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St Edward the Confessor: Tincture Or (4/6)

Published by Carlos da Fonte, em 23.08.12
Edward the Confessor - Attributed Arms

We finally arrived at the point where tinctures are considered. How sure are we that this kind of colourful parophonic supposition is reasonable enough to be accepted? Why tinctures aren't always attributed to a natural property of the entities we see outlined in blazons? Well, unfortunately things are not that simple. Nobody can be sure that such or such representation is canting, for example. Even “obvious” representations as the arms used by the King of León (Argent a lion purpure) have been denied their canting status. Some authors say that this lion may well represent the strength and character of the king, instead of a pun that remembers the name of the kingdom: Llion ~ llion (leo. lion). It's a matter of personal interpretation, which will coincide or not with the primitive intentions.

 

It is perfectly admissible that colours may be canting, even in a conservative view. They normally arise as plain tinctures like in Rossi ~ Rossi (ita. reds), where the full red of the shield turns this evidence into an unavoidable explanation. The parophonic methodology allows a richer domain of interpretation, even explaining small chromatic details, otherwise disdained. Contrarily, what seems to be a natural and well-behaved blue tincture may hide a surprising unsuspected signification, as the blue field used in the arms of the kings of France. Of course, most of the time figurations show their proper colours in heraldry.

 

What makes the denial of this kind of phenomenon somewhat unreasonable is that canting arms are perceived as a general and acknowledged manifestation in heraldry. Therefore, if it occurs in other instances, it should occur in this particular case too. The same may be said about parophony, with the difference that here the circumscribed universe is much larger. It may reach every aspect of emblazonment: figurations, separations, attitudes, tinctures, etc.

 

There is almost nothing left for an arbitrary choice, each heraldic trace seem to be prone to a deliberate parophonic intention or result from an immanence of the other elements already represented. But if you see blue lions, pink eagles or green skies, believe me, there is more than simple aesthetical choice there. Medievals were not fools or naïve, as some may comfortably like to think, perhaps to justify the insanity and senselessness of our own time.

 

But we must leave our generalizations and recall the cross and birds of St Edward. We noted before that “or” could be an appropriate tincture for our cross. Wood, gold, brass or bronze suited perfectly the artefact and could indeed be the reason behind the colour. Besides, we already proposed that the four fleurs-de-lis at the limbs would be the same present in St Edward's Crown. Couldn't it be assumed that the rest of the material of the cross was gold, a sort of yellow - case closed - or maybe not? Yes and no. We do accept that the cross appearing in the arms of St Edward was made in gold. But we shouldn't refuse other contributions from parophonies encompassing this property of the heraldic cross as long as they don't conflict. That's precisely the case and we'll see it next.

 

After these considerations on the cross we must now turn our attention to the birds. Martlets were inspired on swallows, a well known gregarious bird, with a small beak and tiny legs, so that we hardly can't see them, both in real life and in the simplified drawings of heraldry. Still, there are no yellow swallows and even birds with this full colour are hard to find in Europe.

 

The fact that martlets stand for birds in general doesn't help much, they appear in all available tinctures. The attributed arms of Sussex that include six of them - three, two and one - appear in late documents and it's difficult to draw definite conclusion from there. It looks like they were inspired by the attributed arms studied in this post, and we mention the parophony Sussex ~ Suos (lat. his) sex (lat. six), that seems to refer someone in particular. Maybe the author didn't know or ignored the parophony - Seint ~ Cinc - applied to Edward and conveniently admitted six birds in the flock, using Latin as an archaising tool. Agreeing with this inspiration, these arms should be created after the end of the 14th century. The remaining aspects we must leave for further research.

 

For the general case we could admit that brown swallows were transformed into gold, a pertinent assumption, or that the glow of the cross in gold would tint the martlets. This could also be understood by some to derive from a cruciform nimbus at the circular rim around the coin and the cross, the whole spreading its light to the doves; but there are no colours in coins and Edward wasn't recognized as a saint at this time.

 

Let us remark one more thing about our parophonic methodology. The vast majority of the referent's metonymies are geographical and we still haven't applied none. Why is that? Probably because the arms were based on a numismatic representation and these would demand a different inspiration. Remember that the three metonymies we've already found were based on anthroponymy - Edouard ~ Et due harde - and status - Seint ~ Cinc along with C(e) roi ~ Crois. This is decidedly puzzling compared to the average, the more so if no additional parophonies existed and any geographical metonymies weren't allowed consequently.

 

The capital of Edward the Confessor was Winchester and only later with the Norman rule it would move to London. We saw in the arms of Sagremor - Aquincenses ~ Ac quini sentes - that demonyms may play a part in translating the referent into pictures. This is also the case for King Edward, not in the plural form used for the fictive Hungarian knight but as another circumstance of his life: someone that lived in Winchester. Notice that Edward wasn't born there; the parophony is linked to the city as the capital of the Kingdom, not as the King's birthplace.

