THE heraldic catalogue of beasts runs riot when we reach those mythical or legendary creatures which can only be summarised under the generic term of monsters. Most mythical animals, however, can be traced back to some comparable counterpart in natural history.
The fauna of the New World was of course unknown to those early heraldic artists in whose knowledge and imagination, no less than in their skill (or lack of it) in draughtsmanship, lay the nativity of so much of our heraldry. They certainly thought they were representing animals in existence in most if not in all cases, though one gathers that they considered many of the animals they used to be misbegotten hybrids. Doubtless, working on the assumption of the mule as the hybrid of the horse and the ass, they jumped to the conclusion that animals which contained salient characteristics of two other animals which they knew were likewise hybrids. A striking example of their theories is to be found in the heraldic Camelopard, which was anciently devoutly believed to be begotten by the leopard upon the camel. A leopard they would be familiar with, also the camel, for both belong to that corner of the world where the north-east of the African Continent, the south-east of Europe, and the west of Asia join, where were fought out the wars of the Cross, and where heraldry took on itself a definite being. There the known civilisations of the world met, taking one from the other knowledge, more or less distorted, ideas and wild imaginings. A stray giraffe was probably seen by some journeyer up the Nile, who, unable to otherwise account for it, considered and stated the animal to be the hybrid offspring of the leopard and camel. Another point needs to be borne in mind. Earlier artists were in no way fettered by any supposed necessity for making their pictures
realistic representations. Realism is a modernity. Their pictures were decoration, and they thought far more of making their subject fit the space to be decorated than of making it a "speaking likeness."
Nevertheless, their work was not all imagination. In the Crocodile we get the basis of the dragon, if indeed the heraldic dragon be not a perpetuation of ancient legends, or even perhaps of then existing representations of those winged antediluvian animals, the fossilised remains of which are now available. Wings, however, need never be considered a difficulty. It has ever been the custom (from the angels of Christianity to the personalities of Mercury and Pegasus) to add wings to any figure held in veneration. Why, it would be difficult to say, but nevertheless the fact remains.
The Unicorn, however, it is not easy to resolve into an original basis, because until the seventeenth century every one fondly believed in the existence of the animal. Mr. Beckles Wilson appears to have paid considerable attention to the subject, and was responsible for the article "The Rise of the Unicorn" which recently appeared in Cassell's Magazine. That writer traces the matter to a certain extent from non-heraldic sources, and the following remarks, which are taken from the above article, are of considerable interest:--
"The real genesis of the unicorn was probably this: at a time when armorial bearings were becoming an indispensable part of a noble's equipment, the attention of those knights who were fighting under the banner of the Cross was attracted to the wild antelopes of Syria and Palestine. These animals are armed with long, straight, spiral horns set close together, so that at a side view they appeared to be but a single horn. To confirm this, there are some old illuminations and drawings extant which endow the early unicorn with many of the attributes of the deer and goat kind. The sort of horn supposed to be carried by these Eastern antelopes had long been a curiosity, and was occasionally brought back
as a trophy by travellers from the remote parts of the earth. There is a fine one to be seen to-day at the abbey of St. Denis, and others in various collections in Europe. We now know these so-called unicorn's horns, usually carved, to belong to that marine monster the narwhal, or sea-unicorn. But the fable of a breed of horned horses is at least as old as Pliny" [Had the "gnu" anything to do with this?], "and centuries later the Crusaders, or the monkish artists who accompanied them, attempted to delineate the marvel. From their first rude sketches other artists copied; and so each presentment was passed along, until at length the present form of the unicorn was attained. There was a time--not so long ago--when the existence of the unicorn was as implicitly believed in as the camel or any other animal not seen in these latitudes; and the translators of the Bible set their seal upon the legend by translating the Hebrew word reem (which probably meant a rhinoceros) as 'unicorn.' Thus the worthy Thomas Fuller came to consider the existence of the unicorn clearly proved by the mention of it in Scripture! Describing the horn of the animal, he writes, 'Some are plain, as that of St. Mark's in Venice; others wreathed about it, which probably is the effect of age, those wreaths being but the wrinkles of most vivacious unicorns. The same may be said of the colour: white when newly taken from the head; yellow, like that lately in the Tower, of some
hundred years' seniority; but whether or no it will soon turn black, as that of Plinie's description, let others decide.'
