Difference between revisions of "Colour"

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The word "colour" is problematic. [[Herald]]s prefer to use "tincture" for what ordinary people call colours, because "colour" has a different meaning.
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In [[heraldry]], the term '''colour''' refers to [[azure]], [[sable]], [[gules]], [[vert]] and [[purpure]]. [[Or]] and [[argent]] are not considered colours, but [[metal]]s. There are rules governing when colours can be used. A charge is not allowed to be one of the colours if the backgound is also a colour, so for instance an azure [[lion]] can not appear on a gules [[field]].  But the field can be split in two with both halves being a [[colour]] or a [[metal]], or with one half in each, in which case a charge of either [[colour]] or [[metal]] can be placed, because otherwise you couldn't charge anything ''(see heralds -- poverty of)''
  
There are three kinds of tincture: colours, [[metal]]s and [[fur]]s.  With one exception, everything on a heraldic [[device]] must be in these tinctures.
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''See also:''
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* [[Dye colours]]
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* [[Pigment]]
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* [[Tincture]]
  
The five colours, in approximate order from most to least common, are:
 
* [[Sable]] ([[black]])
 
* [[Gules]] ([[red]])
 
* [[Azure]] ([[blue]])
 
* [[Vert]] ([[green]])
 
* [[Purpure]] ([[purple]])
 
  
The two metals are:
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[[Category:Device heraldry]]
*[[Or]] ([[yellow]] or [[gold]])
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[[category:arts]]
*[[Argent]] ([[silver]] or [[white]])
 
 
 
The furs are many, but the most common ones are:
 
*[[Ermine]] (black ermine spots on a white field)
 
*[[Counter-ermine]] (white ermine spots on black)
 
*[[Erminois]] (black ermine spots on yellow)
 
*[[Pean]] (yellow ermine spots on black)
 
*[[Vair]] (a regular pattern of blue and white)
 
 
 
(Note that counter-ermine is called ermines in the literature, but we use the longer name to help stave off typos.)
 
 
 
The one exception to these tinctures is called '[[proper]]'.  If an creature has a normal, unarguable colouration, then it may be described as proper.  For example, a greyhound proper would be grey, or a man proper would be pale pink (in [[Europe]] at least).  This has some implications for matters of [[contrast]].  If there is no normal colour for a creature - lions, for example, can be anything from white through yellow to black - or if it's a mythical beast, then it doesn't have a proper colour, so this exception doesn't apply.  ((Need to quote precedent here?))
 
 
 
((Need a way to insert images in this format, to allow illustrations.))
 

Latest revision as of 12:18, 24 February 2010

In heraldry, the term colour refers to azure, sable, gules, vert and purpure. Or and argent are not considered colours, but metals. There are rules governing when colours can be used. A charge is not allowed to be one of the colours if the backgound is also a colour, so for instance an azure lion can not appear on a gules field. But the field can be split in two with both halves being a colour or a metal, or with one half in each, in which case a charge of either colour or metal can be placed, because otherwise you couldn't charge anything (see heralds -- poverty of)

See also: