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Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry: T, Page Two

Heraldic Terms from Tiara to Tourne


Tiara - The triple crown worn by the popes of Rome.

Tierce - (ter-say') Divided into three equal parts of three different tinctures. (Said of the field when so divided.)

Tiercelet - (ters'-let) A falcon.

Tiger - The heraldic tiger has the body of a wolf, the tail of a lion and is studded with tufts of hair. It is not an early bearing, nor is it often seen.

Timber - 1. A row of ermine in a nobleman's coat. 2. The helmet, miter, coronet, etc., when placed over the arms in a complete achievement. 3. As a verb. To surmount or decorate the coat of arms.

    "A purple plume timbers his stately crest." Sylvester.

Timbre - (tim'-ber) [French.] The crest which in an achievement is shown on the top of a helmet.

Tincture - (tink'-tur) The name given to the colors, metals and furs used in heraldry. The tinctures may be classed as follows:


    Or (gold, yellow)
    Argent (silver, white)


    Azure (blue)
    Gules (red)
    Purpure (purple)
    Sable (black)
    Vert (green)

Of later introduction are sanguine (dark red) and tenne (orange). They are, however, almost unknown in English heraldry.



Ermine - Represents the skin of that little animal, and is white powdered with black spots.

Ermines - A black field, with white spots.

Erminois - The field is gold and the spots sable.

Erminites - The same as ermine, except that the two lateral hairs of each spot are red.

Vair - Similar in shape to small escutcheons, the wings representing the fore legs and the point the tail.The skins are arranged alternately white and blue.

If other colors are used they must be specified.

Vair-en-point - A variety of vair, the point of one escutcheon being placed opposite to the base of the one below.

Counter-vair - Another variety of vair, those of the same color being placed base to base and point to point. (VAir was originally drawn bell-shaped.)

Pean - The reverse of erminois, being golden spots on a black field. 

Potent - The skins are T-shaped, resembling somewhat a gallows or a crutch head. It is akin to vair, and is sometimes blazoned "vair-potent." 

Counter-potent - A variety of potent, being placed point to point. (Also called potent counter-potent.)

The practice of representing the several colors by lines and marks, which dates from the sixteenth century, is as follows:

Argent - A plain white surface.

Or - Small dots.

Azure - Horizontal lines.

Gules - Vertical lines.

Purpure - Diagonal lines from sinister to dexter.

Vert - Diagonal lines from dexter to sinister.

Sable - Vertical and horizontal lines.

Sanguine - Diagonal lines from right to left and left to right (in saltire).

Tenne - Diagonal lines from sinister to dexter and horizontal (a compound of purpure and azure). 

A foolish practice arose during the sixteenth century of blazoning the arms of princes and peers by precious stones and planets. The system was as follows:

Or - topaz, Sol.
Argent - pearl, Luna.
Azure - sapphire, Jupiter.
Gules - ruby, Mars.
Purpure - amethyst, Mercury.
Sable - diamond, Saturn.
Vert - emerald, Venus.

Tirret - (tir'-ret) A manacle.

Topaz - (to'-paz) The name given to the metal or when borne by peers.

Torce - The same as WREATH.

Torgant - [See TORQUED.]

Torqued - (torkt) Twisted: wreathed; bent. This term is used to describe a dolphin haurient, twisted into a form nearly resembling the letter S.

Torteau - (tor'to) A roundel tinctured gules. (Plural, torteaux.) [See also ROUNDEL.]

Tourne - (toor'nay') [French.] The same as CONTOURNE or REGARDANT.

Find another term:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S

Tabard to Thunderbolt
Tiara to Tourne
Transfixed to Tyrwhit

U | V | W | Y

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