Marks of cadency

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Related to Marks of cadency: coat of arms
(Her.) bearings indicating the position of the bearer as older or younger son, or as a descendant of an older or younger son. See Difference (Her.).

See also: Cadency

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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Since Tolkien's own approach to the subject appears to be artistic rather than scientific, one is hardly required to be an expert to comment on it, and in what follows I shall avoid all reference to escutcheons, fesses, lozenges, grand quartering, marks of cadency, and the like.
A point came when he wished to include something on marks of cadency, that is to say the differences or marks on the full family arms as borne by the head of the house to distinguish his male children (a label of three points for the eldest son and heir, a crescent for the second son, a mullet for the third, and so on).
Marks of cadency, or status symbols that marked a son's position within his family, were illustrated on a handout.