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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(confirmed by Fortescue, Ulster, to Col. Charles Lumm, and the descendants of Elnathan Lumm, Esq.). Motto—Vita potior libertas. Ar. a trefoil slipped vert betw. three mullets sa. Crest—A Moor’s head in profile ppr. wreathed about the temples or and vert.

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

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Lumm Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Lumm blazon are the trefoil and mullet. The two main tinctures (colors) are vert and sable.

The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 1. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 2. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 3. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

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.

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 7. The trefoil may originally been a representation of a specific plant (perhaps shamrock) but it has been used as a symbol almost since the beginning of heraldry and over time has adopted a stylised aspect. 8. Guillim believes that it signifies “perpetuity…the just man shall never wither”. 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.

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References

  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 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 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Trefoil
  • 9 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P109
  • 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