Argent

Last updated
Argent
 
ClassMetal
Non-heraldic equivalent Silver (white)
Monochromatic designations
Hatching pattern 
Tricking abbr.a., A., ar., Arg. - arg.
Poetic designations
Heavenly body Moon, ☾; Neptune, ♆
Jewel Pearl

In heraldry, argent /ˈɑːrənt/ is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it. In engravings and line drawings, regions to be tinctured argent are either left blank, or indicated with the abbreviation ar.

Heraldry profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol

Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design, display, and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank, and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement. The achievement, or armorial bearings usually includes a coat of arms on an shield, helmet, and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, badges, heraldic banners, and mottoes.

Tincture (heraldry) colour used to emblazon a coat of arms in heraldy

Tinctures constitute the limited palette of colours and patterns used in heraldry. The need to define, depict, and correctly blazon the various tinctures is one of the most important aspects of heraldic art and design.

Silver (color) metallic color tone resembling gray that is a representation of the color of polished silver

Silver or metallic gray is a color tone resembling gray that is a representation of the color of polished silver.

Contents

The name derives from Latin argentum, translated as "silver" or "white metal". The word argent had the same meaning in Old French blazon , whence it passed into the English language.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Metal element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat

A metal is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts electricity and heat relatively well. Metals are typically malleable or ductile. A metal may be a chemical element such as iron, or an alloy such as stainless steel.

Blazon art of describing heraldic arms in proper terms

In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image. The verb to blazon means to create such a description. The visual depiction of a coat of arms or flag has traditionally had considerable latitude in design, but a verbal blazon specifies the essentially distinctive elements. A coat of arms or flag is therefore primarily defined not by a picture but rather by the wording of its blazon. Blazon also refers to the specialized language in which a blazon is written, and, as a verb, to the act of writing such a description. This language has its own vocabulary, grammar and syntax, which becomes essential for comprehension when blazoning a complex coat of arms.

In some historical depictions of coats of arms, a kind of silver leaf was applied to those parts of the device that were argent. Over time, the silver content of these depictions has tarnished and darkened. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish regions that were intended as "argent" from those that were "sable". This leaves a false impression that the rule of tincture has been violated in cases where, when applied next to a dark colour, argent now appears to be sable due to tarnish.

Coat of arms unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon

A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of shield, supporters, crest, and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, family, state, organization or corporation.

Tarnish

Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that forms over copper, brass, silver, aluminum, magnesium, neodymium and other similar metals as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction. Tarnish does not always result from the sole effects of oxygen in the air. For example, silver needs hydrogen sulfide to tarnish, although it may tarnish with oxygen over time. It often appears as a dull, gray or black film or coating over metal. Tarnish is a surface phenomenon that is self-limiting, unlike rust. Only the top few layers of the metal react, and the layer of tarnish seals and protects the underlying layers from reacting.

In heraldry, sable is the tincture black, and belongs to the class of dark tinctures, called "colours". In engravings and line drawings, it is sometimes depicted as a region of crossed horizontal and vertical lines, or else marked with sa. as an abbreviation.

Argent versus white

Arthur Charles Fox-Davies argued extensively in his book The Art of Heraldry: An Encyclopaedia of Armory that, though extremely rare, the colour white existed as an independent tincture in heraldry separate from argent. He bases this in part on the "white labels" used to differentiate the arms of members of the British Royal Family. However, it has been argued that these could be regarded as "white labels proper", thus rendering white not a heraldic tincture. [1]

Book medium for a collection of words and/or pictures to represent knowledge or a fictional story, often manifested in bound paper and ink, or in e-books

As a physical object, a book is a stack of usually rectangular pages oriented with one edge tied, sewn, or otherwise fixed together and then bound to the flexible spine of a protective cover of heavier, relatively inflexible material. The technical term for this physical arrangement is codex. In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its immediate predecessor, the scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a leaf, and each side of a leaf is a page.

In heraldry, a label is a charge resembling the strap crossing the horse's chest from which pendants are hung. It is usually a mark of difference, but has sometimes been borne simply as a charge in its own right.

White does seem to be regarded as a different tincture from argent in Portuguese heraldry, as evidenced by the arms of municipal de Santiago do Cacém in Portugal, in which the white of the fallen Moor's clothing and the knight's horse is distinguished from the argent of the distant castle, and in the arms of the Logistical and Administrative Command of the Portuguese Air Force.

Portuguese heraldry

Portuguese heraldry encompasses the modern and historic traditions of heraldry in Portugal and the Portuguese Empire. Portuguese heraldry is part of the larger Iberian tradition of heraldry, one of the major schools of heraldic tradition, and grants coats of arms to individuals, cities, Portuguese colonies, and other institutions. Heraldry has been practiced in Portugal at least since the 11th century, however it only became standardized and popularized in the 16th century, during the reign of King Manuel I of Portugal, who created the first heraldic ordinances in the country. Like in other Iberian heraldic traditions, the use of quartering and augmentations of honor is highly representative of Portuguese heraldry, but unlike in any other Iberian traditions, the use of heraldic crests is highly popular.

