Unusual Patterns

From The Blazon of Gentrie by Sir John Ferne (1586), p190

These two coats represent patterns that do not appear, to the best of my knowledge, on any actual coats of arms. According to Ferne, they are exclusively French, but the only place they reliably occur is in heraldic texts.

Left: Argent, papelloné gules. Some sources translate “papelloné” as “feathered,” but since it is probably related to the French word for “butterfly,” it seems to refer to the scaled pattern of their wings.

Right: Or, mouchetté de gules, a plain cross in base sable. “Mouchetté” is slightly more gruesome; the term simply means “flecked” in French, but Ferne specifies that it is meant to represent “pieces of flesh torn off.” As far as I am aware, Ferne is the only heraldic writer to reference this pattern.


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