Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
For the March 2020 meetings, printed May 19, 2020
To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Juliana Laurel, Alys Pelican, and Cormac Wreath, greetings.
We are pleased to announce that we received a single excellent application for Wreath, from Oddr řiŠlfason. We are pleased to appoint him as the new Wreath. He will step up in July; the transition has already begun.
For those who don't know Oddr personally, he lives in An Tir and has served as both Lions Blood (submissions) and Black Lion (principal herald). He's been active as a commenter and on Wreath's staff for years. We welcome him and look forward to working with him!
Recently, the question came up about how much heraldic difference we grant for type of flower. It arose with the submission of Adriana de Fleurs, Azure, three columbines slipped and leaved argent, pended on the LoAR of October 2019. The issue was potential conflict with the registered arms of Jonas Aquilian, Azure, three roses argent. Our current policy allows a DC to be granted for type of flower, but not the Substantial Change sufficient to clear conflict on its own.
When looking to period heraldry for guidance in a case like this, there are two patterns we like to consider: are there examples of one coat of arms containing two different types of flowers? That would suggest that those flowers were distinguished in period heraldry. And are there examples of the same arms recorded in different rolls as having different types of flowers? That would suggest that those flowers were not distinguished.
We've the added issue that we don't know the period blazons of many arms with flowers, and therefore don't know which flowers were intended. (Modern heraldic authors have the same issue: a lot of flowers are simply blazoned flowers by modern authors.) Nonetheless, we've identified a few cases that help us.
Three examples, from British sources, of arms with two different types of flowers would be the arms of Cooke, c.1520: Sable, on a chevron Or between three roundels argent three cinquefoils sable, on a chief argent three columbines azure slipped and leaved vert; the arms of West, d.1533, Argent, on a chevron sable between roses gules slipped vert a lily Or; and the attributed arms of S. Ethelburga or Eadburga, from Peter Le Neve's Book c.1480, Azure, three columbines pendant argent slipped vert crowned Or, in base three roses 2&1 gules seeded Or, all within a bordure gules platy. These suggest that period heralds made a distinction between roses (cinquefoils), affronty and with few petals, and columbines, trumpet-shaped and in profile.
On the other hand, we have multiple examples of the same coat of arms, in different rolls, with different flowers. We have too many examples of arms variously recorded with roses, cinquefoils, or sexfoils to not consider them as pretty much interchangeable in period British heraldry. Other examples are less commonly found, but pertinent: the arms of West, d.1533, shown with either roses or gillyflowers; the arms of Ruthall or Rowthall, 1523, ditto; the arms of Hornby, c.1520, shown with either gillyflowers or marigolds; and the aforementioned arms of S. Ethelburga, with garden lilies inverted instead of columbines. Most confusing were the arms of Forest, c.1525, with a chevron charged (depending on the source) with a rose between two gillyflowers, a gillyflower (pink) between two marigolds, a rose between two marigolds, or three gillyflowers.
The examples suggest that period heralds might not distinguish between trumpet-shaped flowers in profile; might not distinguish between flowers with few petals, affronty; and might not distinguish between multi-petaled flowers (and that the latter might or might not be shown in profile). Any flower not trumpet shaped might be interpreted as a rose simply because roses were so ubiquitous.
Flowers in other categories were too rarely found to allow us to draw concrete deductions. (Thistles, in particular, were much less frequent in period than in the Society.)
We've reached a point where a comprehensive ruling is needed, such as has been done for type of bird (Cover Letter, Nov 2003) and type of tree (Cover Letter, Dec 2018). We therefore rule as follows:
There is no difference for type between few-petaled flowers affronty (roses, sexfoils, poppies affronty, cherry blossoms, etc.). This is already our current policy.
There is no difference for type between trumpet-shaped flowers in profile (columbines, lilies, tulips, daffodils, etc.). There can be a DC for orientation (as between columbines and lilies when both are in their default).
There is no difference for type between multi-petaled flowers affronty (gillyflowers, chrysanthemums, daisies, etc.). Society practice doesn't normally depict such flowers in profile.
There is SC for type between few-petaled flowers affronty, multi-petaled flowers affronty, and trumpet-shaped flowers in profile.
Flowers that don't fall into the above categories (the all-encompassing "miscellaneous" category) will be treated as individual cases, by type. We are likely, for instance, to grant SC between thistles and the above categories. Lotus flowers in profile, though not an SC from the trumpet-shaped flowers, might still be granted a DC from them; however, lotus flowers affronty will be treated as multi-petaled flowers affronty.
