Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Coat of Arms: The Black Knight

The second coat-of-arms post in my blog. This time I'd like to draw Richard's coat-of-arms as the Black Knight mentioned in Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe. The blazon is as following:

“Something resembling a bar of iron, and a padlock painted blue on the black shield.”

To be honest, I don't really understand how the shield looks like. The problem is that the author fails to mention the complete blazon of it. Ivanhoe later just describes it as “fetterlock and shacklebolt azure,” which is not a very clear description at all.

The problem is, the glossary in Heraldica.org explains fetterlock and shacklebolt as the same thing, and as there is no indication as to the location of fetterlock and shacklebolt, I thus assume that it's only one thing: a fetterlock. Another reason for doing so is that Rebecca describes the thing as 'a bar of iron' and 'a padlock', both are elements of a fetterlock.

One more thing: the author admits in his note that the coat-of-arms violates the rule of tincture, which states that no metal should be placed upon metal, and no colour should be placed upon colour. So placing blue upon black (colour upon colour) is actually not allowed. Yet the author argues that at the time of King Richard such rule didn't apply.

Thus the arms of the Black Knight can be re-blazoned as:
“Sable, a fetterlock azure.”

That's the coat-of-arms of the Black Knight. I'd be happy to share other coat-of-arms from other books later on. And the good news is, you can request any coat-of-arms to be blazoned or drawn by me. (As I said, I'm not an expert, but I will do my best).

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