"All the books on natural history so late as the seventeenth century describe at length the unicorn; several of them carefully depict him as though the artist had drawn straight from the life.
"If art had stopped here, the wonder of the unicorn would have remained but a paltry thing after all. His finer qualities would have been unrecorded, and all his virtues hidden. But, happily, instead of this, about the animal first conceived in the brain of a Greek (as Pegasus also was), and embodied through the fertile fancy of the Crusader, the monks and heraldists of the Middle Ages devised a host of spiritual legends. They told of his pride, his purity, his endurance, his matchless spirit.
"'The greatnesse of his mynde is such that he chooseth rather to dye than be taken alive.' Indeed, he was only conquerable by a beautiful maiden. One fifteenth-century writer gives a recipe for catching a unicorn. 'A maid is set where he hunteth; and she openeth her lap, to whom the unicorn, as seeking rescue from the force of the hunter, yieldeth his head and leaveth all his fierceness, and resteth himself under her protection, sleepeth until he is taken and slain.' But although many were reported to be thus enticed to their destruction, only their horns, strange to say, ever reached Europe. There is one in King Edward's collection at Buckingham Palace.
"Naturally, the horn of such an animal was held a sovereign specific against poison, and 'ground unicorn's horn' often figures in mediæval books of medicine.
"There was in Shakespeare's time at Windsor Castle the 'horn of a unicorn of above eight spans and a half in length, valued at above £10,000.' This may have been the one now at Buckingham Palace. One writer, describing it, says:--
"'I doe also know that horn the King of England possesseth to be wreathed in spires, even as that is accounted in the Church of St. Dennis, than which they suppose none greater in the world, and I never saw anything in any creature more worthy praise than this horne. It is of soe great a length that the tallest man can scarcely touch the top thereof, for it doth fully equal seven great feet. It weigheth thirteen pounds, with their assize, being only weighed by the gesse of the hands it seemeth much heavier.'
"Spenser, in the 'Faerie Queen,' thus describes a contest between the unicorn and the lion:--
'Like as the lyon, whose imperial powre
A proud rebellious unicorn defyes,
T'avoide the rash assault and wrathful stowre
Of his fiers foe, him to a tree applies.
And when him running in full course he spyes
He slips aside; the whiles that furious beast
His precious home, sought of his enimyes,
Strikes in the stroke, ne thence can be released,
But to the victor yields a bounteous feast.'
"'It hath,' remarked Guillim, in 1600, 'been much questioned among naturalists which it is that is properly called the unicorn; and some have made doubt whether there be such a beast or no. But the great esteem of his horn in many places to be seen may take away that needless scruple.'
"Another old writer, Topsell, says:--
|FIG. 414.--Unicorn rampant.
||FIG. 415.--Unicorn passant.
||FIG. 416.--Unicorn statant.
"'These beasts are very swift, and their legs have not articles. They keep for the most part in the deserts, and live solitary in the tops of the mountaines. There was nothing more horrible than the voice or braying of it, for the voice is strained above measure. It fighteth both with the mouth and with the heeles, with the mouth biting like a lyon, and with the heeles kicking like a horse.'
|FIG. 417.--Unicorn rampant.|
"Nor is belief in the unicorn confined to Europe. By Chinese writers it is characterised as a 'spiritual beast.' The existence of the unicorn is firmly credited by the most intelligent natives and by not a few Europeans. A very trustworthy observer, the Abbé Huc, speaks very positively on the subject: 'The unicorn really exists in Tibet.... We had for a long time a small Mongol treatise on Natural History, for the use of children, in which a unicorn formed one of the pictorial illustrations.' "
The unicorn, however, as it has heraldically developed, is drawn with the body of a horse, the tail of the heraldic lion, the legs and feet of the deer, the head and mane of a horse, to which is added the long twisted horn from which the animal is named, and a beard (Figs. 414, 415, and 416). A good representation of the unicorn will be found in the figure of the Royal Arms herein, and in Fig. 417, which is as fine a piece of heraldic design as could be wished.
