August 24, 2022

August 24, 2022
A "humorous political" rebus from 1868 β€” but no one knows what it means.

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Rebuses in πŸ‡ 🧻 🌳

The Heraldic Rebus, Born in Battle and Embraced by Tudor England, Lives on in Your Smartphone
Expressing your identity in a clever string of images was a thing long before emojis.

I had no idea that the royal herald designs you see on shields, coats of arms, and castle walls were sometimes constructed out of rebuses, or other visual puns. This technique is apparently called canting, and this Wikipedia page is chock full of examples. Some faves:

And while historians have decoded most of the rebuses they've collected β€” heraldic and otherwise β€” thanks in part to the Reading Rebus team at the City University of New York, there are several that remain unsolved, including the one pictured at the top of this newsletter. Got any ideas?

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