 

The parophony is built using J' Wincestrin (ano. I Wintonian) ~ Juints cestrins (ano. together lemon yellow). We weren't able to find this specific Anglo-Norman word Wincestrin, or any other, for the inhabitants of Winchester. It is possible, however, to find Wincestre for the name of the city and then compare it with other known demonyms like Parisin, and infer the necessary conclusions. “Together” refers to anything that can be counted inside the shield, obviously excluding the uncountable field, needed for contrast, moreover.

 

Also note that Je (ano. I) is transformed into J' when preceding vocalic sounds but even before consonants in the oral practice and that the plural endings in “s” are silent. The pronunciation of the first syllable of Wincestrin could well be [win] instead of [wẼ], according to the local nature of the word. The discretion index would be slightly changed from k = 0.0 to k = 0.30, nothing to be alarmed, but we preferred to accompany the obvious intention to equalize sounds, maybe being a bit too much enthusiastic on the Frenchy aspects of Anglo-Norman.

 

Both the denominant and the designant see their meaning limited by metonymization. The former as two converging metonymies:

 

I > the coat of arms > the bearer > Edward

Wintonian > living in Winchester > the king > Edward

 

The latter as two simple distinct metonymies:

 

together > everything > figurations > cross and martlets

lemon yellow > yellowish > or

 

We might have classified the last metonymy as a sublimation, where the golden tone would reflect the most flattering choice among any yellow hues. But note that we already have a chromatic pretext founded on the fleurs-de-lis and further that anything yellowish would inevitably be described as or. Therefore the colour of the cross and birds must be understood not as lemon yellow but as gold, transformed and described by the emblazonment practices. This doesn't happen always, some figurations do need to keep their yellow identity in order to improve consistency. Chromatic metonymizations don't take place then, contrarily to their description in blazoning, a conventional language.

 

But we also need to justify why the birds are gold in the plot of the arms as a drawing. It seems insufficient to state that their colour derive from the lemon yellow parophony. This coherence keeps the whole together and helps us to assert that it would be quite difficult to emerge from other reason than intention. Cestrin is often linked with the description of precious stones. At that period, all that we could imagine would be some gems set on the cross, but they are not. Additionally, there was to technical capacity to manufacture the cross or the martlets as entirely cut from such stones.

 

We must look for another explanation. Let's come back to the identification of these five martlets with the sanctity of Edward through their number, Seint ~ Cinc and condition as a flock, Edouard ~ Et due harde. It's legitimate to think that the colour could be associated with this condition. They shouldn't reflect then the glow of the golden cross, as guessed before, but an inner glow of sanctity.

 

The glow is conventionally represented by a halo around the heads of saints when depicted as human figures. Regarding birds, the dove of the Holy Ghost normally appears as entirely white with a yellow splendour around it which comes from within. We will learn in the fifth semantic level that also the blue tincture is “holy” so there was no semantic advantage to mingle the field with a halo. That would appear an odd technique for the emblazonment of this period anyway. What happened is that the author of the blazon just simplified the glowing halo through the tincture of the martlets changed from inside. In the same manner a star was covered by a cloud and changed from yellow to black in the arms of Sagremor. A realistic technique would paint all the cloud white, but that wouldn't carry the hidden semantic component, ignoring the presence of the star. All we need is a feasible construction, that may “excuse” the determinative aspects of the parophony upwards, unusual as it may be, deriving from chance.

 

 Edward the Confessor - Flock
CLASSIFICATION DESCRIPTION
Attributed Arms R Edward the Confessor
Demonym M Wintonian
Language of Conquest V Anglo-Norman
Denominant A j' Wincestrin
Converging metonymy S I > the coat of arms > the bearer > Edward
S Wintonian > lives in Winchester > king > Edward
Graphemization A  J'  |    |  W  |  I  |  N  |  C  |  E  |  S  |  T  |  R  |  I  |  N 
Phonemization A Z  |  w  |  Ẽ  |  s  |  E  |  s  |  t |  R\  |  Ẽ
Pairing A Z  |  w  |  Ẽ  |  s  |  E  |  s  |  t |  R\  |  Ẽ
A Z  |  w  |  Ẽ  |  s  |  E  |  s  |  t |  R\  |  Ẽ
Coefficient of transposition A 0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0
Coefficient of character A 0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0
Coefficient of position A 0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0
Addends A 0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0
Discretion index A k = 0.0
Phonemization A Z | w | Ẽ | s | E | s | t | R\ | Ẽ
Graphemization A J | U | I | N | T | S | | C | E | S | T | R | I | N | S
Designant A juints cestrins
Coloration E lemon yellow
Simple monosemy S or
S lemon yellow
Tincture H Azure
Number H a
Figuration H cross
Aspect H flory
Placement H cantoned with
Number H four
Figuration H martlets
Connective H and
Number H another
Placement H in base
Simple metonymy S together > everything > figurations > cross & martlets
Simple metonymy, Redundancy S lemon yellow > yellowish > or
Tincture H lemon yellow or
Immanence, Redundancy C gold (fleurs-de-lis)
Contrast C azure

 

(next article in this series is V/VI)

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

Published at 16:53

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© Carlos Carvalho da Fonte 2009-2017


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