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 Camelopard, Camel-Leopard

The Giraffe figures a few times in blazon under these names. It is described by old heralds as half camel and half leopard. A curious word-combination was made by the Romans when wishing to find a name for the giraffe. "It is," says Archbishop Trench, "a creature combining, though with infinitely more grace, yet some of the height and even the proportions of a camel, with the spotted skin of the pard." They called it "camelopardus," the camel-panther.

There are two heraldic creatures based upon the above which are referred to in heraldic works, viz., the Allocamelus or ass-camel, having the body of the camel conjoined to the head of an ass; and the Camelopardel, which is like the camelopard, but with two long horns curved backwards.

 

 

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