Azure (heraldry)

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Azure
 
Class Colour
Non-heraldic equivalent Blue
Monochromatic designations
Hatching
Hatching pattern 
Tricking abbr. b. - Az., bl.
Poetic designations
Heavenly body Jupiter, ♃
Jewel Sapphire

In heraldry, azure ( /ˈæʒər, ˈæz.jʊər/ AZH-ər, AZ-yoor) [1] 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 (stone of Lazhward). 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.

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.

Azure (color) colour

Azure is a bright cyan-blue color that is often described as the color of the sky on a clear day.

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As an heraldic colour, the word azure means "blue", and reflects the name for the colour in the language of the French-speaking Anglo-Norman nobles following the Norman Conquest of England. A wide range of colour values is used in the depiction of azure in armory and flags, and in common usage it is often referred to simply as 'blue'.

Blue A primary colour between purple and green

Blue is one of the three primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory, as well as in the RGB colour model. It lies between violet and green on the spectrum of visible light. The eye perceives blue when observing light with a dominant wavelength between approximately 450 and 495 nanometres. Most blues contain a slight mixture of other colors; azure contains some green, while ultramarine contains some violet. The clear daytime sky and the deep sea appear blue because of an optical effect known as Rayleigh scattering. An optical effect called Tyndall scattering explains blue eyes. Distant objects appear more blue because of another optical effect called aerial perspective.

In addition to the standard blue tincture called azure, there is a lighter blue sometimes found that is called bleu celeste or "sky blue". Neither azure nor bleu celeste is precisely defined as a particular shade of blue, but azure is consistently depicted in a much darker shade.

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.

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 often asked for. Many sources give different meanings, but azure is often said to represent the following: [3]

Sapphire gemstone, colored corundum variety (but red ones are named ruby, violet ones oriental amethyst)

Sapphire is a precious gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum, consisting of aluminium oxide (α-Al2O3) with trace amounts of elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or magnesium. It is typically blue, but natural "fancy" sapphires also occur in yellow, purple, orange, and green colors; "parti sapphires" show two or more colors. The only color corundum stone that the term sapphire is not used for is red, which is called a ruby. Pink colored corundum may be either classified as ruby or sapphire depending on locale. Commonly, natural sapphires are cut and polished into gemstones and worn in jewelry. They also may be created synthetically in laboratories for industrial or decorative purposes in large crystal boules. Because of the remarkable hardness of sapphires – 9 on the Mohs scale (the third hardest mineral, after diamond at 10 and moissanite at 9.5) – sapphires are also used in some non-ornamental applications, such as infrared optical components, high-durability windows, wristwatch crystals and movement bearings, and very thin electronic wafers, which are used as the insulating substrates of very special-purpose solid-state electronics (especially integrated circuits and GaN-based LEDs).

Jupiter Fifth planet from the Sun in the Solar System

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System. It is a giant planet with a mass one-thousandth that of the Sun, but two-and-a-half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined. Jupiter and Saturn are gas giants; the other two giant planets, Uranus and Neptune, are ice giants. Jupiter has been known to astronomers since antiquity. It is named after the Roman god Jupiter. When viewed from Earth, Jupiter can reach an apparent magnitude of −2.94, bright enough for its reflected light to cast shadows, and making it on average the third-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus.

Dolní Přím Village in Czech Republic

Dolní Přím is a village in the Czech Republic located about 10 km west of Hradec Králové.

Dollern Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Dollern is a municipality in the district of Stade, Lower Saxony, Germany. In 2006 the population was 1,747.

Seevetal Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Seevetal is a municipality in the district of Harburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated approximately 20 km south of Hamburg, and 15 km west of Winsen (Luhe). Its seat is in the village Hittfeld. It is named after the river Seeve.

See also

Related Research Articles

In heraldry, argent 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.

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.

Field (heraldry) background of a shield or flag

In heraldry, the background of the shield is called the field. The field is usually composed of one or more tinctures or furs. The field may be divided or may consist of a variegated pattern.

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.

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 classical heraldry, vert is the name of 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.

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.

Shades of cyan

This article is about notable tints and shades of the color cyan, a greenish blue. Cyan is one of the subtractive primary colors- cyan, magenta, and yellow.

Sky blue color

Sky blue is the name of a colour that resembles the colour of the sky at noon. The entry for "sky-blue" in Murray's New English Dictionary (1919) reports a first sighting of the term in the article on "silver" in Ephraim Chambers's Cyclopaedia of 1728. However, many writers had used the term "sky blue" to name a colour before Chambers. For example, we find "sky blue" in A Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. 2, p. 322, where John Nieuhoff describes certain flowers: "they are of a lovely sky blue colour, and yellow in the middle". The sense of this colour may have been first used in 1585 in a book by Nicolas de Nicolay where he stated "the tulbant of the merchant must be skie coloured".

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.

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. Oxford Dictionary Online, Oxford US Dictionary
  2. Woodcock, Thomas; Robinson, John Martin (1988). The Oxford Guide to Heraldry. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 53. ISBN   0-19-211658-4.
  3. Elvin, Charles Norton (1889). A Dictionary of Heraldry.