The three main devices (symbols) in the Conder blazon are the anchor, ship and bend wavy. The three main tinctures (colors) are argent, azure 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 bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 3. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 4.
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 5. 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 6. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 7.
A wide variety of inanimate objects 8 appear in coats of arms, so of them still recognisable today, others now rather obscure. The images used are often simplified and stylised, the anchor is a typical case. For any meaning, we need look no further than a nautical or sea-faring heritage. Indeed, some arms go into great detail of the colours and arrangement of the stock, stem, cables and flutes of the anchor reflecting a detailed knowledge of the form and use of this device. 9.
We do not need to look far to find the symbolism in the presence of a ship in a coat of arms, they appear regularly in the arms of port towns and merchant companies and families. They usually appear as a three masted wooden vessel known as a lymphad 10 but are often described in some detail as to the disposition of their sails, presence and colours of flags and standards and so on. 11
The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 12. It can be further distinguished by embellishing the edges. 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.