[ANSTHRLD] Device question (please bare with me)

Melissa Barton m.alanebarton at gmail.com
Wed Apr 20 15:32:29 PDT 2011

I'm not terribly experienced with device heraldry, so I defer to those with
more experience, but a couple of initial impressions:

The phoenix would be outlined in gold but not real sure how to say that....

I am not sure you can blazon this--I believe the color of the outlines is
more an issue of style, as the difference between outlined in black/gold/not
outlined is not going to be visible across a battlefield. You are welcome to
outline the phoenix in any color when you display your device.

However, a bigger issue here is that the phoenix is gules on a sable field,
which violates rule of tincture (no color on color or metal on metal) unless
you can document it as a regional style. Even if you could specify a gold
outline, I do not believe that would be "bold" enough to provide sufficient
visible contrast--the phoenix is still a charge on the field, even if it is
outlined in a different color.

Question one: I'm not sure rampant is needed if I say armed or if rampant
> can be used to describe a Phoenix.

I believe "rampant" can only be applied to four-legged animals, not birds;
also not sure whether the *wings* can be "adorsed" or if that only applies
to two charges in relation to each other. "Displayed" refers to the bird
front on with wings and legs out, I believe, so I am fairly sure the phoenix
cannot be all three of these things at the same time.

It is difficult for me to tell from your image (which is lovely) what
position the bird is actually in. I'd recommend when submitting to consider
drawing the phoenix in a more traditional western heraldic style for
clarity, although you can draw it however you like when displaying it. A
heraldic phoenix is not actually made of fire--it's usually shown rising
from flames to make clear that it's a phoenix and not, say, an eagle.

Hopefully someone more knowledgable than me can give you more information.

-Leonor Ruiz
Baronial Herald, Bonwicke

More information about the Heralds mailing list