Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In heraldry, mantling is drapery depicted tied to the helmet above the shield. It forms a backdrop for the shield.
Mantling is blazoned mantled x, doubled [lined] y; the cloth has two sides, one of a heraldic colour (red, blue, green, black, or purple) and the other of a heraldic metal (white or yellow). (See tincture (heraldry) for more on these tinctures.) The mantling is usually in the main colours of the shield, or else in the livery colours that symbolize the entity bearing the arms. For example, the Coat of Arms of Canada is mantled white and red, or argent doubled gules.
Mantling represents a protective cloth covering worn by knights from their helmets to stave off the elements. Usually, mantling is drawn tattered, as if in battle; less often it is shown as an intact drape, principally in those cases where a clergyman uses a helmet and mantling. This is usually the artist's discretion and done for decorative rather than symbolic reasons.
In the early days of the development of the crest, before the torse (wreath), crest coronets and chapeaux were developed, the crest often "continued into the mantling" if this was feasible (the clothes worn by a demi- human figure, or the fur of the animal, for instance, allowing or encouraging this). This still holds true frequently in Germany.
There are examples where the mantling is slashed to form the armiger's badge. More often, however, the outside of the mantling is shown semy of badges, though this is usually not mentioned in the official blazon.
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