The principal element and most important part of a heraldic achievement is the shield, shields in heraldic language are called escutcheon. There has been many distinctive shapes developed during the different periods of heraldry. The shield is the element on which armorial charges are displayed, it may be of any form. The onlyexception is the lozenge or diamond shape which is reserved for maiden ladies and widows.
Heraldic shield - French and English
Heraldic Shield Shapes
There are quite a variety of different shield shapes in heraldry which over centuries has constantly have changed in shape. Below are some of the most common shields and shield divisions
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References material are taken from following heraldry publications a.) A practical manual of heraldry and of heraldic illuminations - publish 1864 b.) A dictionary of heraldry - published 1889 c.) The elements of heraldry - published 1866 d.) A complete guide of heraldry - published 1909