Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

16308 SE 165th St
Renton, WA 98058-8221

For the March 2006 meetings, printed May 31, 2006

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Elisabeth Laurel, Jeanne Marie Wreath, and Margaret Pelican, greetings.

The March Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, March 25, 2006 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, March 12, 2006. The meetings considered the following letters of intent: Northshield (31 Aug 2005), Northshield (30 Sep 2005), Middle (15 Nov 2005), Ansteorra (19 Nov 2005), Ansteorra (20 Nov 2005), Ansteorra (21 Nov 2005), Artemisia (23 Nov 2005), Atlantia (23 Nov 2005), West (23 Nov 2005), ∆thelmearc (24 Nov 2005), Ealdormere (25 Nov 2005), Drachenwald (26 Nov 2005), Lochac (26 Nov 2005), Outlands (27 Nov 2005), Northshield (28 Nov 2005), An Tir (30 Nov 2005), Atenveldt (30 Nov 2005).

The April Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on April 15, 2006; the Wreath Roadshow at An Tir Heraldic Symposium on Sunday, April 8, 2006; and the Wreath meeting Sunday, April 30, 2006. The meetings considered the following letters of intent: Northshield (31 Aug 2005), Ansteorra (22 Nov 2005), Ansteorra (23 Nov 2005), Laurel (06 Dec 2005), Middle (16 Dec 2005), ∆thelmearc (18 Dec 2005), Ansteorra (19 Dec 2005), Meridies (19 Dec 2005), Artemisia (20 Dec 2005), Caid (21 Dec 2005), East (22 Dec 2005), Drachenwald (23 Dec 2005), Outlands (27 Dec 2005), Atlantia (28 Dec 2005), Northshield (30 Dec 2005), An Tir (31 Dec 2005), Calontir (31 Dec 2005), Siren (31 Dec 2005), Trimaris (31 Dec 2005).

The May Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, May 6, 2006 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, May 14, 2006. The meetings considered the following letters of intent: Calontir (31 Dec 2005), Atenveldt (06 Jan 2006), Laurel (06 Jan 2006), Middle (15 Jan 2006), West (18 Jan 2006), Caid (25 Jan 2006), Drachenwald (25 Jan 2006), Gleann Abhann (25 Jan 2006), Meridies (25 Jan 2006), Northshield (25 Jan 2006), Atlantia (26 Jan 2006), Palimpsest LoItuP (26 Jan 2006), Outlands (27 Jan 2006), An Tir (31 Jan 2006), Trimaris (31 Jan 2006).

For the information about future scheduling please review the status table located on the web at:

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.

From Wreath: Period Bottles

Recent submissions have raised the question of what period bottles would look like, and in particular, if the modern wine bottle was a period form of a bottle.

∆lfgifu verch Morgan has shared the following research with us. With her permission, this research is included here.

Ok, here is what I know about glass bottles and "wine bottles" during the general span of history covered by the SCA.

They used a great many sizes and shapes of glass bottles in period. While some had specific uses, they also would use a variety of shapes for the same purpose. Terms for shapes differed greatly from place to place and from times to time (much as terms for clothing and textiles changed or for foods, or anything else that was present in many cultures and time periods). The "wine bottle" shape was certainly in use during period, although not always with the same proportions and sizes that we see today. It also was almost definitely not thought of as a "wine bottle" It was probably just a bottle that happened to conform to our current modern ideas of what a wine bottle lookers like. Remember that when making things by hand there is a lot of variation, rather than with today's factory mold-injected bottles. There really didn't start being a specified group of "wine bottle" shapes until the end of period - around the time when decanting into corked bottles started coming into practice. Before that time, wine was usually stored in larger containers and decanted into a huge variety of serving containers including glass carafes, amphorae, bottles, and pitchers of many shapes as wells as vessels made of other materials (usually in pictures of large wedding feasts, for example, you will see a lot of huge pottery amphorae being used to serve for example). As for the comment someone made about seeing mostly ceramic and metal containers - there was a lot of cross-pollination between disciplines. There are many cases of imitation between different materials as trends changed, both in Europe and the Islamic lands.

Now, as far as actual bottles or bottles shown in pictures, here are some specifics:

In: Liefkes, Reino. Glass. V&A Publications, 1997. Pages 86 - 87 give a brief history of the blown production wine bottle. It starts in the mid-17th century, and ends with fully molded bottles which almost entirely replaced them after 1820. Basically, the mass produced wine bottle is out of period, and before that there were a wide array of bottles and other containers which might contain wine or other liquids.

In: Stiaffini, David. Il Vetro nel Medioeveo, Techniche Strutture Manufatti. TardoAntico e MedioEvo - studi e strmenti di archeologia. Fratelli apalombi Editori, 1999. On page 76 there is copy of a print of a 17th century glass shop with a pile of glass bottles next to the gaffer's bench. (from Giovanni Maggi). The bottles range from the Onion bottle to a thinner globe closer to the modern wine bottle. On page 100 there are cross section drawings of some 6th - 7th century glass bottles, including one that looks close to a modern wine bottle.

I also looked through about 20 other various glass books and generally I found a lot of "ovoid flasks" (obviously a modern designation), flasks, and bottles which resembled the modern wine bottle though were usually quite a bit smaller. I also found many "cylindrical bottles" with two little handles on the neck and bottles with one large handle that were a similar shape and closer to the right size. I found the occasional bottle that was wider and squatter (more like a liquor bottle), but had the same general silhouette and would involve the same blowing techniques as a modern wine bottle shape. I also found a lot of mold blown bottles with simple to complex patterns that had a similar overall shape, though were much more complex in details.

Ok, now that I have dizzied you with information, here is my conclusion about medieval bottles, flasks, and wine bottles. I would not choose to blazon something as a "wine bottle". Wine bottles were not a common designation as far as I can tell from looking at the history of bottles. In fact beer bottles that look more like wine bottles may have been more popular... If someone chooses to register a "bottle" or a "flask" a modern wine bottle shape is appropriate, although other bottle shapes were certainly more common and might be more appropriate. As with other areas of our re-creation, we have to be careful not to impose our modern ideas about what is medieval. Just because a wine bottle shape screams modern to us, it would have been just another bottle / flask shape to them.

On a side note, if a stopper is shown, cork is generally not appropriate. usually a slip of paper or cloth was stuffed in the top of a bottle to keep bugs out, or cloth was tied around the top of a bottle (hence the flair around the lip of many bottles) and sometimes covered with wax.

Given this research, we will register a bottle in any of the period forms, including the modern wine bottle. We will continue to use the blazon flask for those submissions resembling what we modernly call a flask, so that a emblazon created from the blazon will have a better chance of matching the registered emblazon.

From Laurel: Rules Changes

On her letter of 27 September 2005, Palimpsest suggested some cleanup to sections II through VI of the Rules for Submission, by updating examples to fit our current precedents and knowledge. We thank Palimpsest for the proposals, and we are grateful to the College of Arms for valuable commentary that improved the examples further.

RfS II.1 is changed to read:
1.Documented Names - Documented names, including given names, bynames, place names, and valid variants and diminutives formed in a period manner, may be used in the same manner in which they were used in period sources.

The name Bucephalus, although it is documented as the name of Alexander the Great's horse, should not be used as a name for a human. Pronunciation and spelling variants are linguistically valid if formed according to the rules for such variants in the language of the documented name. For example, the alternation of C and K at the beginning of names is a well-documented feature of Welsh. Therefore, both Cadogan and Kadogan would be permitted, even if only one of these forms had been found in period sources. Qadogan would not be permitted in a Welsh name, since Q does not alternate with C and K in Welsh.

RfS III.2.a.i is changed to read:
i. A byname may be one of relationship, like a patronymic or metronymic: filz Payn, Johnson, Bjarnardottir, GudrŠnarson, des langen Dietrich bruder 'brother of the tall Dietrich', ingen Murchada 'daughter of Murchad', Smythwyf, mac in tSaeir 'son of the craftsman', abu Sa'id 'father of Sa'id'.

RfS III.2.a.ii is changed to read:
ii. A byname may be a second given name; in most European cultures during most of our period this is a patronymic byname: John William, John Williams, or John Williamson, each of which means "son of William." Late in period in some cultures it may be the second part of a double given name: Gian Giacomo Caroldo.

RfS III.2.a.v is changed to read:
v. A byname may be a descriptive nickname: Osbert le Gentil, Skalla-Bjorn 'bald', Conrad Klein 'small', Klein Conrad, Robertus cum Barba 'with the beard', Ludolf metter langher nese 'with the long nose', Henry Beard, Rudolfus der Esel 'the Ass', Gilbert le Sour, John Skamful, Thorvaldr inn kyrri 'the quiet', Donnchadh Camshron 'hook-nose'.

RfS III.2.b.iv is changed to read:
iv.Household Names - Household names must follow the patterns of period names of organized groups of people.

Possible models include Scottish clans (Clann Domhnaill), ruling dynasties (House of Anjou), professional guilds (Baker's Guild of Augsburg, Worshipful Company of Coopers), military units (The White Company), and inns (House of the White Hart).

RfS IV.2 is changed to read:
2. Offensive Religious Terminology - Magical or religious terminology that is excessive or mocks the beliefs of others will not be registered.

Magical or religious words are not usually inherently offensive, but may offend by context. For example, although the name Muhammad is common in Arabic, the juxtaposition of it with reference to other religions, like Muhammad the Pope, could be considered a mockery. Use of an unusual number of religious elements might disturb both devotees and opponents of a particular religion.

RfS V.1.a.ii.a is changed to read:
(a) Bynames of Relationship - Two bynames of relationship are significantly different if the natures of the relationships or the objects of the relationships are significantly different.

Smythwyf is significantly different from Smithson because the nature of the relationship is significantly changed; it is significantly different from Tomwyf because the object of the relationship has been changed (from Smith to Tom). Mac Korkyll 'son of Torcull' is equivalent to nyk Korkyll 'daughter of the son of Torcull', and Richards is equivalent to Richard and to Richardson; in each case the sound is insufficiently different. Hobson is significantly different from Robertson, however, because Hob and Robert differ significantly in sound and appearance and are not being used in given names.

RfS VI.1 is changed to read:
1. Names Claiming Rank. - Names containing titles, territorial claims, or allusions to rank are considered presumptuous.

Titles like Earl and Duke generally may not be used as Society names, even if the title is the submitter's legal name. Names documented to have been used in period may be used, even if they were derived from titles, provided there is no suggestion of territorial claim or explicit assertion of rank. For example, Regina the Laundress is acceptable but Regina of Germany is not. Claim to membership in a uniquely royal family is also considered presumptuous, although use of some dynastic surnames do not necessarily claim royal rank. For example, there was a Scottish dynasty named Stewart , but there were also many other Stewart families so use of that surname does not link one unmistakably to the royal house. Hohenstaufen, on the other hand, seems to have only been used by the line of Holy Roman Emperors, so its use makes a clear dynastic claim. In some cases, use of an otherwise inoffensive occupational surname in a territorial context may make it appear to be a title or rank, such as John the Bard of Armagh or Peter Abbot of Saint Giles.

Send What to Whom

For all Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera, send one paper copy directly to each of the Sovereigns of Arms, Laurel, Pelican and Wreath at their mailing addresses as shown on the College of Arms Roster.

Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related paper, including

to the SCA College of Arms, PO Box 31755, Billings, MT 59107-1755.

Send the required electronic copies of all submissions-related files to This applies to all LoIs, LoCs, LoRs, et cetera.

Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent directly to the Society Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is acting as Laurel's chancellor of the exchequer, at Laurel Chancellor of Exchequer, 4N400 Church Rd, Bensenville, IL 60106-2928.

Send roster changes and corrections to Laurel. College of Arms members may also request a copy of the current roster from Laurel.

For a paper copy of a LoAR, please contact Laurel, at the address above. The cost for one LoAR is $3. 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 The electronic copy is available free of charge.

For all administrative matters, or for questions about whom to send to, please contact Laurel.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Elisabeth de Rossignol
Laurel Principal Queen of Arms

Created at 2006-06-15T01:49:47