The two main devices (symbols) in the Allardice blazon are the boar and fesse wavy. The three main tinctures (colors) are argent, gules and sable .
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) 1. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2.
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.3. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 4. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 5, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
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 6. 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 7. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 8.
In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. 9 It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! 10 We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior. 11
The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 12, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! The decorative edge pattern Wavy, sometimes written as undy is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 13. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 14. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.