Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Argent guttee de poix a saltire gu. Crest—A boar's head couped or.

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

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Kercy Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Kercy blazon are the saltire and boar’s head. The two main tinctures (colors) are guttee de poix and gules.

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.1. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

The saltire is one the major ordinaries, large charges that occupy the whole of the field 4. Arguably one of the best uses of this device is that of the St. Andrews Cross, a white saltire on a blue background found on the Scottish flag. The saltire is obviously closely related to the Cross, and Wade in his work on Heraldic Symbology suggests additionally that it alludes to “Resolution”, whilst Guillim, an even more ancient writer, somewhat fancifully argues that it is awarded to those who have succesfully scaled the walls of towns! 5

In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. 6 It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! 7 We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior. 8

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References

  • 1 The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
  • 2 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Saltire
  • 5 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P63
  • 6 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 72
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Boar
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67