Pope without offending the mundane world, thus no one may bear a Papal cross. Offensive charges make the HFS look bad to observers.  The charges listed as restricted here are listed because they have been involved in official legal complaints against individuals (and groups) who displayed them. For example: the swastika, while a period charge, is so tainted by its association with the Nazis as to be unusable. The list of offensive charges includes:  Hand of Glory (a hand enflamed)  Swastika  A pall gammadion (three armed swastika)  A cross of flames
  42. 42.  The list of presumptuous charges includes: Crowned anything Imperial dragon (4- or 5-toed Chinese dragon) Papal cross (A cross with three cross pieces) Red Hand of Ulster (hand appaumy gules) Scottish tressure (double tressure flory-counterflory) Tudor rose (various combinations of a white rose and a red row) White rose en soleil (a white rose on top of a sun) France, ancient or modern (Azure, semy-de- lys Or) and (Azure, three fleurs-de-lys Or) Triple-headed eagle Cross couped gules Mitre Pallium
  43. 43.  The Charges on the presumptuous list are Mundane associated with Royalty that to use them on armory would claim to be a mundane Royal person. The 5-toed Chinese dragon is still reserved to the Chinese Emperor, while the 4-toed variety was reserved to the King of Korea. Chinese dragons used in armory should have no more than three toes on each foot. The Red Hand of Ulster is an Augmentation of Arms granted to Baronets in Great Britain.
  44. 44.  Quadrupeds (four-legged creatures) come in many shapes and sizes. Pictured below are but a few of the myriad of creatures known to heraldry.  Antelope, Stag, Bear, Rabbit, Cat, Dog, Dragon, Griffon, Lion, Panther, Squirrel, Tiger, Unicorn…
  45. 45.  Finally, the position of the head, if not looking forward, is blazoned explicitly. If the beast is looking at the viewer, it is considered "gardant" and if it is looking back over its shoulder, it is considered "regardant". Thus: a lion sejant a lion sejant gardant a lion sejant regardant
  46. 46.  In addition to the many different types of four legged creatures found in heraldry, most all of the creatures can be depicted in many different manners, known as postures. Below is a list of standard heraldic postures, along with depictions and descriptions of each.
  47. 47.  Rampant - Rearing Body erect, forelegs apart and out, back-rear leg off the ground. Salient - Leaping Body erect and elongated, forelegs out and together, rear legs together and on the ground Courant - Running Body elongated, head erect, all four legs extended. Passant - walking Body horizontal, head angled or erect, three feet touching the ground with the right foreleg raised. Statant - standing Body horizontal, head angled or erect, all four feet touching the ground. Sejant - sitting Body angled, head erect, all four legs touching the ground, rear legs curved and front legs straight. Sejant Erect - sitting upright Body and head erect, the rear legs as in sejant and the forelegs apart and out. Sejant Affronty - sitting facing the viewer ("in full aspect") As Sejant, but viewed from the front, so the belly of the creature is fully visible. The knees of the rear legs are splayed to give a better view. Sejant Erect Affronty - sitting upright facing the viewer As Sejant Affronty, but with the forelegs upraised and spread wide. Couchant - lying down Body horizontal, head erect with legs tucked under the body. Dormant - sleeping Body horizontal, legs tucked under body and head down in a sleeping position using forelegs as a pillow.
  48. 48.  Just as there are beasts of the field, there are birds of the air. Though not as numerous as the beasts, there are still many different types of birds. One of the primary differences between beasts and birds is that the latter are commonly linked quite closely with a specific posture in period armory. Thus, in period armory, almost all displayed birds are eagles, only storks have the posture in their vigilance, only peacocks are in their pride and only pelicans are in their piety. The present Laurel thought on this is that birds who are represented in their period posture, displaying defining characteristics (more on this later) and were considered different in period will g The first group is that of the raptors: Chief among them is the Eagle, being the king of the air, much like the lion is the king of beasts. The eagle is normally seen displayed. Next is the falcon, which is seen as both rising and close in period armory. Finally, there is the owl which is always seen in period in the close guardant posture.generally be considered different
  49. 49.  The next group is the general bird group. The default posture for these is close and include birds such as the crow, duck and dove.
