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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Ar. a chev. betw. three wolves’ heads erased sa.

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

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Abberton Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Abberton blazon are the wolf and chevron. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3.

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) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.

The wolf was the symbol of Rome long before the advent of heraldry, and before that was sacred to the ancient Egyptians. 6 In heraldry it is probably more often just as head than the whole animal, but when whole it can be in many different poses. 7 It is found from the earliest instances of arms, but quite often due to a derivative of its French name, loup sharing the initial sound of many family names like LOWE and LOVATT.

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 8, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.9. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 10, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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References

  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 2 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 3 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 4 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 6 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P31
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Wolf
  • 8 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 9 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45