Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Argent a bend vert between three mullets gules. Crest— A lion sejant affronte gules holding in the dexter paw a sword argent pommel and hilt or, and in the sinister a fleur-de-lis gold.

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

This interesting and long-established surname has two distinct possible origins, each with its history and origin.  Firstly, Ivory may be of Norman-French origin, and a locational name from Ivry-la-Bataille in Eure, Normandy, so called from Gallo-Roman personal name "Eburius", a derivative of "ebur", ivory, and the local suffix "-acum", village, settlement.  The family "de Ivery" considered to be descended from Rodolph, half-brother to Richard the First, Duke of Normandy, who awarded the Palace of Ivery for killing a monstrous boar while hunting with the Duke. More common variations are: Ivorry, Ivorey, Ivoroy, Ivorya, Ivor, Ivry, Ivery, Avory, Ivoriya, Ivorye.

The surname Ivory first found in Oxfordshire Where they held a family seat from very early times and given lands by Duke William of Normandy, their true Lord, for their special assistance a the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD.

Some of the people with the name Ivory who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included William Ivory, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1652.  Some of the people with the surname Ivory who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Edward Ivory, who landed in America in 1805.  Some of the people with the surname Ivory who arrived in the Canada in the 19th century included John Ivory, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1820.

Ivory Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Ivory blazon are the mullet, bend and lion. The three main tinctures (colors) are vert, gules and argent .

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 bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.4. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 5. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 6, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

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) 7. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8.

The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” 9. A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires 10. In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” 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. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 13. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 14.

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 15 16 17. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 18 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 19, a sentiment echoed equally today.

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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 The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
  • 5 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
  • 6 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 7 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 9 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
  • 10 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40
  • 13 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22
  • 14 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49
  • 15 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172
  • 16 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63
  • 17 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140
  • 18 A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45
  • 19 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60