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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

War cry (zawołanie): Grabie! Grabia! Kocina! First notation: 1342 W polu złotym na wzg"rku zielonym utkwione w prost do g"ry białe grabie o siedmiu zębach. W klejnocie pięć pi"r strusich

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

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Grabie Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Grabie blazon is the rake. The two main tinctures (colors) are vert and or.

The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 1. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 2. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 3. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4. 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 5. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6.

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 7 being a common and important example of these, of which the rake, a hay maker’s tool is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 8, let alone know what to use it for! Nevertheless, for mediaeval peasant it was a clearly identifiable symbol.

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References

  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 5 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 6 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163