SOME IMAGES ENHANCING
An Heraldic Tyger
Based upon the Persian Tiger which unlike the
Bengal Tiger has no stripes. Today the Persian tiger is a rare animal
living in the Iranian Mountains. The heraldic Tyger is often depicted with
a curiously pointed snout and tusks in the lower jaw.
"About 1230 the heraldic tyger was decribed by
Bartholomew as being a beast of dreadful swiftness. It was supposedly
very ferocious if its cubs were attacked, and because it was so quick the
only way to escape it was to throw down mirrors in front of it. The tyger
would then become transfixed with its own image, believing it to be
one of its cubs which it would then try to rescue from the mirror. This
would give the hunter enough time to escape". Among the most prevalent charges
to be found are beasts. The heraldic symbolism of a beast
does not necessarily follow a true description
of the real animal. In recent achievements, the Bengal tiger is shown in
its natural appearance. This is the case of the tiger found in early
armorial descriptions which show the heraldic tyger, as a stylized creature
which bears little resemblance to the appearance of a real tiger. The
Tyger was not used as a charge in English armory before the 1400's, actual
examples in English heraldry date from the 1500's.
The Caltrap is an heraldic symbol which evolved
from a military device designed to bring down cavalry as well as foot soldiers.
Caltraps may find a more modern use as crime fighting tools in the form
of spikes which can be unrolled on the highway to foil fleeing criminals.
In another monumental piece of escapism, the
film "Tomorrow Never Dies", James Bond distributes caltraps from the
back of his vehicle as he is pursued by the persistent criminals.
2 Bars Gemmel
Three Caltraps Abreast
A devilthorn on display at Skipton Castle,
Tim Midgley, September 2002 revised May 2009.