Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art

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Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art

By John Vinycomb

Other Chimerical Creatures and Heraldic Beasts- The Liver (Cormorant)

Liver, a fabulous bird, supposed to have given its name to Liverpool and commemorated in the arms of that city. It is traditionally described as a bird that frequented the pool, near which the town was afterwards founded. The arms granted in 1797 are thus blazoned: Argent a cormorant, in the beak a branch of seaweed all proper, and for crest, on a wreath of the colours, a cormorant, the wings elevated, in the beak a branch of Laver proper. It is more than probable that the bird on the arms suggested the name "Liver" being applied to it. The fiction naturally arose from the desire to find a derivation for the name of the town. It is, however, always depicted as a cormorant. On the shield the bird is always depicted with the wings close, and on the crest the wings are elevated.

 

 

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