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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Ar. a chev. betw. three horseshoes sa. a chief gu. Crest—Out of a mural crown or, a griffin's head ppr.

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

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Locksmith Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Locksmith blazon are the horseshoe, chevron, chief and griffin’s head. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, sable and argent .

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 4. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 5. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 6.

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.

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 9. The horseshoe is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner. 10. In addition, the horseshoe, which is one the earliest symbols found in heraldry 11 can be seen as a “safeguard against evil spirits” and may still be found nailed above doorways today. 12

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 13, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.14. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 15, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

The chief is an area across the top of the field 16. It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, 17, being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.

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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, P53
  • 3 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 5 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 6 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 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 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281
  • 10 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Horse-shoe
  • 12 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P112
  • 13 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 14 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 15 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
  • 16 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40
  • 17 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief