Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
For the September 2002 meetings, printed December 18, 2002
To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from François Laurel, Zenobia Wreath, and Mari Pelican, greetings.
The following is a table showing the status of Letters of Intent, Laurel Letters of Pend and Discussion, and Letters of Intent to Protect. The header rows are the dates of the meetings that will consider them, the dates when primary commentary is due, and the dates when responses to primary commentary are due. The key follows.
|Wreath meeting||Sep 07||Oct 19||Nov 23||Dec 21||Jan 18||Feb 08||Mar 22?|
|Pelican meeting||Sep 07||Oct 05||Nov 16||Dec 21||Jan 18||Feb 08||?|
|Comment by||too late||Dec 31||Jan 31|
|Reply/Respond by||Dec 31||Jan 31||Feb 28|
|LoIs being considered:|
|Æthelmearc||-||Jun 27||Jul 17||Aug 17||Sep 17||Oct 22
[P Oct 30]
|An Tir||May 29||Jun 28||Jul 30||Aug 30||Sep 30||Oct 30||(Nov 29)|
[P May 28]
|Jun 17||Jul 14
[P Jul 22]
|Aug 17||Sep 15||Oct 20
[P Oct 30]
|Artemisia||-||Jun 18||Jul 30||-||Sep 30||-||Nov 30|
[P May 23]
[P Jun 25]
[P Jul 25]
|Aug 20||Sep 15||(Oct 20)||-|
|Atlantia||May 28||Jun 27||Jul 18||Aug 20||Aug 30
[P Sep 30]
|Oct 26 &
[P May 01] &
May 10 &
|-||-||-||Sep 10||Oct 01 &
[P Dec 03]
|Calontir||May 25||-||-||-||Sep 03||Oct 16||Nov 13|
|Drachenwald||May 23||Jun 18||Jul 16||Aug 22||Sep 19||(Oct 25)||(Nov 23)|
|Ealdormere||-||-||-||Aug 19||-||-||(Nov 22)|
|East||May 12||Jun 09 &
|-||-||Sep 01 &
|Oct 27||(Nov 24)|
[P May 28]
|Jun 16||-||Aug 20||-||-||-|
|Meridies||May 31||Jun 30||Jul 31||Aug 31||Sep 30||-||Nov 30|
|Middle||May 12||Jun 17||Jul 12||Aug 19||Sep 16||Oct 14||Nov 11|
[P May 28] &
[P May 28]
|-||Jun 17 &
|Aug 23||Sep 23||(Oct 23)||(Nov 23)|
|Trimaris||-||Apr 29||Jun 28 &
|-||Sep 30||Oct 15||(Nov 15)|
|West||May 30||Jun 25||-||Jul 24
[P Aug 01]
|Sep 25||Oct 29||Nov 27|
|Kraken LoItP||-||-||Jul 16||-||-||-||-|
[Apr LoAR] &
Month day: the date on the Letter of Intent, Letter of
Pend and Discussion, or Letter of Intent to Protect.
(Month day): for administrative reasons, this LoI has not yet been scheduled.
[P Month day]: postmarked on that bracketed date, so the LoI is redated or postponed.
"-": no LoI is scheduled for that meeting from that kingdom.
Mar: Wreath's meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 22.
Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of mailing of the LoI, date of receipt of the Laurel packet, or other factors may delay consideration of certain letters of intent. Additionally, some letters of intent received may not have been scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, et cetera) have not yet been met.
REMINDER: Until all administrative requirements are met, the letter may not be scheduled.
An item this month raised discussion regarding registerability of the name Aoife. Aoife is listed in Ó Corráin and Maguire (p. 16 s.n. Aífe). However, this entry lists only legendary women with this name. Lacking evidence that this name was used by humans in period, this name would not normally be registerable. Nonetheless, it was registered (in the form Aífe) as recently as July of 2001. To date, there have been nine registrations of Aoife and two of Aífe. Of these registrations, only four date from after the previous rules change in November of 1995. Given these numbers, this name does not have the popularity of other SCA compatible names such as Fiona and Ian, and so does not warrant being declared SCA compatible. Therefore, we will stop registration of this name beginning with the April 2003 decision meeting.
An item this month raised discussion regarding exactly which spellings of Corwin are considered SCA compatible. The name Corwin is SCA compatible in the spellings Corwin and Corwyn. The spelling Corwynn has only been registered twice, once in a name in 1975 and once as part of a holding name in 1999. As the spelling Corwynn does not have the same level of popularity as Corwin and Corwyn, we will discontinue registering the form Corwynn beginning with the April 2003 decision meeting.
