Escutcheon (heraldry)

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In heraldry, an escutcheon is a shield that forms the main or focal element in an achievement of arms.wikipedia
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Heraldry

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In heraldry, an escutcheon is a shield that forms the main or focal element in an achievement of arms. In general a female was represented by her paternal arms impaled by the arms of her husband on an escutcheon as a form of marshalling.
The achievement, or armorial bearings usually includes a coat of arms on an shield, helmet, and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, badges, heraldic banners, and mottoes.

Coat of arms

armscoats of armscoat-of-arms
First, as the shield on which a coat of arms is displayed; second, a shield can itself be a charge within a coat of arms.
A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard.

Charge (heraldry)

chargechargedcharges
First, as the shield on which a coat of arms is displayed; second, a shield can itself be a charge within a coat of arms. The points of the shield refer to specific positions thereon and are used in blazons to describe where a charge should be placed.
In heraldry, a charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of an escutcheon (shield).

Achievement (heraldry)

achievementarmorial bearingsheraldic achievement
In heraldry, an escutcheon is a shield that forms the main or focal element in an achievement of arms.
Sometimes the term "coat of arms" is used to refer to the full achievement, but this usage is wrong in the strict sense of heraldic terminology, as a coat of arms refers to a garment with the escutcheon or armorial achievement embroidered on it.

Shield

shieldsbattle-shieldKetayam
In heraldry, an escutcheon is a shield that forms the main or focal element in an achievement of arms.
The heater style inspired the shape of the symbolic heraldic shield that is still used today.

Impalement (heraldry)

impalingimpaledimpalement
In general a female was represented by her paternal arms impaled by the arms of her husband on an escutcheon as a form of marshalling.
In heraldry, impalement is a form of heraldic combination or marshalling of two coats of arms side by side in one divided heraldic shield or escutcheon to denote a union, most often that of a husband and wife, but also for unions of ecclesiastical, academic/civic and mystical natures.

Canadian Heraldic Authority

The Canadian Heraldic AuthorityChancellery of Honoursthe country's heraldic authority
Other shapes are in use, such as the roundel commonly used for arms granted to Aboriginal Canadians by the Canadian Heraldic Authority or the Nguni shield used in African heraldry.

Cadency

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As a result of rulings of the English Kings of Arms dated 7 April 1995 and 6 November 1997, married women in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and in other countries recognising the jurisdiction of the College of Arms in London (such as New Zealand) also have the option of using their husband's arms alone, marked with a small lozenge as a difference to show that the arms are displayed for the wife and not the husband; or of using their own personal arms alone, marked with a small shield as a brisure for the same reason.
However, if the woman happens to be a heraldic heiress, her father's arms are borne on an inescutcheon on her husband's arms.

Funerary hatchment

hatchmentfuneral hatchmenthatchments
The lozenge shape of quasi-escutcheon is also used for funerary hatchments for both men and women.
A funerary hatchment is a depiction within a black lozenge-shaped frame, generally on a black (sable) background, of a deceased's heraldic achievement, that is to say the escutcheon showing the arms, together with the crest and supporters of his family or person.

Order of the Garter

KGKnight of the GarterKnight of the Order of the Garter
The heater was used in warfare during the apogee of the Age of Chivalry, at about the time of the Battle of Crecy (1346) and the founding of the Order of the Garter (1348).

Clan Hay

HayHay familyHays
Inescutcheons may appear in personal and civic armory as simple mobile charges, for example the arms of the House of Mortimer, the Clan Hay or the noble French family of Abbeville.
"The traditional origin of the noble house of Hay is thus related:—In the reign of Kenneth III, anno 980, the Danes, who had invaded Scotland, having prevailed, at the battle of Luncarty, near Perth, were pursuing the flying Scots, from the field, when a countryman and his two sons appeared in a narrow pass, through which the vanquished were hurrying, and impeded for a moment their flight. "What," said the rustic, "had you rather be slaughtered by your merciless foes, than die honorably in the field; come, rally, rally!" and he headed the fugitives, brandishing his ploughshare, and crying out, that help was at hand: the Danes, believing that a fresh army was falling upon them, fled in confusion, and the Scots thus recovered the laurel which they had lost, and freed their country from servitude. The battle being won, the old man, afterwards known by the name of Hay, was brought to the king, who, assembling a parliament at Scone, gave to the said Hay and his sons, as a just reward for their valour, so much land on the river Tay, in the district of Gowrie, as a falcon from a man's hand flew over till it settled; which being six miles in length, was afterwards called Errol; and the king being desirous to elevate Hay and his sons from their humble rank in life, to the order of nobility, his majesty assigned them a coat of arms, which was argent, three escutcheons, gules, to intimate that the father and two sons had been the three fortunate shields of Scotland."

Blazon

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The points of the shield refer to specific positions thereon and are used in blazons to describe where a charge should be placed.
For example, the shape of the escutcheon is almost always immaterial, with very limited exceptions (e.g., the coat of arms of Nunavut, for which a round shield is specified).

