Mecken Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Mecken Family Coat of Arms

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Mecken Coat of Arms Meaning

Mecken Name Origin & History

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Mecken Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Mecken blazon are the estoile, ostrich feather and cross lorraine. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and azure.

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 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. 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 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

There were of course many widely recognised symbols that existed long before the advent of heraldry and it should be no surprise that some of these were adopted as charge in coats of arms 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P301. The estoile is a typical example, reflecting the stars in the sky and represented with six wavy points, often with a little shading to give it some depth. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Estoile. The ancient writer Guillim assigns these symbols as the emblems of God’s goodness”. 8A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P77

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”. 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P74 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. 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Feathers

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 11Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. The cross lorraine is a particular variant that is especially decorative.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Mecken Name

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Allemagne - Coupé au 1 de sable à un briquet d'argent posé en barre et une pierre de fusil d'argent accostés au 2 d'azur à une croix de Lorraine d'or posée en barre Casque couronné Cimier une colonne d'argent ch du briquet et sommée d'un panache de trois plumes d'autruche ch d'une étoile d'or Lambrequin à dextre d'or et de sable à senestre d'or et d'azurPer fess 1 sable a flint stone [?] argent placed bendwise sinister and a musket argent at its side 2nd azure a cross Lorraine or placed bendwise sinister Crowned with a helmet Crest: a pillar argent charged with a flint stone and surmounted by a plume of three ostrich feathers charged with an etoile or Mantling: to the dexter or and sa to the sinister or and azure.

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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. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
5. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
6. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P301
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Estoile
8. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P77
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. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47