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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

First notation: 1281 W polu srebrnym pas czerwony. Klejnot ramię zbrojne z mieczem.

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

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Kotwicz Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Kotwicz blazon are the fesse and arm in armour. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and argent.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3

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) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.

The fesse (also found as fess) is one of the major ordinaries to found in heraldry, being a bold, broad, horizontal band across the centre of the shield. It may originally have arisen from the planks of which a wooden shield can be constructed, the centremost plank being painted a different colour 6. It is instantly recognisable as a symbol, for example the arms of COLEVILLE granted during the reign of Hery III are simply or, a fesse gules. With this clear association with the construction of the shield itself, Wade believes that the fesse can be taken to be associated with the military, as a “girdle of honour”.

The Arm appears frequently in the crest of a coat of arms, often armoured and described in some detail as to its appearance and attitude. 7 It can also appear on the shield itself as a charge. The arm itself is said to signify a “laboorious and industrious person” 8, whilst the arm in armour may denote “one fitted for performance of high enterprise” 9

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References

  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 4 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:arm
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P92
  • 9 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P184