Santiago do Cacém Municipality in Alentejo, Portugal

Santiago do Cacém is a municipality in Setúbal District in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 29,749, in an area of 1059.69 km².

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe. It is bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Meaning

Sometimes, the different tinctures are said to be connected with special meanings or virtues, and represent certain elements and precious stones. Even if this is an idea mostly disregarded by serious heraldists throughout the centuries, [2] it may be of anecdotal interest to see what they are, since the information is so often sought after. Many sources give different meanings, but argent is often said to represent the following:

Related Research Articles

In heraldry, gules is the tincture with the colour red. It is one of the class of five dark tinctures called "colours", the others being azure (blue), sable (black), vert (green) and purpure (purple).

In heraldry, purpure is a tincture, equivalent to the colour "purple", and is one of the five main or most usually used colours. It may be portrayed in engravings by a series of parallel lines at a 45-degree angle running from upper right to lower left from the point of view of an observer, or else indicated by the abbreviation purp.

In heraldry, tenné is a "stain", or non-standard tincture, of orange, light brown or orange-tawny colour.

Variation of the field heraldic term

In heraldry, variations of the field are any of a number of ways that a field may be covered with a pattern, rather than a flat tincture or a simple division of the field.

Bleu celeste tincture

Bleu celeste is a rarely occurring and non-standard tincture in heraldry. This tincture is sometimes also called ciel or simply celeste. It is depicted in a lighter shade than the range of shades of the more traditional tincture azure, which is the standard blue used in heraldry.

In heraldry, or is the tincture of gold and, together with argent (silver), belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals", or light colours. In engravings and line drawings, it is hatched using a field of evenly spaced dots. It is very frequently depicted as yellow, though gold leaf was used in many illuminated manuscripts and more extravagant rolls of arms.

Vair varied tincture or fur in heraldry

Vair is a fur, and a set of patterns in heraldry. It represents a kind of fur common in the Middle Ages, made from the greyish-blue backs of squirrels sewn together with the animals' white underbellies. Vair is the second-most common fur in heraldry, after ermine.

Rule of tincture

The most basic rule of heraldic design is the rule of tincture: metal should not be put on metal, nor colour on colour. This means that Or and argent may not be placed on each other; nor may any of the colours be placed on another colour. Heraldic furs as well as "proper" are exceptions to the rule of tincture.

In heraldry, azure is the tincture with the colour blue, and belongs to the class of tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of horizontal lines or else is marked with either az. or b. as an abbreviation. The term azure derives from the name of the deep blue stone now called lapis lazuli. The word was adopted into Old French by the 12th century, after which the word passed into use in the blazon of coats of arms.

In classical heraldry, vert is the tincture equivalent to the colour "green". It is one of the five dark tinctures (colours). The word vert is simply the French for "green". It is used in English in the sense of a heraldic tincture since the early 16th century. In Modern French, vert is not used as a heraldic term. Instead, the French heraldic term for green tincture is sinople. This has been the case since c. the 16th century. In medieval French heraldry, vert also meant "green" while sinople was a shade of red. Vert is portrayed by the conventions of heraldic "hatching" by lines at a 45-degree angle from upper left to lower right, or indicated by the abbreviation vt. when a coat of arms is tricked.

Hatching (heraldry)

Hatchings are distinctive and systematic patterns of lines and dots used for designating heraldic tinctures or other colours on uncoloured surfaces, such as woodcuts or engravings, seals and coins. Several systems of hatchings were developed during the Renaissance as an alternative to tricking, the earlier method of indicating heraldic tinctures by use of written abbreviations. The present day hatching system was developed during the 1630s by Silvester Petra Sancta and Marcus Vulson de la Colombière. Some earlier hatching methods were also developed, but did not come into wide use.

Tricking

Tricking is a method for indicating the tinctures (colours) used in a coat of arms by means of text abbreviations written directly on the illustration. Tricking and hatching are the two primary methods employed in the system of heraldry to show colour in black and white illustrations.

In heraldry, a stain is one of a few non-standard tinctures or colours, which are only known to occur in post-medieval heraldry and are thought to denote a rebatement of honour. Almost none of these rebatements are found in fact of heraldic practice, however, and in British heraldry the stains find only exceptional use, other than for purposes of livery.

Fountain (heraldry) heraldic roundel

Fountain or syke is in the terminology of heraldry a roundel depicted as a roundel barry wavy argent and azure, that is, containing alternating horizontal wavy bands of silver and blue.

Rose is the non-traditional tincture of rose or pink as used in heraldry.

Roundel (heraldry) heraldry term for a circular charge

A roundel is a circular charge in heraldry. Roundels are among the oldest charges used in coats of arms, dating from the start of the age of heraldry in Europe, circa 1200–1215. Roundels are typically a solid colour but may be charged with an item or be any of the furs used in heraldry. Roundels are similar to the annulet, which some heralds would refer to as a false roundel.

References

  1. "The Scottish Heraldry Forum Message: Paton - help". Archived from the original on 2003-09-10. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  2. Woodcock, Thomas; Robinson, John Martin (1988). The Oxford Guide to Heraldry. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 53. ISBN   0-19-211658-4.