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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Newcastle-on Tyne). Argent a chevron between three martins sable. Crest—Out of a dural coronet or, a plume of five ostrich feathers argent thereon a martlet, wings expanded ppr. Motto—We rise.

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

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Martinson Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Martinson blazon are the chevron, ostrich feathers and martins. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

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 1. 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 2. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 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 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 6, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.7. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 8, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

The feather, especially that of the ostrich appears with great regularity in the crests of a full achievement of arms, typically in the shape of a plume. Wade associates this device with “willing obedience and serenity of mind”. 9 They are much less common on the shield itself, unless part of an arrow, which may be feathered of a different colour, or a quill pen. 10

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 11. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 12. The martins is amongst the mjaor bird species to appear in heraldry.

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References

  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 2 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 3 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 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 Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 7 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
  • 9 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P74
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Feathers
  • 11 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233
  • 12 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164