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The LIAR ~ First Public Appearance


The most common method of marshalling two coats of arms on a single shield is impalement, most often seen when the separate arms of a husband and wife appear together, but in the earliest days of heraldry it was not unusual to find that the arms of each had been halved vertically and the husband's dexter half then joined to his wife's sinister half. This was known as dimidiation. The arms on the right here show that the result could sometimes appear to join unsuitable charges as one, and it may be noted that the arms of Great Yarmouth (a port in Eastern England) join the Lions of England to the tails of herrings to produce three "merlions".

Arms of the Cinque Ports
The arms of the Cinque Ports join the Lions of England to the sterns of three ancient ships.
In the Heraldry section the Editor recently completed for a major encyclopaedia he briefly explained the subject of dimidiation and mentioned as an example the arms of the Cinque Ports (above), describing them as lions joined to boats. The proofs were returned to him with this queried, the copy editor very reasonably having wondered whether the "boat" might be a misprint for "boar". This in turn prompted the Editor to decide that although he personally had never seen an animal that was half lion and half boar, and indeed was unsure he'd even heard of one, there were bound to be one of two lurking somewhere. Accordingly, he asked the artists to illustrate their probable appearance, much as police artists do, so that any readers who might see one would recognise it for what it is.

It may perhaps be unnecessary to add the caution that these animals must on no account be approached. They may look comparatively harmless, but they are in fact extremely political and unbelievably treacherous. Formed from the front half of the LIon and the rear half of the boAR the beast is known as a LIAR and is readily recognised as such by its forked tongue. They are most dangerous when presidential or parliamentary elections are imminent.

Verbum sat sapienti.

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The Martlet featured in Curiosity Corner ~ 1
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The Gryphon (of Griffin) featured in Curiosity Corner ~ 2
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The Cockatrice (and Basilisk) featured in Curiosity Corner ~ 3
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The Dragon featured in Curiosity Corner ~ 4
The Raven featured in Curiosity Corner ~ 5
The Chimera featured in Curiosity Corner ~ 6
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