Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry - S

 Sable - The tincture black. In engraving it is represented by perpendicular and horizontal lines crossed.

St. Andrew's cross - A cross made in the form of the letter X. [See SALTIRE.]

St. Patrick - The title of one of the pursuivants of the Office of Arms, Ireland. There are three pursuivants bearing this title, designated as Nos. 1, 2 and 3.

Saliant - (sa'-li-ant) Leaping; springing. Applied to the lion or other beast represented in a leaping posture - his fore feet in dexter chief and his hind feet in sinister base.

Salient - [See SALIANT.]

Saltant - (sal'-tant) Springing forward; in a leaping position. Applied especially to the squirrel, weasel, rat; also applied to the cat, greyhound and monkey.

Saltier - [See SALTIRE.]

Saltire - (sal'-teer) One of the honorable ordinaries. It is made in the form of a St. Andrew's cross, or the letter X. Its breadth should be one-third of the field. The saltire is popular in Scottish heraldry.

Saltirewise - In the manner of a saltire; when the shield is divided by two lines drawn in the direction of a bend and a bend sinister and crossed at the center. Long-shaped charges, such as swords, oars, batons, etc., placed in the direction of the saltire are said to be borne saltirewise.

Salvage - Said of a man when borne nude. Thus, "Three salvage men ambulant."

Sanglier - (sang'-li-er) [French.] A wild boar.

Sanguine - (san'-gwin) A dark red color. It is represented in engraving by diagonal lines crossing each other.

Sapphire - The same as AZURE.

Saturn - Black; representing sable. In blazoning the arms of sovereign princes.

Scallop - The same as ESCALLOP.

Scarf - A small ecclesiastical banner hanging down from the top of a crosier.

 Scarp - (skarp) A diminutive of the bend sinister, occupying the same position as that bearing, but being only half its breadth. It is supposed to represent an officer's shoulder belt or scarf.

Scrape - [See SCARP.]

Scroll - The ribbon-like appendage to a crest or escutcheon, on which the motto is inscribed.

Scutcheon - [See ESCUTCHEON.]

Sea Lion - A monster consisting of the upper part of a lion combined with the tail of a fish.

Seruse - The same as TORTEAU.

Seeded - Represented with seeds of a different tincture, such as the rose, lily, etc., when it is said to be seeded of that color.

Segreant - (se'-gre'-ant) Said of a griffon when depicted standing on its hind legs, with the wings elevated and addorsed.

 Sejant - In a sitting posture. Applied to the lion, cat, etc.

SEJANT ADDORSED - Said of two animals sitting back to back.

SEJANT AFFRONTE - Full-faced, sitting with the fore paws extended sideways.

SEJANT RAMPANT - [See rampant sejant.]

Sejeant - [See SEJANT.]

Seme - (sem'ay) A field or charge powdered or sprinkled with small charges, such as stars, crosses, etc. (Sometimes called powdered.)

Shack bolt - A fetter, such as might be put on the wrists or ankles of prisoners.

Shackle bolt - The same as SHACK BOLT.

 Shake fork - A bearing somewhat resembling the pall in form, but the ends, which have points like the pile, do not touch the edges of the shield.

Sheldrake - A water fowl somewhat larger than the ordinary duck. It has been said that this bird was introduced into English heraldry to accommodate

Sheldon, Lord Mayor of London in 1676. He bore "Sable, a fesse between three sheldrakes argent."

Shield - The escutcheon or field on which are placed the bearings of coats of arms. There are various forms, mostly taken from the shapes in vogue when shields were used in warfare. Maiden ladies and widows have no shield, but place their arms on a lozenge. [LOZENGE.] [ESCUTCHEON.]

Shoveller - A river duck. It has a broad bill and beautifully variegated feathers.

Sinister - (sin'-is-ter) The left side of the shield - the side opposite the the right hand of the spectator. Applied to the escutcheon, as the sinister chief point, sinister base point, etc.

Sinople - (sin'-o-pl) The Continental term for vert (green).

Slashed - A term used to describe the opening or gashings in a sleeve when the puffing is of a different tincture. It is then slashed of a different tincture.

Slipped - Applied to a flower or branch depicted as torn from the stalk.

Snowdown - One of the heralds of the Lord Lyon's Court, Scotland.

Soarant - A word used by some modern heraldic writers as a synonym of VOLANT.

Sol - A term implying or (gold) in blazoning the arms of sovereign princes.

Using the planets in blazoning the arms of emperors, kings and princes arose in the sixteenth century through the foolish fancy of some heraldic writers, as did the use of precious stones for the arms of peers.

Somerset - One of the heralds of the College of Arms.

Soustenu - (soos'-ten-u) A chief apparently supported by a small part of the escutcheon beneath it of a different tincture from the chief itself, and reaching, as the chief does, from side to side; being, so to speak, a small part of the chief of another color, and supporting the real chief.

Sounenu - [See SOUSTENU.]

Spade iron - The iron part, or shoeing, of a spade.

Spancelled - (span'-seld) Said of a horse that has the fore and hind feet fettered by means of fetterrlocks fastened to the ends of a stick.

Spayade - (spa'-yade) A stag in his third year.

Spear - The spear was an ancient instrument of war and hunting, and was introduced into heraldry under various forms. Generally called a lance.

Spear head - The metal point of the spear: a common bearing among the Welsh.

