E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Expressed in heraldry by horizontal lines crossing perpendicular ones.
In English heraldry escutcheons are varied by seven colours; foreign heralds add two more.
A suit of sables. A rich courtly dress. By the statue of apparel (24 Henry VIII. c. 13) it is ordained that none under the degree of an earl shall use sables. Bishop tells us that a thousand ducats were sometimes given for a face of sables (Blossoms, 1577). Ben Jonson says, Would you not laugh to meet a great councillor of state in a flat cap, with trunk-hose and yond haber-dasher in a velvet gown trimmed with sables? (Discoveries.)
So long? Nay, then, let the devil wear black, for Ill have a suit of sables.Shakespeare: Hamlet, iii. 2.