Heraldry is both a science and an art form. Developing out of the emblems and insignia born upon shields and banners during battle, heraldry as a profession encompasses not only the devising, granting, and blazoning of arms, but also the tracing of genealogies, and determining and ruling on questions of rank or protocol. This dictionary, however, is only concerned with the first of these aspects of heraldry.
The language used in blazoning (i.e., description) a complete achievement (i.e., the shield and all its surrounding elements) is intentionally precise because the object being described is associated with a specific family or institution, and often belongs to a single individual. This dictionary has been created with the goal of aiding people new to the field of heraldry in understanding written descriptions of armorials, such as those used in the descriptions of the Special Collection's Online Bookplate Database. It may also aid in properly describing arms in order to identify the individual, family, or organization to which those arms belong.
- Tincture: Metals, Colors and Furs
- Methods of Partition
- Marshalling of Arms
- Semé Patterns
Page 1: pale, fess, cross and bordure
Page 2: chief, bend, bend sinister and saltire
Page 3: chevron and pile; special variations of the standard ordinaries
Page 4: diminutives; geometric divisions of the field; geometric objects on the field
- Positioning of Charges
- Cadency Marks