Lionhearted: The Big-Cat Motif At Brooks, Polo And Others


“Lionhearted” actually means brave and valiant. But in the headline I like to think it’s a double-entendre expressing affection for big cats. After all, it’s August, the month of Leo. And there just aren’t many lions left out in the wild. But thanks to heraldry, the lion is a popular symbol on ties, slippers and athletic wear. Below are some examples. By the way, the state of tigers isn’t much better. — CC

Above and below, Ralph Lauren:




Brooks Brothers:



Crockett & Jones:


Sigma Alpha Epsilon flask by Smathers & Branson:



20 Comments on "Lionhearted: The Big-Cat Motif At Brooks, Polo And Others"

  1. universitystripe | August 2, 2015 at 10:59 am |

    The lion rampant–the heraldic symbol everyone uses when they haven’t one of their own. Use your initials, if you must, but save crests for the royal houses.

  2. I’d say that I like these sorts of things, but if I did I’d be lion.

  3. Bags' Groove | August 2, 2015 at 4:09 pm |

    And I notice that all the single lions are facing dexter, in finest English heraldic tradition. The special relationship lives!

  4. Cranky Yankee | August 2, 2015 at 6:42 pm |

    I’m confused, Bags’ Grove. The single lions are facing left which is sinister. Dexter is right. Am I missing something?

  5. universitystripe, you are correct.

  6. Engelbrekt | August 3, 2015 at 1:47 am |

    Cranky Yankee, Dexter is the right hand side of the crest, i.e. the left hand side of the beholder.

  7. Cranky Yankee | August 3, 2015 at 6:47 am |

    Thank you, Engelbrekt.

  8. Does anyone know why the Muffy Aldrich blog name changed, and why no comments are allowed anymore? Also, where did the archived blogs go? She had such wonderful lists of British shows, magazines, books, etc. TIA

  9. Binker….it’s a long read but check out the comment thread on this Ivy Style post:

  10. Thanks, Gornergrat! I will check it out.

  11. Bags' Groove | August 3, 2015 at 11:40 am |

    I was never very quick putting my hand up in class, but you obviously were.

  12. Roy R. Platt | August 3, 2015 at 11:56 am |

    The lions on the Crockett and Jones black velvet Albert slippers are facing opposite directions, possibly to help someone make sure that they are putting their slippers on the correct feet.

  13. Engelbrekt | August 4, 2015 at 2:31 am |

    @Bags’ Groove
    Although I have to admit that I was a rather good boy in school the real reason, for being ahead of you, however, is that we are in different time zones.

    @Roy R. Platt
    A single creature in a crest should always face dexter, i.e. the weapon hand side (assuming a right handed warrior with the shield on his left arm). The creature would otherwise be interpreted for a fleeing coward. For the same reason, several creatures in a crest should always face each other. Crests on the side of modern vehicles should be printed with creatures facing forward (the front of the vehicle). In the case of the C&A-shoes, both the latter rules is applied correctly.

  14. Engelbrekt | August 4, 2015 at 6:14 am |

    C&J-shoes, I mean

  15. Cranky Yankee | August 4, 2015 at 4:27 pm |

    Engelbrekt, I appreciate your comments here. Just wondering if you have or have read ‘A Complete Guide to Heraldry’ by A.C. Fox-Davies or ‘Heraldry in America’ by Eugene Zieber? I own them, but now realize that I need to dust them off. Thanks again.

  16. Bags' Groove | August 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm |

    Okay, fair enough. I’m going to let you off this time, but I’ll be watching, in case you’re not letting on that you were an outstandingly good boy in school.

  17. Engelbrekt | August 5, 2015 at 4:11 am |

    @Bags’ Groove
    On your recommendation I bought a J Keydge slack jacket from John Simons last time I visited London. I am very happy with it. Thank you again.

    @Cranky Yankee
    With no crests what so ever in my family, I stumbled across this subject when we should equip a car with the crest from a sports club. Since we didn’t adjust for it, the lion in our crest (copied/stolen from the city crest) faced the wrong way on the passenger side of the car. Although obvious only to some people, a lion running backwards is especially bad in a rugby club crest. I was really intrigued by the subject and read a lot about it at the time. Thank you for the book tip.

  18. Bags' Groove | August 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm |

    Okay my boy, you’re now fully forgiven. Glad you like it. I’ll have to soon get on to Keydge for some commission. Your new jacket brings it up to five between us.

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