The crest of Yonge of Colbrooke, Devonshire, is "a demi-sea-unicorn argent, armed gules, finned or," and the crest of Tynte (Kemeys-Tynte of Cefn Mably and Halswell) is "on a mount vert, a unicorn sejant argent, armed and crined or."
The unicorn will be found in the arms of Styleman, quartered by Le Strange, and Swanzy.
The Griffin or Gryphon.--Though in the popular mind any heraldic monster is generically termed a griffin, the griffin has, nevertheless, very marked and distinct peculiarities. It is one of the hybrid monstrosities which heraldry is so fond of, and is formed by the body, hind-legs, and tail of a lion conjoined to the head and claws of an eagle, the latter acting as its forepaws (Figs. 418-420). It has the wings of the eagle, which are never represented close, but it also has ears, and this, by the way, should be noted, because herein is the only distinction between a griffin's head and an eagle's head when the rest of the body is not represented (Fig. 421). Though but very seldom so met with, it is occasionally found proper, by which description is meant that the plumage is of the brown colour of the eagle, the rest of the body being the natural colour of the lion. The griffin is frequently found with its beak and fore-legs of a different colour from its body, and is then termed "armed," though another term, "beaked and forelegged," is almost as frequently used. A very popular idea is that the origin of the griffin was the dimidiation of two coats of arms, one having an eagle and the other a lion as charges, but taking the origin of armory to belong to about the end of the eleventh century, or thereabouts, the griffin can be found as a distinct creation, not necessarily heraldic, at a very much earlier date. An exceedingly good and an early representation of the griffin will be found in Fig. 422. It is a representation of the great seal of the town of Schweidnitz in the jurisdiction of Breslau, and belongs to the year 1315. The inscription is "+S universitatis civium de Swidnitz." In the grant of arms to the town in the year 1452, the griffin is gules on a field of argent.
|FIG. 418.--Gryphon segreant.
||FIG. 419.--Gryphon passant.
||FIG. 420.--Gryphon statant.
The griffin will be found in all sorts-of positions, and the terms applied to it are the same as would be applied to a lion, except in the single instance of the rampant position. A griffin is then termed "segreant" (Fig. 418). The wings are usually represented as endorsed and erect, but this is not compulsory, as will be noticed by reference to the supporters of the Earl of Mar and Kellie, in which the wings are inverted.
|FIG. 421.--Gryphon's head erased.|
There is a certain curiosity in English heraldry, wholly peculiar to it, which may be here referred to. A griffin in the ordinary way is merely so termed, but a male griffin by some curious reasoning has no wings, but is adorned with spikes showing at some number of points on its body (Fig. 423). I have, under my remarks upon the panther, hazarded the supposition that the male griffin of English heraldry is nothing more than a British development and form of the Continental heraldic panther which is unknown to us. The origin of the clusters and spikes, unless they are to be found in the flames of fire associated with the panther, must remain a mystery. The male griffin is very seldom met
with, but two of these creatures are the supporters of Sir George John Egerton Dashwood, Bart. Whilst we consider the griffin a purely mythical animal, there is no doubt whatever that earlier writers devoutly believed that such animals existed. Sir John Maundeville tells us in his "Travels" that they abound in Bacharia. "Sum men seyn that thei han the body upward as an egle, and benethe as a lyoun; and treuly thei seyn sothe that thei ben of that schapp. But a Griffoun hathe the body more gret and more strong than eight lyouns of such lyouns as ben o' this half (of the world), and more gret and stronger than an 100 egles such aswe han amonges us ... ," and other writers, whilst not considering them an original type of animal, undoubtedly believed in their existence as hybrid of the eagle and the lion. It is of course a well-known fact that the mule, the most popular hybrid, does not
breed. This fact would be accepted as accounting for the rarity of animals which were considered to be hybrids.
|FIG. 422.--Seal of the Town of Schweidnitz.
Though there are examples of griffins in some of the earliest rolls of arms, the animal cannot be said to have come into general use until a somewhat later period. Nowadays, however, it is probably next in popularity to the lion.
|FIG. 423.--Male gryphon.|
The demi-griffin is very frequently found as a crest.
