Little-Known Heraldic Charges

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July 7, 2014 by phicks2012

One of my hobbies is Heraldry, and I’ve discovered over the years that while the general public might have a nodding familiarity with things like “lions rampant” or “eagles displayed” they frequently have no idea even how many “common” heraldic charges exist, and when it comes to identifying “less common” heraldic charges they usually scratch their heads and wonder “What the Hell is THAT?”

I thought it might be fun today to show you just a few of those “uncommon” charges, just for your entertainment and possible amusement, so here goes!!!

[Cloud] Fluffy, cottonball clouds are true-to-nature, but do not appear in period heraldry where clouds are stylized and look like this one.

cloud

 

 

 
[Label] This symbol was used, often on the arms of the father, to indicate the arms of the eldest son.

label

 

 

 

 
[Portcullis] Most people know what these are. They are raised or lowered in castle gateways to allow or prevent entrance.

portcullis-02

 

 

 

 
[Cushion] This is exactly what it looks like — a cushion such as you might have on your living room couch.

cushion-02

 

 

 
[Fleam] Heraldic fleams are stylized representations of the instruments used in period for blood-letting in a time when most ailments were thought to be the result of “unbalanced humours”.

 

fleam-01

 

 

 

 

 
[Melusine] Recognize this creature? Starbuck’s didn’t invent her. She is known as a “melusine”, which is essentially a mermaid with two tails.

monster-melusine

 

 

 

 

 
[Water Bouget) This is a stylized representation of a yoke with two water pouches attached.

water bouget-01

 

 

 

 

There are lots more of these, but for now a sample has to be sufficient, and I hope you found that sample at least intriguing!

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phicks2012

phicks2012

I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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