Sicilian medieval royal heraldry.Medieval coats of arms were often "canted" for surnames, representing them graphically as a kind of rebus. The Grifeo family displayed a griffon, the Leone a lion, the Chiaramonte (light mountain) white mountains, Oliveri an olive tree. Bearing simple geometric designs such as stripes (known as ordinaries), symbols such as stars or animals (called charges) or canting references to surnames, the oldest coats of arms are some of the simplest and most aesthetic.
Bestiary: Heraldic Monsters & Medieval Critters compiled by Modar These are creatures referred to in various bestiary and/or heraldry texts. For some of the creatures, their use in period heraldry cannot be found. A * denotes that the charge has been used at some point in SCA heraldry. Several of depictions cannot be used for SCA registration, but are here for description reference.
(1) per pale, (2) per fesse, (3) per bend, (4) per cross (quarterly), (5) per saltire, (6) gyronny, (7) half per fesse and per pale, (8) shakefork, (9) per pale and bend dexter on dexter side, (10) per pale with potent merlons sinister, (11) flame bend dexter, (12) helical per fesse. Ordinary heraldic figures: (13) chief, (14) base, (15) crowned chief (chief with diminutive chief above), (16) fileted chief (chief with diminutive filet below), (17) fesse, (18) pale,