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Section: PAPERS

Proper Definitions

Author: The.Heraldry.Ru / Publication date: 2006-08-16

Proper DefinitionsThe concept of “Ppr” has been recently redefined by the Heraldic Council to the President of Russia.

The natural colours were not infrequent in the old Russian armory. Sometimes they were rather “harmless” (so, say, a bear Ppr spontaneously appeared to be Sable) but in many cases they provoked considerable confusion of colours (as the proper colour of a charge may be not evident at all) and sometimes their use resulted in the worst examples of the “landscape heraldry”.

To counterbalance this tendency and to provide the old arms with a more heraldic interpretation, the Heraldry Office to the President (the predecessor of the Heraldic Council) announced in 1998 that the proper colours are to be normally understood as the heraldic tinctures closest to the “real natural” colours (i.e. “a lion Ppr” means “a lion Or langued Gu” etc). The non-heraldic colours were allowed with some reservations, but considered quite apart the “Ppr”.

In the course of creation of a revised and enlarged set of regulations, the Heraldic Council changed the definition of the proper or natural colours. Today this term has a double meaning. Usually it means just “naturalistic colouring” as distinct from the principal tinctures; however it is not sufficient to mention the proper colour of a charge, but the certain non-heraldic colours and shades (more or less conventional anyhow) are to be blazoned in addition. But the term proper (as well as the omission of the colour specification, which in the old Russian armory was synonymous to the “Ppr”) may be also applied to charges of a standard, trivial heraldic colouring (for ex., an abstract orb is normally Azure with a cross, a visible “half-meridian” and an “equator” Or, which is quite tedious to blazon each time an orb appears as such or topping a princely cap).

The new regulations are already applied to the blazons which are going to enter the State Heraldic Register.

© 2006 The.Heraldry.Ru / D.Ivanov, M. Medvedev