In working on another one of my projects (an update to my book Camels In Heraldry), I've been looking through a whole lot of armorials looking for coats of arms with camels on the shield, as a crest, or as a supporter. And in the process, I occasionally come across something that can still surprise me.
Now, don't get me wrong; I've seen a lot of weird stuff in heraldry over the years. But it's a pleasure to run across something new, or at least, something new to me. As J.P. Brooke-Little put it so well in the introduction to his An Heraldic Alphabet:
You can study heraldry until you are azure in the face but inevitably discover, from time to time, that you are really quite vert. I have found this over and over again and I have been a herald for forty years, but never despair, herein lies the fun and if heraldry ceases to be fun - chuck it.
So in my greenness, and in the interest of continuing to have fun with heraldry, here is what I found the other day in an old Italian armorial and thought I should share with you:
And it's canting, or punning, arms, too. Cane is Italian for "dog."
So is this fun or what?