  50. 50.  The final category is reserved for special birds who have postures which make them unique enough to render them different from other birds. These include the crane, peacock and the pelican.
  51. 51.  Displayed --Wings and legs splayed Close --Wings close against the body and feet on ground Volant --Feet invisible, wings outstretched. Wings can be displayed or not. Rising --Feet on ground, wings elevated or displayed, addorsed or not. Close affronty --Normally only for owls - also known as close guardant Pride-- seen only with Peacocks. Close affronty --with tailfeathers displayed Vigilance --seen only with Cranes. Close with one leg raised, stone in claw Vulning or Piety --seen only with Pelicans..normally with nest and chicks
  52. 52.  Addorsed --Both wings on same side of body Displayed --Wings on either side of body Elevated --Wingtips away from body Inverted --Wingtips tucked back towards body  Often, the two wing position variants will be used together
  53. 53.  As we have discussed the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, the denizens of the ocean are also seen in armory. They range from the dolphin and the whale through various different fish used primarily for canting.  A dolphin, A lucy (medieval name for pike), A whale, A lobster, crabs, escallops, octopi and squid (known as kraken).
  54. 54.  Embowed --Curved body bending inward Embowed--counterembowed S shaped curve to the body, Seen most often with dolphins. Haurient --Body in pale, head to chief Naiant --Body in fess, head to dexter Urinant --Body in pale, head to base
  55. 55.  Though uncommon, it is not unheard of to find reptiles and amphibians in heraldy. The most commonly found of these is the serpent or snake, which is seen either nowed (or knotted) or erect. A serpent knowed A serpent erect
  56. 56.  Other reptiles and amphibians which are seen in armory include the lizard, the turtle and the frog. Note that all are depicted in a top-down perspective which is called tergiant.
  57. 57.  Insects and arthropods can be found in armory. All insects are found depicted in the tergiant posture. However, when the insect is winged, the posture is known as volant en arrière (flying).
  58. 58.  The animal kingdom is not the only resource which was drawn upon for period armory. There are many forms of plant life which can be used as charges. These include flowers, trees and fruits/nuts. When a flower has a stem attached, it is termed slipped. When it has a stem and leaves attached, it is termed slipped and leaved. When the leaves of a rose have a different tincture than the flower, they are referred to as barbed and when the center of the rose is a different tincture, it is referred to as seeded.  A rose, A thistle, A Fleur-de-lys, A trefoil  Note that the trefoil and the Fleur-de-lys are stylised representations of flowers. Trees were also found in armory. Though many different species of trees were used in armory, for purposes of conflict checking, we use the basic shapes of the tree (oval, conical, palm, etc). When the roots of a tree are showing, the tree is termed eradicated and when they are not, it is called couped. When there are no leaves on the tree, it is termed blasted. The fruits from these plants are also the subject of armorial depiction, from humble acorn and garb (a sheaf of wheat), to the pomegranate.
  59. 59.  There are a myriad of other charges which are used in period armory. These range from the simple everyday objects, such as tools and household goods, to weapons and armor and even structures and body parts.
  60. 60.  Lines of division and the edges of ordinaries need not be straight; they can take any of a number of decorative patterns. The more common ones are illustrated below: The example above showed embattlements applied only to the upper edge of the fess. This is the default practice for bends, fesses, and chevrons embattled, and presumably also for bends sinister embattled. Im not sure about chevrons inverted, though. The upper-edge rule also seems to apply to fesses flory and trefly, chevrons grady and potent, and bends flory, though some might dispute these. But surprisingly, fesses and bends potent are decorated on both edges. Indeed, in most cases, the default is for patterns to be applied to all edges of an ordinary.  For instance, here is Sable, a pale wavy Argent:
  61. 61.  When all edges of a multi-edged ordinary are indented, the term "dancetty" is used. For instance, here is Sable, a pale dancetty Argent:
  62. 62.  Notice that waves and dents on opposite sides of the pale are "in phase" so that the width of the pale remains more-or-less constant. This is generally true of complex lines applied to multi-edged ordinaries. The one exception is bretessed which is identical to embattled except that the battlements on opposite edges are 180 degrees "out-of-phase" with one another. Here is Sable, a pale bretessed Argent:
  63. 63.  Chevrons, fesses, and bends bretessed, naturally, have battlements on both edges. To specify that a fess, chevron, or bend has embattlements on both edges that are "in phase", the term "embattled-counter-embattled" is used. Engrailed and invected edges, because of their asymmetry, require special clarification. An engrailed ordinary has semi-circular "bites" taken out of it, whereas an invected ordinary has semi- circular "bumps" added to it. For instance, here is Sable, a chief engrailed Argent:
  64. 64.  Counterchanging is a common practice wherein the field is divided between a metal and a color. Upon that field is a charge or group of charges whose tinctures are of the opposite tincture. For instance, if one has Per pale sable and argent, two roundels counterchanged, the roundel on the sable part of the field is argent and vice versa as such... Counterchanging can also be applied to single charges and groups of charges.
