1 August 1986, A.S. XXI
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 June 8th. Letters of intent
were processed at this meeting for Caid (3/10), West (3/19), Trimaris
(2/14) [received 3/25], Ansteorra (3/29), and East (3/30). The
forms for the Middle and Atenveldt letters had not arrived, so
these were carried over to the next meeting. There were 119 acceptances
and 10 returns, for a 92% approval rate.
The July meeting took place on the 7th. Submissions
were processed for the Middle (1/20), Middle (3/15) [appeal],
Atenveldt (3/17), Atenveldt (3/18), Atlantia (3/25) [received
4/19], West (4/6), An Tir (4/26), East (4/28), and East /30).
The August meeting is scheduled to take place
on the 3rd. The letters due to be processed at this meeting are
Atenveldt (4/1), Atenveldt (5/1), Caid (5/13), Trimaris (5/14),
Caid (5/15), Trimaris (5/15), and West (5/23). The Ansteorra
letters of 4/28, 5/15, and 5/29 have been postponed indefinitely,
pending the resolution of some procedural problems.
The letters to be processed in September are
Atenveldt (6/1), Atenveldt (6/7), East (6/7), West (6/11), Caid
(6/15), An Tir (6/24), and (tentatively) Ansteorra (6/28). Mistress
Alisoun will be announcing the deadline for comments herself.
I have not yet received the forms for the June 1st letter from
For the October meeting, I have received letters
of intent from Atenveldt (7/1), Meridies (7/1), Atlantia (7/9),
Caid (7/15), and the West (7/22).
The new Laurel Queen of Arms, as of August
25th, will be Mistress Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane. Her successor
as Brigantia Herald is Lord Dawyd z Gury (David Gurzynski), 19005
Hillside Avenue #2K, Jamaica, NY 11423; (718) 4799576.
He is scheduled to take office at Pennsic. Congratulations to
both on their appointments. I hope the College will join me in
supporting them as they take up their new responsibilities.
Please remove Morimoto Koryu (Monsho), Regina
Romsey (Schwarzdrachen), Andreanna Innes (Aurochs), Lachlan Sinclair
Dumas, Vasili iz Naitemneshoi Dollina (Pale), Graidhne ni Ruaidh
(Oaken), and Taliesynne Nyr hymwrh from the mailing list.
An updated roster is enclosed with this letter.
As many of you may be aware, the Board is conducting
procedural reviews of the corporate offices. The idea is to examine
each office in turn, in light of its current activities and goals,
and to make changes where they seem to be merited. The changes
are often drastic: the arts and sciences offices were combined
as a result of their review, and similar changes have been made
or are being made in the corporate office and the marshalcy.*
* marshalcy: The rank, office, or department
of a marshal.
The review of the Laurel office was completed
at the July Board meeting, and the Board has mandated some rather
sweeping changes, the high points of which are presented in the
enclosed circular. The purpose of these changes is threefold:
to reduce the workload of the heralds at all levels, to accomplish
this in part by reducing the complexity of our system of heraldry,
and at the same time to make it easier for SCA members to register
simple, elegant armory.
Please note that, until the rules have been
revised to reflect these changes (a process which is expected
to take six months to a year) we will continue to operate under
the present system of heraldry. The months to come will not be
easy, in part because they will involve learning to think differently
than we do now; but I believe the change will have a salutary
effect on heraldry in the SCA.
comes to Frostbite Falls: or, The Importance of Being Urnes
Well, I put my foot in it this time. In a
couple of recent letters, I have said that the JellingBeast
is a variety of Urnesbeast. It turns out that Urnes and
Jelling are two different styles.
According to Viking Art, by David M.
Wilson and Ole KlindtJensen, the Urnes style takes its name
from the decoration of a small church in the Norwegian village
of that name.
Three motifs were used by the Urnes sculptor:
(a) a standing quadruped, (b) a snakelike animal with a
single foreleg and a hindleg, which is indicated only by
the terminal foot and an angular break in the curve of the body,
and (c) a very thin interlacing ribbon which sometimes has an
animal head. The animals have a distinctly sinuous form, the
bodies swell and curve and the few angularities only serve to
emphasize the undulating character of the motif. The animals
interlace together biting each other at the neck, while the thin
ribbons form an interlace pattern which is a leitmotif
of the composition.
The Jellinge (br Jelling) style is somewhat
harder to pin down. The name was originally applied to the "widely
different ornament on two entirely disparate objects" found
in the tenth century Danish royal cemetery at Jelling in Jutland.
The term has been used confusingly, and the author devotes the
first part of the chapter to an attempt to distinguish among the
Jellinge, Mammen, and Borre styles of ornament. An example of
the true Jellinge style is described as follows:
The head is in profile and has an open mouth,
liplappet, almondshaped eye and a head lappet, or
pigtail, which interlaces with the body. The ribbon shaped body
is doublecontoured and is filled with transverse billets.
