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Coat of arms of Beaufort, earls and dukes of Somerset: the royal arms of England differenced with a bordure compony argent and azure

In heraldry, an ordinary componé, compony, gobony or anciently gobonne[1] is composed of a row of panes of alternating tinctures, most often affecting the bordure.

The Capetian counts of Évreux differenced the French royal arms with a bend compony.

Certain charges cannot be compony, for practical reasons, such as, in general, common charges, and the chief as they are generally not long and thin as a row of compony is.

Usually only two tinctures are used, but the arms of Formia, Italy, show an unusual bordure which could be blazoned compony of 24 vert, gules, argent, vert, argent, gules.

A variant is counter-compony, with two rows of panes.

A bordure compony can be used as a difference to delineate cadency and often indicates an illegitimate son, acknowledged but legally barred from inheritance of the feudal estates of his father. The first Earl of Somerset was later legitimized (allowed to inherit the feudal estates) by an act of Parliament, yet retained his original arms as also displayed by his legitimate descendants.

A bend or fess billety-counter-billety is, in effect, chequy of three rows of stretched (rather than square) panes, as in the arms of Cullimore in Canada: Azure; a fess billetty counter billetty gules and argent, between, in chief, two crescents and, in base, a wheel or; a bordure or for difference.[2]

Sometimes compony-like arrangements, such as in the arms of the Duke de Vargas Machuca,[3] are not so described in blazon. The coat of arms of the 108th Aviation Regiment of the United States Army is blazoned bordered gyronny of ten; in most cases a bordure gyronny would not be distinguished from a bordure compony.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.