Coat of arms of Haarlem supported by mermaids. 1625 Pen and brown ink and brown wash.
In heraldry and Coats of Arms, the mermaid or merman is a favourite symbol for seafarers or anything related to the sea. The merman was also referred to as a triton and siren was occasionally an alternate name for the mermaid. Both are symbols of eloquence.
In heraldry. the merman is usually found as a supporter and less often as a charge on a shield.
The mermaid is much more common and is generally represented with the traditional mirror and comb in her hands.
A Melusine is a mermaid with two tails disposed on either side of her, commonly found in German heraldry.
The Shell Grotto is an ornate subterranean passageway shell grotto in Margate, Kent. Almost all the surface area of the walls and roof is covered in mosaics created entirely of seashells, totalling about 190sq metres of mosaic, or 4.6 million shells. It was discovered in 1835 but its age and purpose remain unknown. The Grotto is a Grade I listed building and is open to the public.
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