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. Also the heraldic artist by itself was able to include his own presentation
of a shield. The complete surface of the shield is described as field, it can be plain,
it can represent a single tincture or multiple sections of differed tinctures divided
by various lines of partition. The shield contains the field where on are represented
the charges and figures that form a Coat of Arms. Following examples
are only a small collection of the numerous possibilities of heraldry
shield shapes - divisions and ordinaries.
The shield is the element on which armorial charges are displayed, it may be of any form.
The only exception is the lozenge or diamond shape which is reserved for maiden ladies and widows.
Heraldic Shield Divisions - Charges
Simple charges are called ordinaries
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
Per Pas - Per Fess - Per Bend
Per Ben Sinister - Quarterly - Per Saltire
La Pointe Cape - La Pile Chausee - Embresse
Bend - Bend Sinister - Cross
Pale Endorsed - Fesse Cotised - Bend Cotised
Cheguy - Losengy - Gyronny
Paly Bendy - Barry Bendy - Chevronny
Heraldry Shield Divisions- Charges
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 1889c.) The elements
of heraldry - published 1866