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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 28  1909  page 363

Sybill Arms at Little Mote, Eynsford By George C. Druce

   IN Vol. XXVI. of Archaeologia Cantiana there appeared an article by Mr. R. H. Ernest Hill, A.R.I.B.A., upon the ancient house known as Little Mote, at Eynsford, part of which article was devoted to the arms and pedigree of the Sybill family. These arms appear carved in the two spandrils of the stone fireplace in the lower room, and are illustrated by Mr. Hill. They each represent a tiger gazing at itself in a mirror, its reflection being distinctly visible. After a reference to various other families who bore this device upon their coats of arms, Mr. Hill says: "What the peculiar significance of this coat may be I cannot undertake to determine, though Guillim is quite equal to the occasion when he proceeds to tell us: ‘Some report that those who rob this beast of her yong use a policy to detaine their Damme from following them, by casting sundry Looking.. glasses in the way, whereat shee useth long to gaze, whether it be to  

behold her owne beauty, or because when she seeth. her shape in the Giasse, shee thinketh shee seeth one of her yonge ones, and so they escape the swiftness of her pursuite. And thus are many deceived of the substance while they are much busied about the shadowes." The object of the present article is in some measure to fill up the gap in Mr. Hill’s.
   One of the most interesting phases of the study of Heraldry is to trace the sources of the large number of animal and bird subjects that were used as crests. Perhaps the most fruitful in this respect was that important class of medieval MSS. known as the Bestiaries, or Books of Beasts. The Bestiarium, or Physiologus, as it was termed in its earlier form, was a kind of religious Natural History book. Many of them were illustrated. The text accompanying the illustration

Page 363 

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