A crack is an element which modifies an inherited blazon. It is used to distinguish elder, juniors or bastard. The most practiced cracks are
- the reduction in honourable parts;
- change of color of an important component (field or honourable part);
- the addition of a part of second order or of a piece of furniture.
The chief of a line generally carries the weapons full with his family to personal capacity. The others (including the elder ones, before the death of their father) do not have fully right there, and must bring a crack in theory there to compose their personal weapons (or to be satisfied to carry the weapons of the line, but not with personal capacity).
The most frequent cracks in France are the borders, the lambel, the perished stick (in band or bars). Certain cracks are conventional: the band is generally sign of legitimacy, the lambel is generally a crack of junior.
The system of cracks is codified into heraldic English, but this coding forever take place in the French tradition. In England, there exists a hierarchy of the cracks according to the row in the family. Thus, the elder one breaks obligatorily lambel.
A “broken” blazon should be read by being unaware of the crack initially, then while finishing by “broken…”: of azure to the three flowers of gold lily broken as a chief of a money lambel and a money bar stitching on the whole , carried by the bastard one of Orleans.
Gigantic historical knowledge that supposes on behalf of the blasonnor, makes that to share for the large houses, this rule is not applied.
of azure to the divided money heavy shower accompanied by three flowers of gold lily, the overcome whole of a money lambel.
would have itself: of azure to the divided money heavy shower accompanied by three flowers of gold lily, broken of a money lambel as a chief.
the Armorial of Capétiens, where one can see many cracks starting from simple ecus
- an example of the cracks in a family: Heraldic of the house of Anjou-Sicily
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