Fantastic Creatures Found in Heraldry

Maria sent me the following message:

Having a special interest in strange and magical creatures of legend, I would love to know more about animal charges. While I already know some, I hadn’t previously heard names such as agacella (which is just another name for an antelope, I know) or apre. Therefore, I ask if you please give me more names of these heraldic beasts, so that I can look them up.

Thanks Maria. There are many legendary and fantastic creatures found in heraldry. Most often one meets with the old standards, the dragon, griffin and unicorns; all the rest are very rare, or unique in their appearance. The following is list of those that occur to me. If any readers can think of other examples, please add them in the comments.

Thanks.

Creature Typical Representation
Agacella (Heraldic Antelope)
Allocamelus

Amphiptère

Amphisbœna (Amphisbæna, Amphisbaena, Amphisboena)
Amphisien Cockatrice

The Amphisien Cockatrice looks much like a cock with a long serpent-like tail ending with a second head. It is a rare charge in heraldic achievements.

Apre

Apre from Parker & Company's 'A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry'

Bagwyn
Baphomet
Basilisk
Bonacon (Richard Chandelor 1560 – Head only) The Bonnacon from the Danish Royal Library
Calopus (Chatloup)
Cameleopardel
Camelopard (Cameleopard)
Centaur (Sagittarius, Sagittary)
Chatloup
Chimaera
Cockatrice
Devil
Double-headed Eagle
Dragon
Dragon of China
Dragonné
Enfield
Fiber
Griffin (Female) – Griffon, Gryfin, Gryphon
Griffin (Male)
Harpy (Jungfraunalder)
Heraldic Panther
Heraldic Python

Hippogriff
Hydra (Seven Headed Dragon)
Lindworm
Lion-Dragon
Manticor (Mantegre, Man-tiger, Man-Lion, Mantichor, Manticora).
Melusine
Mermaid (Siren, Syren)
Midas’ Head
Musimon
Opinicus
Pegasus
Phoenix
Salamander
Satryral
Satyr
Sea-Dog
Sea-Dragon
Sea-Griffin (Gryphon-Marine)
Sea-Horse
Sea-Horse, Winged
Sea-Lion (Lion Poisson, Morse)
Sea-Monkey
Sea-Stag
Sea-Wolf
Sphinx
Triton (Merman, Neptune)
Two-headed lion
Tyger
Unicorn

Weir-Wolf
Winged Ape
Winged Bull
Wyvern (Wivern)
Yale

Originally posted 2011-01-30 11:17:14.

Jackson of Yorkshire
How can I know if this is my family's coat of arms?

2 Comments

  1. Having a special interest in strange and magical creatures of legend, I would love to know more about animal charges. While I already know some, I hadn’t previously heard names such as agacella (which is just another name for an antelope, I know) or apre. Therefore, I ask if you please give me more names of these heraldic beasts, so that I can look them up.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your request Maria.

      Above is my list of fantastic creatures I have seen in coats armor. I tried to give rough examples of as many as I could. I will work on filling the others in as I can.

      If readers know of any additional creatures, I invite you to include them with references in the comments.

      Thanks.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>