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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

First notation: XV Century W polu błękitnym podkowa srebrna ze złotym krzyżem kawalerskim na barku, ze środka lewo-ukośnie srzałą przeszyta. Klejnot: pięć pi”r strusich. Labry: błękitne, podbite srebrem.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Montowt Coat of Arms and Family Crest

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Montowt Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Montowt blazon are the horseshoe, cross pattee and arrow. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and argent .

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 4A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The horseshoe is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner. 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100. In addition, the horseshoe, which is one the earliest symbols found in heraldry 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Horse-shoe can be seen as a “safeguard against evil spirits” and may still be found nailed above doorways today. 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 12Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 13Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross pattee is typical of these, pattee meaning “spreading”, and so the ends of the arms of the cross curve gently outwards to rather pleasing effect. 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Pattée

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 16Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The regular prescence of the arrow, both singly and in groups is evidence of this. In British heraldry a lone arrow normally points downward, but in the French tradition it points upwards. 17A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Arrow. The presence of an arrow in a coat of arms is reckoned to indicate “martial readiness” by Wade. 18The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
3. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
4. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
8. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Horse-shoe
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112
12. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
13. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
14. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Pattée
16. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89
17. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Arrow
18. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111