Arms of Torre de Juan Abad, Spain

Torre de Juan Abad

Granted 1273

Blazon: Argent a tower and lion rampant gules, in chief a molet of five points azure, all within a bordure of the first charged with eight saltires couped or

Unfortunately, I have no idea who Juan Abad might have been, and it seems like nobody else does, either. It seems reasonable to speculate that the tower is a canting element (“torre,” or “tower” in Spanish). The lion is possibly taken from the arms of Alfonso X of Castile, who granted the town’s arms, but I don’t have anything on the saltires or the molet. One last fun fact – Francisco de Quevedo, a prominent satirical Baroque poet, ruled the town for a while after his mother purchased the title for him. While the town apparently didn’t take too kindly to him at the time (read: they sued him, and he won, but only after he died), they now host an “International Graphic Humor Center” in honor of his snarky legacy.

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Arms of Torralba de Calatrava, Spain

Torralba de Calatrava

Granted 1975

Blazon: Per fess argent a cross of Calatrava gules and azure a tower of the first

Whatever kind of shade some ancient writers throw on canting arms, I love them. It’s like all the best parts of puns and linguistics put together! It’s especially satisfying when every element of the arms matches a component of the name in question. The “de Calatrava” clearly corresponds to the cross of Calatrava, from the military order that occupied much of the south of Spain during Reconquista. The first part of the name is covered in the base half of the arms – “torre alba” being a rather poetic way of saying “white tower” in Spanish. It’s possible the white tower in question is a direct reference to the town’s old fortress (which had a church built on it more than 500 years ago), but that’s pure speculation.

Arms of Terrinches, Spain

Terrinches
Granted 1988

Blazon: Per pale argent a cross of Santiago gules and azure a tower of the first

These may partly be canting arms, as “Terrinches” may be derived from “Torreblanca,” or “white tower.” Alternatively, the sinister half of the arms may be a reference to the town’s defensive importance during the Reconquista. The dexter half reflects the town’s previous ownership by the Order of Santiago.

Arms of Socuéllamos, Spain

Socuellamos
Granted 1955

Blazon: Per pale vert a tower or windowed azure and of the last a cross of Santiago gules fimbriated argent, pointé in base of the fourth a bunch of grapes of the second slipped of the first

The tower is a reference to Torre de Vejezate, a local abandoned town. The cross of Santiago reflects the fact that the land previously belonged to the Order of Santiago, and the grapes refer to the traditional industry of winemaking.

Arms of the borough of Amber Valley

Amber Valley

Derbyshire, England

Granted 1989

Blazon: Vert a pale wavy or within a bordure argent charged with five horseshoes sable, on a chief of the second between two lozenges a cresset sable fired proper

Crest: On a wreath of the colors the battlements of a tower proper issuant therefrom between two croizers or an oak tree also proper fructed and ensigned by a crown of fleurs-de-lis of the first

Supporters: On the dexter a unicorn argent armed and crined or gorged with a collar pendant therefrom a cross flory gules; on the sinister a leopard proper gorged with a collar gules pendant therefrom a fleur-de-lis or

Mantling: Vert lined or

Motto: Per laborem progredimur (By hard work we progress)

The pale wavy evidently represents the river Amber, while the lozenges and cresset symbolize the coal and iron industries. The horseshoes on the bordure are taken from (one of the versions of) the arms of the Ferrers family.