A griffin's head (Fig. 421) is still yet more frequently met with, and as a charge upon the shields it will be found in the arms of Raikes, Kay, and many other families.
A variety of the griffin is found in the gryphon-marine, or sea-griffin. In it the fore part of the creature is that of the eagle, but the wings are sometimes omitted; and the lower half of the animal is that of a fish, or rather of a mermaid. Such a creature is the charge in the arms of the Silesian family of Mestich: "Argent, a sea-griffin proper" (Siebmacher, Wappenbuch, i. 69). "Azure, a (winged) sea-griffin per fesse gules
and argent crowned or," is the coat of the Barons von Puttkammer. One or two other Pomeranian families have the like charge without wings.
The Dragon.--Much akin to the griffin is the dragon, but the similarity of appearance is more superficial than real, inasmuch as in all details it differs, except in the broad similarity that it has four legs, a pair of wings, and is a terrible creature. The much referred to "griffin" opposite the Law Courts in the Strand is really a dragon. The head of a dragon is like nothing else in heraldry, and from what source it originated or what basis existed for ancient heraldic artists to imagine it from must remain a mystery, unless it has developed from the crocodile or some antediluvian animal much akin. It is like nothing else in heaven or on earth. Its neck is covered with scales not unlike those of a
fish. All four legs are scaled and have claws, the back is scaled, the tongue is barbed, and the under part of the body is likewise scaled, but here, in rolls of a much larger size. Great differences will be found in the shape of the ears, but the wings of the dragon are always represented as the wings of a bat, with the long ribs or bones carried to the base (Figs. 424-426). The dragon is one of the most artistic of heraldic creations, and lends itself very readily to the genius of any artist. In nearly all modern representations the tail, like the tongue, will be found ending in a barb, but it should be observed that this is a comparatively recent addition. All dragons of the Tudor period were invariably represented without any such additions to their tails. The tail was long and smooth, ending in a blunt point.
Whilst we have separate and distinct names for many varieties of dragon-like creatures, other countries in their use of the word "dragon" include the wyvern, basilisk, cockatrice, and other similar creatures, but the distinct name in German heraldry for our four-footed dragon is the Lindwurm, and Fig. 427 is a representation of the dragon according to German ideas, which nevertheless might form an example for English artists to copy, except that we very seldom represent ours as coward.
|FIG. 424.--Dragon rampant.
||FIG. 425.--Dragon passant.
||FIG. 426.--Dragon statant.
The red dragon upon a mount vert, which forms a part of the Royal achievement as the badge of Wales, is known as the red dragon of Cadwallader, and in deference to a loudly expressed sentiment on the subject, His Majesty the King has recently added the Welsh dragon differenced by a label of three points argent as an additional badge to the achievement of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The red dragon was one of the supporters of the Tudor kings, being used by Henry VII., Henry VIII., and Edward VI. Queen Elizabeth, however, whose liking for gold is evidenced by her changing the Royal
mantle from gules and ermine to gold and ermine, also changed the colour of the dragon as her supporter to gold, and many Welsh scholars hold that the ruddy dragon of Wales was and should be of ruddy gold and not of gules. There is some room for doubt whether the dragon in the Royal Arms was really of Welsh origin. The point was discussed at some length by the present writer in the Genealogical Magazine (October 1902). It was certainly in use by King Henry III.
|FIG. 427.--A German dragon.|
A dragon may be statant (Fig. 426), rampant (Fig. 424), or passant (Fig. 425), and the crests of Bicknell and of the late Sir Charles Young, Garter King of Arms, are examples of dragons couchant.
A sea-dragon, whatever that creature may be, occurs in one of the crests of Mr. Mainwaring-Ellerker-Onslow.
Variations such as that attributed to the family of Raynor [" Argent, a dragon volant in bend sable "], the dragon overthrown on the arms of Langridge as quartered by Lowdell, and the sinister supporter of the arms of Viscount Gough ["The dragon of China or gorged with a mural crown and chained sable "] may be noted. The Chinese dragon, which is also the dexter supporter of Sir Robert Hart, Bart., follows closely the Chinese model, and is without wings.
