Escutcheon (heraldry)


Escutcheon (heraldry)

Escutcheon (pronounced|ɪ'skʌtʃən) (also called scutcheon) is the term used in heraldry for the shield displayed in a coat of arms. An inescutcheon is a smaller escutcheon borne within a larger escutcheon. The term crest is often used incorrectly to designate this part of the coat of arms.

The term "escutcheon" also refers to the shield-like shape on which arms are often borne. The escutcheon shape is based on the Medieval shields that were 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, while clergymen bear theirs on a cartouche, or oval. Other shapes are possible, such as the roundel commonly used for arms granted to Aboriginal Canadians by the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Derived from its meaning in heraldry, the term "escutcheon" can be used to represent a family and its honour. A family member who does something shameful can be described as a "blot on the escutcheon."

In English Heraldry the husband of a heraldic heiress - a woman without any brothers - allows his wife to place her father's arms in an escutcheon of pretence in the centre of his own shield. The husband is 'pretending' to be the head of his wife's family. In the next generation the arms would then be quartered. Baron and Feme describes another iteration of the escutcheon.

Points

The following are the points of the shield used in blazons to describe where (and how) a charge should be drawn: [cite book |last=Boutell |first=Charles |title=Handbook to English Heraldry, The |editor=Fox-Davies, A.C. |edition=11th Edition |year=1914 |publisher=Reeves & Turner |location=London |pages=p. 33 |url=http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/23186]



250px|thumb|Examples of escutcheons: 1: Old French, 2: Modern French, 3: Oval, 4: Lozenge, 5: Square, 6: Italian, 7: Swiss, 8: English, 9: German, 10: Polish, 11: Spanish.

Other meanings

* In the German army under the Nazi regime, military awards worn on the sleeve near the shoulder were also called escutcheon or shields.
* Military escutcheon, a chromolithography depicting the military record of a veteran, which were produced in the United States from the end of the Civil War until about 1907. [ [http://www.cwurmuseum.org/pages/collections_pages/escutcheons.htm The Civil War and Underground Railroad Museum of Philadelphia - Escutcheons] ]

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Escutcheon — may refer to: * Escutcheon (heraldry) a term used in heraldry for the shield displayed in a coat of arms. * Escutcheon in medicine, refers to the male or female distribution of pubic hair. * Escutcheon (furniture) an architectural item of door… …   Wikipedia

  • Escutcheon — Es*cutch eon, n. [OF. escusson, F. [ e]cusson, from OF. escu shield, F. [ e]cu. See {Esquire}, {Scutcheon}.] 1. (Her.) The surface, usually a shield, upon which bearings are marshaled and displayed. The surface of the escutcheon is called the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Escutcheon of pretense — Escutcheon Es*cutch eon, n. [OF. escusson, F. [ e]cusson, from OF. escu shield, F. [ e]cu. See {Esquire}, {Scutcheon}.] 1. (Her.) The surface, usually a shield, upon which bearings are marshaled and displayed. The surface of the escutcheon is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • escutcheon of pretence — noun (heraldry) An escutcheon placed with the arms of an heiress in the centre of her husband s coat • • • Main Entry: ↑escutcheon …   Useful english dictionary

  • Heraldry — The German Hyghalmen Roll was made in the late fifteenth century and illustrates the German practice of repeating themes from the arms in the crest. (See Roll of arms) Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning …   Wikipedia

  • heraldry — heraldist, n. /her euhl dree/, n., pl. heraldries. 1. the science of armorial bearings. 2. the art of blazoning armorial bearings, of settling the rights of persons to bear arms or to use certain bearings, of tracing and recording genealogies, of …   Universalium

  • Heraldry of the Holy Roman Empire — The Quarter Eagle, hand coloured woodcut (c. 1510) by Hans Burgkmair. One rendition of the coat of the country was the Quaternion Eagle printed by David de Negker of Augsburg, after a 1510 woodcut by Hans Burgkmair. It showed a selection of 56… …   Wikipedia

  • escutcheon — escutcheoned, adj. /i skuch euhn/, n. 1. a shield or shieldlike surface on which a coat of arms is depicted. See illus. under coat of arms. 2. an ornamental or protective plate around a keyhole, door handle, drawer pull, light switch, etc. 3.… …   Universalium

  • escutcheon of pretense — an inescutcheon on the center of the shield of the husband of an heiress or coheiress * * * escutcheon of pretense, Heraldry. a small escutcheon bearing the arms of an heiress placed in the center of her husband s shield. * * * a small shield… …   Useful english dictionary

  • escutcheon — n 1. shield, heraldic shield, scutcheon, Chiefly Brit. hatchment, Heraldry. lozenge. 2. blot on one’s escutcheon shame, disgrace, dishonor, disrepute; stigma, stain, tarnish, smirch, smudge, spot, blot; skeleton in one s closet …   A Note on the Style of the synonym finder


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