In 1671 the Court was successful in an application to for a grant of arms. The resulting armorial bearings, used on its insignia, stationery and silver, are rich in traditional symbolism, evoking themes of the irrevocable passage of time, and the dominion of time over all things worldly.
The description from the original grant is as follows:
Sable, a Clock ye Four Pillars thereof Erected on Four Lyons, and on Each Capital a Globe with a Cross, and in the Middest an Imperiall Crowne all Or, and for their Crest upon an Helmet Proper Mantled Gules Doubled Argent and Wreath of their Colours a Spheare Or, the Armes Supported by the Figures of a Naked Old Man Holding a Scithe and an Hour Glasse Representing Time, and of an Emperour in Roabes Crowned Holding a Scepter.
In a somewhat loose modern interpretation, this might be rendered as:
Black shield, showing a clock, the four pillars of which are mounted on four lions, and the capitals of each pillar surmounted by a globe with a cross on top. On the middle top of the clock, an imperial crown in gold. The crest above to be a gold sphere mounted atop a naturally coloured helmet, flanked by drapery in alternate red and silver, with a wreath in the black and gold of the Company’s colours. The arms as a whole supported by a naked old man holding a scythe and an hourglass, representing Time, and a robed emperor, wearing a crown and holding a sceptre.
The motto of the Company, Tempus Rerum Imperator, can be translated as 'time is the ruler of all things'.
Click here for a lecture by Sir George White Bt on the history of the grant of arms to the Company.