The three main devices (symbols) in the Lauder blazon are the griffin, tressure and angel. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and argent.
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.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, 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) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
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? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]8Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150
The tressure is an oridinary that echoes the outer edge of the shield, being a thin single or double line somewhat inset from the outside. It can decorated at key points with fleurs-de-lys in which case it is known as a tressure flory counter-flory. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:tressure Wade considers it to be the emblem of “preservation and protection”, presumably because of its “surrounding” of the other charges. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P51
The middle ages was a deeply religious time, and since the bulk of heraldry was developed in countries that were almost entirely Christian it is no surprise that religious and church symbology was widely adopted for use in coats of arms. The angel Is a typical such usage. Wade assigns it the additional meaning of “dignity, glory and honour”. 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P104 They are depicted in conventional form, facing the viewer with wings extended. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:ANgel