Ape

Heraldry does not often distinguish between Apes and Monkeys and their usual depiction is quite stylized and may be difficult to recognize.  However, a variety of later crests used monkeys as elements and a number can be found as supporters.

Kip Kay @ Heraldry on History Road ©2008-2011


Ape : this is the only representative of the Quadrumana used as a charge ; a monkey occurs sometimes as a crest.

Sable, a chevron or between three apes argent, chained of the second —Lobley.

Vert, an ape sejant holding up the paw braced round the middle, and chained to the sinister side of the escutcheon argent—Appleoh.

A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry; Parker & Company (1894).


The Ape is not often met with, except in the cases of the different families of the great Fitz Gerald clan. It is usually the crest, though the Duke of Leinster also has apes as supporters. One family of Fitzgerald, however, bear it as a charge upon the shield [” Gules, a saltire invected per pale argent and or, between four monkeys statant of the second, environed with a plain collar and chained of the second. Mantling gules and argent. Crest : on a wreath of the colours, a monkey as in the arms, charged on the body with two roses, and resting the dexter fore-leg on a saltire gules.  Motto : “Crom-a-boo”], and the family of Yorke bear an ape’s head for a crest.

The ape is usually met with ” collared and chained “, though, unlike any other animal, the collar of an ape environs its loins and not its neck. A winged ape is included in Elvin’s “Dictionary of Heraldry” as a heraldic animal, but I am not aware to whom it is assigned.

The winged ape was mentioned when considering the natural animal, and perhaps it may be as well to allude to the asserted heraldic existence of the seamonkey, though I am not aware of any instance in which it is borne.

Collared Ape

A Complete Guide to Heraldry; Arthur Charles Fox-Davies (1909).


Originally posted 2011-03-23 13:01:07.

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