The Wyvern.--There is no difference whatever between a wyvern's head and a dragon's, but there is considerable difference between a wyvern and a dragon, at any rate in English heraldry, though the wyvern appears to be the form more frequently met with under the name of a dragon in other countries. The wyvern has only two legs, the body curling away into the tail, and it is usually represented as resting upon its legs and tail (Figs. 428 and 429). On the other hand, it will occasionally be found sitting erect upon its tail with its claws in the air (Fig. 430), and the supporters of the Duke of Marlborough are generally so represented. As a charge or crest, however, probably the only instance of a wyvern sejant erect is the crest of Mansergh. A curious crest also is that of Langton, namely: "On a wreath of the colours, an eagle or and a wyvern vert, interwoven and erect on their tails," and an equally curious one is the crest of Maule, i.e. "A wyvern vert, with two heads vomiting fire at both ends proper, charged with a crescent argent."
Occasionally the wyvern is represented without wings and with the tail nowed. Both these peculiarities occur in the case of the crest of a Lancashire family named Ffarington.
||FIG. 429.--Wyvern with wings displayed.
||FIG. 430.--Wyvern erect.
The Cockatrice.--The next variety is the cockatrice (Fig. 431), which is, however, comparatively rare. Two cockatrices are the supporters to the arms of the Earl of Westmeath, and also to the arms of Sir Edmund Charles Nugent, Bart. But the animal is not common as a charge. The difference between a wyvern and a cockatrice is that the latter has the head of a cock substituted for the dragon's head with which the wyvern is decorated. Like the cock, the beak, comb, and wattles are often of another tincture, and the animal is then termed armed, combed, and wattled.
The cockatrice is sometimes termed a basilisk, and according to ancient writers the basilisk is produced from an egg laid by a nine-year-old cock and hatched by a toad on a dunghill. Probably this is merely the expression of the intensified loathing which it was desired to typify. But the heraldic basilisk is stated to have its tail terminating in a dragon's head. In English heraldry, at any rate, I know of no such example.
The Hydra, or Seven-headed Dragon, as the crest, is ascribed to the families of Barret, Crespine, and Lwnes.
The Camelopard(Fig. 432), which is nothing more or less than an ordinary giraffe, must be properly included amongst mythical animals, because the form and semblance of the giraffe was used to represent a mythical hybrid creation which the ancients believed to be begotten between a leopard and a camel. Possibly they represented the real giraffe(which they may have known), taking that to be a hybrid between the two animals stated. It occurs as the crest of several coats of arms for the name of Crisp.
The Camelopardel, which is another mythical animal fathered upon armory, is stated to be the same as the camelopard, but with the addition of two long horns curved backwards. I know of no instance in which it occurs.
The human face or figure conjoined to some other animal's body gives us a number of heraldic creatures, some of which play no inconsiderable part in armory.
The human figure(male) conjoined to the tail of a fish is known as the Triton or Merman(Fig. 433). Though there are some number of instances in which it occurs as a supporter, it is seldom met with as a charge upon a shield. It is, however, to be found in the arms of Otway, and is assigned as a crest to the family of Tregent, and a family of Robertson, of London.
The Mermaid (Fig. 434), is much more frequently met with. It is generally represented with the traditional mirror and comb in the hands. It will be found appearing, for example, in the arms of Ellis, of Glasfryn, co. Monmouth. The crest of Mason, used without authority by the founder of Mason's College, led to its inclusion in the arms of the University of Birmingham. It will also be found as the crest of Rutherford and many other families.
The Melusine, i.e. a mermaid with two tails disposed on either side, though not unknown in British heraldry, is more frequent in German.
The Sphinx, of course originally derived from the Egyptian figure, has the body, legs, and tail of a lion conjoined to the breasts, head, and face of a woman (Fig. 435). As a charge it occurs in the arms of Cochrane and Cameron of Fassiefern. This last-mentioned coat affords a striking example of the over-elaboration to be found in so many of the grants which owe their origin to the Peninsular War and the other "fightings" in which England was engaged at the period. A winged sphinx is the crest of a family of the name of Asgile. Two sphinxes were granted as supporters to the late Sir Edward Malet, G.C.B.
