Fantastic Crests of the Middle Ages :

The Hand


In the medieval culture, particularly in sculptor and art, the position of the hand has a great importance. It is used to indicate the state of mind and the intentions of the character represented. Closed hand, lowered hand, one, two or three raised or tended fingers, all the positions are coded: examine the medieval miniatures attentively and you will appreciate the variety of the positions of the hands and the fingers of the protagonists.

As a crest, the hand is generally holding a weapon, a flower, an unspecified object. The hand alone is rare. Then it is often an opened and raised hand: it is a symbol of honesty and uprightness, the welcoming of the disarmed man to his enemy, even making allegiance, or the hand of a man of goodwill.

Jean d'Aulon chose for his crest a opened and raised hand (coat-of-arms : an alder with three branches).