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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Scotland). Per fesse ar. and vert a pale counterchanged, three cinquefoils of the second. Crest—The sun in splendour or.

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

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Mellis Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Mellis blazon are the cinquefoil and sun. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and vert.

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) 1Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

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” 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. 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 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 5Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. The cinquefoil is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It is shown as five-petalled flower, each petal quite rounded but with a distinct tip. It is sometimes pierced with a hole in the centre and usually appears on its own, without any leaves. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cinquefoil It has no fixed colour but can appear in any of the available heraldic tinctures.

The sun was long used as a potent symbol before the advent of heraldry and brought some of that existing meaning with it. In conventional heraldry it is normally borne in its splendour, that is with a face and a large number of alternating straight and wavy rays. 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sun It can also be seen issuing from behind clouds, and in some cases a demi or half sun coming from the base, reflecting either the dawn, or perhaps as it appears in the arms of WESTWORTH, with the sunset. 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P296

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References   [ + ]

1. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
2. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
4. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
5. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
6. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cinquefoil
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sun
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P296