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Escutcheon

Escutcheon

1. The surface, usually a shield, upon which bearings are marshaled and displayed. The surface of the escutcheon is called the field, the upper part is called the chief, and the lower part the base (see Chiff, and field). That side of the escutcheon which is on the right hand of the knight who bears the shield on his arm is called dexter, and the other side sinister.

The two sides of an escutcheon are respectively designated as dexter and sinister, as in the cut, and the different parts or points by the following names: a, dexter chief point; B, middle chief point; c, Sinister chief point; D, honor or colour point; E, Fesse or heart point; f, Nombrill or navel point; g, dexter base point; H, middle base point; i, base point.

2. A marking upon the back of a cows udder and the space above it (the perineum), formed by the hair growing upward or outward instead of downward. It is esteemed an index of milking qualities.

3. That part of a vessels stern on which her name is written.

4. A thin metal plate or shield to protect wood, or for ornament, as the shield around a keyhole.

5. (Science: zoology) The depression behind the beak of certain bivalves; the ligamental area. Escutcheon of pretense, an escutcheon used in english heraldry to display the arms of the bearer's wife; not commonly used unless she an heiress. Cf. Impalement.

Origin: OF. Escusson, f. Ecusson, from OF. Escu shield, f. Ecu. See esquire, Scutche 41b on.


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