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.......Lozenges and Trueknots .......

The arms of a lady are traditionally displayed on a diamond-shaped lozenge or on an oval cartouche (the latter being used also for some churchmen). The exception is with arms of sovereignty, as with the Royal Arms in the United Kingdom. The border of the lozenge may be plain or decorated at the artist’s fancy, for there are no rules on this. The Pegasus artists habitually use a fleury border as in the picture on the right, but that is only one of many styles that can be adopted.

These are the arms of a Dutch family, Lissone, that originated in Italy. They are blazoned as Per party Or and Gules, in chief an eagle displayed and crowned Sable, membered Gules, and in base a dexter arm naked proper emerging from the sinister holding three arrows beneath a cross paty Argent.

A plain border to the lozenge is to be preferred when a true lover’s knot is included, especially if the ribbons continue around the sides of the lozenge. This knot is frequently depicted when the arms are those of an unmarried lady, but it has no official sanction and its use is thus at the artist’s discretion. It may be painted without the trailing ribbons and tassles, in which case its size is usually reduced.

The blazon for the arms in the picture on the left is Argent a lion rampant Purpure between two fleurs-de-lys Azure in fess and a mullet Sable in chief. (They are fictitious.)

Although ladies’ arms in the British Isles tend always to be on lozenges, while those in other regions tend to be on cartouches, the use of the latter may become more common in England as the advantage of its extra space is increasingly recognised.

The lozenge on the left constricts the interior space more than the cartouche on the right, forcing the charges on the chief into a
different alignment (or diminishing their size unacceptably).

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