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Though found often as crests and supporters, the human figure simply used as a charge upon a shield is not often found. Instances of human figures that do occurr include Christ upon the cross and images of Saints. Representations of the Virgin Mary with Jesus are not as uncommon as other instances of human figures. Like birds and beasts, the position of the figure in a charge takes on different meanings and names.

a savage's head

a blackamoor
or Moor's head

a Saracen's head

a woman's
head and bust

the Virgin Mary
and Christ Child

The human arm, in whole or in part, is the
portion of the human form most often represented in heraldry. Other body parts which appear, although less frequently, include: legs (and boots), a woman's breast, an eye, a full skeleton or the skull alone.

When shown bare, the arm is blazoned as proper, while a clothed arm is termed either habited or vested. If the arm is clothed and the cuff is of a different color, it is blazoned as cuffed.

The hand is usually either tan or peach — any other color is blazoned as gloved.

When a hand or arm is shown in armor it is assumed to be plate, unless specified as chain or scale. If the armor is decorated with gold it is said to be garnished or.

a dexter hand

a sinister hand

a dexter hand
in benediction

a cubit arm

a arm couped
at the elbow

an arm embowed
an arm embowed
to the dexter

an arm embowed
  a cubit arm habited

an arm embowed
the upper part in fess

two arms counter-embowed

two arms
and interlaced
an arm embowed
in armor
a cubit arm in armor, the hand in a gauntlet
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Page content last modified
07 July 2000