Wednesday, 1 April 2015

per dexter, checky and fesse or worth 1000


Though we have already established that the arcane language of heraldry was constructed and preserved so as to transmit the design of emblems, devices and coats-of-arms accurately without necessitating drawing the whole pattern all over again, I am enjoying immensely looking through a pretty comprehensive handbook of heraldic design, researched and illustrated by one Hubert Allcock—who does not share his family’s crest. The above about not wasting time, ink and tincture on reproduction being true, the book’s one drawback is that it is rendered in black and white sketches, so one needs to colour by number.
 And maybe that’s the point, pouring over the descriptions and exacting terminology, I can remember how when I was young, I’d often return to the reference section of the school library and look through an encyclopedia of symbols with the objective of increasing the vocabulary of my own secret, coded short-hard. Now, I am finding myself just as enchanted with the descriptive words.
Maybe we ought to adopt the same naming-conventions when it comes to tagging the photos we share. Eagle, displayed—or spread-eagle.  Deer, at gaze—looking straight at the viewer, like a deer in headlights. Other common charges (poses) include caboshed or erased, headed with nothing else visible, rampant or segréant, standing on its hindlegs rather than statant or on all fours, addorsed is back to back and regarding is eye to eye.
Blazonry—that is the background composition of the shield is told in even more fantastic ways. Figure 21 is instructed as Paly of six, argent and sable (silver and black), a fesse counter-charged. 34 is Lozengy, argent and azure. 42 is patterned as Gyronny of eight, or (gold) and azure. 47 is per pily barwise, reversed pall (white) and azure. Of course, every design in this retinue was chosen to impart specific and readily recognisable virtues of its standard-bearer and the symbolism is nearly itself inscrutable.