Laurel Letter of Pends and Discussion (LoPaD): February 23, 2007

Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

16308 SE 165th St
Renton, WA 98058-8221
+1-425-277-0763
herald@sca.org

For the November 2006 meetings, printed February 23, 2007

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

This letter contains the issues raised in the November 2006 LoAR for CoA discussion. The text in this letter is copied verbatim from that LoAR; it is provided here for convenience. As with a January 2007 LoI, these matters are currently scheduled for the Pelican and Wreath meetings in June 2007. Original commentary must be in the College's hands no later than March 31, 2007. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands no later than April 30, 2007.

  1. Alexander the Blue. Device. Per bend azure and argent, in bend three triquetras bendwise inverted between two dragons in bend sinister counterchanged.

    Blazoned on the LoI as Per fess argent and azure, two dragons rampant and three triquetras in fess counter changed, the line of division is actually per bend. Only about half the commenters correctly identified the field division, which was not visible on the mini-emblazon, and none noted the reversed field tinctures. This is pended to allow conflict checking with the correct field division and tinctures.

    This was item 2 on the Ealdormere letter of July 28, 2006.

  2. Mittainne von Wald. Device. Sable, an eagle displayed guardant between its wings a sun, in base a ducal coronet argent.

    Blazoned on the LoI as a sun eclipsed, the sun is entirely argent and therefore is not eclipsed. A sun eclipsed is treated as if it had a tertiary charge - a sable (or other tincture) roundel. This is pended for conflict checking with the absence of this tertiary charge.

    The submitter is a duke and entitled to display a ducal coronet.

    This was item 11 on the Trimaris letter of July 31, 2006.

  3. Steps from Period Practice or Weirdnesses. Issue.

    First, I would like to thank all those who took the time to comment on this issue. Reading the commentary it is clear that determining what should not be considered a step from period practice (SFPP) is much easier than determining what should be considered a SFPP.

    At this time I am proposing various modifications to part VII of the Rules for Submission, Compatible Armorial Content. The wording to be added is indicated like this. The example in VII.5 - Compatible Monsters is being changed, as a sea-unicorn was not created by the Society; it is found in the arms of Niemptscher, 1605 (Siebmacher 58). I would like your comments for the June decision meeting.

    PART VII - COMPATIBLE ARMORIAL CONTENT

    Every element in a piece of Society armory must be compatible with period armorial practices, as is required by General Principle I. 1. a. of these rules. This section defines the categories of elements that the College of Arms has generally found to be compatible, those which have been ruled not compatible, and those generally found to be a step from period practice (SFPP).

    1. Period Charges. - Ordinaries and other charges used in period armory may be registered.

    No charge that is documented as having been used in period European heraldry, including as part of a crest or badge, will be considered a step from period practice.

    Use of a charge in heraldry after 1600 does not guarantee its acceptability. Thus, even though they appear in modern British heraldry, DNA molecules and hydrogen atoms may not be used.

    2. Period Armorial Elements. - Lines of division, lines of partition, field treatments, and other elements used in period armory may be registered.

    Use of an element in period art does not guarantee its acceptability for armory. Use of the Greek key design, which was common in period decorative art, never carried over into armory. If an element of period art not otherwise used as a heraldic charge is determined to be registerable, it will be considered a step from period practice.

    3. Period Artifacts. - Artifacts that were known in the period and domain of the Society may be registered in armory, provided they are depicted in their period forms.

    A pen, for instance, must be depicted as a quill pen or other period form, not a fountain pen. A wheel must be depicted as a wagon wheel, not a rubber tire from an automobile.

    The use of artifacts that, though not found in period armory, follow a pattern of charges found in period armory, will not be considered a SFPP. For instance, there are so many examples of period tools being used in armory, that any tool documented as in use in Europe prior to 1600 is generally acceptable without being a SFPP. Artifacts that do not follow a pattern of charges found in period armory, such as an aeolipile, will be considered a SFPP.

    4. Period Flora and Fauna. - Flora and fauna that were known in the period and domain of the Society may be registered in armory.

    Specific types of flora and fauna documented as having been used as charges in period heraldry, including as crests and badges, will not be considered a step from period practice. This includes New World and sub-Saharan African flora and fauna.

    The use of flora and fauna native to Europe, including coastal waters, that cannot otherwise be documented as heraldic charges will not be considered a step from period practice. While some flora (such as roses and lilies) and fauna (such as lions and dogs) are much more common than others, there is still a wide practice of using a variety of flora and fauna in period armory.

    The use of flora and fauna native to the New World, Africa, Asia, and other non-European locales will be registerable if it is reasonable to believe that Europeans knew them in period. Their use will be considered a step from period practice. Consider a turkey and a manatee: they are both New World fauna, but the turkey is documented as part of a crest in period armory. The use of a turkey, therefore, is not a SFPP. The use of a manatee as a charge, pending evidence that it was used in period armory, is a SFPP.

    Hybrids or mutations of period forms known to have been developed after 1600 generally may not be used as charges. For example, the English Sheepdog may not be used in Society armory because it was developed after 1600.

    5. Compatible Monsters. - Monsters compatible with period armorial practice may be registered in armory.

    Monsters described in period sources may be used in the Society, even if they were not used in period heraldry. New monsters may be formed for Society use on the analogy of period monsters, so long as all components remain sufficiently identifiable in the compound monster. For example, the Society has created the sea unicorn fox parallel to the sea lion and sea horse. Adding wings to a non-winged creature is another common period method of creating heraldic monsters. Monsters described in period sources or created in a manner that follow period practice will not be considered a step from period practice.

    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. [Wreath: note that changes to these examples have been proposed and will be decided on at the January meeting]

    a. Compatible Charges - Charges that have been ruled SCA-compatible are considered a step from period practice.

    A ruling that a charge is SCA-compatible can change with new evidence. Charges that were in the past ruled a step from period practice may later be ruled unregisterable. Charges that were in the past ruled SCA-compatible because they were rare in period, or that have since been documented as period heraldic charges, are not a step from period practice. Examples of charges that are a SFPP include compass stars, lightning bolts, pawprints, and valknuts.

    b. Compatible Usages - Usages that follow a pattern so widespread that they would be considered unremarkable will not be considered a step from period practice.

    Usages are more constrained by classical heraldic design philosophy. Usages which are rare, such as those supported only by a single documented example, may be considered a SFPP. Such usages will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

    This is taken from this month's Cover Letter.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Elisabeth de Rossignol
Laurel Principal Queen of Arms


Created at 2007-03-15T23:25:51