Delf, or Delph, (plural delves). This ward(derived from the verb delve, to dig) is the name of a charge representing a shovelful of earth: the sides are sometimes drawn straight, sometimes curved inwards. When tenne, it is said to be one of the abatements, and it is then over the fesse point. See also Gad.
Argent, a chevron between three delves gules--DELVES.
Or, a fesse wavy between three delves[elsewhere billets] sable--STANFORD.
The representations of this charge are sometimes very doubtful, and they have been blazoned cubes, gads(as in the insignia of the IRONMONGERS' COMPANY), blocks, &c.: but in the following examples the cubes are no doubt intended for dice, and should be drawn as such.
Azure, a chevron between three dice sable, each charged with four spots--ENGLOWES, Somerset.
Argent, a chevron between three dice sable, each charged with a cinquefoil[? 5 spots] of the first--FITZWILLIAMS, York.
Gules, three dice argent, on each five(six ?) spots in front, two upon the top, and three on the sinister side, sable--MATTHIAS, London.
The last of those given is supposed to be allusive to the election of S.Matthias to the Apostleship.