Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blazon Your Fruits

No, this isn't Talk Like A Pirate Day, I've been looking in my heraldry book again.

Edible vegetation was often used in heraldry as a pun on the family name: Apples for Appleton, peas for Pease or pears for Perry, but also sometimes stood for places, pride in productivity, or history.

Apples and pears were nearly always presented hanging, as if still on the tree. Bunches of grapes were usually also shown hanging, but were sometimes inverted.

Sometimes edibles are shown in collections, even in baskets, or in combination with other items. The arms for the Worshipful Company of Brewers features sheaves of barley and also barrels... of what, I wonder...?

Fruits, nuts, sheaves or heads of grain and even root vegetables were all "reasonable and dignified" figures on coats of arms.

"Pineapple", in heraldry, means pine-cone. If you want a *pineapple* pineapple on your shield, you have to ask for an "ananas". Heaven only knows what you have to ask for if you want a banana.

Apparently, "Don't play with your food" is a modern concept.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes


Cerebrations.biz said...

I prefer my fruits to be available in person- and not depicted on shields of war.

Marian Allen said...

I prefer my fruits real, too. "Coats of Arms" weren't always that, though; they were identifying devices in a time when few people could read. The Guild of Brewers didn't field soldiers, for example. In fact, "devices" is probably a better term than "coat of arms".