  65. 65. DIRECTIONS In the world of a map there are four cardinal directions: north, east, south, and west. Similarly, the world of a shield also has four cardinal directions: to base (= toward the bottom point of the shield) to chief (= toward the top edge of the shield) to dexter (= toward the viewers left) to sinister (= toward the viewers right) Those familiar with Latin or anatomy will notice that, from the viewers point of view, dexter and sinister are backwards! The usual explanation for this is that directions are specified from the point of view of someone carrying the shield. In addition, there are four "in-between" directions, analogous to northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast: to dexter chief (or to canton) to sinister chief (or to sinister canton) to dexter base to sinister base
  66. 66.  Orientatation refers to the way that axes of a charge are pointed with respect to the shield. In a blazon, the orientation of a charge appears after the type, but before the tincture. For any charge which can be oriented in more than one way, there is a default orientation, which is assumed if no orientation is specified. The orientations that can be specified for a charge depend on how many axes the charge has and how symmetric each one is: Some charges, such as annulets and roundels, are perfectly symmetric; they look the same no matter how they are rotated or reflected. They have no axes, and no orientation can be specified. Other charges, such as billets, cartouches, lozenges, and mascles, have a single axis but no "top end". For these charges, only four orientations can be specified:  palewise,  bendwise,  bendwise sinister,  and fesswise.
  67. 67.  When these charges appear singly on the field, their default orientation is "palewise". Other charges, such as chalices, hearts, pheons, and trees, have a single axis with a clearly-defined "top" and "bottom" that can be swapped. The first four orientations above apply to these charges as well, with the additional constraint that the "top" end of the charge is to chief for palewise, bendwise, or bendwise sinister charges and to dexter for fesswise charges. If the top and bottom of the charge are swapped, one replaces  "palewise" with "palewise inverted",  "bendwise" with "bendwise inverted",  "bendwise sinister" with "bendwise sinister inverted", and  "fesswise" with "fesswise reversed". Basically, inverted means "swap top for bottom", and reversed means "swap left for right".
  68. 68.  Other charges, such as harps, maunches, and mugs have a two axes: a principal axis with a "top" and "bottom" and a secondary axis with a "leading edge" and "trailing edge". Each of the eight orientations above come in two flavors now, depending on whether the leading edge is in the normal orientation or not. For "palewise", the normal flavor is "leading edge to dexter" and the other flavor is palewise reversed, which means "leading edge to sinister".
  69. 69. Arrangements Arrangement refers to the placement of charges relative to other charges in a single grouping. If you have a group of three charges there are many standard ways in which they can be arranged: Sable, in fess three billets argent. Sable, three billets in pale argent.
  70. 70. More on Arrangments Note that the arrangement can appear in different positions in the blazon. Sometimes it appears before the number; sometimes it appears after the type. Both positions are legal for phrases that begin with the word "in". Phases consisting of lists of numbers should only appear after the type. Note that it was necessary to specify the orientation of the billets when they were arranged "in bend" and "in bend sinister". This is because: charges arranged "in bend" are oriented "bendwise" by default charges arranged "in bend sinister" are oriented "bendwise sinister" by default In many circumstances, there is a default arrangement. For instance, a group of three charges on the field are "two and one" if no other arrangement is specified.
  71. 71. Help is Available!• If you have an idea of what you want your device to look like (or even a drawing) and you would like help getting a Blazon or Emblazon, contact us!• There is much more possible in Heraldry that what is posted here. We have many options and we will gladly work with you to add to the pagentry within the Combined Realms.

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