..Caltrap Caltrap Caltrap CaltrapCaltrapCaltrapCaltrapCaltrapCaltrapCaltrapCaltrap
                                                                   AND TYGER


The Tyger Rampant
                                                                                                                    An  Heraldic Tyger

Based upon the Persian Tiger which unlike the Bengal Tiger has no stripes. Today the Persian tiger is a rare animal  living in the Iranian Mountains. The heraldic Tyger is often depicted with a curiously pointed snout and tusks in the lower jaw.
"About 1230 the heraldic tyger was decribed by Bartholomew  as being a beast of dreadful swiftness. It was supposedly very ferocious if its cubs were attacked, and because it was so quick the only way to escape it was to throw down mirrors in front of it. The tyger would then  become transfixed with its own image, believing it to be one of its cubs which it would then try to rescue from the mirror. This would give the hunter enough time to escape". Among the most prevalent charges to be found are beasts.  The heraldic symbolism of  a beast
does not necessarily follow a true description of the real animal. In recent achievements, the Bengal tiger is shown in its  natural appearance. This is the case of the tiger found in early armorial descriptions which show the heraldic tyger, as a stylized creature which bears little resemblance to the appearance of  a real tiger. The Tyger was not used as a charge in English armory before the 1400's, actual examples in English heraldry date from the 1500's.

The Heraldic Tyger.


The Caltrap is an heraldic symbol which evolved from a military device designed to bring down cavalry as well as foot soldiers. Caltraps may find a more modern use as crime fighting tools in the form of spikes which can be unrolled on the highway to foil fleeing criminals.
In another monumental piece of escapism, the film "Tomorrow Never Dies",  James Bond distributes caltraps from the back of his vehicle as he is pursued by the persistent criminals.

        2 Bars Gemmel

  Three Caltraps Abreast

A Devilthorn or Caltrap on display at Skipton Castle, Yorkshire.
A devilthorn on display at Skipton Castle, Yorkshire.



Cross and Caltrap

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© Copyright  Tim Midgley, September 2002 revised December  2023.