Argent

Argent
 
ClassMetal
Non-heraldic equivalentSilver (white)
Monochromatic designations
Hatching pattern 
Tricking abbr.a., A., ar., Arg. - arg.
Poetic designations
Heavenly bodyMoon, ☾; Neptune, ♆
JewelPearl

In heraldry, argent (/ˈɑːrənt/) is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it. In engravings and line drawings, regions to be tinctured argent are either left blank, or indicated with the abbreviation ar.

The name derives from Latin argentum, translated as "silver" or "white metal". The word argent had the same meaning in Old French blazon, whence it passed into the English language.

In some historical depictions of coats of arms, a kind of silver leaf was applied to those parts of the device that were argent. Over time, the silver content of these depictions has tarnished and darkened. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish regions that were intended as "argent" from those that were "sable". This leaves a false impression that the rule of tincture has been violated in cases where, when applied next to a dark colour, argent now appears to be sable due to tarnish.

Argent versus white

Arthur Charles Fox-Davies argued extensively in his book The Art of Heraldry: An Encyclopaedia of Armory that, though extremely rare, the colour white existed as an independent tincture in heraldry separate from argent. He bases this in part on the "white labels" used to differentiate the arms of members of the British Royal Family. However, it has been argued that these could be regarded as "white labels proper", thus rendering white not a heraldic tincture.[1]

White does seem to be regarded as a different tincture from argent in Portuguese heraldry, as evidenced by the arms of municipal de Santiago do Cacém in Portugal, in which the white of the fallen Moor's clothing and the knight's horse is distinguished from the argent of the distant castle, and in the arms of the Logistical and Administrative Command of the Portuguese Air Force.

Meaning

Sometimes, the different tinctures are said to be connected with special meanings or virtues, and represent certain elements and precious stones. Even if this is an idea mostly disregarded by serious heraldists throughout the centuries,[2] it may be of anecdotal interest to see what they are, since the information is so often sought after. Many sources give different meanings, but argent is often said to represent the following:

Gallery

References

  1. ^ "The Scottish Heraldry Forum Message: Paton - help". Archived from the original on 2003-09-10. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  2. ^ Woodcock, Thomas; Robinson, John Martin (1988). The Oxford Guide to Heraldry. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 53. ISBN 0-19-211658-4.

Media files used on this page

Wiktionary-logo-en-v2.svg
Author/Creator: Dan Polansky based on work currently attributed to Wikimedia Foundation but originally created by Smurrayinchester, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
A logo derived from File:WiktionaryEn.svg, a logo showing a 3 x 3 matrix of variously rotated tiles with a letter or character on each tile. The derivation consisted in removing the tiles that form the background of each of the shown characters. File:WiktionaryEn.svg is under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike, created by Smurrayinchester, and attributed to Wikimedia Foundation. This is the version without the wordmark.
Blason Le Lagadec.svg
Author/Creator: Yann Jakez, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Blason de la famille Le Lagadec (Bretagne). Blasonnement : "D'argent à trois trèfles d'azur"
Fourrure héraldique Vair.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC BY 1.0
Coat-elements.png
Generic coat of arms.
Blason fr famille Jégou.svg
Author/Creator: Yricordel, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
D'argent au croissant de gueules, accomp. de trois coquilles de même.
Fourrure héraldique Hermine.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC BY 1.0
Blason famille fr Visdelou.svg
Author/Creator: Yricordel, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
d'argent à trois têtes de loup
Degerfors vapen.svg
(c) Lokal_Profil, CC BY-SA 2.5
This coat of arms was drawn based on its blazon which – being a written description – is free from copyright. Any illustration conforming with the blazon of the arms is considered to be heraldically correct. Thus several different artistic interpretations of the same coat of arms can exist. The design officially used by the armiger is likely protected by copyright, in which case it cannot be used here.
Individual representations of a coat of arms, drawn from a blazon, may have a copyright belonging to the artist, but are not necessarily derivative works.
Blason famille fr Guillemin.svg
Author/Creator: Yricordel, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
D’argent à la fasce de sable, chargée de trois coquilles d’argent