The main device (symbol) in the Della Rocca blazon is the bend bretesse. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and sable.
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 2. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3.
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 4. 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 5. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 6.
The bend is such a bold and clear shape, clearly visible on the shield, that its popularity should not be a surprise. One of the Heralds primary roles is ensure that each coat of arms be distinct from all others 7 and one way to accomodate the demand for the use of the bend was to draw them with a variety of decorative edges, thus distinguishing, at least from close up, one set of arms from another. The term bretesse refers to an edge drawn as if it were the battlements of a castle. Indeed, it is one of several, very specific terms which describes exactly how the battlements are to be drawn 8. Normally, if an ordinary, such as a fesse or bend is drawn embattled then the battlements appear only on the upper edge, however the use her of counter-embattled tells us that the lower edge should be likewise treated. In all cases, the use of this decoration, according to Wade, is clearly to be associated with fortifications such as castles and walled towns. 9