As for foils, our current policies remain in force. We'll still grant difference between, e.g., a trefoil and a cinquefoil: we've not found instances where those charges were conflated. And we'll still grant no difference between a cinquefoil and a rose: we've plenty of instances for those. If further evidence is brought, we can consider it then.
For now, the germane point is that we now grant an SC between roses and columbines, allowing the registration of Adriana's submission.
The Letter of Pends and Discussion included a submission that raised the question between a heraldic whale and a natural dolphin, which existing precedent does not address. A heraldic whale is a monstrous beast-headed fish-like creature not unlike a heraldic dolphin. As used in the SCA, heraldic whales have distinctive though inconsistent features such as tusks and a spout, based upon various cartographic depictions. The whale is a period heraldic charge, found in period heraldic treatises such as de Bara's Blason des Armoiries (1581), though they do not include spouts or tusks. Without the distinctive features, the whale visually similar to a heraldic dolphin and thus no difference is granted between them. Additionally, we have a long tradition of not granting difference between natural and heraldic versions of the same charge. This is true of both dolphins and whales. However, it has also often been ruled that conflict is not necessarily transitive. The tusks, spout, and body proportions, if they were used consistently with no period heraldic example, would have made the charge visually distinct from a natural dolphin. However, due to both the lack of consistency in depicting heraldic whales in SCA heraldry and a period heraldic example which show none of these features, there is no compelling reason to provide a DC between a heraldic whale and a natural dolphin.
A heraldic whale conflicts with a natural whale
A heraldic whale conflicts with a heraldic dolphin
A heraldic dolphin conflicts with a natural dolphin
A heraldic whale conflicts with a heraldic dolphin
A "tricune" is an SCA-invented charged first registered to Uilleam Thorken Hardhans in February 1972, at which time it was noted "A tricune (Lat.: "triple wedge") is a geometric figure formed of three passion-nails conjoined in estoile at the heads." We currently define it as three passion nails in pall inverted conjoined at their heads. Effective immediately we will no longer use the term tricune. The six existing registrations have been reblazoned in this LoAR. The combination of three passion nails in pall inverted conjoined at their heads remains registrable but this blazon makes the nature of the charge combination clear. Submitters should be aware of potential unity of orientation issues if they elect to use this combination of charges.
While currently categorized in the O&A as mullets of three points, this collection of charges is not a mullet and does not conflict with mullets.
Fieldless badges with primarily (or exclusively) argent complex charges are among the most difficult designs to identify, as the default field for a paper form matches the tincture of the charge. In OSCAR, helpful commenters will sometimes add a contrasting background color to aid in identification. We feel that this is a useful technique, one that can be used judiciously in the actual armory submission.
Effective immediately, fieldless badges with argent charges may, at the discretion of the submitter and consulting herald, include a field to provide some contrast. The color of the field should not be any of the standard heraldic tinctures, nor close enough to be confused for them. For such purposes, we recommend a medium gray, somewhere between the RBG values of #777777 and #AAAAAA (decimal values "119, 119, 119" and "170, 170, 170"). This can be effected through a light rubbing of a graphite pencil on a paper submission. Importantly, it needs to be far enough from either argent or sable that it will not be confused for an actual field for registration purposes.
The gray backing, like the broken line denoting the square space for the badge on the form, will not be considered part of the registration itself.
This policy will be revisited as necessary.
Both heraldic titles and order names can be formed using the pattern Heraldic Tincture + Heraldic Charge. This month, we considered whether furs should be treated like other heraldic tinctures for these purposes, even though we have no evidence of such constructions in period.
Commenters pointed out that we already allow the use of some heraldic tinctures in order names and heraldic titles for which we do not have evidence in period. For example, we do not have examples of purpure/purple in period order names, yet we allow it in order names and heraldic titles in the Society. It would make no sense to non-heralds to treat furs differently from colors and metals.
Accordingly, effective as of the date of this letter, single-word fur tinctures, such as erminois, vair, ermine and pean may be used in order names and heraldic titles just like any other heraldic tinctures. More complicated furs, such as Argent ermined vert, may not be used.
We thank Cormac Wreath and Emma Temperance for their advice and assistance on this question.
This month, a Barony submitted two order names that used the registered names of a College and Canton under its aegis as part of the order names. This is permissible as long as the Barony supplies evidence that the subsidiary branch is part of the Barony and that the subsidiary branch was consulted and gave permission to the use of its name. Effective as of the date of this letter, this evidence should come in the form of a letter signed by the Seneschal of the Barony and the Seneschal of the subsidiary group (Canton, etc.) stating that the group was consulted and consented. Language in the following form will suffice:
We, [SCA name], Seneschal of the Barony of X, and [SCA name], Seneschal of [Subsidiary Group], hereby attest and confirm that [Subsidiary Group] was consulted and gave the Barony of X permission to use its branch name as part of the order name [Submitted Order Name], submitted by the Barony of X. We understand that this permission cannot be withdrawn once the order name is registered.
