Wreath, (fr. tortil, also bourrelet): the wreath, technically speaking, is the twisted band composed of two strips of gold or silver lace and silk by which the crest is joined to the helmet; though some wreaths of the fifteenth century were of four tinctures. It is sometimes, but improperly, called a roll, at others a torse. It was, perhaps, copied by the crusaders from the wreathed turbans of the Saracens. The first noticed is that of Sir John de Harsich, 1384.
Wreaths should always shew an equal number of divisions(now restricted to six), which are usually tinctured with the principal metal and colour of the arms alternately. Every Crest is understood to be placed upon a wreath, unless a chapeau or some coronet be expressly mentioned. But wreaths also sometimes occur as charges; e.g. we find a circular wreath. This is meant for the same object as the above, but viewed from a different point. Animals also are sometimes represented with wreaths on their heads.
Azure, a circular wreath argent and sable, with four hawk's bells joined thereto in quadrature or--JOCELYN, Essex.
Gules, three lions rampant or with wreaths or their heads azure--KELLAM.
Although the wreath proper is composed of one or more coloured stuffs, the Chaplets, q.v. of oak, laurel, and garlands of flowers, &c., are frequently blazoned as wreaths.
Azure, on a fesse between three garbs or a wreath of oak vert between two estoiles gules--Sandbach, co. Lancaster.
Ermine, a rose gules on a chief embattled or two banners in saltire, the staves enfiled by a wreath of laurel proper, a canton gules charged with a representation of a medal--NIGHTINGALL, co. Norfolk.
Pean, three mountain-cats passant in pale argent, on a canton or a fesse gules surmounted by an anchor of the third encircled by a wreath of laurel vert--KEATS, Dorrant House, Dover; quartering Goodwin.