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  1. #1
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    Been trying to find the name of this charge for years.

    There is a special type of cross that I have been using for a long time on my reenactment arms, but I have been uncertain of just how to go about blazoning it. I have been looking for the correct name for years, but it seems to be a very rare style of cross. It is similar to the patriarchal cross, but the top limb is wider than the bottom and it is terminated Moline. Here it is on a pair of rather fanciful ailettes. Please take no note of the three very abstract water carriers and the fact that it violates the tincticture on tinticture rule. I have been considering fimbriating the charges in gold in order to make it better adhere to the rules.

    Keep your rings charged, pleats in the back, and stay geeky!
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  2. #2
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    I'm curious... is the cross something you've seen or something of your invention. I think in a blazon you can refer to charges that are turned upside down by calling it inverted. So could it be described as patriarchal cross inverted? But the proportions are not quite right, are they? There's also the Cross of Salem but that has three bars. It's almost like an Orthodox cross except that it has a small bar above the main bar and the bottom bar is slanted. However, if it's your invention, why not refer to it as the Cross of Didymous? Sorry I can't really be of help! But it's a very interesting charge!

  3. #3
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    It looks like a Cross of Lorraine in reverse.

    The trouble is that there are dozens if not hundreds of different types of crosses. So many of the crosses were invented by bad artists who only got a glimpse of the arms and then had to depict them. As well as, every basic cross shape can be turned into a different cross by by changing the outline - a Latin cross raguly to a Latin cross embattled.

    You could give it a descriptive blazon. That is to say -

    "A Latin cross with the addition of a lower bar shorter than the upper all ends molined Sable"

    Further, I think the diapering on your shield is a mistake. If you must have it, change the gold for a different shade of red (I would go darker). The tincture rule would then be well and truly broken, so I would advise fimbriating all the charges with gold.

  4. #4
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    I think I would simply say a Cross Moline with two horizontal bars, the upper longer than the lower. As to the tinctures, I think this is a great example of how sometimes our rules belie the truth. In reality, if I squint I can hardly make out the diapering. That means if the field were that same shade of red and the charges gold, the charges would be barely recognizable. As it stands the charges stand out nicely.
    Kenneth Mansfield
    VITAM FORTITER AGERE
    My tartan quilt: Austin, Campbell, Hamilton, MacBean, MacLean, MacRae, Robertson, Sinclair (and counting)

  5. #5
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    I saw this type of cross back in 2001 on the face of a great helm. I have seen it one other time on a shield, but don't ask me where. I think the descriptive blazon might be the only way to go. The fimbriation is something only being considered as I was pondering finding a way to legitimize it with an application to a college of arms. Honestly I've seen several arms in the books by Fox-Davis that go contrary to the tincture rules. I think that in cases where the colors are done in high contrast the various colleges of arms may lax the rules a bit because the rule exist to protect contrast. It's done in the spirit of the rule, if not in the letter. The diapering is only ever done on my ailettes. I do not add it to any other representation of my arms. Every fighting member in our group has ailettes and it has become the custom that the peers (of which I am one), diaper the field. Baron Wulfscyld uses a net pattern of red on red, Countess Latitia has the outline of rose petals in very thin gold lines, Baron John has scrollwork similar to mine but it is in silver on a white field. I have trouble seeing shade variations, so I chose to use broad gold lines on my scrollwork which allows for nice contrast. I don't feel that it hurts the design though.
    Last edited by Sir Didymous; 9th September 13 at 12:49 PM.
    Keep your rings charged, pleats in the back, and stay geeky!
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  6. #6
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    Technically a patriarchal cross has two horizontal bars, quite often blazoned as beams. It has become the convention to blazon the lower beam as wider than the top in most instances; when the upper beam is wider (as in this instance) the lower beam would be described as diminished, thus:

    A patriarchal cross moline the lower beam diminished.

    It can also be blazoned as a cross Lorraine, or an Archepiscopal cross, as on both of these crosses the upper beam is wider than the lower.
    Last edited by MacMillan of Rathdown; 10th September 13 at 08:46 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Given that the patriarchal cross (Cross Lorraine) by definition is a cross with two beams, the lower one wider than the upper, then a patriarchal cross with the lower beam diminished might very well describe a cross with two equal beams. I think I would blazon for clarity rather than eloquence.
    Kenneth Mansfield
    VITAM FORTITER AGERE
    My tartan quilt: Austin, Campbell, Hamilton, MacBean, MacLean, MacRae, Robertson, Sinclair (and counting)

  8. #8
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    Any cross with two beams is a patriarchal cross. The conventions of heraldry suggest to the herald that a diminished charge is always the lesser, and not the equal, in size. If one wanted to blazon a cross with two equal beams he'd probably say "a patriarchal cross the beams couped at the ends" as lacking any other descriptors the default would be that the upper and lower beams are of equal length.

    In reality there is no practical difference between saying a patriarchal cross the lower beam diminished (or couped) or a patriarchal cross with two equal beams (or arms, or bars), although the later is a bit of a tautology. At the end of the day, while the blazon is the legal (or correct) description of the arms, everyone looks to the painting of the arms to see what's intended. That's why, in most modern grants and certifications of arms, the blazon is usually followed with the words: as is more clearly depicted in the margins here of...
    Last edited by MacMillan of Rathdown; 11th September 13 at 07:46 AM.
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  9. #9
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    This style of patriarchal cross is used by the U.S. Grand Priory of Knights Templar as the style of cross to identify them.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gael Ridire View Post
    This style of patriarchal cross is used by the U.S. Grand Priory of Knights Templar as the style of cross to identify them.
    Well, I checked their website and that cinches where I've seen it before. You wouldn't happen to know how they blazon it, would you?
    Keep your rings charged, pleats in the back, and stay geeky!
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