Stain (heraldry)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In heraldry, a stain (sometimes termed stainand colour or staynard colour) is one of a few non-standard tinctures or colours (namely murrey, sanguine and tenné), which are only known to occur in post-medieval heraldry and are thought to denote a rebatement of honour. Almost none of these rebatements are found in fact of heraldic practice, however, and in British heraldry the stains find only exceptional use, other than for purposes of livery.[1]


Murrey (deriving from late Middle English, via Old French from Medieval Latin moratus, from morum 'mulberry') is mulberry-coloured, or reddish purple. The murrey colour used in coats of arms should be clearly darker than purpure and stand out from it, to approximately the same extent that sanguine is darker than Gules and brunatre from tenné.[2] A good comparison between the two tinctures could be obtained from comparing the murrey in the coat of arms of the University of Wales, with the lion purpure adorning the coat of arms of the Kingdom of León.


Sanguine (deriving from Middle English, from French sanguin(e) 'of blood', from Latin sanguineus 'of blood', from sanguis, sanguin- 'blood') is a brownish red, or blood-red colour. It is due to be darker than Gules, the regular red.[3]


Tenné (deriving mid-16th century from an obsolete French variant of Old French tané)[4] (sometimes termed tawny) is an orange-tawny colour, though orange is considered distinct in continental European and African heraldic traditions. Called tanné in modern and actual French heraldry, it refers to the leather tanning process and to the color the finished product is said to have, hence the name tanné ('tanned'). Being the initial shade of brown available by itself in heraldry, its hatching form naturally took the shape of red and green lines mixed together. Tenné is expected to be slightly darker than Gules, clearly darker than orange, but lighter than brunatre (dark brown), sanguine (dark red), murrey (dark purple) & sable (black).


Historical examples

Flag of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939)

See also


  1. ^ Fox-Davies (1909), pp. 72-73.
  2. ^ "murrey". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  3. ^ "sanguine". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  4. ^ "tenné". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Arms and Crest". University of Wales. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  6. ^ Provisional Government of the Republic of Spain (in Spanish). Wikisource link to Decreto del Gobierno Provisional de la República de 27 de abril de 1931. Wikisource. 


  • Fox-Davies, A. C. (1909). A Complete Guide to Heraldry. (2004 edition) Whitefish, MT: Kessenger Publishing. ISBN 1-4179-0630-8 LCCN 09-23803
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Stain (heraldry)"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA