Elisabeth's Armory Precedents

Armory Precedents of the SCA College of Arms

The First Tenure of Countess Elisabeth de Rossignol


Last Revised: 13 June 2015
Period Covered: 05/2005 - 07/2008

These are the armory precedents from the first tenure of Countess Elisabeth de Rossignol as Laurel Principal Queen of Arms. During this period armory rulings were made primarily by Baroness Jeanne Marie Lacroix, Wreath Queen of Arms. Decisions for May 2005 were made by Dame Gwenllian ferch Maredudd; decisions for July 2008 were split between Baroness Jeanne Marie Lacroix and Master Tanczos Istvan. Please verify all precedents you wish to use with the cited LoAR.

Cover Letter discussions are included in the compiled precedents; however, they are located under the relevant topic. A list of these discussions, with links to one of the categories each is included under, is included in the table of contents.

These precedents are referenced by armory owner's name, the date of the Cover Letter (CL) or LoAR in month/year format (not the publication date), the action taken (A for acceptance, R for return, P for pend), and the kingdom where the action is listed under. Unless otherwise noted at the beginning of a section, the precedents are arranged in chronological order.

The category VISUAL COMPARISON deals with rulings relative to a specific piece of armory (e.g., a branch is maintained) and descriptions of specific pieces of armory. These entries are listed alphabetically by the owner of the armory. The category MUNDANE ARMORY contains a list of real-world armory that has been ruled not important enough to protect. These entries are listed alphabetically by the owner of the armory. As much as possible, I have used the same categories as currently used in the Ordinary and Armorial. This means that in some case the categories differ from those used in precedents from prior tenures. Charges which were returned as unregisterable, and thus not matching any category in the O&A, are classified under CHARGE - Miscellaneous. These are listed in the Table of Contents.

The Table of Contents includes some cross-references; many of these begin with the category:

  • Animals, such as cats, dogs, and porcupines, are listed under BEAST
  • Birds, such as corbies, falcons, and ravens, are listed under BIRD
  • Insects and crustaceans, such as butterflies, crabs, and scorpions, are listed under ARTHROPOD
  • Monsters, such as dragons and unicorns, are listed under MONSTER
  • Fruits, nuts, and vegetables, such as apples, walnuts, and turnips, are listed under FRUIT
  • Flowers, such as roses and sunflowers, are listed under FLOWER
  • Foils, such as trefoils (including shamrocks) and quatrefoils (including clover, are listed under FOIL

The following heralds are referred to by title: al-Jamal (Da'ud ibn Auda), Albion (Aryanhwy merch Catmael), Argent Snail (Jaelle of Armida), Batonvert (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme), Black Stag (Zenobia Naphtali), Brachet (Frederick of Holland), Chevron (Hrorek Halfdane of Faulconwood), Clarion (Elsbeth Anne Roth), Crescent (Lachlan of Cromarty), Eastern Crown (Kolosvari Arpadne Julia), Electrum (David of Moffat), Golden Dolphin (Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane), Green Anchor (Gawain of Miskbridge), Metron Ariston (Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane), Nebuly (Walraven van Nijmegen), Saker (Einarr Grimsson), and Wreath Emeritus (Jeanne Marie Lacroix).

Jeanne Marie Lacroix
Noir Licorne Herald

Table of Contents (Armory)
ADMINISTRATIVE
ADMINISTRATIVE - Comments and Commenting
ADMINISTRATIVE - Permission to Conflict
ADMINSTRATIVE - Petitions
ANCHOR
ANNULET
ARCHITECTURE see also BEACON and CASTLE and WELL
Ark of the Covenant see BOX
ARRANGEMENT
ARRANGEMENT - Conjoined
ARRANGEMENT - Forced Move
ARROW and ARROWHEAD
ARTHROPOD - Ant
ARTHROPOD - Bee
ARTHROPOD - Beetle
ARTHROPOD - Butterfly
ARTHROPOD - Crab see ARTHROPOD - Lobster
ARTHROPOD - Dragonfly see ARTHROPOD - Butterfly
ARTHROPOD - Fly see ARTHROPOD - Bee
ARTHROPOD - Lobster
ARTHROPOD - Scarab see ARTHROPOD - Beetle
ARTHROPOD - Scorpion see ARTHROPOD - Lobster
AUGMENTATIONS
AWL
AXE
BALANCE
BASE
BEACON
BEAST - Antelope see BEAST - Deer see also MONSTER - Antelope
BEAST - Ass see BEAST - Horse
BEAST - Badger
BEAST - Bat
BEAST - Bear
BEAST - Boar
BEAST - Bull
BEAST - Cameleopard see BEAST - Other
BEAST - Cat
BEAST - Cow see BEAST - Bull
BEAST - Deer
BEAST - Dog
BEAST - Elephant
BEAST - Fox see BEAST - Dog
BEAST - General
BEAST - Goat
BEAST - Gopher see BEAST - Mouse
BEAST - Hare see BEAST - Rabbit
BEAST - Hedgehog
BEAST - Hippopotamus see BEAST - Other
BEAST - Horse
BEAST - Hyena see BEAST - Dog
BEAST - Ibex see BEAST - Deer
BEAST - Lamb see BEAST - Goat
BEAST - Lion see BEAST - Cat
BEAST - Monkey
BEAST - Mouse
BEAST - Onager see BEAST - Horse
BEAST - Other
BEAST - Otter see BEAST - Weasel
BEAST - Panda see BEAST - Bear
BEAST - Panther see BEAST - Cat see also MONSTER - Panther
BEAST - Porcupine see BEAST - Hedgehog
BEAST - Rabbit
BEAST - Raccoon see BEAST - Badger
BEAST - Ram see BEAST - Goat
BEAST - Rat see BEAST - Mouse
BEAST - Reindeer see BEAST - Deer
BEAST - Reremouse see BEAST - Bat
BEAST - Sheep see BEAST - Goat
BEAST - Squirrel
BEAST - Tiger see BEAST - Cat
BEAST - Weasel
BEAST - Wolf see BEAST - Dog
BEND and BEND SINISTER
BILLET
BIRD - Bird of Paradise see BIRD - Miscellaneous
BIRD - Chimney Swift
BIRD - Cock and Hen
BIRD - Cockatoo
BIRD - Corbie see BIRD - Raven
BIRD - Crane-shaped
BIRD - Crow
BIRD - Dodo see BIRD - Miscellaneous
BIRD - Dove
BIRD - Duck see BIRD - Swan-shaped
BIRD - Dunghill Cock see BIRD - Cock and Hen
BIRD - Eagle
BIRD - Falcon and Hawk
BIRD - Flamingo see BIRD - Crane-shaped
BIRD - Generic
BIRD - Goose see BIRD - Swan-shaped
BIRD - Hawk see BIRD - Falcon and Hawk
BIRD - Hen see BIRD - Cock and Hen
BIRD - Hummingbird see BIRD - Miscellaneous
BIRD - Magpie see BIRD - Raven
BIRD - Martlet
BIRD - Merlin see BIRD - Falcon and Hawk
BIRD - Miscellaneous
BIRD - Owl
BIRD - Peacock
BIRD - Penguin see BIRD - Miscellaneous
BIRD - Popinjay
BIRD - Raven
BIRD - Robin see BIRD - Miscellaneous
BIRD - Rooster see BIRD - Cock and Hen
BIRD - Russian Firebird see BIRD - Peacock
BIRD - Sandpiper see BIRD - Miscellaneous
BIRD - Simurgh see BIRD - Peacock
BIRD - Snipe see BIRD - Miscellaneous
BIRD - Swallow see BIRD - Miscellaneous
BIRD - Swan see BIRD - Swan-shaped
BIRD - Swan-shaped
BIRD - Vulture
BLAZON
BOOK
BORDURE
BOTTLE
BOX
BREAST
BROOM
CANDLESTICK
CANNON
CANTING
CARD PIQUE
CASTLE
CAULDRON
CHAIN
CHAIR
CHARGE - Maintained and Sustained
CHARGE - Miscellaneous Listed in alphabetical order
Flower Petals
Handkerchief
Lauburu
Ribbon
CHARGE - Overall
CHARGE - Peripheral
CHARGE - Restricted or Reserved
CHARGE GROUP
Cheese see FOODSTUFF
CHESS PIECE
CHEVRON and CHEVRON INVERTED
CHIEF
Claw see LEG and JAMBE
Clew of Yarn see ROUNDEL
CLOTHING - Belt see CLOTHING
CLOTHING - Glove see HAND and GAUNTLET
CLOTHING - Mantle see CLOTHING
CLOUD
COLLAR
COMET
COMPASS ROSE
COMPASS STAR and SUN
Complex lines of division with low contrast see IDENTIFIABILITY
COMPLEXITY
COMPONY
CONTRAST
COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK
Coral see TREE BRANCH
COTISES
COUNTERCHANGING
Counting Differences see DIFFERENCE - Counting
COUPED and THROUGHOUT
Cover Letters:
From Wreath: On Willows and Weeping Willows [06/2005 CL]
From Wreath: On Gurges and Schnecken [07/2005 CL]
From Wreath: Gyronny Arrondi [07/2005 CL]
From Wreath: Counting Differences [07/2005 CL]
From Wreath: On Whales [08/2005 CL]
From Wreath: Wings That Hold [08/2005 CL]
From Wreath - On Ibexes [01/2006 CL]
From Wreath: Period Bottles [03/2006 CL]
From Wreath: Augmentations of Arms [04/2006 CL]
From Wreath: On Pinecones [04/2006 CL]
From Wreath: On Rising [04/2006 CL]
From Wreath: Abstract Symbols [05/2006 CL]
FROM LAUREL - A Clarification [08/2006 CL] [JML: regarding circular chains]
From Wreath: Concerning Chevrons and Per Chevron Fields [09/2006 CL]
From Wreath: Panthers [11/2006 CL]
From Wreath: On Fishhooks [01/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Invected and Engrailed [03/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Concerning Peacocks [04/2007 CL]
From Laurel - On the Cross of Caid [05/2007 CL]
From Wreath - Concerning Wells [05/2007 CL]
From Wreath - Concerning Maltese Crosses [05/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Steps from Period Practice [06/2007 CL]
From Wreath: OSCAR and Mini-Emblazons [07/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Sunflowers Proper [07/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Bleu-Celeste and Other Tinctures [08/2007 CL]
From Wreath: On Falcons and Ravens [08/2007 CL]
From Wreath: On Bridges [09/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Linden Trees [09/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Poplar Trees [09/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Reblazoning Defaults [10/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Color Emblazons [10/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Charged Sails [10/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Eyes Proper [11/2007 CL]
From Laurel: OSCAR and Comments [12/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Hummingbirds Volant, Rising, and Hovering [12/2007 CL]
From Wreath: Maintained Charges and Marshalled Armory [12/2007 CL]
From Wreath: The Red Hand of Ulster [01/2008 CL]
From Laurel: Some Badges [02/2008 CL] [JML: regarding badges for former territorial barons and baronesses]
From Laurel: Order of the Pelican [02/2008 CL]
From Wreath: Drawing Piles [02/2008 CL]
From Wreath: On Sheaves [02/2008 CL]
From Wreath: On Grenades and Fireballs [02/2008 CL]
From Wreath: Strawberries Proper [03/2008 CL]
From Wreath: Saltorels [03/2008 CL]
From Wreath: Computer Colorizing [04/2008 CL]
From Wreath Emeritus: Fimbriated Ordinaries and Overall Charges [06/2008 CL]
From Wreath Emeritus: On Permission to Conflict and Difference [06/2008 CL]
From Wreath Emeritus: Concerning the Heads of Dogs, Wolves, and Similar Beasts [07/2008 CL]
CRAMPET
CRESCENT
Cresset see BEACON
Crests see PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Crests and Supporters
CROSS
CROSS - Difference Between
CROWN
CUP and CHALICE
Cylinder Sundial see TOOL - Astronomical
DEFAULTS
DICE
DIFFERENCE - Counting
DIFFERENCE - Group
DOCUMENTATION
DOCUMENTED EXCEPTION
Eel see REPTILE - Snake
EMBLAZON
EMBLAZON - Coloring Problems
Enflamed see FIRE
Entwined charges see CHARGE GROUP
ERMINE SPOT see also FUR
ESCARBUNCLE
ESCUTCHEON
ESTOILE
EWER
EYE
FEATHER
FER-A-LOUP
FESS and BAR
FIELD DIVISION - Barry
FIELD DIVISION - Bendy and Bendy Sinister
FIELD DIVISION - Chapé and Chaussé
FIELD DIVISION - Checky
FIELD DIVISION - Cheveronelly
FIELD DIVISION - Gyronny
FIELD DIVISION - Miscellaneous
FIELD DIVISION - Paly
FIELD DIVISION - Party of Six see FIELD DIVISION - Checky
FIELD DIVISION - Per Bend and Per Bend Sinister
FIELD DIVISION - Per Chevron and Per Chevron Inverted
FIELD DIVISION - Per Fess
FIELD DIVISION - Per Pale
FIELD DIVISION - Per Pall and Per Pall Inverted
FIELD DIVISION - Per Saltire see FIELD DIVISION - Miscellaneous
FIELD DIVISION - Quarterly
FIELD DIVISION - Vêtu
FIELD PRIMARY ARMORY
FIELD TREATMENT - Ermined see FUR see also ERMINE SPOT
FIELD TREATMENT - Miscellaneous
FIELD TREATMENT - Semy see SEMY
FIELDLESS
FIMBRIATED and VOIDED CHARGES
FIRE
FISH - Dolphin see FISH
FISH - Lobster see ARTHROPOD - Lobster
FISH - Ray see FISH
FISH - Skate see FISH
FISH - Whale see FISH
Fish Skeleton see FISH
FISHHOOK
FLAG
Flame see FIRE
Fleece see BEAST - Goat
FLEUR-DE-LYS
FLOWER - Amaryllis see FLOWER - Trumpet shape
FLOWER - Apple Blossom see FLOWER - Rose
FLOWER - Clover see FOIL - Quatrefoil
FLOWER - Columbine see FLOWER - Trumpet shape
FLOWER - Cup shape
FLOWER - Daffodil see FLOWER - Trumpet shape
FLOWER - Daisy see FLOWER - Multipetaled
FLOWER - Dogwood see FLOWER - Few petals
FLOWER - Few petals
FLOWER - Forget-me-knot see FLOWER - Rose
FLOWER - Fraise see FLOWER - Rose
FLOWER - Frangipani Blossom see FLOWER - Rose
FLOWER - Gillyflower see FLOWER - Multipetaled
FLOWER - Hemlock Blossom see FLOWER - Multifloreted
FLOWER - Iris
FLOWER - Lily
FLOWER - Multifloreted
FLOWER - Multipetaled
FLOWER - Periwinkle see FLOWER - Rose
FLOWER - Plumeria Blossom see FLOWER - Rose
FLOWER - Rose
FLOWER - Thistle
FLOWER - Shamrock see FOIL - Trefoil
FLOWER - Sunflower see FLOWER - Multipetaled
FLOWER - Teazel see FLOWER - Thistle
FLOWER - Thistle see FLOWER - Thistle
FLOWER - Trillium see FLOWER - Few petals
FLOWER - Trumpet Shape
FLOWER - Tulip see FLOWER - Cup shape
FLOWER - Wolfsbane Blossom see FLOWER - Trumpet shape
FOIL - Cinquefoil see FLOWER - Rose
FOIL - Quatrefoil
FOIL - Sexfoil
FOIL - Trefoil
Foot see LEG and JAMBE
FOODSTUFF
FOOTPRINT
Forced Move see ARRANGEMENT - Forced Move
Fountain see ROUNDEL
Fountain - Natural see ARCHITECTURE
FRET and FRETTY
FRUIT - Apple
FRUIT - Artichoke see FRUIT - Other
FRUIT - Berry
FRUIT - Cherry see FRUIT - Other
FRUIT - Chili Pepper see FRUIT - Other
FRUIT - Grapes see FRUIT - Berry
FRUIT - Hazelnut see FRUIT - Nut
FRUIT - Mushroom see FUNGUS
FRUIT - Nut
FRUIT - Other
FRUIT - Pineapple see FRUIT - Other
FRUIT - Pinecone
FRUIT - Pomegranate
FRUIT - Strawberry
FRUIT - Turnip see FRUIT - Other
FRUIT - Walnut see FRUIT - Nut
FUNGUS
FUR
FURISON
Garter see CLOTHING
Gate see ARCHITECTURE
Gorging or Gorged see COLLAR
GRANDFATHER CLAUSE
GRENADE and FIREBALL
Gridiron see TOOL - Other
GURGES and SCHNECKEN
Gyron see FIELD DIVISION - Gyronny
HAMMER
HAND and GAUNTLET
Handprint see HAND and GAUNTLET
HAT
HEAD - Beast
HEAD - Bird
HEAD - Human
HEAD - Jessant-de-lys
HEAD - Monster
HEART
HELM and HELMET
HORN - Creature
HORSESHOE
HOURGLASS
HUMAN
Iceberg see MOUNTAIN
IDENTIFIABILITY
Ink Pot see INKHORN
INKHORN
JAPANESE MON and CHARGES
JEWELRY
KEY
Keystone see ARCHITECTURE
KNOTS
LAMP
LEAF
LEG and JAMBE
Lighthouse see BEACON
LIGHTNING BOLT
LINES of DIVISION - Dancetty see LINES of DIVISION - Jagged
LINES of DIVISION - Dovetailed see LINES of DIVISION - Square
LINES of DIVISION - Embattled see LINES of DIVISION - Square
LINES of DIVISION - Engrailed see LINES of DIVISION - Jagged
LINES of DIVISION - Fleury see LINES of DIVISION - Miscellaneous
LINES of DIVISION - Grady see LINES of DIVISION - Jagged
LINES of DIVISION - Indented see LINES of DIVISION - Jagged
LINES of DIVISION - Invected see LINES of DIVISION - Jagged
LINES of DIVISION - Jagged
LINES of DIVISION - Long
LINES of DIVISION - Miscellaneous
LINES of DIVISION - Nebuly see LINES of DIVISION - Wavy
LINES of DIVISION - Raguly see LINES of DIVISION - Square
LINES of DIVISION - Rayonny see LINES of DIVISION - Long
LINES of DIVISION - Square
LINES of DIVISION - Wavy
Lizard see REPTILE - Lizard
Location see POSITION
LOZENGE
Maintained see CHARGE - Maintained and Sustained
Marshalled Arms see PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Marshalling
MASK
MONSTER - Amphisbaena see MONSTER - Dragon and Wyvern
MONSTER - Antelope
MONSTER - Calygreyhound
MONSTER - Chimera
MONSTER - Dragon and Wyvern
MONSTER - Firebird see MONSTER - Phoenix
MONSTER - Griffin
MONSTER - Humanoid
MONSTER - Lion-Dragon see MONSTER - Dragon and Wyvern
MONSTER - Merfolk
MONSTER - Mermaid see MONSTER - Merfolk
MONSTER - Miscellaneous
MONSTER - Oriental Dragon see MONSTER - Dragon and Wyvern
MONSTER - Panther see also BEAST - Cat, Lion, and Tiger
MONSTER - Pegasus
MONSTER - Phoenix
MONSTER - Pithon
MONSTER - Satyr see MONSTER - Humanoid
MONSTER - Sea-Bull see MONSTER - Sea
MONSTER - Sea
MONSTER - Sea-Dog see MONSTER - Sea
MONSTER - Seahorse see MONSTER - Sea
MONSTER - Sea-Lion see MONSTER - Sea
MONSTER - Sea-Unicorn see MONSTER - Sea
MONSTER - Sea-Wolf see MONSTER - - Sea
MONSTER - Seraph see MONSTER - Humanoid
MONSTER - Tyger see MONSTER - Miscellaneous
MONSTER - Unicorn
MONSTER - Vegetable Lamb see MONSTER - Miscellaneous
MONSTER - Winged
MONSTER - Winged Serpent see MONSTER - Pithon
MONSTER - Wyvern see MONSTER - Dragon and Wyvern
MONSTER - Yale MONSTER - Antelope
Moon see ROUNDEL
MOUNTAIN see also BASE
MULLET
MUNDANE ARMORY
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Nami see JAPANESE MON and CHARGES
NESSELBLATT
Norse Sun Cross see SYMBOL
Oar see SHIIP - Part
OBTRUSIVE MODERNITY
OFFENSE
OMBRELLINO
Orb see ROUNDEL
ORIENTATION see POSTURE categories
Pagoda see CASTLE
PALE
PALL and PALL INVERTED
PAW PRINT for PAWS see LEG and JAMBE
PEN BOX
Permission to Conflict see ADMINISTRATIVE - Permission to Conflict and PROTECTED and PROTECTABLE ITEMS
PILE and PILE INVERTED
PLANT
Plummet see TOOL - Carpentry
POLYGON see also TRIANGLE and LOZENGE
POSITION
POSTURE/ORIENTATION - Animate Charges
POSTURE/ORIENTATION - General
POSTURE/ORIENTATION - Inanimate Charges
PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION
PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Charge and Name Combination
PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Crests and Supporters
PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Marshalling
Prickspur see SADDLERY
PROPER
PROTECTED and PROTECTABLE ITEMS
RAINBOW
RECONSTRUCTIBILITY
REPTILE - Lizard
REPTILE - Snake
RfS X.4.g see ARRANGEMENT - Forced Move
RfS X.4.j.ii
ROUNDEL
Rune see SYMBOL
SADDLERY
Sail see SHIP - Part
Salamander see REPTILE - Lizard
SALTIRE
Scroll see BOOK
Seeblatt see LEAF
SEMY
Seraph's Wings see WINGS and VOLS
SFPP see STEP FROM PERIOD PRACTICE
SHEAF
SHEARS and SCISSORS
SHELL
SHIP
SHIP - Part
SICKLE
SIEGE WEAPON
Slow Match see ANNULET
SNAFFLE-BIT
Snake see REPTILE - Snake
Sparks see ROUNDEL
SPEAR
SPIDERWEB
SPINDLE
Sprig see PLANT
Spool of Thread see SPINDLE
Spur Rowel see MULLET
STAFF
STEP FROM PERIOD PRACTICE
Strike see ARCHITECTURE
Supporters see PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Crests and Supporters
STYLE
SWORD
"Sword and dagger rule" see CHARGE GROUP
SYMBOL
TABLE
TAIL
Thoughout see COUPED and THROUGHOUT
TIERCE and FLAUNCH
TINCTURE
Tinctureless see TINCTURE
TOOL - Artistic
TOOL - Astronomical
TOOL - Carpentry
TOOL - Eating
TOOL - Other
TOOL - Textile
Torch see BEACON
Trademark see COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK
TREE
TREE BRANCH
TRIANGLE
TRIDENT
TRIQUETRA
TRISKELE and TRISKELION
TROUSERS of NOBILITY
Valknut see TRIANGLE
Vegetable Lamb see MONSTER - Miscellaneous
Vine see PLANT
VISUAL COMPARISON Organized by the owner of the registered armory in question
Wall see FESS and BAR and FIELD DIVISION - Per Fess
Weirdness see STEP FROM PERIOD PRACTICE
WELL
WHEEL
Wind see CLOUD
Windmill see ARCHITECTURE
WINGED OBJECTS
WINGS and VOLS
WOLF'S TOOTH
Word see SYMBOL
WREATH

ADMINISTRATIVE
see also PROTECTED and PROTECTABLE ITEMS

[Badge for the Historian's office] The Historian is a deputy of the Chronicler and, as such, cannot have an independent badge registered for the office. Precedent states, "Badges may not be registered for officers (including deputy officers) if a kingdom or corporate level badge for that position exists. In November 1980, a badge was registered for the Chronicler of the Society for Creative Anachronism: Per pale sable and argent, two quills conjoined in pile counterchanged, a chief gules" [Artemisia, Kingdom of, 10/02, A-Artemisia]. [Ansteorra, Kingdom of, 05/2005, R-Ansteorra]
[badge] This was submitted on a device form in the belief that a household would have a device. The Adminstrative Handbook of the College of Arms section II.D defines a Personal Device as "The single piece of armory associated with an individual's Primary Society Name which uniquely identifies that individual." The same section defines a badge as "Any piece of tinctured armory other than a Personal Device or Branch Arms". A piece of armory assoiciated with a household is a badge, not a device. Precedent states:
This badge was submitted on a device form instead of a badge form. Badges must be submitted on the badge form, although the submitter is free to display it on any shape she desires. [Maredudd Angharad ferch Gwenhyfar, 10/00, R-Outlands]
[Cainder ingen hui Chatharnaig, 06/2005, R-Ealdormere]
[Argent, on a roundel azure a wolf sejant ululant argent] Because this was submitted on the required badge form, some thought that it should be reblazoned as Azure, a wolf sejant and a bordure argentLaurel ruled:
[Azure, a sun within an orle argent] The device is clear of ... Azure, an estoile of eight rays within an annulet and a bordure all argent. Even though an orle looks like an annulet on a round field, they are nonetheless separate charges: if this were drawn on the standard shield shape the difference would be given automatically and it is unfair to penalize the drawing when it is forced to be circular by administrative requirements. [Taliesin de Morlet, 03/01, R-Caid]
In the same manner Argent, a roundel azure and Azure, a bordure argent are not interchangeable, though they give that appearance when displayed on a round field. We decline to penalize the submitter for using the circular shape specified by our administrative requirements. [Rotheric Kynith, 07/2005, A-Caid]
... there is a blazonable difference, though no CDs, between this badge and her device. That difference would be sufficient for someone else to register this armory with a letter of permission to conflict. Therefore that blazonable difference is also sufficient for the submitter to register both pieces of armory. [Niamh ingen Maolán, 10/2005, A-Æthelmearc]
Both Khevron and Mattea are paid SCA members. The submissions appeared on June 22nd LoIs from their respective kingdoms. Khevron's badge was submitted to the West College of Heralds a day before Mattea's device was submitted to the Æthelmearc College of Heralds. Khevron's badge thus has precedence and may be registered. [Khevron Oktavii Tikhikovich Vorotnikov, 10/2005, A-West]
No forms were included with this submission. As such we are forced to return it. According to the Administrative Handbook IV.C "No submission, including any resubmission, appeal, change or release of a protected item, etc., shall be considered for registration until a complete set of paperwork is provided to the appropriate heraldic officer." [Xanthe Yfantes, 02/2006, R-Meridies]
[Badge for Thrown Weapons Marshal] This is being returned as badges may not be registered for officers (or deputy officers) if a kingdom or corporate level badge exists for that office. In particular, Laurel has previously returned a badge for a thrown weapons marshal:
[Badge for Thrown Weapons Deputy] This badge is for a deputy for the marshallate in charge of thrown weapons. Precedent is mixed about whether deputies to major offices may have Kingdom badges assigned to them, or whether they must use a corporate level badge. The Sovereigns of Arms and Laurel Clerk discussed the issue, and Laurel determined the following: A combat marshal must be quickly identifiable on the field during inter-kingdom wars. Thus, it is important that the badges for marshals should be the same throughout the Society. Such badges should therefore be registered at the corporate level, rather than the kingdom level. This is currently the case for the Equestrian Marshallate, whose badge was registered at the Society level as Sable, two tilting lances in saltire and in chief a chamfron Or. [An Tir, Kingdom of, 02/02, R-An Tir]
[Trimaris, Kingdom of, 02/2006, R-Trimaris]
There was some confusion as to whether this armory should be released or retained. The LoI stated that she wished to retain the armory as a badge but the forms said to release it. In general, the wishes stated on the form will supersede those listed in the LoI; however, in this case, we have received independent information indicating that the armory is to be retained. Since it is easier to release armory that is retained in error than to re-register released armory, we have elected to retain her prior armory as a badge. We ask submissions heralds to please make sure that the LoI and the submitted paperwork agree. If a submitter changes their mind, please indicate on the LoI why the LoI and the form disagree. [Gabriele Parr Pembroke, 08/2006, A-Trimaris]
From Wreath: OSCAR and Mini-Emblazons
This month a number of armory submissions have been returned as the mini-emblazon shown in OSCAR does not match the emblazon on the forms sent to the Laurel office. The Administrative Handbook section V.B.2.e requires "An accurate representation of each piece of submitted armory shall be included on the letter of intent. Such emblazons must be clearly labelled and large enough that all elements of the design may be clearly distinguished." We have consistently returned armory when the mini-emblazon has not matched the emblazon on the LoI.

Emblazons in OSCAR must still meet this requirement: they must be accurate representations of the emblazons sent to Laurel. Yes, there are scanner issues and tinctures may sometimes be in question (especially azure/purpure). However, the outlines must match.

At the July Wreath meeting it appeared that a significant number of emblazons were created by methods other than by scanning the form. In some cases the differences were minor; in other cases they were significant. In all cases they denied the commenters the opportunity to give reasoned opinions on the emblazon actually being registered. All such armory is being returned.

Submissions heralds, please resist the temptation to improve a questionable emblazon by "tweaking" it or cutting-and-pasting from another source of heraldic art. Even if the result is a marked improvement (and we concede it may well be), it's not what the client has submitted. As we register the emblazon, not the blazon, we need commentary on the drawing that will be in the files -- which means that drawing must match what's displayed in OSCAR. [07/2007 CL]
From Laurel: Some Badges
Among this month's submissions were eight badges, submitted by various Baronies of the Kingdom of Caid. The badges were intended for the use of the former territorial Barons and Baronesses of those Baronies. A good number of former territorial Barons and Baronesses are given the rank of Court Baron/Baroness upon stepping down from the baronial seat; the sole purpose of the badges seems to be to distinguish former territorial Barons/Baronesses from Court Barons/Baronesses who never held a territory.

This is a legal use of a Barony's right to register badges. Nonetheless, the Laurel Office questions the wisdom of registering badges for former territorial Barons and Baronesses.

First of all, it takes up heraldic "space" needlessly. While the badges submitted by Caid's Baronies are very similar (so much so that Letters of Permission to Conflict were included with the submissions), nothing would prevent the Baronies of a Kingdom from submitting wildly different badges, one per Barony, for their former territorial heads. A larger Kingdom could easily have more than a dozen separate badges, each protected from conflict, for the purpose of distinguishing former heads of Baronies. And the distinction, such as it is, for those former heads is minimal: those entitled to bear these badges are not raised in rank by doing so, but retain whatever rank they had before displaying the badge. The badges' only purpose is to differentiate Court Barons who were once territorial heads from Court Barons received at the Crown's will.

Second, it brings the Laurel Office and the Society College of Arms into a matter which should properly involve only the individual Kingdoms. The College of Arms does not regulate the forms of vicomital or baronial coronets, for instance, leaving such regulation to the Kingdoms and whatever sumptuary law they deem necessary. It seems reasonable that the College should likewise not concern itself with the tokens for former territorial Barons and Baronesses.

In the same vein, if such a distinction for former territorial Barons and Baronesses is deemed important, the proper venue for making that distinction is through either sumptuary laws, for those Kingdoms that practice them, or the rules concerning heraldic achievements, which each Kingdom sets for itself through its heralds and scribes. Registering a badge to mark a distinction usually denoted by regalia merely serves to confuse the two functions.

No one disputes the right of Baronies to register badges, or to reserve them for specific purposes or groups. Registering a badge for former territorial Barons and Baronesses is legal. However, we find we cannot encourage it, and would hope that other Kingdoms do not follow Caid's lead in this. [02/2008 CL]
This device is returned as the emblazon in OSCAR does not match the emblazon sent to Laurel: on OSCAR the lyre had strings, but on the forms sent to Laurel that area was solidly Or. The field should show between the lyre's strings.

While a slight difference (or even absence) of internal detailing when comparing the emblazon in OSCAR and that sent to Laurel is not grounds at this time for return, that is because the outline of the charge is uneffected. Such differences may be grounds for return when the differences hinder the identifiability of the charge. However, in this submission, the difference is greater than simple internal detail: the outline of the charge is altered in the area where the strings are located. This mismatch in outline is the reason for return. [Stiamhna Ó Miadhaigh, 02/2008, R-Middle]
We wish to remind everyone that, while we do try to list all reasons for return, administrative returns don't necessarily address all reasons for return. [Ainder ingen Demmáin, 04/2008, R-Atenveldt]
Examination of the forms at the meeting revealed that this was intended to be a joint badge with Rhiannon, though this was not mentioned on the LoI. We remind kingdoms that all owners of a joint badge should be listed in the "filing name" field on the LoI so that the CoA can comment on possible pretense, presumption, and other issues. Failure to list all the owners of a joint badge on the LoI may be grounds for pending or return. [Sian verch Gwilim ap Lewelin and Rhiannon verch David ap Madyn, 07/2008, A-Atlantia]

ADMINISTRATIVE - Comments and Commenting

From Wreath: Color Emblazons
In the past, when LoIs were primarily available only on paper, a mismatch in tincture between an emblazon and a blazon was cause for the submission to be pended; commenters generally had no way to determine the correct tinctures. With the advent of OSCAR, LoIs (for the most part) include color emblazons. If a color emblazon is present, and there is a mismatch in tinctures, the presumption is that commenters used the correct tinctures - those from the emblazon - in conflict checking. However, commenters are asked to note such cases in their commentary so that Wreath is aware that they really did note the correct tinctures. (This can be done simply by suggesting a corrected blazon in the commentary.) In general, submissions will not be pended for tincture mismatches when color emblazons are included in OSCAR. Exceptions may be made when there is reason to believe that commenters could not determine the correct tincture (e.g., azure/purpure mismatches that may have been unclear in the scan, or the scanned emblazon not matching the submitted paper emblazon). [10/2007 CL]
From Laurel: OSCAR and Comments
We understand that a number of commenters prefer to comment in OSCAR before reading commentary by others, and this is acceptable. But afterwards, others' commentary should be read. Issues may be raised by Wreath or Pelican - or by another commenter - that require additional input. When making decisions, it is assumed that all commenters have actually looked at all relevant commentary that was posted prior to their comments.

Consider the following - In the case of Valentino da Siena (An Tir) this month, the LoI was missing the emblazon. As the correction feature does not support the addition of emblazons, Lions Blood added the emblazon as a comment the same day that the LoI was posted (August 31st). Wreath must assume that commenters actually saw the emblazon, though at least one commenter noted in October that no mini-emblazon was present. Wreath's assumption is that anyone commenting after the emblazon was posted actually saw it; we hope that the emblazon was noted after the comment was posted and that the comment simply was not updated. [12/2007 CL]

ADMINISTRATIVE - Permission to Conflict

[Blanket permission to conflict with a fieldless badge] The letter granting blanket permission states "not identical to but at least one countable step different". As fieldlessness always provides a CD, even against another fieldless badge, this means that any armory that has a blazonable difference from this badge is registerable with this permission to conflict. A blanket permission to conflict may specify that the CD must come from something other than fieldlessness. [Daffyd of Emmett, 07/2005, A-Outlands]
This blanket permission to conflict is refused due to the condition that it apply to armory registered "outside Lochac only". Due to the mobility of those in the Society, armory registered in one kingdom is frequently displayed in another kingdom either for a single event (such as Pennsic or Rowany Festival) or long-term due to relocation of the owner. Given this, we decline to accept any geographically-restricted blanket letters of permission to conflict. [Willehelm von Tannenberg, 12/2005, R-Lochac]
This badge conflicts with Talanque, Azure, a horned demon's head erased Or. A letter of permission was received from Rowen Lynn of Woodvine as the executor of Talanque's estate in the modern world; however, proof that she is actually the executor was not included. [Avenel Kellough, 05/2006, R-Caid]
This blanket permission to conflict is rejected as it places geographic restrictions on the permission to conflict: the permission to conflict applied only to other Caidan baronies. Laurel has consistently declined such restrictions. Likewise, the restriction to a specific group of submitters (baronies) is grounds for rejection the blanket permission to conflict. [Angels, Barony of the, 02/2008, R-Caid]
Precedent states:
It has been requested that the long-standing SCA tradition of assuming that a submitter automatically grants himself permission to conflict should finally be enshrined, in writing, in these hallowed LoARs. Therefore, let it be explicitly known that a submitter is assumed to give himself permission to conflict with all names and armory registered to him individually or jointly." [Timothy of Glastinbury, 11/02, A-Ansteorra]
The question was raised whether or not this precedent applied where the conflicting armory is owned by the secondary owner of the submitted armory, as in this submission. The badge in this submission conflicts with Marc's badge Per bend sable and Or, a fleur-de-lys Or and a lozenge gules. As the badge in submission is owned jointly, both owners are assumed to grant permission for it to conflict with any armory that is registered to them individually or jointly. [Alianor atte Red Swanne and Marc d'Aubigny, 03/2008, A-Atlantia]
This badge is returned for conflict with the device of Laurelen Darksbane... This is the same conflict that existed for Barre's previous badge; however, he had a letter of permission to conflict at that time. Permission to conflict with one piece of armory does not extend to subsequent registrations (unless so noted in the original letter of permission to conflict). Barre will need a new letter of permission to conflict in order to register this badge.

Unlike armory registered with permission to conflict, armory registered without such permission to conflict does grandfather the conflict to the submitter. Thus, the conflict with the badge of Leon de Asturias, ... is grandfathered and not cause for return. [Barre FitzRobert of York, 04/2008, R-Atlantia]
From Wreath Emeritus: On Permission to Conflict and Difference
We would like to remind commenters that items registered with permission to conflict do not set a ruling on whether or not there is difference granted between particular designs unless otherwise stated. Standard policy is that we do not declare a difference if we are not forced to as part of the ruling. The presence of a Letter of Permission to Conflict removes the necessity for this declaration to be made. [06/2008 CL]
This blanket permission to conflict is returned as it contains a condition that cannot be enforced. The letter states "I grant permission to any future submitter to register armory that is at least one countable step different from my registered armory provided that any submitter registering armory that is only one countable step different from my registered armory also grant Permission to Conflict for any future submitters." While we sympathize with the submitter's desire, such a condition cannot be enforced and we must decline to accept the permission to conflict. [Tostig Logiosophia, 06/2008, R-Ansteorra]

ADMINISTRATIVE - Petitions

The petition that accompanied this device is a typed letter from the group's herald and seneschal, listing the names of canton members who, the letter stated, had expressed approval for the device. This petition is problematic in two ways. First, it contained no blazon or emblazon for the device. The Administrative Handbook, section IV.C.5, states, "A valid petition must include a clear description of the item submitted; either the blazon or emblazon is sufficient for a petition regarding branch arms, though both are preferable." Without either a blazon or an emblazon, we have no way of knowing what device the canton's members expressed approval for. Second, a typed listing of names is not a signed petition. As precedent states, concerning an emailed letter of permission to conflict, "Note that a signature is not a computer generated line of typescript giving the name of the submitter, it is a handwritten signature or a copy thereof" [Madallaine Isabeau de Cat, 11/01, R-Trimaris]. Without a valid petition listing the blazon and/or emblazon of the device signed by members of the canton, this submission must be returned. [Westmere, Canton of, 06/2005, R-Middle]
The submitted petition included two pages; the second page was invalid as a petition since it consisted solely of signatures. There was no indication what the signatures were supporting. Fortunately, there were sufficient signatures on the first page for it to be considered a valid petition without considering the second page. [Abhainn Iarthair, Canton of, 12/2005, A-Atlantia]
Please advise the submitters that the petition included with this submission was invalid as the sheet with signatures had neither the blazon nor the emblazon of the arms. At least one, and preferably both, must be included on every sheet with signatures for those sheets to be considered a valid part of the petition. [Gallows Oake, Shire of, 02/2006, R-Trimaris]
[Augmentation] No petition accompanied this submission. Any change to a territory's arms must be accompanied by a valid petition. [Windhaven, Barony of, 04/2006, P-Northshield]
The second page of the accompanying petition was invalid as it contained neither the blazon nor the emblazon of the submitted device; however, sufficient support was shown for the device on the first page of the petition that it can be registered. [Westmere, Canton of, 05/2006, A-Middle]

ANCHOR

[anchor] The LoI stated:
It seems that in the evolution of anchors, "...Curved arms began to replace straight arms in anchors early in the 19th century...", according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online ( http://www.britannica.com/ ), under Anchor. The large amount of curvature of the anchor's arms is a post period innovation. Period anchors had much straighter arms. The client will be informed of this.
While the Encyclopedia Britannica might be correct regarding anchors as used in navies, anchors as used in heraldry frequently had curved arms. See de Bara's Blason des Armoiries (dated 1581), p.64, for a nicely drawn example. [Juan Alonso de la Vega, 11/2006, A-Atenveldt]
The standard anchor includes the "timber", the stock or crosspiece, at the top. [Ailill mac Duib Dara, 02/2008, R-Caid]

ANNULET

[Argent, a rose within an annulet embattled on the inner edge sable] Several commenters suggested that this was equivalent to Argent, on a pellet a cogwheel argent charged with a rose sable, which would be returnable for having four layers. However, when blazoned as an annulet embattled on the inner edge the device is reproducible and avoids the style problem on four layers. It is therefore registerable. A complex line of division on the inner edge only of an annulet will be considered one step from period practice pending evidence of this treatment for anything other than ordinaries in period. ...

Some commenters argued that embattling only the inner edge of the annulet (the "inferior" edge) should not be worth a CD. The pertinent ruling was made by Da'ud Laurel:
[A bend potenty on the lower edge] "Conflict with [a plain bend]. Were the ordinary in this proposal potenty on both sides, it would be clear, but the majority of the commenters (and Laurel) did not feel that difference should be granted for this non-period treating of only one (and that the less visually important) side of an ordinary. The only period examples of treating one side of an ordinary which were noted was that of embattling the upper edge of an ordinary." (LoAR 11/90 p.15).
It was the absence of examples of ordinaries with only their lower edges treated that prompted the ruling. Examples have since been found of period ordinaries whose lower edges were treated: e.g., Siebmacher, plate 188, shows Argent, a bend raguly on the lower edge sable, in sinister chief a mullet of six points gules. With evidence that both the upper and lower edges of ordinaries could be independently treated, the ruling loses much of its force. We hereby overturn it and rule that treating either edge of an ordinary (or a charge of similar simplicity, such as an annulet) is worth a CD from the untreated charge. [Takeda Sanjuichiro Akimasa, 09/2005, A-Atlantia]
There is no difference between a sea-serpent involved and an annulet. [Friedrich Sybold, 01/2006, R-West]
[a slow match sable] This badge is returned for conflict with Conrad Breakring, Argent, an annulet fracted on the dexter side sable. There is a CD for adding the semy of sparks, but that is the only CD. Laurel has previously ruled "The consensus of the College was that a coiled match is visually too similar to an annulet to grant a CD between the two. (Kazimir Petrovich Pomeshanov, September, 1992, pg. 40)". The fracting of Conrad's annulet counts for no difference. [Cainder ingen hui Chatharnaig, 03/2006, R-Ealdormere]
[(Fieldless) A triquetra inverted argent within and conjoined to an annulet argent] This badge must be returned for visual conflict under RfS X.5. It is technically clear of Dabhaidh Orcheard's badge, (Fieldless) A triquetra within and conjoined to an annulet argent, but the lack of visual clue as to proper orientation lead to a strong likelihood of visual confusion. Please note that this is a special case; inverting a charge is generally worth a CD and in most cases also prevents visual conflict. The College is reminded that conflict calls under RfS X.5 must be made on a case-by-case basis. The visual significance of the important orientation-distinguishing parts of a charge - like the three points of the triquetra, or for that matter, the hilt and point of a sword - may be obscured by conjoining them with another charge. This is particularly the case when conjoining to an encircling charge, which doesn't have any orientation clues. While conjoining a sword within an annulet doesn't diminish the visual importance of its orientation, because a sword has a very visually clear orientation, this isn't as true of a triquetra. The diminishment of the triquetra's orientation, when conjoined within an annulet, reduces it to the point where orientation doesn't really count. [Arkill MacMillan, 10/2006, R-An Tir]
Neither a triquetra nor three annulets interlaced are period heraldic charges (both are apparently period ecclesiastical artistic motifs), so we cannot follow how period heralds would have counted difference between them. Therefore, based on a comparison of the emblazons, we are granting a CD, but not a substantial (X.2) difference, between three annulets interlaced and a triquetra (or three demi-annulets interlaced). [Vilhiálmr vetr, 12/2006, R-Ansteorra]
There was some question as to the registerability of the halo as it is an annulet, not a solid disk. The annulet-type halo improves the recognizability of the primary charge (by avoiding argent on Or). Either form of a halo is acceptable; they are artistic variants. [Ian Kirkpatrick, 12/2006, A-Caid]
[an annulet voided counterchanged] The annulet is a simple, geometric charge placed in the center of the field. This meets our stated requirements for voiding a charge. We advise the submitter to draw the solid parts of the annulet thicker to aid in identifiability. [Michael O'Brien, 01/2007, A-Artemisia]
[(Fieldless) A belt in annulo sable garnished Or] This badge is returned for conflict with ... Argent, an annulet fracted on the dexter side sable. There is no difference between an annulet and a garter, nor between a fracted annulet and a garter. [Giudo di Niccolo Brunelleschi, 02/2007, R-Calontir]
[Or semy of annulets sable] The LoI stated:
Consider Evan Little: Or, hurty., if the submission were alternately blazoned as Or semy of bezants fimbriated sable. Although an annulet has an independent heraldic existence it is still a roundel voided; still both are distinct period charges, and between the type and tinctures, we hope that this is clear.
This is not a conflict - there is at least a CD between a roundel and an annulet and another CD for the tincture of the charges. Just as Or, a bend Or fimbriated sable appears to be two bendlets, not a fimbriated bend, Or semy of bezants fimbriated sable appears to be annulets, not fimbriated bezants. Given the fact that, as the LoI noted, an annulet is a distinct heraldic charge we see no reason to treat the charge as anything other than an annulet. [Shanda MacNeil, 03/2007, A-Atenveldt]
[annulets engrailed on the outer edge and invected on the inner edge] This device is returned for non-period style of the annulets. An annulet engrailed would have the points of the interior and exterior lines pointing in opposite directions. As drawn, the charges are not recognizable as annulets or any other heraldic charge. [Franz von Heilbronn, 03/2007, R-East]
This device is returned for non-period style. While we have some evidence for a small number (such as three) charges interlaced, we have not yet found any period evidence for large groups of interlaced charges. This is effectively a lozenge of chain mail. Just as we do not find (e.g.) a triangle of brocade in period heraldry, we have not yet found a shape made of chain mail in period heraldry. Lacking such examples, this must be returned for non-period style. [Diego Brasa de Zaragoza, 04/2007, R-Middle]
[An annulet of flame] The submitted badge is also clear of ... an open penannular brooch, pin to base ... While a penannular brooch is granted no difference from an annulet, both are granted a CD from an annulet of flames. [Wiesenfeuer, Barony of, 06/2008, A-Ansteorra]

ARCHITECTURE see also BEACON and CASTLE and WELL

There is a CD ... for the difference between a well and a natural fountain. If not specified, a natural fountain has three tiers. [Alexandria Wright, 06/2005, A-Atlantia]
[a single-arched bridge] This device is returned for conflict with the badge of Cadwalladyr Stone of Stonecroft, Vert, a dolmen of three uprights capped by two lintels argent. There is a CD for the field. The dolmen is insignificantly different from a bridge - and we do not grant a CD for the number of arches in a bridge. [Iain Cinnsealach, 06/2007, R-Atlantia]
From Wreath: On Bridges
The bridge is a period heraldic charge, with examples found in England (e.g. the arms of Trowbridge), Germany (the civic arms of Kitzing), and elsewhere. It's a popular charge in the Society as well, but over the years an entirely different form has developed.

Bridges in period heraldry varied somewhat, but there were some features that remained the same. All the examples we've found have been throughout; all have had at least three spans or arches. Most had water flowing under the arches, and a fair number were embattled along the top edge. A few had towers separating the arches, but that seems to have been a purely artistic point.

In the Society, however, the typical bridge is not throughout, does not have multiple arches, and has no water beneath it. The most common form has two towers with a single span between them. Current policy grants no difference in Society armory between a castle and a bridge, and given our usual non-period depiction of the latter, the policy makes sense.

There are probably too many not-throughout bridges already registered to try to amend our definitions. We hereby rule officially that, in Society armory, the default bridge is not throughout. (It's easy enough to blazon a throughout bridge when one is submitted.) However, we also rule that, in Society armory, there is no default number of spans; the number must, in every case, be explicitly blazoned. A bridge drawn in the period style -- throughout, three or more spans -- will be granted difference from a castle, per RfS X.4.e. And, at the risk of sounding metaphorical, we'd like there to be water under the bridge. [09/2007 CL]
There is a CD between a column or a tower and a cylinder sundial. [Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, 10/2007, A-Caid]
There is a CD between a tower and a windmill with its sails in the default orientation (in saltire). This does not contradict the 1994 precedent:
[Returning Argent, a windmill, sails in cross, within a bordure embattled azure.] The sails of the windmill are effectively invisible here, even on the large emblazon. As a consequence, not only is the primary charge unidentifiable (itself grounds for return), but there are several conflicts [with towers]. [5/94, p.18]
When a windmill's sails are set in cross, two of the sails become effectively invisible - they appear to be part of the tower. This increases the resemblance between the windmill and a tower. There continues to be no difference granted between a windmill with its sails set in cross and a tower. [Aleksandr the Traveller, 02/2008, A-East]
[A strike argent] As the LoI noted:
The strike, or strake, is a period heraldic charge, found in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, both the original version (c.1480-1500) and the current version (1533) ("Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London", Bromley & Child, pp.197-200). The strike is a matrix of tin or pewter nodules of equal weight, fastened by thin strips and attached to a handle for easy carrying. In use, the pewterer snips off as much or as little metal as needed to fill a melting pot.

This is clear of the badge for Robert of Sacred Stone, (Fieldless) A portcullis argent. As a portcullis and a strike are both period charges, and as we have no evidence that the charges were interchangeable in period, we will grant a CD between the two. There is a second CD for fieldlessness.
The LoI is correct: there is a CD between a portcullis and a strike as both charges are period charges and there is no evidence that they were considered interchangeable by period heralds. We also note that the chains that are part of a properly drawn heraldic portcullis provide a visual difference between a portcullis and a strike.

We note that this is the same charge that Parker (p. 372) identifies as a limbeck. [Gerhart von Altenberg, 02/2008, A-Caid]
[a windmill issuant from an earthen mount proper] This is returned as there is no defined proper tincture for dirt; dirt can vary significantly in color from red to brown to white. The ground beneath a windmill, like that of a beacon, is an optional detail worth no difference. However, a windmill actually issuant from a mount or a trimount would be a CD from a windmill. [Katheline van Weye and Ryan Dollas, 05/2008, R-Atenveldt]
We grant a CD for changing the tincture of a windmill's sails, therefore the sails must be drawn such that they are half the charge. The sails on this windmill are too small, which is also grounds for return. [Katheline van Weye and Ryan Dollas, 05/2008, R-Atenveldt]
This form of a keystone appears to be a modern stylization originating with the State of Pennsylvania. Unless documented to period, the use of this form of the charge in SCA heraldry will be considered a step from period practice. [Steven Desjardins, 07/2008, A-An Tir]

ARRANGEMENT
see also ARRANGEMENT - Forced Move and ARRANGEMENT - Conjoined

[Per bend argent and azure, two bendlets azure and three mullets of six points Or] Blazoned as in bend on the LoI, the mullets are not really in bend; however, they are drawn offset in an attempt to fill the space. Precedent states:
[in base three millrinds two and one] The millrinds' arrangement was not originally explicitly blazoned on the LoI, but it was blazoned on the form. On a shield shape three charges in base will be two and one by default, but this is not necessarily the case on other shapes, such as a rectangular banner. Since the submitter explicitly blazoned the charges in base as two and one, we have reinstated this term. If the submitter would prefer to have this left as a matter of artist's licence, she may request a reblazon. [Áine Sindradóttir, 10/02, A-Atlantia]
Similarly in this case, the placement of the charges on the azure portion of the field will vary depending on the shape the device is displayed on. As the submitter did not blazon the position of the charges, and as they fall between in bend and two and one, we are leaving the exact placement as a matter of artistic license. [Brian Sigfridsson von Niedersachsen, 12/2005, A-Atenveldt]
Blazoned on the LoI as an orle of crosses, the crosses do not form an orle, which would be evenly distributed about the edge of the shield. Nor can these simply be blazoned as six crosses three, two, and one, as that would not have the large gap between the crosses in chief and those in base. The emblazon shows three crosses above the lion and three mostly below the lion, thus the blazon between six crosses. [Elinor Phyllyppes, 05/2006, A-Northshield]
From Wreath: Concerning Chevrons and Per Chevron Fields
We've had a number of submissions recently, using either a chevron or a per chevron field, with three charges in the area above the chevron line. Sometimes these three charges have been one and two; sometimes they've been in fess. The question has naturally arisen as to which of these is the default placement for three charges in that sort of design.

The fact is that neither placement is particularly good heraldic style. Neither of them fills the space available for the charges. The area above a chevron line is best suited for two charges, with the space below the line for a third charge. Two and one is the default placement for three charges for good reason: that placement best fills the heater shape that is the standard medium for heraldic display. Anything else, almost by definition, is sub-optimal.

It's true that there are rare period examples (very rare) of three charges above a chevron line: e.g., the arms of Robert Pakington (Collins' Roll, c.1295), Per chevron sable and argent, in chief three pierced mullets argent (Anglo-Norman Armory II, p.498). In those cases, the charges are arranged in fess, not one and two. That will be considered the SCA default for three charges above a chevron line. But it remains likewise true that such a design is poor style by period standards: its rarity, its difficulty in blazoning, and the fact that it does not efficiently use the space available for the charges, are all evidence of this.

Whether or not there's a CD for arranging three charges in fess or in chevron above a chevron or the upper portion of a Per chevron field will be worked out over time, as the cases come before us. In many instances, e.g. using long charges, this difference is nearly impossible to discern and thus not worth a CD. [09/2006 CL]
[Three fish fretted in triangle] This arrangement of fish is found in Guillim's Display of Heraldrie, p.240: "He beareth, Azure, three Trouts Fretted in Triangle, Teste a la Queue, Argent, by the name of Trowtebeck. We vse these words Teste a la Queue, in Blazon, to signifie the manner of their Fretting." Teste a la Queue translates to Head to Tail, which we feel is not needed in SCA blazon. We advise the submitter that drawing the fish more like those in Guillim, i.e. with the head and tails less obscured by the body of the adjacent fish, will aid in their identification. [Frozen Mountain, Shire of, 10/2006, A-An Tir]
[two wolves ... each charged on the hip] The non-standard location of the tertiary charges hinders their identifiability, but not fatally so. For beasts, the standard location for a tertiary charge is generally the shoulder, which gives the most room for the charge. Given the placement of these tertiary charges, we recommend that the wolves' hips be drawn wider so that the tertiary charges can be made larger and more visibly crescents. [Úlfr Edmundarson, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
[Per fess vert and sable, three swords in pile inverted, tips crossed, proper] The LoI stated "Consider Deaton Claymore, badge: Vert, two claymores in saltire surmounted by a third inverted proper. There is a possible RfS X.5 Visual Test conflict, with the orientaiton [sic] of the swords, although we're hoping that there is not." There is not a visual conflict - the field and arrangement are sufficiently different. Nor is there a technical conflict, with CDs for the field and arrangement. We note that there is not a CD for the type of sword, nor is there a CD for changing the orientation of one of three charges in this arrangement. [Alysandir Velzian, 06/2007, A-Atenveldt]
[in annulo five arrows fracted in their centers so as to form a mullet voided] The very fact that the arrows are broken and arranged to resemble a mullet voided is likewise a reason for return: we have no evidence that this sort of arrangement is a period heraldic motif. While charges can be conjoined to form a mullet in Society armory (e.g. five pheons conjoined, hafts inward), the charges in question shouldn't be fracted or otherwise distorted to accomplish this: such treatment goes beyond the limits of the acceptable. [Reyni-Hrefna, 10/2007, R-Æthelmearc]
[Argent, nine dogs statant three, three and three sable] This is equivalent to Argent semy of dogs statant sable; however, as the number and arrangement are important to the submitter we have retained the submitted blazon. Nine is the most charges that can be enumerated in this manner. As Black Stag notes:
Surely, a period drawing of 9 items on a shield of this form would have one of the items taking up that uncomfortably blank spot in base. (3, 3, 2 and 1 most likely...) Whereas I wouldn't distinguish 9 items in orle from 7 items in orle or 13 items in orle in a blazon, here I think the "3 3 and 3" arrangement is important enough that - since the submitter seems to want it - it is something we should strongly consider registering. It seems a logical extension of the standard Iberian arrangement of 2 2 and 2. It also seems a logical extension of the standard division of the field into 9 parts (cross quarterpierced/checky of 3... call it what you will.)
[Lyubava Volchikha, 01/2008, A-Calontir]
[Per chevron vert and argent, three Latin crosses flory one and two Or and a turtle vert] This device is returned for conflict with ... Per chevron azure and argent, three Latin crosses flory Or and an ash sprig vert. No difference is granted for the change in arrangement of the crosses (from in fess to one and two). The September 2006 Cover Letter stated "Whether or not there's a CD for arranging three charges in fess or in chevron above a chevron or the upper portion of a Per chevron field will be worked out over time, as the cases come before us. In many instances, e.g. using long charges, this difference is nearly impossible to discern and thus not worth a CD." In this case, the crosses are long charges and the difference is nearly impossible to discern, therefore a CD is not granted. [Aurora Cecilia da Castel di Sangro, 02/2008, R-Caid]
[three horses passant in annulo] Blazoned on the LoI as in annulo widdershins, precedent states:
Rowen Brithwallt. Name change (from Kitare-no-kami Satoko Hinoki no Kiyowara) and device change. Per pale vert and azure, a harp contourny argent between three seals naiant in annulo ermine. There was some question as to the blazon of the seals. My feeling is that the in annulo placement visually dominates, and thus subsumes, any specification of direction. Widdershins vs. deasil is simply an artistic nuance of in annulo, and need not be blazoned." [LoAR 08/1993].
[Kolfinna of Bergen, 04/2008, A-Atenveldt]
[Per bend argent and purpure, a bend counterchanged and in sinister chief three trefoils vert] Submitted on a lozenge, the trefoils were blazoned on the Letter of Intent as in bend. This is not necessary, as it is the default placement of three charges in chief on a per bend field, on this shape of heraldic display. By not over-specifying their placement, we make it clear that the charges are filling their available space. And should this device be displayed on a heater or a square banner, they can be placed to still fill the space (two and one, in those cases) without needing a change of blazon. [Geillis inghean Phóil uí Shirideín, 06/2008, A-Outlands]

ARRANGEMENT - Conjoined

[Argent, three foxes courant in annulo conjoined at the feet gules] This badge is returned for conflict with ... Argent, a tricorporate fox gules, marked proper. [Vulpes vulpes]. A tricorporate fox has three bodies with a single head. We typically do not grant a CD for conjoined versus not conjoined, therefore there is only a single CD for the postures of the foxes (courant versus erect). [Emer ingen Meic Aedain, 09/2006, R-Ealdormere]
[(Fieldless) A triquetra inverted argent within and conjoined to an annulet argent] This badge must be returned for visual conflict under RfS X.5. It is technically clear of Dabhaidh Orcheard's badge, (Fieldless) A triquetra within and conjoined to an annulet argent, but the lack of visual clue as to proper orientation lead to a strong likelihood of visual confusion. Please note that this is a special case; inverting a charge is generally worth a CD and in most cases also prevents visual conflict. The College is reminded that conflict calls under RfS X.5 must be made on a case-by-case basis. The visual significance of the important orientation-distinguishing parts of a charge - like the three points of the triquetra, or for that matter, the hilt and point of a sword - may be obscured by conjoining them with another charge. This is particularly the case when conjoining to an encircling charge, which doesn't have any orientation clues. While conjoining a sword within an annulet doesn't diminish the visual importance of its orientation, because a sword has a very visually clear orientation, this isn't as true of a triquetra. The diminishment of the triquetra's orientation, when conjoined within an annulet, reduces it to the point where orientation doesn't really count. [Arkill MacMillan, 10/2006, R-An Tir]
[a chevron between a mullet of eight points and a cannon mounted in a ship's carriage] This device is returned for conflict with the device of Frae Fitzalleyne, Gules, issuant from a chevron, a demi-dragon rampant, in base a cinquefoil, all within a bordure, all Or. There is a single CD for changing the type of secondary charges. Even though Frae's dragon is issuant from the chevron, it is still a secondary charge. No difference is granted for the fact that it is conjoined to the chevron while Thomas's mullet is not. Nor is there a CD for changing the number of secondary charges. [Thomas Cyriak Bonaventure, 07/2008, R-Atenveldt]

ARRANGEMENT - Forced Moved

[Per bend indented Or and azure, a decrescent and a garb counterchanged] This conflicts with Brian Gam, Per bend sinister Or and azure, a decrescent and a garb counterchanged. There is a CD for changes to the field.

Catelin's arms may be blazoned Per bend indented Or and azure, in sinister chief a decrescent azure and in dexter base a garb Or. Brian's arms may be blazoned Per bend sinister Or and azure, in dexter chief decrescent azure and in sinister base garb Or.

The charges may not lie on a portion of the field with which they have no contrast. Catelin's charges could not be arranged like Brian's because each charge would have no contrast with half of the field on which it lies. The charges must change their arrangement. Because this change in arrangement is "caused by other changes to the design" - the changes to the field - it is not worth difference per RfS X.4.g for arrangement changes. [Catelin of Coventry, 06/2005, R-West]
[in fess two straight trumpets vs in pale two straight trumpets bendwise the bells alternatively [sic] in chief and base] There is a second CD under RfS X.4.g for changing the arrangement from in pale to in fess - inverting the trumpet does not force the arrangement change, thus these can be considered independent changes. [Heraldshill, Shire of, 12/2005, A-Calontir]
[Per chevron sable and argent, three clouds one and two argent] This badge is returned for conflict with Gabbriella Mocenigo's device, Per chevron sable and argent, two winds respectant argent and a moon in her plenitude sable. ... Nor is there a CD for changing the arrangement of the charges. RfS X.4.g states "Changing the relative positions of charges in any group placed directly on the field or overall is one clear difference, provided that change is not caused by other changes in the design." Making the third cloud argent requires that it be moved to the sable portion of the field, therefore any change in arrangement is caused by this change in design and a CD cannot be obtained for the difference in arrangement. [Hidden Mountain, Barony of, 06/2006, R-Atlantia]
[Sable, in chief a dragon couchant Or and a gore Or papellony gules] This device is returned for conflict with ... Sable, a dragon dormant Or. There is a CD for adding the gore; however, the gore forces the dragon to move and thus there is not a CD for the position of the dragon. RfS X.4.g states "Changing the relative positions of charges in any group placed directly on the field or overall is one clear difference, provided that change is not caused by other changes in the design." Adding the gore forces the dragon to move, thus its location cannot grant CD. This overturns the precedent set in September 1990 (Christoph von dem Schwarzwald, A-Ansteorra):
[A cross, vs. a cross in chief between two gores] "There is a CVD for moving the cross to chief and another for addition of the gores" [implying that the move to chief isn't forced] (LoAR 9/90 p. 1)
[Miklos Temesvari, 10/2006, R-East]
[Per fess rayonny gules and azure, in chief a Oriental dragon passant Or] This device is clear of the device of Joseph the Good, Gules, a Japanese dragon passant Or. There is a CD for changes to the field and another for the unforced moved of the dragon. Tatsukawa's dragon could overlie the line of division; the fact that we would most likely return such a submission for obscuring a low-contrast, complex line of division does not mean that the dragon is forced to chief. If the field were per fess rayonny gules and Or or per bend gules and Or, the dragon would be forced to chief due to the lack of contrast with part of the field. There is no such contrast problem with the submitted field division. [Tatsukawa Morihide, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
[Per pale sable and argent, in pale three crosses crosslet Or] As Matheus's crosses cannot be arranged two and one (since that would place an Or cross entirely on the argent portion of the field), the change from two and one to in pale must be considered a forced move and not worth a CD. [Matheus Mac Eoin, 02/2008, R-Middle]
[a chi-rho between in fess two crosses] This device conflicts with the device of Gareth de Bailli, Azure, a Saxon feogh rune between two bars Or. There's a CD for type of secondary charges, but no difference for their placement: the placement of Gareth's bars is forced by the nature of the charges. [Constantina von Ravenna, 05/2008, R-West]

ARROW and ARROWHEAD

This device is returned for redrawing of the pheon; it lacks the central fitting that would allow it to be attached to an arrow shaft. [Sabine d'Antan, 01/2007, R-Lochac]
A number of recent submissions have shown confusion between pheons and broad-arrows. We grant no heraldic difference between these charges, but (as with shamrocks and trefoils) blazon the distinction for the artist's sake. See Parker, pp. 23 and 455, for illustrations of their forms.

The pheon seems to be a peculiarly English charge: a steel arrowhead, with a ferrule where the arrow's shaft is inserted, and the inner edges engrailed. It's found in the arms of Sydney, Earl of Leicester, mid-16th C. (Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 19). The broad-arrow is identical, save that the inner edges are straight, not engrailed. It was used as a Royal badge for the Butlery as early as 1330 (H. Standord London, "Official Badges", Coat of Arms, July 1956, pp. 93-100). [Alessandro von Florenz, 02/2007, A-Lochac]
The term crossbow bolt is acceptable for these charges. The Society has long allowed a wide variability in crossbow quarrels and bolts, and many are indistinguishable from arrows. While they are significantly different from an archer's point of view, heraldically there is no difference. [Ailill mac Duib Dara, 07/2007, R-Caid]
[a whistling arrow] ... included a photograph from the Museum of Anthropology (University of Missouri at Columbia), showing a whistling arrowhead from 13th C. Mongolia.

The documentation showed that the artifact existed in period Mongolia -- not that it was known to period Europeans, as required by RfS VII.3. Given that the documented period contact between Mongols and Europeans (albeit mostly of a combat nature) is enough to allow Mongol names to be registered, and that weapons are the class of artifact most likely to be known by both sides of that combat, we will grant the submitter the benefit of the doubt that the whistling arrow might have been known to period Europeans. As with non-European flora and fauna that may have been (but not documented as) known to period Europe, non-European artifacts that may have been known are registerable but considered a step from period practice. Documented proof that the Europeans knew of the artifact in question is best; the suitability of artifacts lacking this documentation for use in Society armory will be determined on a case-be-case basis. [Karin Ollesdotter av Augvaldsnes, 12/2007, A-An Tir]

ARTHROPOD - Ant

Emmet is an Old English term for an ant and is an acceptable heraldic term. Parker, under Emmet says "see Ant" Under Ant, he states "Of the insects of the animal kingdom there are but few representatives. The ants, and with them the emmets, may be mentioned..." He then gives the blazon for the arms of Massy: Argent a bend azure between three emmets sable. Franklyn and Taylor, p. 119, define emmet as "[O.E.] an ant, a herd insect of the Hymenopterous order. Sometimes called a pismire, and likely to be depicted in numbers...". [Wilhelm of Caid, 06/2006, A-Caid]

ARTHROPOD - Bee

[Gules semy of bees, a beehive Or] There was a question of possible conflict with Piers DeGrey, Gules, a beehive and a bordure Or. As the Pictorial Dictionary (s.v. Beehive) notes, if a beehive is beset by bees, this fact should be blazoned. In fact, Piers's armory does not depict any bees. Therefore there is a CD for adding the semy of bees ... [Therasia Mellita, 07/2005, A-Atlantia]
[Argent, in pale a bee statant bendwise proper] This device is returned for violating RfS VII.2.b - Contrast Requirements. The bee's wings have no contrast with the field and the bee itself has poor contrast with the field. A bee proper is not neutral - it is primarily metal. Please advise the submitter to draw larger wings so that the bee has a chance to make it back to his hive. [Violet Elliott, 07/2006, R-Atenveldt]
Blazoned on the LoI as bees proper, the wings are Or, not argent, thus they are not proper. Changing the tincture of a bee's wings is a CD, as the wings are half the charge when the bee is in its default posture (volant en arriere). [Brokenbridge, Canton of, 09/2006, P-East]
[a bee vs. a fly] ... but nothing for changing the type of insect. [Hannibal Beman, 04/2008, R-Ansteorra]
[a bee proper] The submitted badge does not conflict with ... bee displayed barry sable and Or, winged Or, nor does it conflict with ... A bee Or. In each case there is a CD ... for changing the tincture of the wings, which are considered to be half the charge. [Hannibal Beman, 04/2008, R-Ansteorra]

ARTHROPOD - Beetle

There is no defined form for a scarab either heraldically or in Egyptian art. The presence of the wings and the presence of a roundel between them must be specified but whether the roundel is conjoined to the wings and/or the forelegs is considered an unblazoned, artistic variant, as is the presence or absence of a smaller roundel maintained by the hind legs.

Scarabs were known artifacts in period and are registerable under RfS VII.3. [Arsenda of Calais, 12/2005, A-Atenveldt]

ARTHROPOD - Butterfly

The monarch butterfly is assumed to have been known to period Europeans; the Smithsonian National Zoological Park website (http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Whats_in_a_name/default.cfm?id=17) notes that the monarch butterfly was "named by early North American settlers, who saw its bright orange colors and thought of the King of England, William of Orange." As settlers were in North America prior to this, it can be assumed that they were familiar with the butterfly under a different name. The use of this charge is considered one step from period practice. [Andelcrag, Barony of, 11/2005, A-Middle]
[Or, three monarch butterflies proper] The outer edge of a monarch butterfly is sable; thus there is sufficient contrast between the orange and black butterfly and the Or field. [Andelcrag, Barony of, 11/2005, A-Middle]
Per precedent (q.v. George Anne, 05/2002), a dragonfly inverted is one step from period practice. [Vatavia, Barony of, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
... a CD ... for the difference between a dragonfly and a papillon (or butterfly). [Ursula Crichton, 02/2008, A-Middle]

ARTHROPOD - Lobster

There was some question as to the registerability of a crab inverted. Laurel has previously ruled:
A significant number of commenters felt that inverting a tergiant charge which is commonly found as tergiant (such as a tergiant scorpion or a frog) does not hamper the identifiability of the charge so much as to render it unidentifiable, and they felt that it should be acceptable. The frog in this submission certainly retains its identifiability very clearly in the inverted posture. As a result, inverting a tergiant charge is acceptable as long as it does not otherwise violate any basic heraldic principles, including the requirement for identifiability. Because of the lack of period evidence for tergiant inverted charges, the posture will be considered a clear step from period practice (also known informally as a "weirdness") for any charge that cannot be found in this posture in period. [George Anne, 05/02, A-Æthelmearc]
The crab in this submission certainly retains its identifiability very clearly in the inverted posture and is acceptable, though a step from period practice. [Decimus Aurelius Gracchus, 02/2006, A-Trimaris]
The fact that this scorpion has a straight tail is an unblazoned artistic detail. [Alastar O'Rogan, 07/2006, R-East]
This submission generated a lot of commentary on the difference (or lack thereof) between a crab, a lobster, and a scorpion. Research by Black Stag and Batonvert indicates that in some areas, such as France, Flanders, and Germany, there is little or no difference in the depiction of crabs and lobsters or between scorpions and lobsters. In other areas, such as England and Italy, there is clearly a difference between the way a crab and a lobster is depicted. Unfortunately, the SCA College of Arms - unlike period Colleges of Arms - covers a diverse region geographically (and chronologically). Given the evidence supplied, we find that no difference can be granted between a crab and a lobster. We are also upholding the precedent that grants no difference between a lobster and a scorpion (q.v.,Robert of Aroe, 06/1992). The period examples we have found with crabs that look like lobsters show a straight, often flared, tail. The period examples we have of scorpions all have curved tails. Conflict is not transitive, and as we are aware of only a single SCA-registration of a scorpion with a straight tail, we will grant a CD between a crab and the standard SCA-depiction of a scorpion with its curved tail. [Lucas Colbert, 02/2007, A-Trimaris]
A scorpion is tergiant by default. [Robin the Ruthless in Battel, 01/2008, A-West]
The use of a lobster tergiant inverted, like other crustaceans, while acceptable, is considered a step from period practice. [Francisco Langosta, 02/2008, A-Northshield]

AUGMENTATIONS

[Gules, a tower Or within a laurel wreath, in chief three mullets argent, all within a bordure embattled Or and for augmentation, on a canton azure four crescents conjoined in saltire points outward argent] Unfortunately, this must be returned for redraw. The base device does not match the barony's current device, Gules, a tower Or, the base environed of a laurel wreath, in chief three mullets argent, all within a bordure embattled Or, which means that this is a change of device as well as an augmentation. ...

This is an acceptable form of augmentation, even though one of the mullets is obscured. [Southron Gaard, Barony of, 02/2006, R-Lochac]
From Wreath: Augmentations of Arms
Several questions were raised this month regarding augmentations of arms.

Do augmentations of arms count against the four-item registration limit? No, an augmentation of arms does not count against this limit. We protect both the augmented and unaugmented form of a device; the fact that we keep the unaugmented version registered is to make this clear (and to make conflict checking easier). This will be clarified in the next edition of the Administrative Handbook.

What happens when an augmented device is retained as a badge? Badges cannot have an augmentation of arms, only devices can. When someone does a device change and retains the old device as a badge, only the underlying device becomes a badge. The augmented form of that armory is no longer protected. This is a clarification and extension of existing precedent:
It is important to note that if armory is changed with a previously existing augmentation, it is possible for that augmentation to become incompatible with the underlying armory due to the armory change. When this happens, the augmentation is not "automatically grandfathered", because (as noted in the Cover Letter to the October 2003 LoAR) "Augmentations do not have an existence separate from the arms that they augment, and therefore are not independently protectable entities."

As an example, consider the case of a submitter with the hypothetical armory Or, a pall inverted vert, for augmentation, in canton an estoile azure, who then submits a device change for the underlying device to Vert, a pall inverted Or, and for the augmented device to Vert, a pall inverted Or, for augmentation, in canton an estoile azure. The augmentation would violate RfS VIII.7, which states that "The augmentation must itself follow the armory rules", in conjunction with the ruling in the LoAR of August 1997, p. 26, which stated "Barring documentation of large numbers of period augmentations that break the rule of tincture, we are unwilling to register this practice."

Because the old augmentation is not compatible with the new device change, Laurel would be forced to (without extra direction from the submitter) register the new device change (unaugmented) and return the augmented device change. The "old augmented device" could not be retained as a badge and thus must be released. At the end of this series of actions, the submitter would no longer have a blue estoile augmentation on his list of registered items. In order to avoid this situation, the submitter could, as part of the original submission, add an administrative note to the submission indicating that, if the changed augmented arms were not registerable, the unaugmented device change is to be withdrawn, and the previous device (augmented or not) is to be retained. [Kathryn of Iveragh, 02/04, R-Outlands]
Does an existing augmentation of arms automatically apply to a new device? No. When doing a device change only the right to the augmentation carries over to the new device. A specific augmentation does not automatically apply to the new device; it is always possible that the existing augmentation couldn't be used on the new device. Thus if the new device is to be augmented, a new augmentation of arms must be submitted. That is, when changing the base device of augmented arms, the augmentation must be resubmitted as a separate action. If the augmentation is identical to the existing augmentation this is an administrative action (meaning there is no cost). If any part of the augmentation has changed, this is a change of augmentation and must be paid for.

Can you have more than one augmentation? Yes, sort of. The Crown grants the right to an augmentation, just as they grant the right to arms. The actual form of the augmentation is registered by the submitter, and like a device, they only get one augmented device (though it may have more than a single augmentation). Once registered, the only way to change it is to re-register: you can't have it be one thing one day and another thing another day. Thus you could not have both Argent, a unicorn sable and for augmentation a chief azure and Argent, a unicorn sable and for augmentation a canton azure registered to the same person at the same time. It is vanishingly rare for someone in the SCA. to receive more than one augmentation, and as rare (or rarer) in our period in the real world.

However, we have considered how to handle SCA registration policies for someone with more than one augmentation. An SCA person will register a single "unaugmented" device, and that individual may then register a single "augmented device". An individual may not register more than one "augmented device", even if he has received more than one augmentation. If someone was granted more than one augmentation, and wishes to reflect these augmentations in his registered armory, then all of the multiple augmentations need to be reflected in the single piece of augmented armory.

So, if someone had the hypothetical simple armory Vert, a ypotrill rampant to sinister argent and received one augmentation from a Crown (for heraldic efforts) that individual might elect to register an augmented version: Vert, a ypotrill rampant to sinister argent, for augmentation, the ypotrill maintaining and blowing a straight trumpet fesswise reversed Or

Then if this worthy individual receives another separate augmentation from a different reign (for work in the Seneschalate), the recipient might submit a change to the augmented version of the arms: Vert, a ypotrill rampant to sinister argent, for augmentation, the ypotrill maintaining and blowing a straight trumpet fesswise reversed Or, and also for augmentation, in chief a key fesswise argent.

Note that, as infamously happened post-period to Admiral Nelson, it is possible for multiple augmentations to cause the underlying armory to be unidentifiable. A multiply augmented submission will not be registered if the underlying armory is unidentifiable with all augmentations displayed at once.

If someone had as their initial augmented device Or, three krakens gules and for augmentation, on a canton azure a crescent argent then the armory would be sufficiently identifiable even though one of the three krakens was obscured by the overlying canton. This is the sort of obscuration of a group of identical charges that we might expect in period armory. Similarly, one might be able to register a different kind of obscuring charge that maintained the overall identifiability of the underlying group: Or, three krakens gules and for augmentation, overall on a bend sinister vert three mullets argent.

However, a multiply augmented person could not register Or, three krakens gules and for augmentation, on a canton azure a crescent argent, and also for augmentation, overall on a bend sinister vert three mullets argent. This multiply augmented version leaves almost none of the underlying coat identifiable, and so must be returned. [04/2006 CL]
This is returned as the base device is being changed as well as the augmentation, with the dragon's claws changing from in pall to in pall inverted, but no paperwork was received for the change of the unaugmented device. This was intended to be solely a change in augmentation; however, as emblazoned, the submission also included a change in the base coat as well as the change in augmentation. These are two separate but not independent actions. If the submitter wishes this device, she will need to resubmit with a device change and an augmentation change. If she wishes to change only the augmentation, she will need to resubmit the augmentation change with the emblazon matching her currently registered base coat (Sable, an annulet surmounted by three dragon's claws in pall conjoined at the tips argent. [Minowara Kiritsubo, 04/2006, R-Atlantia]
[Augmentation] No petition accompanied this submission. Any change to a territory's arms must be accompanied by a valid petition. [Windhaven, Barony of, 04/2006, P-Northshield]
[Device change] Her previous device, ..., is retained as a badge. As only a device may bear an augmentation, the augmented form of her previous device is no longer protected. [Ysabella Celestina Manrique de Palma, 04/2006, A-Trimaris]

AWL

There is no default orientation for awls in the SCA. [Gwenlian Catharne, 08/2005, R-An Tir]
[(Fieldless) An awl, point to chief argent] This is being returned for conflict with Helva of Saxony, Vert, a full drop spindle argent. There is no visual difference between a loaded drop spindle and the awl as depicted here; there's a single CD for fieldlessness.

We've found no evidence of awls used as period heraldic charges. Awls are certainly period artifacts: a discussion of medieval awls can be found at the website, "Footwear of the Middle Ages" (www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/shoe/RESEARCH/GLOSSARY/bdefa.htm) in their glossary under 'Awl'. Awls would therefore be registerable under RfS VII.3, provided they're depicted in a period form and provided they're recognizable solely from their appearance, per RfS VII.7. And it would appear that a needle mounted on a wooden handle is, indeed, recognizable as an awl of some type. They've been registered before, in the device of Huszar Ferenc (reblazoned elsewhere on this LoAR).

The trouble is that the awl depicted in this submission doesn't match the illustrations on the website above (which were taken from period sources). It's visually similar to, and therefore conflicts with, a full drop spindle. The awls depicted in Huszar Ferenc's device would conflict with bodkins. There doesn't seem to be a standard depiction of an awl in heraldry, even modern heraldry. Therefore, whether any given awl will conflict with another charge has to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

We would suggest the client resubmit with a period form of awl. In particular, we recommend one of the first two examples of medieval awls from the above website: they have distinctive handles and are least likely to be confused with other charges. Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme has provided examples of these awls, which can be found at the end of the LoAR. [JML: The referenced examples can be seen at http://heraldry.sca.org/loar/2005/08/awls.jpg] [Gwenlian Catharne, 08/2005, R-An Tir]
This is the defining instance of a graver, a handheld engraving tool. A period depiction of a graver can be seen in a painting of St. Eligius at his work by Niclaus Maneul, 1515 (John Cherry's Medieval Crafts: a Book of Days, p.50). A graver is negligibly different from an awl, and as with an awl, the orientation must be explicitly blazoned. [William Graver, 05/2006, A-Calontir]

AXE

Due to the various ways that axes can be drawn, there is no difference for the orientation of one axe head (blade to dexter versus blade to sinister). [James de Hagethorn, 04/2006, R-Northshield]
[halberd] There is a CD ... for the difference between a spear and a halberd. [Sárán mac Ímair, 10/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
Blazoned on the LoI as a halberd, the haft of a halberd is much longer proportion to the blade than that shown in this emblazon. We have thus reblazoned the charge as a battle-axe. [Edric the Bastard, 02/2008, A-Meridies]
[an axe] This was registered on the February 2008 LoAR with the blazon ... an adze .... At the time the maintained charge was reblazoned from a Franciscan axe. The submitter has requested that the charge be blazoned as some type of axe, at the very least as an adze-axe. He points out that the term adze is generally associated with a woodworking tool and is unlikely to reproduce the submitted emblazon. We note that this form of adze (doloire, hache - it has various blazons) is found in period heraldic art in the Ingeram Roll, c.1450 (plate 104, the arms of Sturmfeder), and in illuminations as the symbol of St. Matthias (as seen in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, plate 115). However, as he desires this to be more clearly identified as an axe we are reblazoning it as such. Any form of an axe may be depicted with this blazon, though the most common depiction will be a battle-axe. [Chrystofer Kensor, 03/2008, A-Calontir]

BALANCE

There is a CD between a hanging balance and a standing balance ... [Talia of the Middle, 11/05, A-Middle]

BASE
see also MOUNTAIN

[Or, a garb gules atop a trimount sable] The garb overlaps the trimount slightly. As Nebuly notes "It is quite common in central European heraldry to find a charge atop a trimount that also overlaps the mount just a bit." For example, the Armorial de Gelre, 1414, fo.40, shows a bird standing on a trimount with its feet slightly overlapping the trimount's edge. [Gisela vom Kreuzbach, 09/2005, A-East]
[Azure, a maunch between on a chief argent three fleurs-de-lys azure and on a base argent a fleur-de-lys azure] This device is returned for non-period style. With the top and bottom of the shield the same color, and carrying the same charges, heraldic convention demands that this be blazoned Argent, on a fess between four fleurs-de-lys, three and one, azure a maunch argent. However, the "fess" is drawn so wide that it blurs the distinction between what heraldic custom dictates and what the eye sees. If the submitter wishes this basic design, it should be emblazoned such that the center portion of the shield is clearly a charged fess. If the submitter wishes to keep the maunch the primary charge, we'd suggest removing either the chief or the base (assuming no conflicts, of course). [Azemars Martel, 12/2005, R-Artemisia]
[a point pointed engrailed] Precedent states:
[A chief triangular embattled] With very rare exceptions (e.g. in combination with enarched lines), the use of two or more complex lines on the same charge is confusing, and unattested in period armory. (Wavy raguly? Embattled rayonny? I think not.) In this case, the chief could be either embattled or triangular --- but not both. (Johann Götz Kauffman von Erfurt, December, 1992, pg. 20).
A point pointed is would fall under the same constraints as a chief triangular, thus drawn as a point pointed engrailed this would be returned for using two complex lines of division. [Mairgreg ingen Chailtigirn, 05/2006, R-Calontir]
We wish to remind the College that a point pointed is by default ployé; a point pointed with straight sides is an unblazoned variant. We are aware that a few points pointed have been explicitly blazoned as ployé in the past; however, all points pointed can be drawn ployé. [Cairn Fell, Shire of, 06/2006, A-Lochac]
[on a base wavy argent a barrulet wavy azure] Blazoned on the LoI as a ford proper, a ford needs at least four traits. [William Scott of Blackwater, 06/2006, A-Meridies]
[Per fess embattled azure and argent, a fleur-de-lys argent and a ford proper] This badge is returned for conflict with the badge of Catelin Parry the Patient, (Fieldless) A fleur-de-lys argent. In the case of Bernard ben Moshe ha-Kohane (LoAR of April 2003), a design with Per fess embattled Or and sable ... in base three bars wavy Or was held to be equivalent to Per fess embattled Or and barry wavy sable and Or.... The same could be said of this design; unlike the other submissions from the barony, this is the only one that combines a ford and a field divided per fess. By the above precedent, this badge is equivalent to Per fess embattled azure and barry wavy argent and azure, in chief a fleur-de-lys argent; and it thus conflicts with Catelin's badge. There's a single CD for fieldlessness; placement on the field doesn't count when comparing fielded armory to a fieldless badge. [Havre de Glace, Barony of, 08/2006, R-East]
[a base rayonny] Drawn with three rayons, there needs to be at least one more rayon in the rayonny - and doubling the number would be better. [Friedrich Sybold, 09/2006, R-West]
Blazoned on the LoI as Argent, a mullet of two interlocking mascles, a chief and a base vert, the use of a chief and a base together is unacceptably poor design. As was noted in the return of Azemars Martel, Dec 2005:
This device is returned for non-period style. With the top and bottom of the shield the same color, and carrying the same charges, heraldic convention demands that this be blazoned Argent, on a fess between four fleurs-de-lys, three and one, azure a maunch argent. However, the "fess" is drawn so wide that it blurs the distinction between what heraldic custom dictates and what the eye sees. If the submitter wishes this basic design, it should be emblazoned such that the center portion of the shield is clearly a charged fess. If the submitter wishes to keep the maunch the primary charge, we'd suggest removing either the chief or the base (assuming no conflicts, of course).
In this case, the blurring of the distinction between a chief and a base and a charged fess is still here, even without tertiary charges in chief and base. Unlike other examples of motifs where such distinctions are blurred - for instance, between A pile and chaussé - we have been given no examples of a chief and a base used together, and so blazoned, in period. Rather, the overwhelming number of period examples is of charged fesses, drawn recognizably as such. The conventions of blazon require Cynwrig's submission to be blazoned as a charged fess - and by that blazon, it becomes obvious that it is drawn in an unacceptably non-period style, with the fess far too wide. (Or, to put it another way, the attempt to render this as a primary charge between a chief and a base makes the chief and base unacceptably narrow.)

For all these reasons, then - the lack of period support for the motif; the tendency to misemblazon the "fess" too wide, or the "chief" and "base" too narrow; and most of all, the blurring of the distinction between this motif and a charged fess, against the heraldic precepts found in RfS VIII.3 - we affirm that the use of a chief and a base together is, in general, non-period heraldic style, and grounds for return. The Society's prior registrations using a chief and a base will be left as they are, but will not be considered as support for future submissions.

We leave open the possibility that there might be designs with a chief and a base together, which would not blur the distinction from a charged fess: if the chief and base were different tinctures, for instance, or if they had different lines of division. But these will have to be considered case-by-case; we'd love to see some period examples of them. In any event, the return of Cynwrig's submission is unaffected. [Cynwrig de Montain, 11/2006, R-Artemisia]
[a chevron rayonny to base] It was suggested that this be reblazoned as ... a point pointed rayonny ... However, that would cause the device to be returned for using two complex lines of division on a single charge. A point pointed rayonny is no more acceptable that a chief triangular rayonny is. [Elianora Feverel, 02/2007, A-Trimaris]
[a lion rampant atop a base enarched] Commenters noted the overlap of the rear foot and the base and questioned whether this was 'barely overall', which would be grounds for return. Normally, we would rule in such a fashion; however, in the case of creatures standing atop bases, such an arrangement is extremely common in period armorials. Therefore, we are registering this device. [Madog Llwyd ap Madog, 07/2008, A-Lochac]

BEACON

Per precedent "There is no difference between a tower and a lighthouse given the varying depictions of towers and similar architecture in period ..." [Dun an Chalaidh, Shire of, 08/01, R-An Tir]. [Oldenfeld, Barony of, 07/2005, R-Trimaris]
[a lighthouse] Nor does Ysende's device conflict with the device of William of Hoghton, Sable, two towers joined by a bridge Or. William's device is essentially two towers conjoined by a maintained bridge. Whether considered a variant of a castle or a bridge, there is a CD for the difference between a lighthouse and a bridge or a castle. This follows current precedent, which does grant a CD between a tower and a bridge:
While a castle is not significantly different from either a tower or a bridge, there is little history of identification between a tower and bridge, unlike that between a tower and a castle. Neither is there a strong visual similarity between a tower and a bridge as there is between a castle and a bridge. Thus we find that there is a CD between a tower and bridge. [Michael Gillean of Blackwater Keep, 08/99, A-Æthelmearc]
Ysende's device has a CD for changes to the primary charge and two more for adding the secondary charges when compared to William's device. [Ysende Herberiour, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
A beacon's flame is essentially a maintained charge; its tincture cannot contribute to difference. [Sythe Blackwolfe, 02/2007, A-Atenveldt]
There is at least a CD between a tower and a correctly drawn beacon ... [Einarr Grímsson and Jacqueline de Meux, 02/2007, A-Calontir]
.... the primary charge is not a cresset torch, which we would assume was a torch topped with a cresset (i.e., the firebasket atop a beacon), but rather a simple torch. We have amended the blazon accordingly. [Kyra Kai ferch Madoc, 12/2007, A-Atenveldt]
Registered in January 1982 with the blazon Gules, atop a grey granite tower a beacon enflamed proper, the charge atop is not a heraldic beacon, which is a defined charge (which does not, as far we know, have a proper tincture); it is not even a cresset, the fire-basket atop a beacon. It's a broad dish filled with flame -- the charge known in SCA armory as a brazier. We have corrected the blazon as well as we can. [Caer Mear, Barony of, 12/2007, A-Atlantia]
[a cresset argent flammant proper] Some commenters noted that the charge in chief, blazoned on the LoI as a beacon was incorrectly drawn and should be returned for that reason. Batonvert noted
the charge in chief, though not a beacon, is nonetheless a period charge. It's known as a cresset (or sometimes a fire-basket), and was the part of the beacon that sat atop the pole (Friar's Dictionary of Heraldry, p.115). The cresset was the badge of John Holland, Duke of Exeter, d.1446, mentioned as such in a political broadside written in 1449 (Gayre's Heraldic Standards, p.94; Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges, p.100). It was also one of Henry V's badges, to judge by the illustration in Bedingfeld & Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry, p.129.
As a period heraldic charge, it is registerable. [Ellisif Leifsdóttir, 12/2007, R-Caid]
We note that a beacon should be drawn with a ladder, but is acceptable without one as long identifiability is maintained. A beacon may be drawn with a bit of ground under the legs, as here. This is not standard, but is an acceptable artistic variant. [Wir Coleshulle, 01/2008, A-East]
[(Fieldless) Two torches in saltire Or] There was considerable discussion on whether or not this submission was a technical or visual conflict with the heralds' badge, or whether it was too similar to the reserved two straight trumpets in saltire. In any other tincture it is unlikely that these issues would have even been raised. However, given the extensive commentary we will address the issues here.

There is a CD between a torch (which is always depicted as enflamed) and a straight trumpet. Therefore, this is not a depiction of reserved charges. The submitted badge is technically clear of the heralds' badge registered for the College of Arms, Vert, two straight trumpets in saltire, bells in chief, Or: there is a CD for fieldlessness and another for the aforesaid difference in charges.

More difficult is the decision on whether or not there is a visual conflict between Cormac's badge and the heralds' badge. As Cormac's badge is fieldless, for purposes of visual conflict we must assume it to be displayed on the same field as the heralds' badge. After much discussion with both heralds and non-heralds we have determined that, while the badges are similar, they are not in visual conflict. [Cormac Mór, 01/2008, A-Caid]

BEAST - Badger

There is a CD for the difference between a badger and a raccoon ... [Roesia de Grey, 10/2007, A-Caid]

BEAST - Bat

As noted in the Glossary of Terms, by default a reremouse, or a bat, is displayed and guardant. [Guilhem Bosquet, 02/2008, A-East]

BEAST - Bear

While there is no heraldic difference between a polar bear and a brown bear, there is an artistic difference. As polar bears were known to Europeans in period, we have acceded to the submitter's desires and blazoned this as a polar bear. According to Mistress Gunnvor, the Viking Answer Lady, (http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/vik_pets.shtml):
The compound noun hvítabiôrn is the Old Norse word for "white bear" (polar bear), sometimes also called "ice bears". The very first polar bear was brought to Europe by Ingimund the Old as a gift to the king of Norway about A.D. 900; Isleif, the first bishop of Iceland, also brought one as a present to the German emperor about A.D. 1050. One of the most enjoyable tales from Old Norse literature both to read and tell aloud is the story of Auðunn and the Bear (Auðunar þáttr vestfirzka). This story recounts how a young man, Auðunn, captures a polar bear and takes it as a gift to the King of Denmark, thereby earning his fortune.
[Kay Adde, 01/2006, A-Caid]
[A giant panda] This badge is returned as a panda is not registerable. As al-Jamal noted:
By current precedent, it is not acceptable to use a species of flora or fauna in armory which was not known to Europeans in period: "The primary charge is the leaf of a vanillaleaf plant (genus Achlys). Europeans did not discover it until the 18th century so [it] cannot be used in SCA armory" (LoAR February 2000). The most recent precedent explicitly concerning pandas notes in pertinent part that the panda was not known to Europeans in period: "Lanner provided some distinct evidence that the panda was not seen by an European until this century and that its furs were not known to Europeans until the last century" (LoAR December 1989). The panda is therefore not acceptable for registration. (LoAR February 2002, cf. Zubaydah az-Zahra)
[Kata the Forthright, 07/2007, R-Atenveldt]

BEAST - Boar

As noted in the March 2002 Cover Letter, a boar proper is brown. [Oddmarr berserkr, 09/2007, A-Calontir]

BEAST - Bull

A bull's horns, like maintained charges, don't necessarily need good contrast with the field, but there must be some contrast. The argent horns on the argent field have no contrast and this must be returned. [Mario de Chelse, 11/2006, R-Ealdormere]
A dun cow proper is brown. [Debora of Durham, 12/2006, A-Ansteorra]

BEAST - Cat

The normal depiction of a demi-lion has the body cut in half with a straight line; the tail is detached from the body. In this emblazon, the body is cut with a slanted line and the tail is still attached to the lion. While not a standard depiction of a demi-lion, the charge is clearly recognizable as a demi-lion and is unlikely to be confused with any other charge. We are therefore giving the submitter the benefit of the doubt and registering this device. [Christian Robert von Wildhausen, 11/2005, A-West]
As precedent grants a CD between a heraldic panther and a cat, we will also grant a CD between a winged (heraldic) panther and a winged cat. [Elizaveta Arievna Lebedeva, 01/2006, A-Caid]
In July 1999 (s.n. William Geoffrey the Rogue) Laurel stated "We leave open the question as to whether a wingless griffin and a lion rampant should be considered significantly different in the future." At this time we are declaring that there is a significant difference (CD) between the two. [Ysabeau Anais Roussot du Lioncourt, 06/2006, A-Caid]
... there is ... at least a CD between a calygreyhound and a lion. [Tristram O'Shee, 08/2006, A-An Tir]
[a wild cat] Blazoned on the LoI as a catamount, that term in the SCA is a synonym for a mountain lion (i.e., a natural panther), which has smooth fur. The cat in this submission, unlike her currently registered device, has spiked, ruffled fur. [Lucia Bellini, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
[for augmentation in chief on an inescutcheon Or a tyger rampant azure] This augmentation must be returned for conflict with Percy, Earl of Northumberland (important non-SCA arms), Or, a lion rampant azure. The augmentation has a single CD, for the difference between a lion and a tyger, from Percy's arms. [Ernst Nuss von Kitzengen, 07/2007, R-East]
[a bobcat] Blazoned on the LoI as a catamount, that term is used in SCA blazonry for the ounce or maneless lion. As drawn here, the beast combines the features of several types of feline, but is closest to a bobcat. As the bobcat is a New World species, which has not been shown to have been used in period heraldry, its use is a step from period practice. ...

We recommend that the submitter choose a feline type known to period Europeans when she resubmits. In addition to the ounce (a.k.a. catamount, natural panther, etc.) mentioned above, period heraldry also sees examples of the Scots wild-cat (a.k.a. cat-a-mountain), the lynx, and the domestic cat. [Dea Ramberti, 10/2007, R-Gleann Abhann]
[a cat herissony] Regarding the posture herissony, precedent states:
A question was raised regarding the use of herissony in our blazonry. While the term itself, to the best of our knowledge, is not period, the posture was done in period. Hierosme de Bara's Le Blason des Armoiries (1581) shows a cat in this position. [The submission was blazoned as herissony] (Rowan of Iron Mountain, 8/97 p. 10)
As a period posture for cats, cats herissony may be registered. While there is no difference granted between a cat statant or passant and a cat herissony, we will continue to use the term herissony as an aid to heraldic artists. [Antonio Patrasso, 12/2007, A-East]
As we give a substantial (X.2) difference between weasels and cats, each must be clearly drawn. [Raphael da Cernia, 02/2008, R-Middle]
Blazoned on the LoI as a natural tiger the feline lacks the stripes associated with a tiger. Nonetheless, we would have considered retaining that blazon for purposes of the cant with tora; however, as that portion of his name has been dropped we have reblazoned the feline as the ounce it more closely resembles. [Miyamoto Jirou Tadayoshi, 03/2008, A-East]

BEAST - Deer

... there is no difference between a doe and a stag or a hart. The addition of antlers to a beast is not a significant difference. [Alyne of Kendal, 05/2005, R-An Tir]
From Wreath - On Ibexes
One of this month's submissions (Eleanor Chantrill) raised a question on the difference between an ibex and a reindeer. John Vinycomb, Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures in Art, with Special Reference to Their Use in British Heraldry, p. 215 defines the heraldic ibex as "an imaginary beast resembling the heraldic antelope in appearance, with the exception of the horns projecting from his forehead, which are serrated like a saw. Perhaps it would not be erroneous to consider it identical with the heraldic antelope." Vinycomb goes on and states the natural ibex "resembles a goat, but the horns are much larger, bent backwards, and full of knots, one of which is added every year." Other authors have similar definitions for both the heraldic antelope and heraldic ibex.

Mountain goats are frequent in European armory, blazoned in French as bouquetin and in German as Steinbock; these translate to "ibex", but they're pretty obviously natural ibexes. A heraldic ibex head is found in 1547, as the crest of Toke (Woodcock & Robinson, Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 9). It has forward-sweeping horns, is most definitely an ibex (or ebeck as it is blazoned) and looks nothing like a natural ibex.

Based on the definitions, and emblazons, of heraldic antelopes, natural antelopes, heraldic ibexes, and natural ibexes, the following is list of what is worth a CD and what isn't.
  • There is no difference between a heraldic antelope and a heraldic ibex.
  • There is no difference between a natural ibex and a goat.
  • There is a CD between a heraldic ibex and a natural antelope, stag, or deer.
  • There is a CD between a goat and a heraldic antelope or heraldic ibex.
  • There is a CD between a goat and a natural antelope, stag or deer.
  • There is a CD between a heraldic ibex and a reindeer.
  • There is a CD between a heraldic ibex and a natural ibex.
In order to ensure that the correct difference is granted between natural deer and natural ibexes (as opposed to heraldic antelopes and heraldic ibexes), we have to explicitly say natural. An examination of the registered ibexes showed that they were all natural ibexes, rather than the expected heraldic ibexes. Prior registrations of ibexes have been reblazoned as natural ibexes elsewhere in this letter. [01/2006 CL]
There is a third CD for the difference between a natural ibex and a reindeer. [Eleanor Chantrill, 01/2006, A-Ealdormere]

BEAST - Dog

This device must be returned for lack of documentation that the bulldogs as depicted actually represent a period breed of dog. While the submitter provided documentation that the term bulldog was used in period, no documentation was provided and none was found indicating that the period dogs referred to by that term had the overly developed head and jaws shown on this device. In fact, such period pictures of bulldogs as we were able to locate showed a rather generic hound. Without additional documentation, this depiction of a bulldog is unregisterable. [Gaius Grattius Brutus, 05/2005, R-Caid]
The College of Arms' Glossary of Terms defines a fox proper as Red with black "socks" and white at tip of tail. [Eleanora de Montgomeri, 06/2005, A-Atlantia]
... no difference in type between a greyhound and a wolf and no difference in posture between courant and statant. As the LoAR of September 2003 notes, "There is no difference between statant and courant, because the evidence which has so far been obtained indicates that these postures were interchangeable in period." [Lucia Ottavia da Siena, 06/2005, R-Calontir]
[Purpure, a hyena statant contourny argent semy of roundels purpure, a chief argent] This device does not conflict with ..., Sable a Samoyed dog counter-statant proper and a chief argent. There is a CD for changes to the field. As spots are not part of the definition of a hyena, there is a second CD for adding the roundels.

A hyena is a dog-like creature with a ridge of hair and a lion-like tail. Hyenas were known in period and are found in period heraldic tracts; Bossewell's Workes of Armorie, 1572, f. 49: "Beareth Argente, an Hien saliant Sable, and one Escaloppe sinistre d'Azure. Thys is a cruell beaste, in quantitie like unto the wolfe: & he is called Hyena of Hyando, for yt hee reyseth to hys praye with open mouth and voyce, and in his necke is heare, as in the necke of an horsse, and upon al the length of hys ridge also." While not biologically a canine, in SCA heraldry a hyena is classed as a canine and will conflict with all other canines. [Oriel Gibberish, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
[Argent, three foxes courant in annulo conjoined at the feet gules] This badge is returned for conflict with ... Argent, a tricorporate fox gules, marked proper. [Vulpes vulpes]. A tricorporate fox has three bodies with a single head. We typically do not grant a CD for conjoined versus not conjoined, therefore there is only a single CD for the postures of the foxes (courant versus erect). [Emer ingen Meic Aedain, 09/2006, R-Ealdormere]
... nothing for changing from a fox proper to a fox gules .... [Hagen von Durnstein, 09/2006, R-Lochac]
[a dog] Blazoned as a dog, as drawn it appears to be a boarhound. This raised the question as to whether there's a default breed of dog in heraldry. There is not: we have ample period examples of dogs blazoned curs, hounds, etc., without specifying exact breeds. Certainly the floppy-eared hound usually blazoned a talbot is very common in period armory - the submitter should be aware that her dog can legitimately be drawn as a talbot - but neither it nor any other breed of dog is the default, so far as we can tell. [Margaret Hamilton of Stirlingshire, 10/2006, A-An Tir]
[two wolves ... each charged on the hip] The non-standard location of the tertiary charges hinders their identifiability, but not fatally so. For beasts, the standard location for a tertiary charge is generally the shoulder, which gives the most room for the charge. Given the placement of these tertiary charges, we recommend that the wolves' hips be drawn wider so that the tertiary charges can be made larger and more visibly crescents. [Úlfr Edmundarson, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
There is not a CD between a fox and wolf ... [Alessandra Volpe, 02/2007, R-Trimaris]
Blazoned on the LoI as a talbot, the dog lacks the long floppy ears of a talbot. As it is identifiable as some type of dog, we are registering it simply as a dog. [Caramanna Helmsmid, 05/2007, A-Calontir]
Albion noted:
The "Poodle History Project" (http://www.poodlehistory.org/) under the entry for falconry/hawking says "Poodles and/or proto-Poodles are a frequent sight in falconry/hawking scenes memorialized in huge wool or wool/silk tapestry hangings which kept great houses as cozy as possible in the High Middle Ages and Renaissance. These Poodles (proto-Poodles?) are easy to spot when they wear a moderate version of our "show coat", which was then a warmer-weather working clip. They're not so easy to spot when they wear a 15th or 16th century cool-weather shaggy coat." A page on visuals (http://www.poodlehistory.org/PZZGPV.HTM) has a woodcut from Hans Burgkmair (1473-1531), with a poodle that looks very much like this one.
Given this, a poodle is registerable. The term poodle has only been used twice in SCA blazon: in June 1983 and August 2004, both registered without comment. In English the term poodle does not appear to have been used before the early 1800s; it appears that the dogs were known as water dogs prior to that. The term poodle is derived from the German pudlen; we are uncertain when that term originated. As it is unlikely that the average heraldic artist would draw a poodle if they saw the term water dog - and simply blazoning it a dog would likely result in a talbot rather than a poodle - we will allow the term poodle for this period dog. [Stephanie Lilburn, 06/2007, A-Ansteorra]
While not a reason for return, we recommend that on resubmission that the greyhound be drawn with a shorter neck and a sleeker head. We suggest taking a look at the Greyhound Bus logo for an example of a heraldically acceptable greyhound. [William Fetherstan, 09/2007, R-West]
... we grant no heraldic difference between a theow and a wolf.

While the theow appears in period, the only period examples we can find are supporters. As such it is impossible to tell whether theows were considered different from canines in period as charges on the shield. With that in mind, we are left with visual differences. The theow is described as "A wolf-like monster but with a cow's tail and cloven hooves." (Brooke-Little, An Heraldic Alphabet). Other references agree. Since the only differences are the hooves and tail, there is not enough visual difference to give a CD between theows and other canines. [Erik de Tyr, 09/2007, R-Calontir]
It should be noted that wolves (and wolves' heads) ululant are a step from period practice (v. Andela Romier, LoAR of December 2000). [Eginolf von Basel, 11/2007, A-Middle]
The submitter requested that the dog be blazoned as an Elghund, the Danish and Norwegian name for the breed known in English as the elkhound. There is evidence that dogs resembling the modern elkhound existed throughout period, so the depiction of this dog is registerable. The earliest use of the term elkhound is 1835, well outside of even our gray area. Had it been shown that the term "Elghund" was period, we would have used the English translation of that term so that the blazon was more easily understood; however, no evidence was found that the term Elghund was a period term for the dog. Until such evidence is found, we will simply identify the charge as a generic dog. [Aurora of Dragonship Haven, 06/2008, A-East]
[mastiff defamed] The dog's tail is not shown. While tail docking seems to be a modern custom, the fact that the missing tail can be blazoned makes it registerable: Parker's Glossary of Heraldic Terms, p.377, gives defamed as the term for a tailless beast (e.g., a lion). There is sufficient evidence of mastiff-type dogs in the Rottweil region of Germany during our period that this depiction of a dog is registerable; however, the term Rottweiler for the breed of dog appears to be a significantly post-period development. Therefore the dog has been registered as a mastiff defamed. [Caitriona inghean Sheamuis, 06/2008, A-East]

BEAST - Elephant

The fact that the elephant's trunk is raised is an artistic detail. [Ambrose atte Redehulle, 08/2006, A-Outlands]

BEAST - General

[Argent, three foxes courant in annulo conjoined at the feet gules] This badge is returned for conflict with ... Argent, a tricorporate fox gules, marked proper. [Vulpes vulpes]. A tricorporate fox has three bodies with a single head. We typically do not grant a CD for conjoined versus not conjoined, therefore there is only a single CD for the postures of the foxes (courant versus erect). [Emer ingen Meic Aedain, 09/2006, R-Ealdormere]
[two wolves ... each charged on the hip] The non-standard location of the tertiary charges hinders their identifiability, but not fatally so. For beasts, the standard location for a tertiary charge is generally the shoulder, which gives the most room for the charge. Given the placement of these tertiary charges, we recommend that the wolves' hips be drawn wider so that the tertiary charges can be made larger and more visibly crescents. [Úlfr Edmundarson, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]

BEAST - Goat

There is a CD between a fleece and a sheep as they were distinct charges in period. [Robert Longshanks of Canterbury, 08/2005, A-Drachenwald]
From Wreath - On Ibexes
One of this month's submissions (Eleanor Chantrill) raised a question on the difference between an ibex and a reindeer. John Vinycomb, Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures in Art, with Special Reference to Their Use in British Heraldry, p. 215 defines the heraldic ibex as "an imaginary beast resembling the heraldic antelope in appearance, with the exception of the horns projecting from his forehead, which are serrated like a saw. Perhaps it would not be erroneous to consider it identical with the heraldic antelope." Vinycomb goes on and states the natural ibex "resembles a goat, but the horns are much larger, bent backwards, and full of knots, one of which is added every year." Other authors have similar definitions for both the heraldic antelope and heraldic ibex.

Mountain goats are frequent in European armory, blazoned in French as bouquetin and in German as Steinbock; these translate to "ibex", but they're pretty obviously natural ibexes. A heraldic ibex head is found in 1547, as the crest of Toke (Woodcock & Robinson, Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 9). It has forward-sweeping horns, is most definitely an ibex (or ebeck as it is blazoned) and looks nothing like a natural ibex.

Based on the definitions, and emblazons, of heraldic antelopes, natural antelopes, heraldic ibexes, and natural ibexes, the following is list of what is worth a CD and what isn't.
  • There is no difference between a heraldic antelope and a heraldic ibex.
  • There is no difference between a natural ibex and a goat.
  • There is a CD between a heraldic ibex and a natural antelope, stag, or deer.
  • There is a CD between a goat and a heraldic antelope or heraldic ibex.
  • There is a CD between a heraldic ibex and a reindeer.
  • There is a CD between a heraldic ibex and a natural ibex.
In order to ensure that the correct difference is granted between natural deer and natural ibexes (as opposed to heraldic antelopes and heraldic ibexes), we have to explicitly say natural. An examination of the registered ibexes showed that they were all natural ibexes, rather than the expected heraldic ibexes. Prior registrations of ibexes have been reblazoned as natural ibexes elsewhere in this letter. [01/2006 CL]
Blazoned on the LoI as Icelandic sheep, we do not normally make this level of distinction. The submitter's documentation indicates that some varieties of Icelandic sheep are horned while others are polled or unhorned. We decline to blazon to the level horned Icelandic sheep; blazoning this as a ram will reproduce something identifiably similar to the submitted emblazon. [Solveig of Mountains Gate, 02/2006, A-West]
[a lamb] There was also some question as to the registration of a lamb as we do not generally register baby animals. Laurel has previously noted:
As a rule, baby animals are not used in SCA heraldry: they're visually indistinguishable from adult animals, and period examples of their use are rare. Lambs appear to be an exception: not only is the Paschal lamb often found in period armory, but lambs were used for canting purposes (e.g. the arms of Lambert --- or the current submission). (Agnes Margaret de Grinstead, October, 1992, pg. 12)
While there is not a cant here, the use of Paschal lambs and lambs in period heraldry is sufficient to allow its registration in this submission. [Ian Kirkpatrick, 12/2006, A-Caid]
[lamb argent haloed ... Or] There was some question as to the registerability of the halo as it is an annulet, not a solid disk. The annulet-type halo improves the recognizability of the primary charge (by avoiding argent on Or). Either form of a halo is acceptable; they are artistic variants. [Ian Kirkpatrick, 12/2006, A-Caid]
This device is returned for redraw. This primary charge is not a fleece - a fleece has no body, it should be limp. We might have blazoned it a ram but that would not account for the belt and loop it is wearing. [Aoife inghean Eoin gabha, 07/2007, R-Atenveldt]

BEAST - Hedgehog

These porcupines have quills only at their heads and shoulders, which caused some to question their identifiability. Batonvert notes "These look very similar to the porcupines shown in Legh's Accidens of Armory, 1576, folio 85. Note, by the way, that porcupines were considered distinct from hedgehogs: according to Legh, the porcupine's quills are poison." [Avitoria vidua, 01/2007, A-East]

BEAST - Horse

The horse was blazoned on the LoI as forcene; however, precedent notes, "the term is ambiguous and should not be used. (LoAR of 06/85, p.2)." We no longer use that term as it blurs the distinction between salient and rampant. However, as the usual modern depiction (and the one in this submission) is equivalent to an accepted period rendition of rampant, we will generally reblazon a horse forcené as rampant. [Álfgeirr Agnarsson, 12/2005, A-Lochac]
Submitted as (Fieldless) An onager..., the term onager applies to a siege engine as well as to a beast. To avoid confusion, we have blazoned the beast as an ass. [Finn Folhare, 02/2006, A-Æthelmearc]
A horse is significantly different (a CD) from a pegasus, but not substantially (X.2) different. [Freydis Orkneyska, 04/2006, R-Drachenwald]
This device is returned for a redraw as the horse is neither courant nor passant. Courant, in period, is pretty much drawn with two legs extended far forward and two legs extended far backwards. The posture as submitted is one that a running horse probably does take naturally, but it is not the standard courant, and in fact, not one of the legs is standard for courant, each is 90 degrees away (more "down" than "out"). Eadweard Muybridge, fl.1870, photographed horses in motion. He was the first to conclusively prove that, when running, all four feet left the ground - but not in the standard previous artistic depiction (with two feet forwards and two feet backwards) but rather the opposite, with all four feet almost together under the horse's belly. As that fact wasn't known until the 19th C, this depiction of a horse courant could not have been done in period. Recent precedent is clear that this is sufficient grounds for return:
This is being returned for redraw. As drawn it is not clearly courant or statant but something halfway between the two. [Renata von Hentzau , 06/1998, R-Atlantia] The foxes are neither passant nor courant, but somewhere in between, blurring the distinction between them. Therefore the device is returned for a redraw as one or the other. [Mirabel of Foxrun, 10/1999, R-East]

The wolf is neither passant nor courant but somewhere in between, blurring the distinction between them. Therefore the device is returned for a redraw as one or the other. [Charles le Verdier, 11/2000, R-An Tir]

In addition, the posture of the wolf is not blazonable. The position, as drawn, is approximately halfway between "statant" and "courant." [Wulfgar Neumann, 01/2001, R-Outlands]
[Teleri ferch Lludd, 11/2006, R-Artemisia]
[Azure, mounted upon a horse passant contourny argent, a maiden maintaining a hawk close contourny Or] A check of Anglo-Norman Armory II, the Dictionary of British Arms vol.1, and Papworth, showed no examples of any armory (period or otherwise) with a horse that was sometimes shown with a rider and sometimes not. In other words, the rider doesn't appear to be a negligible artistic detail. Until someone demonstrates otherwise, we will grant a CD for the presence of a horse's rider, just as we grant a CD for adding wings to a horse. [Jocelin de Monte Joi, 11/2006, R-Middle]
[a horse dismembered vs. a horse] ... nothing for dismembering the horse. [Ránulfr Þorfinnsson, 12/2007, R-Caid]
[a mare "galloping"] This device is returned due to the unblazonable position of the legs of the horse. Heraldic postures are notnaturalistic, as seen here. Heraldic postures are stylized and well-defined. This horse is not courant, statant, or passant. If the submitter wishes to have the beast in the posture shown, it must be documented as a period heraldic posture on resubmission. [Christiana Breakspear, 07/2008, R-Gleann Abhann]

BEAST - Monkey

[A monkey statant] In period, apes were shown on all fours when they were statant or passant, in the manner of beasts (as in the crest of FitzGerald, c.1601; Bedingfeld & Gwynn-Jones, p.59). We treat monkeys the same way. [Ogedei Becinjab, 08/2007, A-East]

BEAST - Mouse

This device is returned for using gophers, animals which do not appear to have been known to Europeans in period. Laurel stated in returning Gerrich de la Foy's device in March 1993:
We have no evidence that the gopher was known to period Europeans: the OED, for instance, dates gopher in this context only to 1818. (There's also the Biblical gopher-wood, but that doesn't apply to this submission.) Since the gopher is a rodent from the North American plains, we can't assume that it was known to period Europeans; we need some hard evidence before we can accept the charge.
Such hard evidence has yet to be presented. [Rashid al-Tayyib, 04/2007, R-Æthelmearc]
... no difference is granted between a mouse and a rat. [Clara Beaumont, 03/2008, R-East]

BEAST - Other

This badge is returned for redraw, or rather, re-coloring. A brown hippopotamus proper would be registerable. However, the emblazon was not brown -- it was an unblazonable combination of grey, brown, green, and white. As depicted, the hippo's coloration could not be described in a way that was reproducible -- and therefore, it cannot be registered, per RfS VII.7.b. [Sajah bint Habushun ibn Ishandiyar al-Hajjaji, 01/2006, R-Atlantia]
Blazoned on the LoI as Per pale purpure and vert, a cameleopard proper between three stumps eradicated Or, there is no proper tincture defined for a camelopard. [Maud Dee Bywater, 01/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]

BEAST - Rabbit

This device is returned due to the improper coloring of a brown hare proper. The October 1995 Cover Letter stated:
PRECEDENT: Henceforward, and more in line with period heraldic practice, animals which are normally brown may be registered simply as an {X} proper (e.g., boar proper, hare proper). Animals which are frequently found as brown but also commonly appear in other tinctures in the natural world may be registered as a brown {X} proper (e.g., brown hound proper, brown horse proper).

This precedent does not, however, loosen the ban on "Linnaean proper" (Cover Letter, May 13, 1991); proper tinctures for flora and fauna which require the Linnaean genus and species to know how to color them. For example, a falcon proper will be considered to be all brown, not brown head, wings and back, buff breast with darker spots, and a tail striped with black; a hare proper will be considered to be all brown, not brown with white underbelly and tail and pink ears. This also appears to be more in keeping with period heraldic practice.
The inner part of a brown hare proper's ears should not be argent, nor should its tail. [Marie Helena von Bremen, 05/2007, R-An Tir]
A rabbit and a coney are the same charge ... [Isabeau d'Aquitaine, 12/2007, R-Caid]

BEAST - Squirrel

While maintaining an acorn is the default for a squirrel, there is no reason that this detail cannot be blazoned if the submitter wishes, as in this case. [Katarzyna Dambrowska, 06/2007, A-Ansteorra]

BEAST - Weasel

... there is no proper defined for an otter ... [Uilliam Ó Cléirigh, 07/2005, P-Atenveldt]
As we give a substantial (X.2) difference between weasels and cats, each must be clearly drawn. [Raphael da Cernia, 02/2008, R-Middle]

BEND and BEND SINISTER

[a bend per bend indented throughout gules and sable] The motif of a bend per bend indented of two colors can be seen in 15th C illustrations from the military roll in Sir Thomas Holme's Book 1. The back cover of Alan Young's Tudor and Jacobean Tournaments, for example, shows an illustration from this roll depicting a knight bearing arms with this motif in sable and vert. [Yrsa Ketilsdottir, 05/2005, A-An Tir]
[a bend sinister enhanced fimbriated] This is being returned for using unallowable fimbriation. RfS VIII.3 states: "Voiding and fimbriation may only be used with simple geometric charges placed in the center of the design." It has previously been ruled that "The bendlets abased are not in the center of the design and therefore their fimbriation is not acceptable." ([Ann Busshenell of Tylehurst, 10/02, R-Atenveldt]). By the same reasoning, fimbriating a bend or bendlets enhanced is not acceptable. [Mathild de Valognes, 06/2005, R-Ealdormere]
[Sable, a bend engouled of two wolf's heads Or] A bend engouled is a bend being "devoured" at each end by a head, which issues from the edge or corner of the shield and partially overlays the bend. The two heads always match each other in type, but there is no default type of head for a bend engouled and this must be blazoned explicitly. One period example is found in the Livro da Nobreza, a Portuguese roll of arms c.1557, which on folio xi shows the arms of Friere, or Frieres Dandrade as Vert, a bend gules fimbriated and engouled of two serpents' heads Or. Siren notes that, at least in Spanish heraldry, that the heads are usually serpents' or dragons' heads.

There is a CD between a bend engouled and a plain bend under RfS X.4.e for changing the type of the charge. [Islyle le Gannoker de Gavain, 08/2005, A-Caid]
[Bendy sinister sable and gules] This is clear of Laetitia of Blackthorn, Sable, two scarpes gules fimbriated Or. Armory with three or more bendlets is equivalent to a bendy field. As Laetitia's device has only two bendlets, it is not equivalent to the field. John's device is clear of Laetitia's by RfS X.1, the removal of primary charges. Normally there would be a visual conflict between Bendy sininster X and Y and X, two scarpes Y; however, the fimbriation in this case is wide enough (each is half the width of the scarpe) to remove the visual conflict. [John FitzArnulf de Lithia, 09/2005, A-East]
[a bend sinister embattled-counter-embattled] We wish to remind the College that a bend sinister embattled is embattled on the upper edge only. Thus this does not conflict with ... a bend sinister embattled ... There is a CD ... for the ordinary being embattled on both edges rather than on only the upper edge. [Norman Hauberger, 01/2006, A-Ealdormere]
This device is returned for lack of contrast; a bend (or a bend sinister) may not share a tincture with a lozengy field. While, for instance, Chesshyre & Woodcock's Dictionary of British Arms (vol.1) shows examples of a bend sharing a tincture with a barry field (Saynt Owen), a checky field (Bekering) and a paly field (Langforde), they cite no examples of a bend sharing a tincture with a lozengy field. This is due to the fact that barry, checky and paly field lines don't parallel the bend; they can therefore be distinguished, even when sharing a tincture. The same cannot be said for lozengy field lines; the visual effect is of a complex bend, which blurs its identifiability. [Juliana of Avon, 03/2006, R-West]
This device is returned for redraw. The bend sinister is considerably too small; as the primary charge in the device, it should be drawn accordingly. We haven't registered single diminutives of ordinaries, either by blazon or emblazon, for decades. We recommend making the bend sinister wider, at least one fifth as wide as the shield. [Víga-Víkingr í Horni, 05/2006, R-Outlands]
[Per bend sinister argent and sable, a bend sinister rayonny argent fimbriated gules] This is returned for lack of identifiability, per RfS VII.7.a. The bend sinister argent shares a tincture with the field, and therefore seems to be part of it. Even with the fimbriation, the visual effect is of two extremely thin scarpes rayonny gules and a sinister base point sable rather than a bend sinister rayonny argent on a divided field. Making the field Or and sable (assuming no conflicts) would remove the problem. [Nathaniel Lennox, 07/2006, R-Calontir]
[a bend cotised] The space between bend and cotise should be wider, preferably the width of the cotise. As drawn it is nigh on impossible to recognize the cotises as cotises. [Þorsteinn sviðbalki, 09/2006, R-Atlantia]
Submitted on the LoI as a bend embowed to base [no evidence was] presented for this treatment of ordinaries in period. Even if there were period heraldic evidence for a bend embowed to base (as opposed to enarched), this would have been returned for a redraw, as the bend is barely embowed. [Maya Kâl.i, 11/2006, R-Meridies]
A field with three bendlets must also be conflict checked as if it were a bendy field. [Matillis atte Hethe, 01/2007, P-An Tir]
[Vert, a bend sinister cotised between a stag springing and a pheon argent] If resubmitted with a properly drawn pheon, this will not conflict with the device for Euriol of Lothian, Vert, a bend sinister doubly cotised argent. In armory with cotises and other secondary charges, the cotises form one secondary charge group and the other charges a separate secondary charge group. There will be a CD between cotised and doubly cotised and a second CD for adding the stag and pheon. [Sabine d'Antan, 01/2007, R-Lochac]
This is returned for redraw; the scarpes are too thin. Blazoned on the LoI as Azure, on a bend sinister azure fimbriated between two hammers bendwise sinister a hammer bendwise sinister argent, a fimbriated bend cannot be the same tincture as the field it lies on. Such a bend appears to be two scarpes rather than a bend fimbriated. What was drawn very thin to act as fimbriation must be interpreted as scarpes - extremely thin scarpes, but scarpes nonetheless. [Odolf Liafwin, 05/2007, R-Artemisia]
[a bend sinister argent scaly sable] There was commentary concerning this depiction of scaly; we note that the scales are acceptable as drawn. We have a period example of a bend scaly, in the arms of von Tiefenbach, 1605 [Siebmacher, pl.85]. Tiefenbach's bend is about 3 or 4 scales wide, just as the bend in this submission. [Cormac Ó Duinn, 07/2007, R-Caid]
[Purpure, four bendlets enhanced and in bend two lions Or] Bendlets enhanced may be validly depicted either (greatly) enhanced, as on this submission, or merely enhanced, such that the lower edge of the lowest bendlet lies along the per bend line. As such, a device featuring more than two bendlets enhanced is functionally equivalent to a per bend bendy field division. The submitted device is equivalent to Per bend bendy purpure and Or and purpure, in bend two lions Or. [Giovanna Elisabetta Cellini, 07/2008, R-Æthelmearc]

BILLET

[(Fieldless) On a billet fesswise vert, seven annulets interlaced in fess Or] This is returned for style problems. First, a billet is a shape used for heraldic display. This appears to be a display of Vert, seven annulets interlaced in fess Or. As precedent notes:
We do not register fieldless badges which appear to be independent forms of armorial display. Charges such as lozenges, billets, and roundels are all both standard heraldic charges and "shield shapes" for armorial display. ...

Therefore, a "shield shape" which is also a standard heraldic charge will be acceptable as a fieldless badge in a plain tincture, as long as the tincture is not one of the plain tinctures that is protected armory in the SCA. This explicitly overturns the precedent "We do not normally register fieldless badges consisting only of forms of armorial display, such as roundels, lozenges and delfs in plain tinctures, since in use the shape does not appear to be a charge, but rather the field itself" (LoAR January 1998).

Note that this does not change our long-standing policy about such "shield shape" charges used in fieldless badges if the tincture is not plain (thus, divided or with a field treatment), or if the charge is itself charged. Such armory will continue to be returned for the appearance of an independent form of armorial display.[Solveig Throndardottir, 04/02, A-Æthelmearc]
[Brion Gennadyevich Gorodin, 07/2005, R-Trimaris]
[rods fesswise vs. billets] ... as billets have a longer vertical axis than horizontal axis, another CD for changing the orientation of the charges. [Finnian Mac Ailein, 05/2007, A-East]

BIRD - Chimney Swift

[an eagle vs. a chimney swift migrant palewise argent]. There is no difference between displayed and migrant palewise; nor is there a difference between an eagle displayed and a chimney swift migrant. [Aonghus Lyndesay, 06/2006, R-Caid]
[peacocks in their pride vs. a chimney swift migrant palewise] ... a CD for the type of the birds, and a third CD for the posture of the birds. [Eleonora di Gerardo, 01/2008, A-Caid]

BIRD - Cock and Hen

[a rooster argent] The tincture of the crest and wattle (gules) and the beak and talons (Or) is artistic license and thus not blazoned. [Drueta de la Rosa, 02/2007, A-East]
[a rooster] There is normally at least a CD between the different bird categories listed in the November 2003 Cover Letter. These categories are:
  • Swan-shaped birds, including swans, geese, and ducks: waterfowl with long necks, rounded bills, long heavy bodies, webbed feet.
  • Crane-shaped birds, including cranes, herons, and storks: tall thin birds with long necks, long pointed beaks, medium-weight bodies, very long legs.
  • Poultry-shaped birds, including chickens, quail, partridge, and peacocks: compact rounded birds with short to medium necks, short beaks, heavy rounded bodies, medium or short legs, often with distinctive tails or head details (combs, crests).
  • "Regular-shaped" birds, including martlets, ravens and other corbies, raptors (hawks, eagles, and owls), and doves: birds with the classic "bird shape". Compact light- or medium-weight birds with small necks and beaks, short to medium legs, plain tails.
... since roosters and swans appear in different categories, another CD for the difference between a rooster and a swan. ... since roosters and crows appear in different categories, at least another CD for the difference between a rooster and a crow.

The submitted badge is also clear of ... a snowy egret rising wings displayed ..., and of ... an owl rising guardant wings displayed ... In each case there is a CD ... for the position of the wings (wings addorsed versus wings displayed). In each case there is also at least a CD between the type of birds. [Drueta de la Rosa, 02/2007, A-East]
The submitter requested that the hen be blazoned as a geline for the sake of the cant. This term is not a standard heraldic term, nor is it a common modern term. Given the difficulty one would have in determining what a geline is, we decline to use it in this blazon.

We wish to inform the submitter that cants needn't be blazoned. The arms of the Earls of Arundel, with their martlets, are canting arms: but you'd only know that if you knew that the French for "swallow" is hirondelle. The martlets aren't blazoned that way; but that doesn't stop them from canting. The same is true here. [Jeneuer le Geliner, 05/2007, A-Lochac]
[a sandpiper] This badge is returned for multiple conflicts: ...a raven speaking Or ...,; the badge ... a duck naiant Or; and ... a hen close Or. In each case, there is a CD for changes to the field but nothing for the type of bird.

The submitted badge is clear ... a Celtic hawk statant close reguardant Or ... and ...a dunghill cock Or. In each case there is a CD for changes to the field and a second CD for changing the type of bird. We note that a Celtic hawk is a hawk in name only; in fact, there may be a CD between a hawk and a Celtic hawk though we decline to so rule at this time. [Lyondemere, Barony of, 12/2007, R-Caid]
[a hen displayed] This badge is returned for conflict with ... a double-headed eagle displayed ... nothing for the difference in type of bird. Indeed, it is the fact that period birds displayed were overwhelmingly eagles which results in no difference for the type of bird here. [Michael of Carillion, 03/2008, R-East]

BIRD - Cockatoo

The use of the cockatoo is a step from period practice: the cockatoo is native to Indonesia, Australia, New Guinea and other South Pacific islands and therefore falls under the same strictures as other non-European fauna. [Beatrice Fayrwether of York, 04/2007, A-Atenveldt]

BIRD - Crane-shaped

Stork-like birds, such as a flamingo, are often drawn with one foot raised. This is an unblazoned artistic detail. [Arelinda Poincelin, 07/2006, A-East]
[a pink flamingo proper] This is returned for having color on color. While pink for a Caucasian human is considered equivalent to argent, flamingo pink is much darker and is considered a color. When registering Jeanette Seurat d'Avignon's device, Argent, two pink flamingos statant respectant proper, on a chief azure a sun in splendour Or, in April 1989 Laurel noted:
Note that the plumage of the birds is "flamingo pink" and therefore has good contrast with the field: reblazoning it as simple "gules" would confuse the issue since many artists would depict all portions of the bird, including the beak and limbs, as flaming red.
This submission is also "flamingo pink" and therefore lacks contrast with the field; it would have good contrast with a metallic field.

In April 1985 (q.v., Cherie Ruadh MhicRath of Locksley) Laurel ruled, "The color of a flamingo's feathers is apparently dependent on its diet, so there really is no 'proper' color." This has been interpreted to mean that flamingos proper could not be registered; however, pink flamingos proper have been registered since that time, including as recently as April 2006. The 1985 precedent is hereby overturned; a pink flamingo proper is registerable. It is dark pink while the tincture of its beak and legs are treated as artistic license. Its tincture is a color, not a metal. [Marion Baggeputz, 02/2007, R-Calontir]

BIRD - Crow

[a rooster] There is normally at least a CD between the different bird categories listed in the November 2003 Cover Letter. ... since roosters and crows appear in different categories, at least another CD for the difference between a rooster and a crow. [Drueta de la Rosa, 02/2007, A-East]

BIRD - Dove

According to the Pictorial Dictionary, in heraldic art a dove "is distinquished by a little curled tuft on top of its head." In addition to the Pictorial Dictionary, a dove can be found in Parker's "A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry" or Fox-Davies' "The Complete Guide to Heraldry". [Itbir Amellal, 07/2005, R-Atenveldt]
This device is returned for using a modern representation, rather than a period representation, of the doves. In particular, this specific rendition of a dove - the so-called "peace dove" - is a product of the late 20th Century, and lacks all of the heraldic dove's distinguishing characteristics, even to eyes, feet, and the tiny tuft atop the head. [Anabella Dayluue, 01/2007, R-Artemisia]
Blazoned on the LoI as a dove, the forked tail of the bird makes it a swallow not a dove. [Callum of Greycastell, 03/2008, A-Meridies]

BIRD - Eagle

... nothing for a raven displayed versus an eagle displayed. As precedent explains, "Even though ravens and eagles were different birds in period, only eagles were ever displayed. Therefore there is not a CD for type" [Robert le Raven MacLeod, 11/99, R-Artemisia]. [Dammo Utwiler, 06/2005, R-Calontir]
In addition, the way the eagle displayed is drawn - with its head and legs against the body - renders it virtually unidentifiable, a reason for return in its own right. If the submitter wishes to use an eagle displayed in a resubmission, please advise him to draw it in the standard fashion with the head and legs lying entirely on the field. [Dammo Utwiler, 06/2005, R-Calontir]
[a raven displayed vs. a double-headed eagle displayed] There is no difference between an eagle displayed and a raven displayed, nor is there a CD for the number of heads. [Ravenswar Brackæ, 11/2005, R-Gleann Abhann]
[an eagle with its dexter wing disclosed] The posture of the bird is period, as found in the arms of the English College of Arms (1595) among others. See, for example, Woodcock & Robinson, Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 4. [Fionnghuala inghen ui Chonchobhair, 01/2006, A-Drachenwald]
[an eagle vs. a chimney swift migrant palewise argent]. There is no difference between displayed and migrant palewise; nor is there a difference between an eagle displayed and a chimney swift migrant. [Aonghus Lyndesay, 06/2006, R-Caid]
... there is not a CD between an eagle and a simurgh displayed. [Ximon Yssuri Zaldu, 10/2006, R-Outlands]
[a Russian firebird rising] A Russian firebird is not a period heraldic charge, therefore the precedent concerning substantial difference between birds, from the November 2003 Cover Letter, does not apply. However, a Russian firebird as typically depicted in the SCA has a significant difference (a CD) from an eagle when they are rising. We decline to rule at this time if a CD exists when the two are displayed, as many displayed eagles in late period had long, ornate tails. [Tommasa Isolana, 01/2007, A-Æthelmearc]
[an alerion] As Batonvert notes:
As for the alerion or allerion, originally the charges in the arms of Lorraine appear to have been eagles: they were shown with beaks and/or feet until the end of the 13th C. (Pastoureau's Traité d'Héraldique, p.150). However, de Bara's Blason des Armoiries, 1581, p.213, shows the arms of Lorraine with beakless footless birds, and explicitly blazons them Allerions. They get no difference from eagles, but it does look like they'd become blazonable artistic variants by the end of our period.
We would add that the alerion may only be displayed: both because the period evidence supports no other posture, and because the lack of beak and feet make this posture essential for recognizability. [Uther Siemer, 11/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
[an eagle vs. a wyvern displayed] While there is usually a substantial difference between a wyvern and an eagle, when a wyvern is displayed - which is a posture for which we have no period evidence - much of the visual distinction is lost. Therefore, there is but a significant difference (a CD) between an eagle displayed and a wyvern displayed. [Honour du Bois, 01/2008, R-Ansteorra]
[a hen displayed] This badge is returned for conflict with ... a double-headed eagle displayed ... nothing for the difference in type of bird. Indeed, it is the fact that period birds displayed were overwhelmingly eagles which results in no difference for the type of bird here. [Michael of Carillion, 03/2008, R-East]

BIRD - Falcon and Hawk

Both popinjays and ravens are period charges and no evidence has been found that the two were interchangeable in period heraldry. We can, in fact, show that when the two birds were rendered by the same artist, pains were taken to keep them distinct. Typical is the Zurich Roll, which has both popinjays (in the arms of Sanct Johann, d'argent au perroquet de sinople acc. de deux etoiles de sable rengees en barre) and crows (in the arms of Schifer, de gueules au chef d'argent charge d'un corbeau de sable). The popinjay's beak is the typical hooked form we associate with parrots, macaws, budgies, etc, while the crow's beak is long and pointy. The popinjay also has a long, pointed tail. The raven has a long but raggedly square tail and a shorter neck than the popinjay. Other examples include the Armorial Bellenville, the Grand Equestrian Armorial, de Bara's Blason des Armoiries, and Siebmacher (von Rabenstein, plate 105, and von Puchenaw, plate 141). While the differences vary from artist to artist, in each case ravens and drawn distinctly different from popinjays.

Both ... birds are in their standard period posture (close), are drawn correctly, and there is a visual difference. Thus the criteria laid out by Laurel in the January 2002 Cover Letter are met; we will therefore grant a CD between a raven and a popinjay.

There is still no difference granted between a falcon and raven, nor between a falcon and a popinjay; however, conflict is not transitive and -- until it is shown that popinjays and ravens were interchangeable in period -- we will grant a CD between properly drawn ravens and popinjays. [Catherine Townson, 02/2006, A-An Tir]
... Nor is there a CD for removing the falcon's bells and jesses. [Livia Zanna, 09/2006, R-Atlantia]
[a hawk contourny guardant] This badge is returned for conflict with device for Siobhán NicDhuinnshléibhe, Vert, in pale an owl affronty perched atop a branch fesswise argent between three drop spindles inverted sable, threaded argent ...

We have a precedent granting a CD between an owl close (i.e. in its default posture) and a falcon close (in its default posture): "[T]here is another CD for changing the type of bird from an owl close to a falcon close." [Falco de Jablonec, June 02]. In this case, though, neither bird is exactly default: Dieter's hawk is guardant (which is far more typical for owls than hawks), and Siobhan's owl is affronty (which is not attested in period armory). This means that we must go by visual appearances. In this case, there is insufficient visual difference to grant a CD between the birds (in these specific postures). [Dieter Velkener an dem Platz and Kirstyn Velkenerin an dem Platz, 05/2007, R-East]
[hawk argent] Blazoned on the LoI as a red-tailed hawk, there is no way to tell a red-tailed hawk from any other hawk when it is completely argent. [Dieter Velkener an dem Platz and Kirstyn Velkenerin an dem Platz, 05/2007, R-East]
From Wreath: On Falcons and Ravens
The submission this month from Merlyn Elzebeth von Preßela raised the issue of whether or not there is a CD between a raven and a merlin. A merlin is a type of falcon and is considered heraldically identical to a standard falcon. In February 2001 Laurel ruled: "As rising is a reasonable posture for both ravens and hawks, we would normally give a CD for the change of type of the bird." In January 2002 the opposite was ruled, with the Cover Letter noting: "Falcons close are not entitled to difference from corbies close." (Corbie and raven are essentially two names for the same bird.)

In February 2006 it was ruled that:
This [(Fieldless) A popinjay vert] is not a conflict with Hrefna in heppna Þorgrímsdóttir, (Fieldless) A raven vert. Both popinjays and ravens are period charges and no evidence has been found that the two were interchangeable in period heraldry. We can, in fact, show that when the two birds were rendered by the same artist, pains were taken to keep them distinct. Typical is the Zurich Roll, which has both popinjays (in the arms of Sanct Johann, d'argent au perroquet de sinople acc. de deux etoiles de sable rengees en barre) and crows (in the arms of Schifer, de gueules au chef d'argent charge d'un corbeau de sable). The popinjay's beak is the typical hooked form we associate with parrots, macaws, budgies, etc, while the crow's beak is long and pointy. The popinjay also has a long, pointed tail. The raven has a long but raggedly square tail and a shorter neck than the popinjay. Other examples include the Armorial Bellenville, the Grand Equestrian Armorial, de Bara's Blason des Armoiries, and Siebmacher (von Rabenstein, plate 105, and von Puchenaw, plate 141). While the differences vary from artist to artist, in each case ravens and [sic] drawn distinctly different from popinjays.

Both Hrenfa's and Catherine's birds are in their standard period posture (close), are drawn correctly, and there is a visual difference. Thus the criteria laid out by Laurel in the January 2002 Cover Letter are met; we will therefore grant a CD between a raven and a popinjay.

There is still no difference granted between a falcon and raven, nor between a falcon and a popinjay; however, conflict is not transitive and -- until it is shown that popinjays and ravens were interchangeable in period -- we will grant a CD between properly drawn ravens and popinjays.
Since February 2006 additional research has been done by Batonvert on period depictions of falcons and ravens. He notes:
I've attached a few scans from the Zurich Roll, from Stemmario Trivulziano, from Guillim, and from Siebmacher [not included in this letter - Wreath]. In each case there's a crow/raven/corvid and a falcon (in most cases, the cant on the name makes that clear). And in every case, there's one consistent difference between the falcon and the corvid: The falcon has a hooked beak. While the corvid's beak is straight -- every time.

The consistency here suggests that period heralds *did* distinguish between these two birds. They certainly tried to draw them differently -- a rendition might vary between artists, but each individual artist made the distinction. This was the argument that let us grant a CD between ravens and parrots, some months past, and I don't see why it shouldn't apply here.
The examples that Batonvert provided were as follows: the canting arms of Kromair and of Falcke (Siebmacher, plates 63, 189); the arms of Schifer and the canting arms of Falkenstein (Zurich Roll #413, #454); the canting arms of de Corbis and the arms of di Iorsenove (Stemmario Trivulziano, pp. 99, 180); and the canting arms of Corbet and the arms of Weele (Guillim, pp. 230, 229). Normally a detail as small as a beak would not be grounds for a CD; however, RfS X.4.e states in part "Types of charges considered to be separate in period, for example a lion and an heraldic tyger, will be considered different." As a merlin/falcon close and a raven close are both period heraldic charges, in their period posture (close), and as period heralds consistently distinguished, in their heraldic art, the birds in these positions, we will grant a CD between a merlin/falcon close and a raven close. [08/2007 CL]
[a sandpiper] This badge is returned for multiple conflicts: ... a raven speaking Or ...,; the badge ... a duck naiant Or; and ... a hen close. In each case, there is a CD for changes to the field but nothing for the type of bird.

The submitted badge is clear ... a Celtic hawk statant close reguardant Or ... and ...a dunghill cock Or. In each case there is a CD for changes to the field and a second CD for changing the type of bird. We note that a Celtic hawk is a hawk in name only; in fact, there may be a CD between a hawk and a Celtic hawk though we decline to so rule at this time. [Lyondemere, Barony of, 12/2007, R-Caid]
[a hawk rising vs. a swan roussant wings displayed] As both birds are in period postures appropriate for them, and there is a significant visual difference between the birds in these postures, there is at least a CD for the type of bird. [Gavin von Abentrot, 03/2008, A-East]

BIRD - Generic

This is a generic bird; it has no identifying features. ... There is nothing between a generic bird and any other type of bird. [Itbir Amellal, 07/2005, R-Atenveldt]
Blazoned on the LoI as a raven, the bird has no raven-like features nor features of any other identifiable bird. We have thus blazoned it as a generic bird. A generic bird displayed is a step from period practice. [Mór ingen Lonáin, 05/2006, A-Calontir]

BIRD - Martlet

[a martlet vs. a raven] This badge conflicts with John of Ravenwolf, Sable, a raven speaking Or, beaked and membered argent. There is a CD for fielded versus fieldless armory but, according to the Cover Letter for the LoAR of January 2002, "martlets close and corbies close should not be given difference." [Konrad Ryman, 06/2005, R-Middle]
[a martlet volant] The defining feature of a martlet is usually taken to be its lack of feet. When volant it is impossible to tell whether or not its feet are present, which led some commenters to suggest reblazoning the bird to a swallow.

Black Stag provided the following information:
François Velde's article on the martlet on his web site provides an excellent analysis of period use of this charge, quoting from authoritative sources like Pastoureau, Woodward, and Brault. Here are the key paragraphs of the Velde article, which is found at http://www.heraldica.org/topics/martlet.htm.
According to Pastoureau: Traité d'Héiraldique (2d ed., p. 150-1), the charge makes its first appearance c. 1185 in the arms of Mello in Normandy, and is at first confined to similarly canting arms (Merlot, Merloz, etc). Therefore, it is initially thought of as a small blackbird, called merle in French. From the mid-14th c., however, it appears as a canting device for families named Oisery, Oisy, Loiseau, which indicates that it is now seen as a generic bird rather than any specific species. Its depiction is still quite variable (with or without feet), and in any case it does not lose its beak before the late 15th c. As the Oxford ENglish [sic] Dictionary says (s.v. martlet): "It seems possible that the heraldic bird may originally have been intended for a 'little blackbird', represented without feet by accident or caprice, or with symbolical intention." Most likely, the need to save space led artists to skip the feet of the small birds that were often used as filler or bordure elements (the orle of martlets is common in early heraldry). Also, in the late 15th c., some confusion or competition arises with the canette or duckling, and modern French heraldic textbooks state that a martlet is a duckling without beak and feet.

The evolution in England was different, leading to a swallow. The reason is undoubtedly folk etymology. The Oxford English Dictionary continues: "The English heralds of the 16th c. or earlier identified the bird so depicted with the 'martlet' or swift, which has short legs, whence its mod. specific name apus = Gr. apous footless. It is noteworthy that the 'martlets' (so called in the 16th c.) in the pretended arms of Edward the Confessor were at an early period portrayed with feet. The anglicized form of merlete, marlet, does not occur in heraldic use, but appears in several 16th c. instances with the sense of martlet, i.e. a swift or a martin. According to English heraldic writers, the use of the footless bird as a mark of cadency for younger sons was meant to symbolize their position as having no footing in the ancestral lands." Woodward and Burnett (A Treatise on Heraldry, p. 266) confirm that: "[t]here are early examples of the martlet properly furnished with legs, but about the close of the 13th c. the custom arose by which the bird is represented without feet, and sometimes without a beak." Gerard Brault (Early Blazon, p. 242) says that "The elimination of the feet (and later the beak) in depictions of the martlet may have been purely conventional". He cites examples attesting to the variety of early depcitions [sic]: Mathew Paris shows the martlets of John de Bassingbourne without legs, those of Furnival with legs; the sparrow-hawks of Robert Muschet without feet; a 13th c. panel of Edward the Confessor's arms in Westminster abbey shows the martlets as doves (with feet).
Given this research, it appears that for the majority of our heraldic period and the majority of our area of study, a martlet is effectively a generic little bird - most often modeled on a swallow, European blackbird (merle in French), or similar bird. It was almost always is drawn without feet in some fashion - although it may show leg tufts, leg stumps, or no legs at all.

For SCA purposes, we will blazon a small generic bird as a martlet if does not have feet. If a small generic bird has feet showing - which is to say actual toes - then it is NOT a martlet. If for some reason, the blazon term martlet was chosen for purposes of cant, the cant can be preserved by blazoning it as a merle (for blackbird).

If the small generic bird does not have feet showing, AND does not have some other clear attribute of a different type of bird (such as a dove's tuft), AND the bird is in a posture found for most types of bird (close, rising and volant, but not displayed), then it is acceptable to blazon it as a martlet. This is the case whether the bird explicitly shows that it is footless/legless from its posture, or whether the bird's foot area is obscured by the bird's wings (as in the volant posture) or by another charge (a demi-martlet rising issuant from a fess). We have therefore retained the term martlet for the bird in this submission. [Gráinne inghean Shéadna, 07/2006, A-Ansteorra]
We note that martlets should not have feet, though the presence of feet is not sufficient grounds for return. See the Cover Letter of the January 2002 for a discussion on birds; especially of note is the fact that there is period evidence that some heraldic artists (Gelre and Siebmacher) did on occasion draw martlets with feet. [Seán an Gleanna, 04/2008, R-Atenveldt]

BIRD - Miscellaneous

There is a CD ... for the difference between an owl and a penguin. [Ninian of Warwick, 09/2005, A-An Tir]
[a bird of paradise displayed] This device is returned for being two steps from period practice. No documentation was provided for a bird of paradise as a period heraldic charge. Commenters provided evidence that birds of paradise were known in period; however, as non-European birds their use as heraldic charges is one step from period practice. We wish to remind the College that, per the January 2000 Cover Letter, the use of any bird displayed other than an eagle is considered one step from period practice. Thus this device is two steps from period practice and must be returned. We would have reblazoned this as a Russian firebird; however, the Russian firebird is a period artistic element not a heraldic charge and thus its use is also one step from period practice and the device would still be two steps from period practice. [Tommasa Isolana, 02/2006, R-Æthelmearc]
There is a CD for the difference between a dodo and a popinjay ... [Catherine Townson, 02/2006, A-An Tir]
[A robin proper] No difference is granted between an American or English/European robin. Both types of robin are brown with red breast; the underbelly is white for an English/European robin and red for an American robin. A robin may be blazoned as proper no matter where it is from - the tincture of the underbelly is artistic license. This robin has an argent underbelly; it is a European robin. [Robin of Thornwood, 12/2006, A-An Tir]
A snipe is a "regular-shape" bird, as defined in the Cover Letter of November 2003; it has a long, sharply pointed bill. [Ronan Barrett, 12/2006, A-An Tir]
From Wreath: Hummingbirds Volant, Rising, and Hovering
A question on one of this month's submissions caused us to investigate the postures of hummingbirds registered in the Society. There are currently 41 pieces of armory with one or more hummingbirds: 1 is close, 1 is migrant, 3 are displayed, 8 are blazoned as volant, 27 are blazoned as rising, and 1 is blazoned as hovering.

An examination of the volant, rising, and hovering hummingbirds showed that we have inconsistently blazoned the various postures. Birds in the hovering posture unique to the hummingbird - body erect but embowed, wings addorsed, tail tucked forward under the body - have been variously blazoned as rising or volant (and yes, once as hovering). We also found hummingbirds blazoned as volant that are in the posture the Society identifies as rising.

While the term hovering isn't an heraldic posture, neither is stooping or striking (which we equate, for conflict purposes, with volant bendwise and rising, respectively). While we are reluctant to use SCA-unique terminology in blazon, hovering is the best term that describes that unique hummingbird posture. We note that certain period heraldic charges had special terms for postures uniquely (at least in period heraldry) associated with them, for example, stags at gaze and goats clymant. In order to ensure that the emblazon is recreated from the blazon, we are adopting the term hovering for hummingbirds. The three postures can be described as:
  • Hovering: the wings addorsed, the body sort of palewise but embowed, and the tail tucked forward under the belly. This term may only be applied to hummingbirds. It is granted no difference from rising.
  • Rising: the body bendwise, wings elevated and addorsed. In other words, the bird is "taking off" from the ground. If present, the feet are shown beneath or slightly in front of the bird. The feet are generally absent for hummingbirds, though they are almost always present for other birds.
  • Volant: the body is more or less horizontal, the wings spread on either side of the body. If the wings are addorsed this must be specified. A bird volant (wings spread) is a CD from a bird rising.
We wish to remind submitters that the use of a hummingbird is a step from period practice. [12/2007 CL]
Commenters provided sufficient evidence that, while native to the Americas, the hummingbird was known to Europeans in period. Thus, a hummingbird may be registered but its use is considered a step from period practice. [Giles Green, 12/2007, R-Atlantia]
[a sandpiper] This badge is returned for multiple conflicts: ... a raven speaking Or ...,; the badge ... a duck naiant Or; and ... a hen close Or. In each case, there is a CD for changes to the field but nothing for the type of bird.

The submitted badge is clear ... a Celtic hawk statant close reguardant Or ... and ...a dunghill cock Or. In each case there is a CD for changes to the field and a second CD for changing the type of bird. We note that a Celtic hawk is a hawk in name only; in fact, there may be a CD between a hawk and a Celtic hawk though we decline to so rule at this time. [Lyondemere, Barony of, 12/2007, R-Caid]
Blazoned on the LoI as a dove, the forked tail of the bird makes it a swallow not a dove. [Callum of Greycastell, 03/2008, A-Meridies]
The use of a penguin is a step from period practice. [Finn Hans, 07/2008, A-Atenveldt]

BIRD - Owl

There is a CD ... for the difference between an owl and a penguin. [Ninian of Warwick, 09/2005, A-An Tir]
[a rooster] There is normally at least a CD between the different bird categories listed in the November 2003 Cover Letter. ...The submitted badge is also clear of ... an owl rising guardant wings displayed ... there is also at least a CD between the type of birds. [Drueta de la Rosa, 02/2007, A-East]
[a hawk contourny guardant] This badge is returned for conflict with device for Siobhán NicDhuinnshléibhe, Vert, in pale an owl affronty perched atop a branch fesswise argent between three drop spindles inverted sable, threaded argent ...

We have a precedent granting a CD between an owl close (i.e. in its default posture) and a falcon close (in its default posture): "[T]here is another CD for changing the type of bird from an owl close to a falcon close." [Falco de Jablonec, June 02]. In this case, though, neither bird is exactly default: Dieter's hawk is guardant (which is far more typical for owls than hawks), and Siobhan's owl is affronty (which is not attested in period armory). This means that we must go by visual appearances. In this case, there is insufficient visual difference to grant a CD between the birds (in these specific postures). [Dieter Velkener an dem Platz and Kirstyn Velkenerin an dem Platz, 05/2007, R-East]
The submitted forms called the bird a European eagle owl, and that is the common name for Bubo bubo. We realize that, given the tendency to create monsters by composition, some may consider this a bird that is part eagle and part owl. However, European eagle owl is still the best description for this owl as it cannot simply be blazoned a brown owl proper. The emblazon shows an owl with "horns" (i.e. feather tufts over the eyes); tail, head and body white (or light grey); wings sort of barry of three light brown, dark brown and red brown; and there are bits of brown on the face and tail. [Michael Maggotslayer, 10/2007, A-Caid]
There is a CD between a popinjay and an owl, when both are in their default postures. [Ymanya Bartelot, 10/2007, R-Caid]
... no difference is granted between an owl displayed and a raven displayed: neither bird is in the period posture for its kind, and the visual similarity here is too great to grant a CD. [Viðarr Hrafnsson, 01/2008, R-Æthelmearc]

BIRD - Peacock

... there is not a CD between an eagle and a simurgh displayed. [Ximon Yssuri Zaldu, 10/2006, R-Outlands]
[a bird of paradise displayed] This device is returned for being two steps from period practice. No documentation was provided for a bird of paradise as a period heraldic charge. Commenters provided evidence that birds of paradise were known in period; however, as non-European birds their use as heraldic charges is one step from period practice. We wish to remind the College that, per the January 2000 Cover Letter, the use of any bird displayed other than an eagle is considered one step from period practice. Thus this device is two steps from period practice and must be returned. We would have reblazoned this as a Russian firebird; however, the Russian firebird is a period artistic element not a heraldic charge and thus its use is also one step from period practice and the device would still be two steps from period practice. [Tommasa Isolana, 02/2006, R-Æthelmearc]
Blazoned on the LoI as a Russian firebird, it does not match the other Russian firebirds we've registered. Those all have multi-plumed tails, rather like peacock tails only not in a fan, and they all have head crests. The illustration at http://www.auburn.edu/academic/liberal_arts/foreign/russian/art/bilibin/bilibin27.html is typical of SCA registrations. As we have found no period illustrations of the bird at all, or even evidence that the folktale on which it's based is a period legend, the use of a Russian firebird is a least a step from period practice. [Syban Khal, 11/2006, R-Trimaris]
[a Russian firebird rising] A Russian firebird is not a period heraldic charge, therefore the precedent concerning substantial difference between birds, from the November 2003 Cover Letter, does not apply. However, a Russian firebird as typically depicted in the SCA has a significant difference (a CD) from an eagle when they are rising. We decline to rule at this time if a CD exists when the two are displayed, as many displayed eagles in late period had long, ornate tails. [Tommasa Isolana, 01/2007, A-Æthelmearc]
From Wreath: Concerning Peacocks
The term pavonated (sometimes pavanated) has a long history in the SCA. It was first used in registering a device for Sieglinde von Krause in January 1973, and in one spelling or another, has been used 24 times since then. We note that the OED defines pavonated simply as "colored like a peacock's feather", so the term really shouldn't be used in blazons. In fact, it hasn't been used consistently in our history. Baldwin Laurel ruled (August 1985) that "the term [pavonated] requires some sort of directive: e.g., 'pavonated to base' or a 'peacock vert, pavonated gules'." Many of our blazons in fact use pavonated with a directive; however, many seem to use the term alone, without modifier, to mean "a peacock not in its pride". Since then, François Laurel ruled (August 2003) that "Peacocks are close by default, with their tails extending behind them, and closed up (rather than being fanned out)", which seems to eliminate much of the need for pavonated in the first place. We hereby rule that pavonated will no longer be used in SCA blazons. Further, we'll be examining the registered peacocks, and where necessary, reblazoning them in accordance with the definitions below:
  • peacock in his pride - statant affronty, tail raised behind him and spread out;
  • peacock - facing dexter, wings close, tail downwards and closed or slightly spread (the default posture);
  • peacock contourny - facing sinister, wings close, tail downwards and closed or slightly spread;
  • peacock, tail spread - facing dexter, wings close, tail downwards and spread out;
  • peacock contourny, tail spread - facing sinister, wings close, tail downwards and spread out.
Peacocks in other postures must be explicitly blazoned (e.g., rising).

When the peacock is in its default (i.e. with its tail downwards), there is no heraldic difference for the tail's exact placement (straight to base, curved bendwise, etc.), nor for the exact degree of the tail's spread (closed tight, slightly spread, etc.). [04/2007 CL]
[a Russian firebird volant palewise, facing sinister and wings displayed] The use of a Russian firebird is a step from period practice. However, since they are almost invariably drawn in the Society with wings spread, the fact that it is also effectively displayed here is not a second step from period practice. The firebird as drawn here lacks feet and thus cannot be blazoned as displayed. [Syban Khal, 09/2007, A-Trimaris]
[peacocks in their pride vs. a chimney swift migrant palewise] ... a CD for the type of the birds, and a third CD for the posture of the birds. [Eleonora di Gerardo, 01/2008, A-Caid]
[three peacocks in their pride vs. two geese volant and a swan naiant bendwise] ... CDs for the type and posture of the birds. [Eleonora di Gerardo, 01/2008, A-Caid]

BIRD - Popinjay

There is a CD for the difference between a dodo and a popinjay ... [Catherine Townson, 02/2006, A-An Tir]
Both popinjays and ravens are period charges and no evidence has been found that the two were interchangeable in period heraldry. We can, in fact, show that when the two birds were rendered by the same artist, pains were taken to keep them distinct. Typical is the Zurich Roll, which has both popinjays (in the arms of Sanct Johann, d'argent au perroquet de sinople acc. de deux etoiles de sable rengees en barre) and crows (in the arms of Schifer, de gueules au chef d'argent charge d'un corbeau de sable). The popinjay's beak is the typical hooked form we associate with parrots, macaws, budgies, etc, while the crow's beak is long and pointy. The popinjay also has a long, pointed tail. The raven has a long but raggedly square tail and a shorter neck than the popinjay. Other examples include the Armorial Bellenville, the Grand Equestrian Armorial, de Bara's Blason des Armoiries, and Siebmacher (von Rabenstein, plate 105, and von Puchenaw, plate 141). While the differences vary from artist to artist, in each case ravens and drawn distinctly different from popinjays.

Both ... birds are in their standard period posture (close), are drawn correctly, and there is a visual difference. Thus the criteria laid out by Laurel in the January 2002 Cover Letter are met; we will therefore grant a CD between a raven and a popinjay.

There is still no difference granted between a falcon and raven, nor between a falcon and a popinjay; however, conflict is not transitive and -- until it is shown that popinjays and ravens were interchangeable in period -- we will grant a CD between properly drawn ravens and popinjays. [Catherine Townson, 02/2006, A-An Tir]
[Or, a popinjay gules beaked, winged and tailed argent] This device is returned for inadequate contrast of the popinjay. The defining features of the popinjay, its beak and tail, are argent on Or. This lack of contrast fatally hinders identification of the bird. We've previously ruled (Catherine Townson, February 2006) that there's a CD between a raven and a popinjay, based on the beak and tail; it thus becomes important that those features be seen, which means they must have good contrast. [Ymanya Bartelot, 10/2007, R-Caid]
There is a CD between a popinjay and an owl, when both are in their default postures. [Ymanya Bartelot, 10/2007, R-Caid]

BIRD - Raven

... nothing for a raven displayed versus an eagle displayed. As precedent explains, "Even though ravens and eagles were different birds in period, only eagles were ever displayed. Therefore there is not a CD for type" [Robert le Raven MacLeod, 11/99, R-Artemisia]. [Dammo Utwiler, 06/2005, R-Calontir]
[a martlet vs. a raven] This badge conflicts with John of Ravenwolf, Sable, a raven speaking Or, beaked and membered argent. There is a CD for fielded versus fieldless armory but, according to the Cover Letter for the LoAR of January 2002, "martlets close and corbies close should not be given difference." [Konrad Ryman, 06/2005, R-Middle]
... there is no difference between a vulture and a raven: "Until such time as it can be demonstrated that there is 'some visual difference' between a vulture and a raven when used in heraldry, no difference will be given between these charges. [Brand Björnsson, 11/02, R-Meridies]". [Ingvarr Halvarson, 07/2005, R-Outlands]
[a raven displayed vs. a double-headed eagle displayed] There is no difference between an eagle displayed and a raven displayed, nor is there a CD for the number of heads. [Ravenswar Brackæ, 11/2005, R-Gleann Abhann]
Both popinjays and ravens are period charges and no evidence has been found that the two were interchangeable in period heraldry. We can, in fact, show that when the two birds were rendered by the same artist, pains were taken to keep them distinct. Typical is the Zurich Roll, which has both popinjays (in the arms of Sanct Johann, d'argent au perroquet de sinople acc. de deux etoiles de sable rengees en barre) and crows (in the arms of Schifer, de gueules au chef d'argent charge d'un corbeau de sable). The popinjay's beak is the typical hooked form we associate with parrots, macaws, budgies, etc, while the crow's beak is long and pointy. The popinjay also has a long, pointed tail. The raven has a long but raggedly square tail and a shorter neck than the popinjay. Other examples include the Armorial Bellenville, the Grand Equestrian Armorial, de Bara's Blason des Armoiries, and Siebmacher (von Rabenstein, plate 105, and von Puchenaw, plate 141). While the differences vary from artist to artist, in each case ravens and drawn distinctly different from popinjays.

Both ... birds are in their standard period posture (close), are drawn correctly, and there is a visual difference. Thus the criteria laid out by Laurel in the January 2002 Cover Letter are met; we will therefore grant a CD between a raven and a popinjay.

There is still no difference granted between a falcon and raven, nor between a falcon and a popinjay; however, conflict is not transitive and -- until it is shown that popinjays and ravens were interchangeable in period -- we will grant a CD between properly drawn ravens and popinjays. [Catherine Townson, 02/2006, A-An Tir]
[raven vs. vulture] Precedent states "Until such time as it can be demonstrated that there is 'some visual difference' between a vulture and a raven when used in heraldry, no difference will be given between these charges. [Brand Björnsson, 11/02, R-Meridies]". There is thus not a CD for changing the primary charge. [Hrefna Gandalfsdottir, 05/2006, R-Atenveldt]
Blazoned on the LoI as a raven, the bird has no raven-like features nor features of any other identifiable bird. We have thus blazoned it as a generic bird. A generic bird displayed is a step from period practice. [Mór ingen Lonáin, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
... no difference is granted between a magpie and a raven. [Marguerite de Saint Nazaire, 05/2007, R-East]
A magpie can have varying amounts of white; some depictions of a magpie proper are primarily sable. Given this, there is not a CD for tincture between a magpie proper and a magpie sable. [Marguerite de Saint Nazaire, 05/2007, R-East]
From Wreath: On Falcons and Ravens
The submission this month from Merlyn Elzebeth von Preßela raised the issue of whether or not there is a CD between a raven and a merlin. A merlin is a type of falcon and is considered heraldically identical to a standard falcon. In February 2001 Laurel ruled: "As rising is a reasonable posture for both ravens and hawks, we would normally give a CD for the change of type of the bird." In January 2002 the opposite was ruled, with the Cover Letter noting: "Falcons close are not entitled to difference from corbies close." (Corbie and raven are essentially two names for the same bird.)

In February 2006 it was ruled that:
This [(Fieldless) A popinjay vert] is not a conflict with Hrefna in heppna Þorgrímsdóttir, (Fieldless) A raven vert. Both popinjays and ravens are period charges and no evidence has been found that the two were interchangeable in period heraldry. We can, in fact, show that when the two birds were rendered by the same artist, pains were taken to keep them distinct. Typical is the Zurich Roll, which has both popinjays (in the arms of Sanct Johann, d'argent au perroquet de sinople acc. de deux etoiles de sable rengees en barre) and crows (in the arms of Schifer, de gueules au chef d'argent charge d'un corbeau de sable). The popinjay's beak is the typical hooked form we associate with parrots, macaws, budgies, etc, while the crow's beak is long and pointy. The popinjay also has a long, pointed tail. The raven has a long but raggedly square tail and a shorter neck than the popinjay. Other examples include the Armorial Bellenville, the Grand Equestrian Armorial, de Bara's Blason des Armoiries, and Siebmacher (von Rabenstein, plate 105, and von Puchenaw, plate 141). While the differences vary from artist to artist, in each case ravens and [sic] drawn distinctly different from popinjays.

Both Hrenfa's and Catherine's birds are in their standard period posture (close), are drawn correctly, and there is a visual difference. Thus the criteria laid out by Laurel in the January 2002 Cover Letter are met; we will therefore grant a CD between a raven and a popinjay.

There is still no difference granted between a falcon and raven, nor between a falcon and a popinjay; however, conflict is not transitive and -- until it is shown that popinjays and ravens were interchangeable in period -- we will grant a CD between properly drawn ravens and popinjays.
Since February 2006 additional research has been done by Batonvert on period depictions of falcons and ravens. He notes:
I've attached a few scans from the Zurich Roll, from Stemmario Trivulziano, from Guillim, and from Siebmacher [not included in this letter - Wreath]. In each case there's a crow/raven/corvid and a falcon (in most cases, the cant on the name makes that clear). And in every case, there's one consistent difference between the falcon and the corvid: The falcon has a hooked beak. While the corvid's beak is straight -- every time.

The consistency here suggests that period heralds *did* distinguish between these two birds. They certainly tried to draw them differently -- a rendition might vary between artists, but each individual artist made the distinction. This was the argument that let us grant a CD between ravens and parrots, some months past, and I don't see why it shouldn't apply here.
The examples that Batonvert provided were as follows: the canting arms of Kromair and of Falcke (Siebmacher, plates 63, 189); the arms of Schifer and the canting arms of Falkenstein (Zurich Roll #413, #454); the canting arms of de Corbis and the arms of di Iorsenove (Stemmario Trivulziano, pp. 99, 180); and the canting arms of Corbet and the arms of Weele (Guillim, pp. 230, 229). Normally a detail as small as a beak would not be grounds for a CD; however, RfS X.4.e states in part "Types of charges considered to be separate in period, for example a lion and an heraldic tyger, will be considered different." As a merlin/falcon close and a raven close are both period heraldic charges, in their period posture (close), and as period heralds consistently distinguished, in their heraldic art, the birds in these positions, we will grant a CD between a merlin/falcon close and a raven close. [08/2007 CL]
[a popinjay vs. a raven]. ... with CDs for changing the types and tincture of the bird ... [Ymanya Bartelot, 10/2007, R-Caid]
The raven's tail is distorted somewhat, due to the need to draw the charge as large as will fit in the available space; this was not uncommon for animate charges in heraldic art. Still, the bird has a raven's characteristic pointy beak, and the hairy feathers found in some German emblazons; it is certainly identifiable as a raven. [Branwen ferch Idris, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
[a sandpiper] This badge is returned for multiple conflicts: ... a raven speaking Or ...,; the badge ... a duck naiant Or; and ... a hen close Or. In each case, there is a CD for changes to the field but nothing for the type of bird.

