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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Portugal) Azure, a swan argent, in loch, waves proper: in chief seven eight pointed stars, or. Crest: a swan as in the arms.

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

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Cirne Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Cirne blazon are the swan and star. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and argent.

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

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) 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Wade suggests that the appearance of a swan in a coat of arms is perhaps an indication of a musical person, or a “ lover of poetry and harmony”. 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P78 It is generally shown in a lifelike aspect and colouring, although it may be leaked and legged with other colours. 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Swan. It is a popular charge, both on the shield itself and impress, sometimes sitting and sometimes rising as if about to take off in flight. 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P245

There were of course many widely recognised symbols that existed long before the advent of heraldry and it should be no surprise that some of these were adopted as charge in coats of arms 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P301. The estoile is a typical example, reflecting the stars in the sky and represented with six wavy points, often with a little shading to give it some depth. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Estoile. The ancient writer Guillim assigns these symbols as the emblems of God’s goodness”. 10A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P77More modern arms might use the term star explicitly to refer to the celestial object, in which case it is usually known as a blazing star 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Star

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References   [ + ]

1. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
3. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
4. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
5. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P78
6. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Swan
7. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P245
8. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P301
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Estoile
10. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P77
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Star