Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Unusual Heraldic Charges- 1

The Heraldic Aardvark

When I was serving a Falcon King of Arms for the Far Isles Medieval Society, I was sometimes asked for unusual charges to be passed for achievements of arms.

One such was requested for a character called Christopher of Kent.

 He asked for an aardvark.

As this creature was unknown to English Heraldry, I used the principle of the heraldic Giraffe.

This is known as a Cameleopard, as it had clearly once been described to a herald as ‘a bit like q camel, but with a longer neck and spots like a leopard’.

Consequently, I spoke to Christopher ‘in persona’ and had him describe the creature.
This is what he got:

“An Hardivark:

This is like a brock , but grey all over, save for the sable mask. It is armed with long claws and teeth, has the ears of a cony and the tail of a squirrel.”

(A brock is a badger and a cony is a rabbit.)

Here is a depiction of the creature in question:

From that point on, anyone wanting an aardvark would get an hardivark.

Until next time


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