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A carbuncle or escarbuncle is a heraldic charge consisting of eight radiating rods or spokes, four of which make a common cross and the other four a saltire. The ends typically terminate in a fleur-de-lis or some other decorative form.[1] Frequently the centrepoint is adorned with a jewel; the name may therefore be a reference to a carbuncle gemstone.

It has its origins in the iron bands and bosses historically used to strengthen shields.[2] The name may therefore be derived from the Old French boucle, meaning a shield boss.



  1. ^ G. Fatás, G. Borrás, Diccionario de términos de Arte y elementos de Arqueología, Heráldica u Numismática. Alianza Editorial. Madrid. 2008. ISBN 9788420636573
  2. ^ Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1909). A Complete Guide to Heraldry, p. 291. New York: Dodge Pub. Co. ISBN 0-517-26643-1. LCCN 09-23803

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