We remind the College that we rule on an emblazon's acceptability based on the appearance of the emblazon on the form at the Wreath meeting. This includes determining whether all the tinctures on the form are acceptable heraldic tinctures. We have multiple people at the meeting looking at the forms and helping to make this decision. This policy is in accordance with previous practices:
We want to remind the College that we register what is submitted, and not the blazon. We are getting more and more submissions that were done using color copiers or color printers. While we have nothing against using modern technology (Laurel has been known to use it now and then), the colors must be identifiable. If the copier/printer can not produce recognizable tinctures, it shouldn't be used. If it is used, the submission may be returned. (Cover Letter June 1997)
We also note that Laurel (at this time, via Wreath) may, at any time, be called on to reblazon old armory based on the appearance of the old forms in the file. Certain sorts of pigment tend to change or fade so that they are very difficult to make out correctly in old forms. If the pigments used in old forms have changed drastically from their original state while sitting in the files, this may result in an incorrect reblazon.
We have seen quite a few problems in the last year with a particular color which is blazoned as purpure, but (when viewed at the Wreath meeting) is instead some shade between purple, fuchsia, and bright pink. The culprit for the particular problem appears to be some standard variety of color printer ink, which is very fugitive and may change its tincture within a few weeks of printing. Computer printer inks also seem to be responsible for a dark tincture which is somewhere between purpure and azure, which seems to be generally meant as azure. It is not yet clear to us whether this latter confused tincture is due to the inks changing color after the forms were mailed, or whether the color was always ambiguous.
We have no intention of mandating the particular techniques used to color in the forms. However, it is certainly in the best interest of each kingdom to discourage submitters from using pigments that will be likely to result in a return at Laurel, or an incorrect later reblazon. Discouraged coloring methods include:
We continue to support, without any commercial incentive to do so, the humble yet effective Crayola(R) Classic Colors Markers. While Crayola markers are not waterproof, they have good intense heraldic colors that keep "true" as long as the forms are in the files and out of direct sunlight. Note that there are other types of Crayola marker than the "Classic Colors" markers, and these are not recommended. ("Crayola" is a registered trademark of Binney & Smith.)
Field Treatments in General
The CoA Glossary of Terms currently defines the term "field treatment" as follows:
A repeating pattern drawn in a tincture with good contrast over the field or a charge. Field treatments leave more of the underlying tincture showing than they cover, and are considered a part of the field or charge tincture. Field treatments include masoned, honeycombed, and so on. [Note: honeycombed is an SCA invention that was ruled to be unregisterable in the LoAR of September 2001]. Field treatments do not include the ermined furs or strewn charges.
The term "field treatment" is not a standard real-world heraldic description for a class of armorial designs. There are very few period armorial designs that meet the SCA's description of a "field treatment". The period armorial designs closest to "field treatments" are fretty, masoned, papellony/scaly, and the very uncommon element diaspré. The term "field treatment" is not found in Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet, Woodward's A Treatise on Heraldry, British and Foreign, Fox-Davies' A Complete Guide to Heraldry, Parker's A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, Friar's A Dictionary of Heraldry, Franklyn and Tanner's An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry or Boutell's Heraldry. Nor do these standard heraldry books have a different term that clearly describes the type of armorial designs that the SCA calls "field treatments". These books appear to find the few armorial designs mentioned above as difficult to classify as we find them to be: they are period armorial designs that diverge significantly from standard heraldic practices. Thus, while the term field treatment continues to be useful to the SCA as a means of including these oddities of armorial design in the Rules for Submission, it should not be considered to represent a standard period armorial class of designs.
To consider the period armorial designs which most closely resemble the SCA's definition of field treatment:
Thus, it can be seen that there are very few, perhaps only two, period armorial designs which might fall into the SCA's definition of "field treatment". Neither of them is a common element, even in period. It is hardly possible to extrapolate general period armorial practices from so small a set of examples.
The rule allowing registration of undocumented, but compatible, armorial elements is RfS VII.6:
Compatible Armorial Elements. - Any charge, line of division, line of partition, field treatment, or other armorial element that has been ruled compatible with period heraldic style may be registered in armory.
The line of partition dovetailed and field treatments designed to imitate chain mail and honeycombs are some examples of undocumented armorial elements that have already been ruled compatible with period heraldic style. [Note: it is of course field treatments that are under discussion here.]