The Centaur (Fig. 436)--the familiar fabulous animal, half man, half horse--is sometimes represented carrying a bow and arrow, when it is called a "Sagittarius." It is not infrequently met with in heraldry, though it is to be found more often in Continental than in English blazonry. In its "Sagittarius" form it is sculptured on a column in the Romanesque cloister of St. Aubin at Angers. It will be found as the crest of most families named Lambert, and it was one of the supporters of Lord Hood of Avelon. It is also the crest of a family of Fletcher. A very curious crest was borne by a family of Lambert, and is to be seen on their monuments. They could establish no official authority for their arms as used, and consequently obtained
official authorisation in the early part of the eighteenth century, when the crest then granted was a regulation Sagittarius, but up to that time, however, they had always used a "female centaur" holding a rose in its dexter hand.
Chimera.--This legendary animal happily does not figure in English heraldry, and but rarely abroad. It is described as having the head and breast of a woman, the forepaws of a lion, the body of a goat, the hind-legs of a griffin, and the tail of a dragon, and would be about as ugly and misbegotten a creature as can readily be imagined.
The Man-Lion will be found referred to under the heading of lions, and Elvin mentions in addition the Weir-Wolf, i.e. the wolf with a human face and horns. Probably this creature has strayed into heraldic company by mistake. I know of no armorial use of it.
The Satyr, which has a well-established existence in other than heraldic sources of imagination, is composed of a demi-savage united to the hind-legs of a goat.
The Satyral is a hybrid animal having the body of a lion and the face of an old man, with the horns of an antelope. I know of no instance of its use.
The Harpy--which is a curious creature consisting of the head, neck, and breasts of a woman conjoined to the wings and body of a vulture--is peculiarly German, though it does exist in the heraldry of this country. The German name for it is the Jungfraunadler. The shield of the Rietbergs, Princes of Ost-Friesland, is: "Sable, a harpy crowned, and with wings displayed all proper, between four stars, two in chief and as many in base or." The harpy will be found as a crest in this country.
The Devil is not, as may be imagined, a favourite heraldic charge. The arms of Sissinks of Groningen, however, are: "Or, a horned devil having six paws, the body terminating in the tail of a fish all gules." The family of Bawde have for a crest: "A satyr's head in profile sable, with wings to the side of the head or, the tongue hanging out of his mouth gules." Though so blazoned, I feel sure it is really intended to represent a fiend. On the Garter Hall-plate of John de Grailly, Captal de Buch, the crest is a man's head with ass's ears. This is, however, usually termed a Midas' head. A certain coat of arms
which is given in the "General Armory" under the name of Dannecourt, and also under the name of Morfyn or Murfyn, has for a crest: "A blackamoor's head couped at the shoulders, habited paly of six ermine and ermines, pendents in his ears or, wreathed about the forehead, with bat's wings to the head sable, expanded on each side."
Many mythical animals can be more conveniently considered under their natural counterparts. Of these the notes upon the heraldic antelope and the heraldic ibex accompany those upon the natural antelope, and the heraldic panther is included with the real animal. The heraldic tiger, likewise, is referred to concurrently with the Bengal or natural tiger. The pegasus, the sea-horse, and the winged sea-horse are mentioned with other examples of the horse, and the sea-dog is included with other breeds and varieties of that useful animal. The winged bull, of which only one
instance is known to me, occurs as the supporters of the Butchers' Livery Company, and has been already alluded to, as also the winged stag. The sea-stag is referred to under the sub-heading of stags. The two-headed lion, the double-queued lion, the lion queue-fourché, the sea-lion (which is sometimes found winged) are all included in the chapter upon lions, as are also the winged lion and the lion-dragon. The winged ape was mentioned when considering the natural animal, and perhaps it may be as well to allude to the asserted heraldic existence of the seamonkey, though I am not aware of any instance in which it is borne.
The arms of Challoner afford an instance of the Sea-Wolf, the crest of that family being: "A demi-sea-wolf rampant or." Guillim, however (p. 271), in quoting the arms of Fennor, would seem to assert the sea-wolf and sea-dog to be one and the same. They certainly look rather like each other.
