The three main devices (symbols) in the Eastland blazon are the horse, bend cotised and basket. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, argent and or .
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 1. 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” 2.
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) 3. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4.
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.5. 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 6. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.7.
In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 8 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The horse Is a typical example of these.
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 9. To add extra impact it can be cotised, with the addition of narrower bends to either side, which may be other tinctures for even more distinction. 10. They are not common, but make a worthy and striking addition to any coat of arms.
Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 11. The humble but useful basket is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 12