Special patterns, of a distinctive shape are frequently used in heraldry and are know as furs, representing the cured skins of animals Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28. Although they were originally derived from creatures such as the ermine (mink) and the squirrel the actual patterns have become highly stylised into simple geometric shapes Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P46-49. pean is a variant of ermine in which the field is sable (black) and the ermine spots or (gold).