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Encyclopedia > Shield (heraldry)

In heraldry, the shield is the principal portion of a heraldic achievement or coat of arms. Figures and patterns are depicted emblazoned upon the shield in many different arrangements.

The shields of male armigers are commonly displayed on a shape known as an escutcheon, based on the shape of Medieval shields used by knights in combat. Since this shape has been regarded as a war-like device appropriate to men only, ladies customarily bear their arms upon a lozenge, or diamond-shape, and clergymen bear theirs on a cartouche, or oval.

An escutcheon is also an item of door furniture.

The Heraldry Series

Crest – Compartment – Field – Line – Mantling – Shield – Supporters – Tincture


Bend – Chevron – Chief – CrossFess – Fillet – Flaunch – Pall – PaleQuarterSaltire


  Results from FactBites:
Heraldry (321 words)
The shield design elegantly illustrates the motto E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One.
Several family shields are known to exist for the Andrist name.
Excerpted from W. Cecil Wade's "The Symbolisms of Heraldry or A Treatise on the Meanings and Derivations of Armorial Bearings".
Heraldry - LoveToKnow 1911 (15096 words)
Although it is probable that armorial bearings have their first place upon the shield, the charges of the shield are found displayed on the knight's long surcoat, his " coat of arms," on his banner or pennon, on the trappers of his horse and even upon the peaks of his saddle.
Shields of arms, especially upon seals, are sometimes figured as hung round the necks of eagles, lions, swans and griffons, as strapped between the horns of a hart or to the boughs of a tree.
Three butterflies are in the shield of Presfen of Lancashire in 1415, while the winged insect shown on the seal of John Mayre, a King's Lynn burgess of the age of Edward I., is probably a mayfly.
  More results at FactBites »



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