This letter should be signed with legal names and dated. We ask Palimpsest to updated Appendix D of the Administrative Handbook to include this form letter.
Please send information about happenings to major heralds and major happenings to all heralds to Laurel, so that it can be published here.
On April 4, 2020, at their last court, Cuan and Signy, King and Queen of Atlantia, endowed Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane, Metron Ariston Herald, former Laurel Queen of Arms, with the Award of the Fountain for acts of service to the kingdom of Atlantia.
On May 2, 2020, in Ansteorran virtual court, Their Majesties Sven and Cristyana did elevate Elena Wyth, former Bordure Herald (submissions), to the Order of the Laurel, largely for her work with parchment making and scribal arts.
And in sadder news, on May 7, 2020, Conrad von Zollern, a long-time herald of the Outlands and recently the Midrealm, passed away. He will be missed.
Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera are to be posted to the OSCAR online system. No paper copies need be sent. All submission forms plus documentation, including petitions, must be posted to the OSCAR online system. While black-and-white emblazons must be included in the Letter of Intent, only colored armory forms need to be posted in the forms area.
Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent to Trent Le Clair, 928 Frazier Dr, Walla Walla WA 99362
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". The electronic copy of the LoAR is available free of charge. To subscribe to the mailings of the electronic copy, please see the bottom of http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/lists.html#lists for more instructions.
For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.
Items listed below in square brackets have not been scheduled yet. For information about future scheduling, please review the status table located on the Web at http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=137.
The March Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, March 8, 2020 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, March 15, 2020. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: ∆thelmearc (07 Dec, 2019), Calontir (07 Dec, 2019), Avacal (18 Dec, 2019), An Tir (20 Dec, 2019), Ealdormere (24 Dec, 2019), Lochac (28 Dec, 2019), Artemisia (29 Dec, 2019), Caid (29 Dec, 2019), Atenveldt (30 Dec, 2019), Outlands (30 Dec, 2019), An Tir (31 Dec, 2019), Atlantia (31 Dec, 2019), Drachenwald (31 Dec, 2019), East (31 Dec, 2019), Meridies (31 Dec, 2019), Northshield (31 Dec, 2019), Laurel LoPaD (01 Jan, 2020), and Laurel LoPaD (03 Feb, 2020) (redraws). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Saturday, February 29, 2020.
The April Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, April 11, 2020 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, April 18, 2020. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Calontir (03 Jan, 2020), ∆thelmearc (04 Jan, 2020), An Tir (08 Jan, 2020), West (20 Jan, 2020), Middle (22 Jan, 2020), ∆thelmearc (24 Jan, 2020), Ealdormere (24 Jan, 2020), Northshield (26 Jan, 2020), Artemisia (27 Jan, 2020), Avacal (29 Jan, 2020), Outlands (29 Jan, 2020), Atenveldt (30 Jan, 2020), Lochac (30 Jan, 2020), Ansteorra (31 Jan, 2020), Atlantia (31 Jan, 2020), Caid (31 Jan, 2020), Drachenwald (31 Jan, 2020), East (31 Jan, 2020), Gleann Abhann (31 Jan, 2020), Laurel LoPaD (31 Jan, 2020), Meridies (31 Jan, 2020), Trimaris (31 Jan, 2020), and Laurel LoPaD (01 Mar, 2020). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
The May Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, May 10, 2020 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, May 3, 2020. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Middle (02 Feb, 2020), Calontir (07 Feb, 2020), An Tir (14 Feb, 2020), ∆thelmearc (23 Feb, 2020), Ealdormere (24 Feb, 2020), Northshield (25 Feb, 2020), Artemisia (27 Feb, 2020), Atlantia (27 Feb, 2020), Avacal (27 Feb, 2020), Laurel LoPaD (27 Feb, 2020), Outlands (28 Feb, 2020), Ansteorra (29 Feb, 2020), Atenveldt (29 Feb, 2020), Caid (29 Feb, 2020), Drachenwald (29 Feb, 2020), East (29 Feb, 2020), Meridies (29 Feb, 2020), and Laurel LoPaD (24 Mar, 2020) (redraws). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, April 30, 2020.
Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of posting 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.
Pray know that I remain,
Juliana de Luna
Laurel Queen of Arms
Created at 2020-05-19T21:24:20