Saturday, 28 September 2013

On Tinctures in Period - Part VI: Vert

The sixth of the Tinctures to be viewed in period treatises is Green, known in Blazon as Vert.

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

The secunde stone is cald Smaragdus a gravely stone signifiying vert in armys.

The secunde stone is calde Smaragdus a graveli stone. & vert it is calde in armys. The vertu ther of is : that the gentylman the wich in his cote armure it berith kene and hardy in his kyngs batell shall be. the wiche stone is reserved in tharchangelles crowne that was kene and hardy in his kyngis bataile of heven whan thei faught with lucifer.

John Bossewell - Workes of Armorie (1572)
Greene, termed Vert, is compared to Venus, and to the Emeraude or Smaradge.
The Smaradge passeth both the leave and boughe of anye tree or plante, his colour is so freshe and greene, and in this poynite triumpheth all alone, neyther ys the Sunne by his sunne Beames any left or hynderance to this his shewe. There is no greater refection to the eyes, than the sight of this excellent Gemme.

John Ferne - The Blazon of Gentrie (1586)

The sixt cullor is greene, and is called Vert, it signifieth in

1 - Planets. - Venus.
2 - Precious stones. - Smaragd or Emeraud.
3 - Vertues. - Loyalty in love, curtesy & affabilitie.
4 - Celestiall signes. - Gemini and Virgo
5 - Months. - May and August.
6 - Days of the week. - Friday.
7 - Ages of Man. - Lusty green youth from 20. till 30. yeeres.
8 - Flowres. - All maner of verdures or green things.
9 - Elements. - Water.
10- Sesons of the yeer - Spring time.
11 - Complexions. - Flegmatique.
12 - Numbers. - 6.
13 - Mettailes. - Quicksilver.
In the angelic system given later in the book, Vert is given to Archangels, with the virtue Keene & hardy in battaile.

Edmund Bolton - The Elements of Armories (1610)

Upton and Leigh place Vert sixth on their orderings of tinctures, after Purpure or Sable respectively, while Scohier places it fifth, after Azure. In his own throne of colours, Bolton places it sixth, sharing the fourth and lowest tier with Purpure.

John Guillim - Display of Heraldrie (1611)
This Colour is Greene, which consisteth of more Blacke, and of lesse Red [...] This color is blazoned Vert, and is called in Latine Viridis, à vigore, in regard of the strength, freshnesse and livelinesse thereof; and therefore best resembleth youth, in that most vegitables, so long as they flourish, are beautified with this verdure, and is a colour most wholsome and pleasant to the eie, except it be in a young Gentlewomans face.
What a lovely image Guillim presents us with, a young woman with green in her face...

In his table of the names used for the tinctures and their order, Guillim gives Vert the sixth place, as Vert. Emerald. Venus.

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