There are two traditional principles for ruling an element compatible. It may be so popular as to make the increased authenticity not worth the confusion and potential loss of good will inherent in its abolition. This is most commonly true of names, such as Rhiannon or Ceridwen, but a prominent example of a charge that falls in this category is the compass star.
The second reason is that the element, while undocumented, is a reasonable extrapolation from period practice. This is more prominent in the name rules, where constructed and invented names are explicit categories, but can apply to armorial elements as well. Dovetailed is an example of this. There is a pattern of various lines of division, including some late-period innovations. Dovetailed is a plausible fit within this pattern. Indeed, some period representations of embattled are very close to dovetailed. The only novelty is giving it a special name.
Without knowlege that the concept of a "field treatment" is a period armorial concept, and with so few examples of period designs that might fall into the SCA's category of "field treatment", it does not seem reasonable to extrapolate new "field treatments" from these very few existing examples. Until such time that documentation can be provided showing a substantial period pattern of use of designs like "field treatments", and reasonable ways in which these designs could be extrapolated to develop other period-compatible "field treatments", we will consider SCA-invented "field treatments" not to be "compatible with period heraldic style", and thus unacceptable by RfS VII.6.
Mailly is a field treatment which covers the treated area with a pattern of linked rings representing chain mail. It is a modern invention. The SCA's original May 1982 registration stated that mailly is "a new type of treatment of the field, so we named it for SCA usage." A similar design was apparently invented in England some time after 1954. J.P. Brooke-Little's annotations on A. C. Fox-Davies' A Complete Guide to Heraldry (1969 edition) p. 77, note 35, state that "Another new and curious design is a field which is blazoned 'vert, a network of annulets interlaced Or'."
As a 20th C field treatment, mailly is not compatible with period heraldic style per the general discussion of field treatments above. Mailly has been registered infrequently since its introduction, for a total of 13 registrations, the most recent in 1998. This registration history is not large enough to require that we continue to register it due to the design's popularity.
One might consider whether mailly could be considered something other than a field treatment, such as a charge or group of charges. Chains are period armorial charges, and mailly depicts a mesh of interlinked chain. Some period armory does use chains which are interlinked at some points. The most famous, and apparently most complicated, period example of such armory is the arms of Navarre (important non-SCA armory): Gules, an escarbuncle of chain within and conjoined to an orle of chain Or. In the arms of Navarre, the chains maintain their individual identifiability as chains. Such individual identifiability is lost when the chains are interwoven into the mailly design, just as knots (which are period charges) lose their individual identifiability when woven together into knotwork. Because mailly cannot reasonably be viewed as anything other than a "field treatment", and because SCA-invented "field treatments" are too far from period practice to be acceptable, mailly will no longer be accepted after the LoAR of April 2003.
Free Trumpet Press West is moving. As of January 1, 2003, the new address will be: SCA - Free Trumpet Press West, c/o [redacted].
Hund is Hund again. That is, at the Royal Court at Lochac Crown Tournament, after the hiatus of transferring titles from the West to Lochac, Þorfinn Hrolfsson was re-appointed to the position of Hund Herald.
For all Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera, send one paper copy to each of Laurel PKoA and Wreath QoA at their mailing addresses as shown on the College of Arms Mailing List.
Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related paper, including
Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera (note: such paper copies are in addition to the personal copies for Laurel and Wreath mentioned above)
Submission packets (one copy of each name form plus documentation, including petitions; two copies of each armory form plus two copies of any associated documentation, including petitions)
Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms"
Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related electronic files to email@example.com. In particular, the Laurel Clerk would very much appreciate e-mailed copies of all LoIs, LoCs, LoRs, et cetera.
Send roster changes and corrections to Lord Symond Bayard le Gris, Bruce R. Nevins, 2527 E. 3rd St., Tucson, AZ, 85716-4114, 520-795-6000, 520-795-0158 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org. College of Arms members can also request a copy of the current roster from Symond.
For subscriptions to the paper copy of the LoAR, please contact Symond, above. The cost for an LoAR subscription is $25 a year. Please make all checks or money orders payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms". For subscriptions to the electronic copy of the LoAR, please contact Laurel at email@example.com. The electronic copy is available free of charge.
For all administrative matters, or for questions about whom to send to, please contact Laurel Principal King of Arms, whose contact information heads this letter.
Pray know that I remain
François la Flamme
Laurel Principal King of Arms
Created at 2002-12-19T00:12:33