Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Or, on a fesse betw. three cocks gu. as many mullets of the field. Crest—A griffin sejant, wings endorsed ppr.
2) Ar. a fesse betw. three cocks gu.

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

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Loveney Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Loveney blazon are the cock, mullet, griffin and fesse. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, gules and argent .

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2.

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”3. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 4. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.5.

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

The cock, and other members of its avian family are often found in coats of arms, although telling them apart simply from their images can sometimes be a challenge! Many times the precise choice of species arises as a play on words on the family name, sometimes now lost in history. 8 The cock itself, Wade points out is a “bird of great courage” and might be used as a symbol of “watchfullness”, being the herald of the dawn. 9

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” 10. 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 11. 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” 12.

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 13 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. 14. 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”.]15

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References

  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 3 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 4 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 5 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
  • 6 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cock
  • 9 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P80
  • 10 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
  • 11 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
  • 12 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
  • 13 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164
  • 14 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin
  • 15 Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150