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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

First notation: 1790 ennoblement W polu czerwonym podkowa barkiem do góry srebrna; nad nią gwiazda ośmiopromienna, złota; między ocelami miecz srebrny z rękojeścią złotą. Klejnot: nad hełmem, w koronie pięć piór strusich, przeszytych mieczem, ostrzem w lewo. Labry błękitne, podbite srebrem.

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

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Podkowa Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Podkowa blazon are the horseshoe and sword. The main tincture (color) is gules.

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.

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 4A 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. 5Boutell’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 6A 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. 7The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112

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 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! If a charge is described just as a simple sword then it will have a straight blade and cross handle, that may be of a different colour, and, unless specified, points upwards. Wade, quoting the earlier writer Guillim, signifies the use of the sword as representing “Government and Justice”.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
3. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
4. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281
5. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100
6. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Horse-shoe
7. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302