Fantastic Crests of the Middle Ages :

The Griffin

 

The griffin is a most fabulous beast, half-eagle and half-lion, a strength’s and watchfulness' symbol, dedicated by the ancient Greeks to Apollo and to Artemisia.

At the Middle Ages, the griffin was considered as a creature living as the same time in the sky and on the earth, like Jesus-Christ ; so he was a representative of Our Lord.

The griffin has the head, wings and talons of the eagle, but also long ears and goatee, and the body, hindquarters and tail of the lion (in British heraldry, a griffin without wings is called a “male griffin”).

Jean d'Alençon wore as crest a Griffin’s head Or, a pair of Wings Or, Crown Or, Mantling Azure doubled Gules (arms : Azure three Fleurs-de-lis Or, a Bordure Gules  bezanty Argent).