The foreleg emerges from a spiral hip and has a twoclawed
foot. The hindleg has an angular joint and a backwardbent,
threeelement foot. The tail, which terminates in three
featherlike elements, interlaces with the body of the next
Since the purpose of this exercise is to try
to make some sense of the various Norse serpents registered in
the Society, let us now get down to cases.
1) Brynhildr Kormaksdottir, Kristin Alfhildr
of Trondheim, and Reynard the Brown all bear the same charge.
The beast is drawn in the Urnes style, and according to the documentation,
it is taken from the Sjua stone, carved in Sweden by the runemaster
Opir in about 1190 A.D. (The source given is Otto von Friesen,
Upplands runstenar.) Two of these are blazoned as a "Norse
serpent nowed." Kristin's blazon was incorrectly altered
to "Jellingbeast" in 1985, on the basis of the
illustrations in the Armorial (the captions are reversed).
2) Asbjorn Gustavsson of Roed's charge is blazoned
as a "Norse Jellingbeast nowed, erect and reversed."
The depiction is taken from an internal panel of the Lilla Valla
bowl, from a Gotlandic horde deposited c. 1050. It turns out
that this is not in the Jellinge style; it is transitional, combining
elements of the Ringerike and Urnes styles.
3) Thomas Woltaire of Alderwood bears a charge
referred to as a "Jelling beast nowed in a Stafford knot."
The representation is not the one from the Sjua stone, but I'm
fairly certain that it is an Urnesbeast; it isn't in the
4) Wolfangus MhicMairghdhin's "Norse onelegged
serpent" may actually be a Jellinge beast. It lacks the
double contours and the billets, but the rest of the characteristics
are about right,' and I'm pretty sure it's not Urnes style.
5) My uneducated guess is that the "Norse
fourlegged serpent" of Ragnarr Two Axe of the Swamp
is an early style, quite possibly unnamed. It is mercifully unknotted.
It is probably safe to treat it as a stylized snake.
6) The eccentric "orm knotted" of
Orm Skjoldbidig matches nothing I found in my brief pass through
Viking Art.. It is mentioned here for the sake of completeness.
I did, however, find the "Lisbjerg grippingbeast"
of Bjorn of Havok not a serpent, and so not germane to
the discussion, but it seemed a shame not to note the reference.
It comes from a pair of oval broaches found in Lisbjerg, Jutland.
Most of the Norse serpents in use appear to
be Urnes beasts (the serpent, not the quadruped). My current
inclination is to leave this definition in place, and to adopt
the Sjua stone representation as the standard for such creatures
nowed. Brynhildr and Reynard's blazons would thus remain unchanged,
Kristin's could be restored to its original form, and Asbjorn
and Thomas's Jellingbeasts would become Norse onelegged
serpents one creature, found in three positions. This
still leaves Wolfangus and Orm to be considered (Ragnarr is fine
as is), but I'll need to get a second opinion on these.
Aiko Nishi Uwate. Japanese Names for Babies.
Aiko Uwate, 4560 Yellowstone Street, Los Angeles, CA 90032.
1982. [donated by AY; copy]
Society for Creative Anachronism. The Known
World Handbook: Being a compendium of information, traditions
and crafts practiced in these Current Middle Ages in the Society
for Creative Anachronism. Twentieth Year edition, 1985. [donated
by BoE and JvS]
Of potential interest to heralds is A Lymner's
Roll of the Kingdoms, Principalities, and Baronies of the
Known World as of 1 January 1986: an heraldic coloring book based
on the Fall 1984 Tournaments Illuminated cover. Copies
are available for $4.00 plus .75 postage from Eowyn Amberdrake
(Melinda Sherbring, 14124 Lemoli Avenue, Hawthorne, CA 90250).
Copies of the SCA College of Arms Glossary
of Terms are now available by mail from the stock clerk.
The cost is $1.50 each, or ten for $13.00.
Clarion has also prepared an Index to Heraldic
Publications, copies of which are available from the Laurel
office. The cost is $1.50 each, or ten for $13.00. Checks should
be made payable to SCA College of Arms.
Several people have questioned the definitions
of papelonné and plumetty in the Glossary
of Terms. Mistress Eowyn has pursued the question further,
in light of both mundane and SCA usage. Her conclusions are enclosed.
Clarion has turned over the materials for the
revised Rules for Submissions to Master Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme.
The final edition will be substantially the same as the second
draft, with changes made to correct errors pointed out in the
previous draft, and to incorporate recent Laurel rulings and the
results of the poll. These will serve as the interim rules (subject
to subsequent rulings by the new Laurel) until Mistress Alisoun
has completed the major revision mandated by the Board.
That's it for June. On now to July/August
and blessed retirement.
Please believe me to be,