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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A goutte is a droplet-shaped charge used in heraldry. Its name derives from the Old French for "droplet".

A goutte may be blazoned by its tincture, as in a goutte argent (literally "a silver droplet"). Alternatively, there are special names given to gouttes of various tinctures, as in a goutte d'eau (literally "a droplet of water").

metals colours
g. d'or

of gold
g. d'eau

of water
g. de larmes

of tears
g. de sang

of blood
g. de poix

of tar
g. d'huile

of (olive) oil
g. de vin

of wine

In some medieval and Renaissance depictions of coats of arms, the goutte was drawn with wavy sides (as shown above). More modern depictions have smoothed the sides to make the droplets fatter and more symmetrical - as also seen in the arms on the personal seal used from 1353 by Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare, and on the 1359 seal of Clare College, Cambridge.

In their earliest uses, gouttes were semé: strewn upon the field of a coat of arms. Rather than semé de gouttes, this is termed goutty, gutté, or gutty (French gouttée). It was only much later that the goutte came to be used individually in heraldry as a charge in its own right.

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See also


  • Burke, Bernard (1884). "Glossary: The Goutte". The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time. London: Harrison & sons. p. xxxiii. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  • Coats, James (1725). "Gutty". A new dictionary of heraldry. London: Printed for Jer. Batley. p. 173. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  • Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1909). "The Field of a Shield: Semé". A Complete Guide to Heraldry. Illustrated by Graham Johnston. London: T.C. & E.C. Jack. pp. 89–90. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  • Gibbon, John (1682). "Gutty". Introductio Ad Latinam Blasoniam: An Essay to a More Correct Blason in Latine Than Formerly Hath Been Used. London: J. M. pp. 35–37. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  • Smith, Margaret M. & Barnes, Claire (2020). "Elizabeth's seals" (PDF). For Her Good Estate: The Life of Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare. London: Moonwort Press. p. viii-xiii. Retrieved 31 August 2021.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
This page was last edited on 31 December 2023, at 03:48
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