The Phœnix and the Double-headed Eagle will naturally be more conveniently dealt with in the chapter upon the eagle.
The Salamander has been represented in various ways, and is usually described as a dragon in flames of fire. It is sometimesso represented but without wings, though it more usually follows the shape of a lizard.
The salamander is, however, best known as the personal device of Francis I., King of France. It is to this origin that the arms of the city of Paris can be traced.
The remainder of the list of heraldic monsters can be very briefly dismissed. In many cases a good deal of research has failed to discover an instance of their use, and one is almost inclined to believe that they were invented by those mediæval writers of prolific imagination for their treatises, without ever having been borne or emblazoned upon helmet or shield.
The Allocamelus is supposed to have the head of an ass conjoined to the body of a camel. I cannot call to mind any British instance of its use.
The Amphiptère is the term applied to a "winged serpent," a charge of but rare occurrence in either English or foreign heraldry. It is found in the arms of the French family of Potier, viz.: "Azure, a bendlet purpure between two amphipteres or," while they figure as supporters also in that family, and in those of the Dues de Tresmes and De Gevres.
The Apres is an animal with the body similar to that of a bull, but with a bear's tail. It is seldom met with outside heraldic text-books.
The Amphisbœna is usually described as a winged serpent (with two legs) having a head at each end of its body, but in the crest of Gwilt ["On a saltire or, interlaced by two amphisbœnæ azure, langued gules, a rose of the last, barbed and seeded proper"] the creatures certainly do not answer to the foregoing description. They must be seen to be duly appreciated.
The Cockfish is a very unusual charge, but it is to be met with in the arms of the family of Geyss, in Bavaria, i.e.: "Or, a cock sable, beaked of the first, crested and armed gules, its body ending in that of a fish curved upwards, proper."
The Enfield (Fig. 438) is a purely fanciful animal, having the head of a fox, chest of a greyhound, talons of an eagle, body of a lion, and hind legs and tail of a wolf. It occurs as the crest of most Irish families of the name of Kelly.
The Bagwyn is an imaginary animal with the head of and much like the heraldic antelope, but with the body and tail of a horse, and the horns long and curved backwards. It is difficult to say what it is intended to represent, and I can give no instance in which it occurs.
The Musimon is a fabulous animal with the body and feet of a goat and the head of a ram, with four horns. It is supposed to be the hybrid between the ram and the goat, the four horns being the two straight ones of the goat and the two curled ones of the ram. Though no heraldic instance is known to me, one cannot definitely say such an animal never existed. Another name for it is the tityron.
The Opinicus (Fig. 439) is another monster seldom met with in armory. When it does occur it is represented as a winged gryphon, with a lion's legs and short tail. Another description of it gives it the body and forelegs of a lion, the head, neck, and wings of an eagle, and the tail of a camel. It is the crest of the Livery Company of Barbers in London, which doubtless gives us the origin of it in the recent grant of arms to Sir Frederick Treves, Bart. Sometimes the wings are omitted.
The Manticora, Mantegre, or Man-Tiger is the same as the man-lion, but has horns attached to its forehead.
The Hippogriff has the head, wings and foreclaws of the griffin united to the hinder part of the body of a horse.
The Calopus or Chatloup is a curious horned animal difficult to describe, but which appears to have been at one time the badge of the Foljambe family. No doubt, as the name would seem to indicate, it is a variant of the wolf.
Many of the foregoing animals, particularly those which are or are supposed to be hybrids, are, however well they may be depicted, ugly, inartistic, and unnecessary. Their representation leaves one with a disappointed feeling of crudity of draughtmanship. No such objection applies to the pegasus, the griffin, the sea-horse, the dragon, or the unicorn, and in these modern days, when the differentiation of well-worn animals is producing singularly inept results, one would urge that the sea-griffin, the sea-stag, the winged bull, the winged stag, the winged lion, and winged heraldic antelope might produce (if the necessity of differentiation
continue) very much happier results.
Build: 2012/06/26 06:24:19.53+0900(JST)