A system of heraldry considers relationships to a sovereign. Used signs are according the following table ( I've marked the first 3, as these are the most important, from which I think, that they express SUN - MOON - STAR) ...
http://www.shirleyassociation.com/NewSh ... fArms.html
This has the comment:
The eldest son, during the lifetime of his father, bears the family arms with the addition of a label;
the second son a crescent,
the third, a mullet,
the fourth, a martlet,
the fifth, an annulet;
the sixth, a fleur-de-lis;
the seventh, a rose; the eighth, a cross moline; the ninth, a double quatrefoil.
1st son: Label with three points
"In heraldry, a label is a charge resembling the strap crossing the horse’s chest from which pendants are hung."
"the label was used to mark the elder son"
2nd son: Crescent
... the sign of an ascending moon
3rd son: sign "Mullet"
"The term mullet or molet refers to a star
with straight sides"
"The differences now in use for all families except that of the sovereign may be partially traced to the time of Edward III."
This all is called an "English system" and a "Canadian system" has an expansion also to daughters and a "Scottish system knows further differences ...
http://www.americanheraldry.org/pages/i ... imer.Page5
If a custom was used in England, it naturally oesn't mean, that it was used elsewhere. The Heraldry article of English Wikipedia sorts ...
Main articles: Canadian heraldry, Cornish heraldry, English heraldry, French heraldry, Irish heraldry, Scottish heraldry and Welsh heraldry
The use of cadency marks to difference arms within the same family and the use of semy fields are distinctive features of Gallo-British heraldry (in Scotland the most significant mark of cadency being the bordure, the small brisures playing a very minor role). It is common to see heraldic furs used. In the United Kingdom, the style is notably still controlled by royal officers of arms. French heraldry experienced a period of strict rules of construction under the Emperor Napoleon. English and Scots heraldries make greater use of supporters than other European countries.
Furs, chevrons and five-pointed stars are more frequent in France and Britain than elsewhere.
Main articles: Portuguese heraldry and Spanish heraldry
The heraldry of southern France, Andorra, Portugal, Spain, and Italy is characterized by a lack of crests, and uniquely shaped shields. Portuguese and Spanish heraldry occasionally introduce words to the shield of arms, a practice disallowed in British heraldry. Latin heraldry is known for extensive use of quartering, because of armorial inheritance via the male and the female lines. Moreover, Italian heraldry is dominated by the Roman Catholic Church, featuring many shields and achievements, most bearing some reference to the Church.
Trees are frequent charges in Latin arms. Charged bordures, including bordures inscribed with words, are seen often in Spain.
French and English heraldry are put in one group, likely cause they have some relationship.
If the idea of a correspondece between Sun-Moon-Star and the 3 eldest sons was also used in Italy one can't say from this (Northern Italy hadn't a kingdom as France and England had), but obviously the birth of the oldest son was naturally much more celebrated than that of the second. Roughly one recognizes a sort of Italian model, that the first son became the title-holder, the second a condottiero and the third took function in the church (whereby the order could have been changed occasionally, possibly according the talents, that the sons showed. Sometimes it seems, that the second son wasn't married, before the first has gotten a son, avoiding the situation, that a lower branch might have been older than the first-son-line.
As phenemenons of Trionfi or Tarot decks or related systems (astrology for instance) we have some iconographic material to the sun-theme
1. Helios/Phaethon ... Phaethon as the oldest son
... used in the Mantegna Tarocchi
2. Apollo .... as the "oldest son of Zeus"
... used in Mitelli Tarot
... used in Manilius astrology
... used in general astrology
3. A single young male figure, often connected to a horse
... the putto in the PBM, second group
... the (possible) putto in the Cary-Sheet as discussed recently, with flag and hobby horse
... a naked crazy Orlando, destroying a tree (Kaplan II, page 288)
... the male rider in the Vieville deck,
... the male child on a horse in the Rider-Waite deck
... possibly others still to discover?
4. A pair of figures
... a. two lovers, possibly associated to Adam + Eve or just lovers preparing a sexual action
...... in German lot book pope-donkey for Gemini
...... in Minchiate (the male rider appears as crowned king on the star card; Castor and Pollux or two female figures appear on Gemini card)
... b. two male figures in the Castor+Pollux style
...... in astrology as Gemini
...... in Tarot de Marseilles versions
... c. fighting brothers
...... Tarocco Sicilano (the male rider is used on the star card)
... d. Diogenes + Alexander
...... Este cards
... e. woman with monkey
...... Tarot de Paris
5. A female figure connected to wool-spinning
... in Charles VI
... in Bolognese Tarocchi tradition
6. Single suns without figures
... Rosenwald Tarocchi
... Rosenthal Tarocchi (with castle "Fortezza")
... Guldhall and Goldschmidt
... Dick Tarot
Maybe, that this is far from being complete. Generally considered it seems, that the idea "Sun" was rather creatively handled.
Marco's recent finding has a specific place in it. I think, that the "oldest-son-in-heraldry"-phenomenon plays a role especially for this special version (number 3 in my order)