28 August 1985, A.S. XX

Unto the members of the College of Arms,

from Baldwin of Erebor, Laurel King of Arms.

My lords and ladies,

Enclosed herewith is the letter of acceptances and returns for the Laurel meeting of July 14th ­­ somewhat later than I had hoped, but by the time preparation and cleanup were added in, my two weeks' vacation turned into four weeks away from the word processor. Submissions were processed at this meeting for An Tir (3/26), East (4/1), East (4/5), Caid (4/11), West (4/19), Atenveldt (4/20), Middle (4/20), and Ansteorra (4/25). There were 221 items approved, 36 returned, and 1 pending, for an 86% approval rate.


The September meeting has been scheduled for the 15th. We will be reviewing letters of intent from Ansteorra (6/10), Calontir (6/11), Meridies (6/15), the West (6/16), Caid (6/20), and East (6/27). Letters of comment for this meeting should arrive not later than September 7.

The October meeting has been moved from the 13th to the 20th, to avoid conflict with the second day of Collegium Caidis. Letters to be processed at this meeting are Middle (7/4) [heraldic titles], Atenveldt (7/5) [two letters], West (7/10) [appeal], Caid (7/11), Middle (7/15), Atlantia (7/26), East (7/27), East (7/28), West (7/28), and East (7/29). Letters of comment for this meeting should arrive not later than October 12.

Tentative meeting dates for the remainder of the year are November 10 and December 15. These are subject to change depending on local event and work schedules.


I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mistress Eowyn Amberdrake (Melinda Sherbring) to the office of Clarion Queen of Arms. Mistress Eowyn will be serving as my general deputy, working on special projects, doing research, and helping formulate policy.

I would also like to announce the appointment of Lord Alban St. Albans (Ted Eisenstein), of the Kingdom of Calontir, to the post of Morsulus Herald. Lord Alban will be responsible for the maintenance and production of the SCA Armorial and Ordinary.

Dave Thewlis (Duke Siegfried von Höflichkeit) has retired from the Board of Directors (and is now Marshal of the Society). His successor as Laurel Ombudsman is Steve Muhlberger (Duke Finnvarr de Taahe).

There are a considerable number of changes to the mailing list this month. An updated College of Arms roster is enclosed. Please note in particular the addition of Minowara Kiritsubo­no­Inazuma (Elaine Koogler), Lord Henry of Linlithgow (Henry Troup), and Lady AElfhaelen Dracasidth (G. Dee Redman) to the list of commenting heralds.

Mistress Eilis O'Boirne has retired as Brachet Herald. Her successor is Mistress Alison von Markheim (Alison Lowe). Please note that neither of the addresses given for Mistress Alison in the West's July mailing is correct. Mistress Eilis is now Latimer Herald. The West has asked that copies of letters of intent and comment be sent to Latimer, for the Vesper files, in addition to the copy sent to Brachet.

In addition, please note that Lanner Herald has a new address, and that Stellanordica's ZIP code is 99508, not 99509.


Corrections to the armorial and ordinary, or to the LoARs, should be sent to Laurel. Unless they are likely to be controversial, corrections do not need to appear on a letter of intent. I've been checking corrections against the files, partly to avoid introducing new errors, and partly so I can make a record of the correction in the folder.

Dancetty vs. indented

If vou consult the average heraldry book, you will be advised that the difference between indented and dancetty is the number of teeth. A line indented looks like the blade of a cross­cut saw, with an indeterminate number of low peaks and shallow valleys, while the same line dancetty has but three peaks, and these are pronounced.

According to Roger F. Pye [1,2], the medieval definitions were somewhat different. A line of partition, or a single­sided ordinary (such as a chief), would always be blazoned as indented, and the zig­zag line would be vigorously emblazoned ­­ with "great bold bites" ­­ much like modern dancetty. If a twosided ordinary (such as a fess or bend) was indented, "the bites from either side almost met (or did meet) in the middle ... this caused diamond­shaped segments to be formed between the bites, and these segments came to be called fusils."

Dancetty, on the other hand, was a treatment of a two­sided ordinary.

"Whereas in indented ordinaries the indentations were opposite one another, in the case of 'dancetty' the indentations on the two sides were made to fit into one another, so that the whole ordinary danced up and down (whence its name)." A fess dancetty was often referred to in medieval heraldry as a dance. [3]

Master Wilhelm adopted the medieval definitions of indented and dancetty in his cover letter of 27 Aug 80. Unfortunately, he interchanged the two terms in the text and on the illustrations, which has led to a certain amount of confusion. This error was corrected in the 20 Oct 80 cover letter. I authorized use of the term dance in my LoAR of 31 Oct 84.

To summarize, then: in SCA heraldry, indented should be drawn boldly. Singlesided ordinaries, such as chiefs and bordures, are always said to be indented, never dancetty. If a two­sided ordinary is indented, the peaks and the valleys should oppose one another. If drawn in the medieval fashion, the zig­zag lines should come close to meeting in the middle, giving the appearance of an ordinary made up of fusils. Dancetty is a treatment of a two­sided ordinary. The peaks and valleys parallel each other, causing the whole ordinary to zigzag or "dance" across the field. A fess dancetty may also be blazoned as a dance.

The above illustrations show (1) a modern line indented, (2) a modern line dancetty, (3) a medieval fess indented, and (4) a medieval fess dancetty.

I pray you believe me to be, my lords and ladies,

Your servant,

Baldwin of Erebor

Laurel King of Arms



[1] Roger F. Pye. A return to first principles: II - lozenge and fusil. Coat of Arms VII(50):60­62.

[2] Roger F. Pye. A return to first principles: IV - some confused partition lines. Coat of Arms VII(55):293­295.

[3] J. P. Brooke­Little. An Heraldic Alphabet, page 81. Arco Publishing Com-pany, revised edition 1975.