Quartering (heraldry)

Quarterlyquarteredquartering
In the next generation the arms are quartered by the son.
Quartering in is a method of joining several different coats of arms together in one shield by dividing the shield into equal parts and placing different coats of arms in each division.

College of Arms

College of HeraldsRoyal LicenceDerby House
As a result of rulings of the English Kings of Arms dated 7 April 1995 and 6 November 1997, married women in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and in other countries recognising the jurisdiction of the College of Arms in London (such as New Zealand) also have the option of using their husband's arms alone, marked with a small lozenge as a difference to show that the arms are displayed for the wife and not the husband; or of using their own personal arms alone, marked with a small shield as a brisure for the same reason.
These included the helm and crest, spurs, gauntlet, target (shield of arms), sword and a literal 'coat of arms' (a heraldic surcoat).

Three Crowns

Tre Kronorthree gold crownsthree golden crowns
Inescutcheons may also be charged with other mobile charges, such as in the arms of the Swedish Collegium of Arms (illustrated below) which bears the three crowns of Sweden, each upon its own escutcheon upon the field of the main shield.
Use of the three crowns as a heraldic symbol of Sweden has been attested, in the Nordisk Familjebok, to the late 13th century, the three crowns first ringing the shield of Magnus Ladulås (1240-1290) and later appearing on the coins of Magnus Eriksson (1316-1374).

Coat of arms of Sweden

Lesser coat of arms of Swedengreater coat of arms of SwedenSwedish coat of arms
A monarch's personal or hereditary arms may be borne on an inescutcheon en surtout over the territorial arms of his/her domains, as in the arms of Spain, the coats of arms of the Danish Royal Family members, the greater coat of arms of Sweden, or the arms of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England (1653–1659).
''A shield azure, quartered by a cross Or with outbent arms, and an inescutcheon containing the dynastic arms of the Royal House.

Royal Arms of England

royal armsEnglandcoat of arms of England
The early Georgian kings of England bore an inescutcheon of the royal arms of Hanover on the arms of the Stuart monarchs of Great Britain, whose territories they now ruled.
The earliest surviving representation of an escutcheon, or shield, displaying three lions is that on the Great Seal of King Richard I (1189–1199), which initially displayed one or two lions rampant, but in 1198 was permanently altered to depict three lions passant, perhaps representing Richard I's principal three positions as King of the English, Duke of the Normans, and Duke of the Aquitanians.

Coat of arms of Denmark

State Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of DenmarkDenmarkcoat of arms
A monarch's personal or hereditary arms may be borne on an inescutcheon en surtout over the territorial arms of his/her domains, as in the arms of Spain, the coats of arms of the Danish Royal Family members, the greater coat of arms of Sweden, or the arms of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England (1653–1659).
The centre escutcheon, two red bars on a golden shield, represents the House of Oldenburg; the former royal dynasty that ruled Denmark and Norway since the middle of the fifteenth century.

National emblem of France

Royal Arms of Francearms of FranceFrance
The heraldic pelta appeared officially on the cover of the French passport early in the twentieth century, and in the mid-twentieth century as the emblem of the French state in the halls of the United Nations.

French heraldry

FrenchFranceFrench blazon
Modern (republican) French heraldry tends to be based on the pelta, a wide form of shield (or gorget) with a small animal head pointing inward at each end.
The shield reads not as a symbol, but as a riddle: the argent lion is canted: it is a pun on the city's name, "Lyon".

Coat of arms of Spain

Spanish coat of armscoat of armsarms of Spain
A monarch's personal or hereditary arms may be borne on an inescutcheon en surtout over the territorial arms of his/her domains, as in the arms of Spain, the coats of arms of the Danish Royal Family members, the greater coat of arms of Sweden, or the arms of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England (1653–1659).
The Escutcheon shape is midway between the modern French style, rectangular with a slightly convex bottom edge, and the Spanish style, with an almost semicircular bottom edge.

Lozenge (heraldry)

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As this shape has been regarded as a war-like device appropriate to men only, British ladies customarily bear their arms upon a lozenge, or diamond-shape, while clergymen and ladies in continental Europe bear theirs on a cartouche, or oval.
A lozenge shaped escutcheon is used to depict heraldry for a female (in continental Europe especially an unmarried woman), but is also sometimes used as a shape for mural monuments in churches which commemorate females.

Console (heraldry)

console
*Console (heraldry), a surround or frame of an escutcheon.
A console in heraldry is a decorative frame or support surrounding a heraldic shield or escutcheon.

Knight

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Escutcheon shapes are derived from actual shields used by knights in combat, and thus are varied and developed by region and by era.

Cartouche (design)

cartouchecartouchesBaroque-style
As this shape has been regarded as a war-like device appropriate to men only, British ladies customarily bear their arms upon a lozenge, or diamond-shape, while clergymen and ladies in continental Europe bear theirs on a cartouche, or oval.