St George's Day 2023


‘Come not between a dragon and his wrath.’  Shakespeare, King Lear

With St George’s day just around the corner, our thoughts are turning once again to dragons. They pop up more often than you’d think - especially when you’re as fascinated with heraldic beasts as we are.

As a result of our association with the City of London Corporation, Livery Companies, Guildhall, Lord Mayor and Sheriff, we’ve come up against a few dragons in our time - after all, this ferocious beast has been associated with the City of London since the 14th century, and the techniques that our craftsmen wield in the workshop were likely used to chisel dragons from silver centuries ago.



Not every dragon is made the same way, of course - and depending on the meaning that needs to be applied to the design, only very specific dragons will do. Join us on a quick exploration of the varieties of dragon you’ll find coiled and capering across our designs.

One of the most common types of dragons in heraldry is the wyvern; a two-legged dragon with a serpent-like tail and wings. Often depicted with spread wings, you’ll usually find a wyvern poised to take flight. Which makes sense, given the associations this beautiful creature has within the language of heraldry. The wyvern is typically associated with bravery, strength, and protection, and is often used to represent military prowess.

Another type of dragon commonly found in heraldry is the European dragon, typically depicted as a four-legged creature with wings and a long, serpentine tail. European dragons are often associated with wisdom, cunning, and power, and have traditionally been used in heraldry to represent royalty and nobility. You’ll find a lot of them around London - where there’s money, there’s usually a European dragon.

Some dragons are specific to a location, such as the red dragon with a white belly and green wings - a symbol of strength, courage and Welsh heritage. If you see a long, serpentine dragon with scales and clawed feet, it might be a Chinese dragon, associated with wisdom, good luck, and prosperity.

Finally, the sea dragon is a type of dragon that is often associated with maritime activities. Sea dragons are typically depicted as sea serpents or sea monsters, and are often associated with power and control over the sea.

Regardless of the design, the opportunity to craft a dragon in our workshop is always an exciting prospect - heraldry shifts and changes over the years, but the essence stays true. Every dragon is up for interpretation, giving our designers and craftsmen the opportunity to get creative with the way they represent the traditional beasts - but the design is always rooted in meaning. How many arms does the dragon have? Are the wings spread or tucked in? Every decision is heavy with symbolism, and that’s something to be relished.

Share this post