Saturday, 7 September 2013

On Tinctures in Period - Part III: Gules

In the third in the series on Tincutres as described in period treatises, we see
Red, known in Blazon as Gules.

Dame Juliana Berners - Boke of Saint Albans (1486)
Sextus lapis

And thys stone is calde gowlys in armys

The . vi . stone is calde a Ruby a redly stone . gowlys it is calde in armys . the vertue therof is . the gentylman that in his Cotearmure that stone berith hote and full of corage in his gyngys batayll shall be . the wich stone is reserved in the principatis crowne that was hote brinnyng as fire in his kyngys batayll of hevyn whan thay faught with Lucifer

John Bossewell - Workes of Armorie (1572)
Red, termed Gules, is compared to Mars, and to the Rubye or Carbuncle.
The Carbuncle, so warreth with the eye sight, that it sheweth manyfolde reflexions. It is founde in Libia.

John Ferne - The Blazon of Gentrie (1586)
Yet again, we are given a great range of comparisons for the tincture of Gules, along with a diversion into the metal known as Latten, which is a catch-all term for copper alloys including brass.
The 3. cullor is vermillion (called Gewls) and signifieth in

1 - Planets. - Mars.
2 - Precious stones. - Carbuncle, Ruby, and Corall.
3 - Vertues. - Charity and magnanimity.
4 - Celestiall signes. - Aries & Cancer.
5 - Months. - March, June, July.
6 - Days of the week. - Tuesday.
7 - Ages of Man. - Virillity or mans age, (From thirtie yeeres, til 40.)
8 - Flowres. - Gillofer and red rose.
9 - Elements. - Fier.
10- Sesons of the yeer - Sommer, and Harvest.
11 - Complexions. - Choler.
12 - Numbers. - 3. 10.
13 - Mettailes. - Latten.

This mettaile of Latten was of such estimation with the old Romaines, before they had found the use of gold and silver (as it is still with the barbarous and unnurtured people of Ameryca, which weare the same in Earerings & Bracelets) that the Romaines did also make rings of it, which were put on the fingers of their valiant souldiours, as some marke and reward of their valoir. By the commaundement of the old lawes of Armes, none might use this cullor of vermillion (representing in robes Scarlet) except he had beene prince, or thereunto licensed by the Soveraigne.
In the angelic system given later in the book, Gewles is given to the Principallities, with the vertue Hote of courage.

Edmund Bolton - The Elements of Armories (1610)

In the ordering of tinctures given by Upton, Gules ranks fourth, below Azure, while in the orders of Leigh and Scohier, it ranks third, subordinate only to the honoured metals of Or and Argent. On his own 'throne of colours', he places it fourth, after Sable, standing on the third tier with Azure.

John Guillim - Display of Heraldrie (1611)
Guillim gives red as the colour of an exact mix of the two simple colours, black and white.
That Colour which is said to bee exactly compounded, doth participate of the two Simples indifferently, in a just proportion, as Red ; which Scribonius thus defineth : Rubedo est color æquali simul Albedinis & nigredinis combinatione constans. This colour representeth Fire, which is the chiefest of the Elements, and the lightsomest and cleerest, and in blazoning is termed Gules.
In his table of the names used for the tinctures and their order, Guillim gives Gules the third place, as Gules. Ruby. Mars.

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