Speckled - Spotted; speckled over with another tincture.

Spectant - (spek"-tant) The attitude of an animal looking upward with nose bendwise. Also applied to an animal at gaze, or looking forward. (Sometimes called in full aspect.)

Speller - A branch shooting out from the first part of a buck's horn at the top.

Sperver - A tent.

Splendor - Glory; brilliance. Said of the sun when represented with a human face and environed with rays. It is then a Sun in splendor.

Spread eagle - An eagle having the wings and legs extended on both sides. [DISPLAYED.]

Springing - Leaping. Applied to beasts of the chase in the same sense as saliant to beasts of prey. Also applied to fish when placed in bend.

Spur rowel - The mullet is often called a spur rowel, which it is supposed to represent. However, the mullet was in use long before the rowelled spur.

Stainand - (stain'-and) Applied to the sanguine and tenne when used in the figures called abatements == marks of disgrace.

Standard - A flag or ensign. The ancient military standard consisted of a symbol carried on a pole, like the Roman eagle. In medieval times the standard, instead of being square like the banner, was elongated, but much larger, becoming narrow and rounded at the end, which was slit, unless the standard belonged to a prince of the blood royal. The standard, which ranged in size from eleven yards for an emperor to four yards for a baron, was usually divided into three portions - one containing the arms of the knight, another for his cognizance or badge, and the other for his crest - these being divided by bands, on which was inscribed his war cry or motto, the whole being fringed with his livery or family colors.

 "Knights bannerets are made in the field, with the ceremonie of cutting of the point of his standard, and making it as it were a banner." - Smith: Commonwealth, bk. i, chap. xviii.

The English royal standard of today is properly a banner, being square, with its entire field covered solely by the national arms.

Star - An estoile. It differs from the mullet in that it usually has six rays wavy, and is seldom pierced. When more than six points are displayed, the number must be specified. Usually, when more than six, the points alternate straight and wavy.

Statant - (stay'-tant) Standing. (The same as pose.)

Stone bill - A wedge.

Stopped - [See EMBATTLED.]

Subordinary - A bearing not so common and of less importance than the ordinary, or honorable ordinary. According to one writer, any ordinary occupying less than one-fifth of the field is deemed a subordinary. Again, different writers place different bearings among the subordinaries. The following list, however, many recognized authorities agree on:

Bordure Flanch

Fret Inescutcheon

Gyron Lozenge

Orle Tressure

Fusil Mascle

Rustre Roundel

Gutte Billet

Checky Voider

Subvertant - (sub-vert'-ant) Reversed; turned upside down; contrary to the natural position or usual way of bearing.

Subverted - [See SUBVERTANT.]

Succeedant - Succeeding or following one another.

Succession - Arms of Succession. The same as Feudal Arms, which see, under ARMS.

Sun - The sun is seen in heraldry occasionally. When represented as giving light, it is blazoned a sun radiant; when depicted with a human face, it is a sun in splendor, or a sun in his splendor. Louis XIV used it as his cognizance. Jean de la Hay bore "Argent, a sun in his splendor gules." Ralph de la Hay differenced this coat by bearing only a ray of the sun. John de Fontibus, Bishop of Ely, bore the sun, moon and seven stars.

Sunburst - A flag having a sun in splendor on a green field. This is said to have been the flag of the pagan Irish. It is frequently alluded to in Irish national poetry.

"On the front ranks before,

Dathi the sunburst bore."

-Fate of King Dathi.

Supercharge - (-charj) 1. To place one figure upon another. 2. As a noun: One charge placed upon another charge; as, a rose upon a fesse.

Supported - Applied to a bearing that has another under it by way of support; as, a chief supported.

Supporter - A figure on each side of a shield, apparently supporting it. They may be men, beasts or birds -- sometimes real, sometimes fabulous, as the lion and unicorn in the arms of Great Britain.

The origin of the supporters is unknown. Some writers have set forth that they originated in the ceremonial bearing of the knightly shield to tournaments and jousts by squires. It is probable, however, that they arose from the ornaments of the seal engraver and became heraldic from the practice of quartering.

Supporters are now borne by all peers of Great Britain, Knights of the Garter, Knights Grand Cross of the Bath, Nova Scotia baronets and chiefs of Scottish clans, and are also borne by many municipalities and the principal mercantile companies of London.  

Sur-aneree - A cross with double anchor flukes at each end.

Surcharged - One charge placed upon or within another.

Surgiant - The same as ROUSANT or RISING.

Surmounted - Partly covered. Said of an ordinary when it has another charge of a different tincture laid over it.  When it is an animal which has a charge laid over it, the term used is debruised.

Surtont - (sur'-too) [French.] A shield of pretense; an inescutcheon placed upon a shield of arms. The arms of William III were so disposed of.

Suspectant - Looking upward. (The same as SPECTANT.)

Swallow - This bird, which is also known as the hirondelle, is an early bearing. One of the best known of the early examples is the arms of the Arundells of Wardour, who bore "Sable, six swallows argent."

Swan - The swan was the cognizance of the Bohuns. Sometimes it is borne whole, sometimes only the head, like the arms of the Guests. When gorged with a ducal coronet having a gold chain attached to it, it is called a cygney-royal.

Swift - The dolphin.

Sweep - The balista or engine anciently used for casting stones into fortresses.

Sword - The sword of heraldry is two handed.

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