What's all this heraldic gibberish mean?
October 6, 2010 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me decipher what my family crest looks like based on the lingo from its heraldic description?

I found my surname's heraldic description in Burke's General Armory, but I'm having a hard time understanding what it means. Here's what I found:

BLAZON: Argent a chavron gules within a bordure gobonated or and azure.
CREST: A griffin passant sable bezantee.

Any idea what that's supposed to look like? Thanks!
posted by bjork24 to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's what I parse that as: Silver background with a red chevron surrounded with a gold and blue check. Crest is a standing black griffin ornamented with roundels.

Or this.
posted by scruss at 11:13 AM on October 6, 2010

MAIN PART: White with a red chevron (upside-down V shape) bordered by a yellow/blue checkerboard pattern.
ON TOP: Black griffin lifting one front limb, with little yellow polka dots.

(See here, here)
posted by theodolite at 11:13 AM on October 6, 2010

sorry ... walking griffin.

The language of heraldry is exceptionally well defined. An early page description language, as it were.
posted by scruss at 11:16 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I should point out that the coat of arms associated with your surname is not "your" coat of arms, but that of a Chilton from four hundred years ago who may or may not have been your direct male ancestor. See this AskMe, this article, etc.

That said, nobody's going to stop you from putting it on a keychain.
posted by theodolite at 11:31 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the info, scruss & theodolite.

Theodolite: I realize that it's not my crest, but I was interested nonetheless. Thanks again!
posted by bjork24 at 11:34 AM on October 6, 2010

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