The three main devices (symbols) in the Bunnell blazon are the increscent, cornish chough and ducal coronet. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, argent and sable .
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.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.
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.
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 9xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 10. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 11.
Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 12. The Cornish Chough is a member of the crow family and is often depicted as black with red or orange beak and legs. 13 Wade gives it the role of “king of crows” and believes that its use denotes a “man of stratagems”. 14
Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 15, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 16. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 17. The ducal coronet is an example of this, being gold with a brim of strawberry leaves and a cap of crimson velvet. 18 It may also be the case that a crown is added to an existing coat of arms as an augmentation in recognition of some service to a King 19.