Family Crest

A Crest is a component of an heraldic display, so called because it stands atop a helmet, as the crest of a jay stands on the bird's head. The earliest heraldic crest were apparently painted on metal fans, and usually repeated the coat of arms painted on the shield. Later they were sculpted of leather and other materials. A crest normally stands within a wreath of cloth, called a torse, in the principal colors of the shield (the liveries). Various kinds of coronet may take the place of the torse. The most frequent crest-coronet is a simplified form of a ducal coronet, with four leaves rather than eight. Towns often have a mural crown, i.e. a coronet in the form of embattled stone walls. Objects frequently borne as crest include animals, especially lions, normally showing only the fore half; human figures, likewise often from the waist up; hands or arms holding weapons; bird's wings.

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