AskDefine | Define inescutcheon

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A small escutcheon within another

Extensive Definition

Escutcheon (also called scutcheon) is the term used in heraldry for the shield displayed in a coat of arms. An inescutcheon is a smaller escutcheon borne within a larger escutcheon. The term crest is often used incorrectly to designate this part of the coat of arms.
The term "escutcheon" also refers to the shield-like shape on which arms are often borne. The escutcheon shape is based on the Medieval shields that were used by knights in combat. Since this shape has been regarded as a war-like device appropriate to men only, ladies customarily bear their arms upon a lozenge, or diamond-shape, while clergymen bear theirs on a cartouche, or oval. Other shapes are possible, such as the roundel commonly used for arms granted to Aboriginal Canadians by the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
Derived from its meaning in heraldry, the term "escutcheon" can be used to represent a family and its honour. A family member who does something shameful can be described as a "blot on the escutcheon."
In English Heraldry the husband of a heraldic heiress - a woman without any brothers - allows his wife to place her father's arms in an escutcheon of pretence in the centre of his own shield. The husband is 'pretending' to be the head of his wife's family. In the next generation the arms would then be quartered. Baron and Feme describes another iteration of the escutcheon.


The following are the points of the shield used in blazons to describe where (and how) a charge should be drawn:

Other meanings

  • In the German army under the Nazi regime, military awards worn on the sleeve near the shoulder were also called escutcheon or shields.
  • Military escutcheon, a chromolithography depicting the military record of a veteran, which were produced in the United States from the end of the Civil War until about 1907.


inescutcheon in Catalan: Escussó
inescutcheon in Czech: Štít (heraldika)
inescutcheon in Danish: Våbenskjold
inescutcheon in German: Wappenschild
inescutcheon in Estonian: Kilp (heraldika)
inescutcheon in French: Écu (héraldique)
inescutcheon in Italian: Scudo araldico
inescutcheon in Hebrew: מגן (הרלדיקה)
inescutcheon in Lithuanian: Skydas (heraldika)
inescutcheon in Japanese: エスカッシャン
inescutcheon in Polish: Tarcza herbowa
inescutcheon in Portuguese: Escudo (heráldica)
inescutcheon in Finnish: Kilpi (heraldiikka)
inescutcheon in Ukrainian: Геральдичний щит
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