The submitted badge is clear ... a Celtic hawk statant close reguardant Or ... and ...a dunghill cock Or. In each case there is a CD for changes to the field and a second CD for changing the type of bird. We note that a Celtic hawk is a hawk in name only; in fact, there may be a CD between a hawk and a Celtic hawk though we decline to so rule at this time. [Lyondemere, Barony of, 12/2007, R-Caid]
... no difference is granted between an owl displayed and a raven displayed: neither bird is in the period posture for its kind, and the visual similarity here is too great to grant a CD. [Viðarr Hrafnsson, 01/2008, R-Æthelmearc]
There is a substantial (X.2) difference between a raven displayed and a winged spear. [Viðarr Hrafnsson, 01/2008, R-Æthelmearc]
[two ravens close respectant] Commentary raised the issue of whether the ravens were in a blazonable or reproducible posture: the raised feet and the tails extended to base were the primary concerns. The ravens would be unremarkable, we suspect, were it not for those: the birds shown are fuzzy, and they are (absent the tails) in a position that is similar to many period depictions of close. We have previously held that birds close could be drawn with one foot raised (so-called "passant") without the fact needing blazon. The main problem here, then, is with the tails being extended so far to base. However, we have also held -- indeed, insisted -- that charges are properly drawn to fill the available space, and the submitter has done that here. Period emblazons frequently "distort" birds and beasts to fill the space (the lions of England being a readily available example), and so long as identifiability is maintained, we have no problem with it. Ravens in period were almost always close, as here, and frequently drawn with fuzzy feathers, as here. Given that even those who questioned the registerability of the ravens because of the tails recognized that the birds were ravens, as did all of those present at the Wreath meeting, we will give the submitter the benefit of the doubt and register this submission. [Thórbjörn Assa, 01/2008, A-Caid]

BIRD - Swan-shaped

[a duck vs. a swan] While both swans and ducks are period charges, swans are much more common than ducks. In period emblazons it is often difficult, or impossible, to tell the difference between the two birds. Thus we do not grant a difference between the two. [Catrina Makcrie of Berwick, 07/2005, R-An Tir]
The swan is cut off at the water line; this is unusual but acceptable. Please instruct the submitter to not draw the neck overlaying the back wing; this will also decrease the appearance of trian aspect. [Fionnghuala of Anglesey, 08/2005, A-An Tir]
There was some question whether the submitter's ducks were actually mallard drakes proper. The submitter's documentation, which were copies of period art showing mallard ducks, showed the typical green head, white neck ring, and chestnut breast of a mallard. However, the remainder of the bodies of the ducks in the documentation were various shades of grey rather than the browns in this submission. Further research has found some mallards with brownish tincture extending to various portions of the rest of their bodies, which is sufficient to give the submitter the benefit of the doubt and register this device. [Ivarr ffening, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
[a rooster] There is normally at least a CD between the different bird categories listed in the November 2003 Cover Letter. ... since roosters and swans appear in different categories, another CD for the difference between a rooster and a swan. [Drueta de la Rosa, 02/2007, A-East]
When a posture is not specified, a swan is rousant, not naiant. [Cassandra of Padua, 10/2007, A-Atenveldt]
[a sandpiper] This badge is returned for multiple conflicts: ...a raven speaking Or ...,; the badge ... a duck naiant Or; and ... a hen close Or. In each case, there is a CD for changes to the field but nothing for the type of bird.

The submitted badge is clear ... a Celtic hawk statant close reguardant Or ... and ...a dunghill cock Or. In each case there is a CD for changes to the field and a second CD for changing the type of bird. We note that a Celtic hawk is a hawk in name only; in fact, there may be a CD between a hawk and a Celtic hawk though we decline to so rule at this time. [Lyondemere, Barony of, 12/2007, R-Caid]
[three peacocks in their pride vs. two geese volant and a swan naiant bendwise] ... CDs for the type and posture of the birds. [Eleonora di Gerardo, 01/2008, A-Caid]
[a hawk rising vs. a swan roussant wings displayed] As both birds are in period postures appropriate for them, and there is a significant visual difference between the birds in these postures, there is at least a CD for the type of bird. [Gavin von Abentrot, 03/2008, A-East]
[a swan naiant affronty guardant wings displayed] This device is returned for lack of identifiability of the primary charge. If the swan were not guardant, the identifiability would be somewhat improved; however, it may not be possible to draw a swan in this posture in such a manner that it is both recognizable and reproducible. We note that this posture (naiant affronty wings displayed) is at least a step from period practice. [Úna Carleton, 07/2008, R-Ansteorra]

BIRD - Vulture

... there is no difference between a vulture and a raven: "Until such time as it can be demonstrated that there is 'some visual difference' between a vulture and a raven when used in heraldry, no difference will be given between these charges. [Brand Björnsson, 11/02, R-Meridies]". [Ingvarr Halvarson, 07/2005, R-Outlands]
[raven vs. vulture] Precedent states "Until such time as it can be demonstrated that there is 'some visual difference' between a vulture and a raven when used in heraldry, no difference will be given between these charges. [Brand Björnsson, 11/02, R-Meridies]". There is thus not a CD for changing the primary charge. [Hrefna Gandalfsdottir, 05/2006, R-Atenveldt]
This badge is returned for being two steps from period practice. ... The second is for using a New World bird that is not found in period heraldry heraldry - this bird is clearly a variant of the American birds named "vultures" rather than the unrelated European birds named vultures. [Thomas DeGuy Bassard, 01/2007, R-Atenveldt]
Please advise the submitter that having a vulture in his badge doesn't cant on his name as in period Europe, buzzard didn't refer to a vulture, but to the Buteo genus of hawks: "An inferior kind of hawk, useless for falconry," according to the OED. Applying the term buzzard to a vulture seems to be a uniquely New World practice. We note that European vultures are perfectly acceptable as heraldic charges. But they weren't depicted with featherless heads, as here: featherless heads distinguish New World vultures. [Thomas DeGuy Bassard, 01/2007, R-Atenveldt]

BLAZON
see also POSTURE/ORIENTATION - Animate Charges and POSTURE/ORIENTATION - General and POSTURE/ORIENTATION - Inanimate Charges

[a sword bendwise surmounted by a quill pen bendwise sinister] When two charges are in saltire, the one blazoned first is the one bendwise. The submitter had originally included a motto, translating to "the pen is mightier than the sword", with his submission. Given this we have elected to use the longer form of the blazon, explicitly blazoning the orientation of the charges rather than simply blazoning them as in saltire, to ensure the supremacy of the pen over the sword. [Nicolas de Navarre, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
[two natural panthers rampant addorsed, tails nowed together] The exact type of knot used to tie the panthers' tails is considered an artistic detail. [Caíreach inghean uí Ghiolla Phádraig, 12/2005, A-Outlands]
Submitted as (Fieldless) An onager..., the term onager applies to a siege engine as well as to a beast. To avoid confusion, we have blazoned the beast as an ass. [Finn Folhare, 02/2006, A-Æthelmearc]
The submitter has been informed that it is the emblazon that is registered, not the blazon, but she still is unwilling to accept a blazon with denticulada in it. We ask the College to be certain to inform submitters that it is the emblazon that is registered and that the blazon armory is accepted under may be changed in the future. [Janina Krakowska, 02/2006, R-Atlantia]
An ordinary between two groups of charges will have one group on each side, thus in chief and in base is not required. [Geoffrey FitzKenneth of Pinewood, 04/2006, A-Middle]
We thus explicitly rule at this time that checky fields and charges may be drawn with either tincture in the dexter chief corner (the position that has determined the first tincture blazoned). In this case we have retained the blazon that appeared on the submission form. [JML: see FIELD DIVISION - Checky for the complete discussion.]
Blazoned on the LoI as an orle of crosses, the crosses do not form an orle, which would be evenly distributed about the edge of the shield. Nor can these simply be blazoned as six crosses three, two, and one, as that would not have the large gap between the crosses in chief and those in base. The emblazon shows three crosses above the lion and three mostly below the lion, thus the blazon between six crosses. [Elinor Phyllyppes, 05/2006, A-Northshield]
[Purpure, on a triangle throughout argent between three butterflies Or, winged argent, a spider purpure] The use of a triangle has previously been ruled a step from period practice. Some commenters argued that this should be blazoned as Argent, a spider between three points purpure each charged with a butterfly Or winged argent and returned for using all three points, a practice disallowed since at least 1993. As three points would not look exactly like this - the points would not be conjoined - this is not a valid alternate blazon. And even if it were, precedent also allows one to "blazon your way out of style problems", thus this can be registered by blazoning the charges as a triangle throughout. A valid alternate blazon is Argent chapé, a spider purpure and in chief two butterflies Or winged argent, on a base purpure a butterfly Or winged argent; however, that blazon would lead to a return for charging the chapé portions of the field. Again, as it is possible to blazon your way out of a style problem, this is registerable. [Alysandir Maknakill, 06/2006, A-Atenveldt]
Emmet is an Old English term for an ant and is an acceptable heraldic term. Parker, under Emmet says "see Ant" Under Ant, he states "Of the insects of the animal kingdom there are but few representatives. The ants, and with them the emmets, may be mentioned..." He then gives the blazon for the arms of Massy: Argent a bend azure between three emmets sable. Franklyn and Taylor, p. 119, define emmet as "[O.E.] an ant, a herd insect of the Hymenopterous order. Sometimes called a pismire, and likely to be depicted in numbers...". [Wilhelm of Caid, 06/2006, A-Caid]
Some commenters suggested blazoning the dragon as coward. Laurel has previously ruled:
The Letter of Intent blazoned this cat as coward. The exact disposition of the tail of an animal is a matter for artistic license in period, which would argue against using the term coward in blazon. However, the term is permissible if the submitter so requests, as long as the tail position is drawn correctly and identifiably. Coward may be blazoned when the tail is clearly tucked between the hind legs. This is not the case in this emblazon. Also, the submitter's original blazon did not use the term coward. Therefore, the term was deleted. [Muirgel ingen Gilla Comgaill, 09/01, A-Æthelmearc]
As the submitters did not request that the dragon be blazoned as coward, we have left the position of the dragon's tail as a matter for artistic license in accordance with the cited precedent. [Drakenmere, Shire of, 10/2006, R-Meridies]
[chess rook] The unmodified term rook is a synonym for a corbie (i.e., a crow, raven, or such); as this device uses a chess piece, it must be so blazoned. [John of Crimson River, 10/2006, A-Meridies]
... the term pavonated simply means "colored like a peacock". ... [Ariella Idarius, 04/2007, A-Ansteorra]
[Reblazon] ... the primary charge is not a unicorn as it lacks a beard, cloven hooves, or a lion's tail. While this emblazon is grandfathered to the submitter, the blazon is not. The College has a responsibility to amend incorrect blazons that have been registered in the past. We have thus reblazoned this as a unicornate horse. [Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani, 05/2007, A-Caid]
We wish to remind the College that endorses (and cotises) follow the line of the ordinary. Thus, a pale engrailed endorsed has both the pale and the endorses engrailed, while a pale endorsed engrailed has only the endorses engrailed. [Ysoria Chaloner, 05/2007, A-Calontir]
While maintaining an acorn is the default for a squirrel, there is no reason that this detail cannot be blazoned if the submitter wishes, as in this case. [Katarzyna Dambrowska, 06/2007, A-Ansteorra]
[Per chevron vert and purpure, on a pile Or a feather vert, overall a chevron rompu counterchanged purpure and Or] It was suggested that this be reblazoned as Per chevron vert and purpure, on a pile Or a feather vert, overall a chevron rompu Or counterchanged purpure. While this is a valid blazon, we have only twice registered this form (specifying a single tincture) twice - once in 1986 and once in 1988. The form counterchanged tincture 1 and tincture 2 has been registered almost 300 times. In order maintain clarity of the blazon, we have elected to use the slightly longer blazon and specified both tinctures. [Aubray Brangwyne de Vitry, 08/2007, R-Caid]
[Argent, nine dogs statant three, three and three sable] This is equivalent to Argent semy of dogs statant sable; however, as the number and arrangement are important to the submitter we have retained the submitted blazon. Nine is the most charges that can be enumerated in this manner. As Black Stag notes:
Surely, a period drawing of 9 items on a shield of this form would have one of the items taking up that uncomfortably blank spot in base. (3, 3, 2 and 1 most likely...) Whereas I wouldn't distinguish 9 items in orle from 7 items in orle or 13 items in orle in a blazon, here I think the "3 3 and 3" arrangement is important enough that - since the submitter seems to want it - it is something we should strongly consider registering. It seems a logical extension of the standard Iberian arrangement of 2 2 and 2. It also seems a logical extension of the standard division of the field into 9 parts (cross quarterpierced/checky of 3... call it what you will.)
[Lyubava Volchikha, 01/2008, A-Calontir]
The LoI noted "While we believe that the flowers could just as well be blazoned as proper, since the sable seeding appears important to the submitter, we felt it advisable to blazon it explicitly since sunflowers proper could just as easily have brown seeds." When the term proper is used as a shorthand for heraldic tinctures (as a rose proper is a concise way of saying rose gules, barbed vert, seeded Or), either the shorthand form or the expanded form are equally accurate; if the submitter states a preference, we will abide by it. In this case, if the submitter later decides that her sunflowers should be simply blazoned sunflowers proper, she may request a reblazon as an administrative action. [Giovanna Rossellini da Firenze, 06/2008, A-Atlantia]

BOOK

There is a CD between a scroll and a book. [Ymanya Murray, 09/2005, A-Outlands]
[an open book charged with a flower and a quill pen argent] This is returned for violating RfS VIII.2 (Armorial Contrast) by having metal on metal. While the submitter intended the flower and pen to be decorative, they actually function as tertiary charges. The charges are simply outlined in black; thus they are argent on the argent book. [Mariia Kotova, 03/2006, R-Æthelmearc]
[an open book charged with a flower and a quill pen argent] This does not conflict with the arms of Yale University. Precedent states:
[Azure, an open book and in base a bee argent marked sable] This does not conflict with Yale University (important non-SCA armory), Azure, an open book argent charged with Hebrew letters sable. There is one CD for adding the secondary bee, and another CD for removing the tertiary letters from the book. As seen on p. 241 of Neubecker's Heraldry-Sources, Symbols and Meanings, the Hebrew letters on the books in the arms of Yale University are few and large, and function as tertiary charges. In general, open books may be drawn with numerous small writing marks as artistic license, the writing so small that it could not be read from any distance, but such writing would not be blazoned. [Branwen filia Iohannis de Monmouth, 04/02, A-East]
In this case, there is a CD for adding the lion-dragon and another for changing the type and tincture of the tertiary charges. [Mariia Kotova, 03/2006, R-Æthelmearc]
[an ostrich feather transfixing an escroll fesswise] This device contains the first registration using the blazon term "escroll", although similar motifs have been registered before. Brooke-Little, An Heraldic Alphabet, defines "escroll" as "A ribbon or scroll usually bearing a motto". James Parker, A Glossary of Terms Used In Heraldry, p. 238, defines it as "A long strip of parchment .... Escroll occur rarely as charges". Inter alia, he cites the arms of Sir Roger de Clarendon, a natural son of Edward the Black Prince: Or, on a bend sable, three ostrich feathers argent, the quills transfixed through as many escrolls gold.

We will use "escroll" only for a small scroll or strip transfixed by or perhaps connected to a much larger charge, rather like a maintained charge. Such a motif does not fall afoul of the long-standing ribbon precedent, for the same reasons cited for Bronwen Selwyn, June 2005 LoAR, Ansteorran returns:
A ribbon is not registerable as a stand-alone charge; that is, as a primary, secondary, or tertiary charge. However, in this case [on a fox's tail] the ribbon is equivalent to a hawk's jesses: a blazonable detail or ornamentation, rather than a charge in its own right. As such, the ribbon is registerable, though submitters should be aware that the exact depiction of such ribbons will be considered an artistic detail.
[Ieuan Gower, 04/2006, A-An Tir]
[A standing seraph gules... standing atop an open book] This is returned for problems with depiction of the book. As Black Stag noted:
An open book is usually fully open and fully vertical to the viewer (as if you had opened the book flat and then glued the book cover to the escutcheon on which the charge lies - or alternately, as if you fully opened the book and balanced it on the table so that the book was resting on the bottoms of its pages and the bottom edge of the book cover.) I'd expect that armory with a bird perched atop an open book would have the open book would be in this usual orientation, with the bird happily perched atop the top edges of the pages and spine. Likewise, I'd expect a standing seraph standing atop an open book to look as if it were standing on top of a wall, where the "sides of the wall" were the book's pages and the "top of the wall" the top edges of the pages and the top edge of the book cover.

Here, the open book is tilted at least 45 degrees "into the shield" - the seraph is clearly not standing on the top edges of the open book, but standing in the center of a book that is definitely at a slope, if not almost "flat" (rather than "on edge").
The use of trian aspect is sufficient grounds for return per RfS VIII.1.c.i., which states that "Charges may only be drawn in perspective if they were so depicted in period armory." [Alys Mackyntoich and Brunissende Dragonette de Brocéliande, 11/2006, R-East]
[on an open book argent the words "Carpe Librum" sable] This submission generated much discussion on the nature of words on books. The letters on Yale University's arms, Azure, an open book argent charged with Hebrew letters sable, have previously been ruled to act as tertiary charges. Laurel has also ruled "In general, open books may be drawn with numerous small writing marks as artistic license, the writing so small that it could not be read from any distance, but such writing would not be blazoned. [Branwen filia Iohannis de Monmouth, 04/02, A-East]".

The question becomes, when does the writing become so small that it cannot be read? In general, more that 10 or 11 letters on a single primary charge will be considered unreadable and will not count for difference; for a secondary charge (or multiple primary charges) this number will be reduced due to the smaller size of the books. More than two or three letters on a tertiary charge will be too small to read. In SCA arms, such small writing will not be blazoned. In the case of important non-SCA arms this writing may be blazoned even if it does not count for difference. Thus, the letters on Yale University's arms constitute a tertiary charge group while those on Oxford University's arms (DOMINUS ILLUMINATIO MEO) do not. [Eibhlín inghean uí Chiaráin, 01/2007, R-Atlantia]
[two open scrolls] The scrolls were blazoned as addorsed on the LoI. We do not blazon whether a scroll opens to the right or left, nor do we differentiate between scrolls opening to the right and left, therefore there is no need to describe them as addorsed. [Katerina de Kelly, 03/2008, A-Atlantia]

BORDURE

[a bordure denticulada azure] The submitter provided copious documentation to support the use of this bordure in Iberian armory. Commenters also supplied evidence that similar bordures can be found in Italy and in England. We believe that its use is compatible with general SCA style and blazon, just as we permit the use of Germanic motifs such as the schneke.

The documentation provided actually showed two different types of this bordure. One variant is a bordure compony that shares a tincture with the field. Another variant, as in this submission, has no line marking the edge of the bordure, giving the impression of square "teeth" that issue from the edges of the field at regular intervals. In some of the latter cases, the bordure is clearly not a bordure compony because the "teeth" actually go around the corners at the top of the field. We have elected, therefore, to maintain the Spanish denticulada as the blazon for this second variant.

Finally, the documentation provided, together with the supplementary materials noted in commentary, demonstrates that our precedents banning the use of a bordure compony that shares a tincture with the field, which date to 1987, do not accurately reflect period usage. We therefore explicitly overturn those precedents and permit the registration of bordures compony that share a tincture with the field. We have not, however, as yet seen evidence to suggest that this ruling should be applied to ordinaries other than the bordure. [Teresa de Çaragoça, 05/2005, A-Atlantia]
The ermine spots in this submission are drawn such that the ermine spots follow the line of the bordure, that is, the tail of one ermine spot is followed by the head of the next ermine spot. Please advise the submitter that the ermine spots should be drawn palewise. On an escutcheon, tilting the ermine spots near the basemost point is also period style. It should be noted that this depiction of an ermine bordure is simply blazoned as a bordure ermine. It is not blazonably distinct from a standard ermine bordure, and certainly does not receive a CD from such a bordure. [Caroline Marie de Fontenailles and Elsbeth von Sonnenthal, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
[Gyronny Or and azure, an eagle displayed argent within a bordure engrailed counterchanged] This is at the edge of acceptability. While a bordure can be counterchanged over a gyronny field, the use of a complex line of division reduces its identifiability and will be registerable on a case-by-case basis. In this case the engrailings are boldly drawn and there is only a single primary charge, so it is registerable. [Primus Gavius Falconius Britannicus, 09/2005, A-Atlantia]
[Sable mulletty, a jara rune within a bordure denticulada argent] The submitter requested that if this could not be blazoned as a bordure compony that it be returned. If the bordure is compony this must be returned for having a mullet overlying the bordure. This must therefore be blazoned as a bordure denticulada and is returned as the submitter requested. The submitter has been informed that it is the emblazon that is registered, not the blazon, but she still is unwilling to accept a blazon with denticulada in it. We ask the College to be certain to inform submitters that it is the emblazon that is registered and that the blazon armory is accepted under may be changed in the future.

A bordure compony is a two-tinctured bordure with a plain line of partition (as opposed to an embattled line of partition). This plain line of partition is obvious when the bordure compony does not share one of its tinctures with the field. It's less obvious when one of the tinctures in the compony is shared with the field, but the straight line of partition is still there. The straight outline of the compony bordure is often depicted in emblazons as an artistic detail.

A bordure denticulada is a single-tinctured bordure with a complex line of partition which takes the embattled line of partition to an extreme. In this bordure, the inside portion of the embattled line is the edge of the shield, giving the apparance of separated "teeth".

Because a bordure denticulada is a type of embattled bordure, the spaces between the embattlements are part of the field. A charge on the field may extend into the space between the embattlements without overlying the bordure, just as charges are routinely drawn as extending into the spaces between the indentations of an indented chief without overlying the chief. A bordure compony may share a tincture with the field but it is not part of the field, thus a charge on the field may not extend into the space between portions of the bordure without overlying the bordure. [Janina Krakowska, 02/2006, R-Atlantia]
This device is returned for lack of contrast due to using a bordure bendy sharing a tincture of the field. The bordure loses its identifiability when large strips of it share a tincture with the field. The submitter has dealt with this by drawing a thick black line between the bordure and the field. This keeps large portions of the bordure from disappearing but it also appears to be fimbriation; a bordure cannot be fimbriated. [Séamus mac Dubhgaill, 06/2006, R-Ealdormere]
Blazoned on the LoI as a bordure of chain, such usage is unattested. We have blazoned the chain as an orle of chain, which must therefore follow the edge of the shield as a bordure would (rather than as an annulet of chain, which would always be displayed as a circle). [Raim y Hynnddyl, 06/2006, A-Meridies]
Given these examples, we will register a multiply-divided field and a solid tincture peripheral ordinary sharing one of the tinctures with the field so long as identifiability of the peripheral ordinary is maintained, as it is in this case. [Eginolf von Basel, 04/2007, P-Middle] [JML: see CHARGE - Peripheral for the complete discussion]
[Per chevron Or and azure, ... a bordure compony azure and Or] There was discussion during commentary on the registerability of a compony bordure sharing tinctures with both halves of a divided field. In registering armory for Teresa de Çaragoça in May 2005, Laurel ruled:
Finally, the documentation provided, together with the supplementary materials noted in commentary, demonstrates that our precedents banning the use of a bordure compony that shares a tincture with the field, which date to 1987, do not accurately reflect period usage. We therefore explicitly overturn those precedents and permit the registration of bordures compony that share a tincture with the field. We have not, however, as yet seen evidence to suggest that this ruling should be applied to ordinaries other than the bordure.
In that case, the field was a single tincture. We see no reason at this time to disallow the registration of a compony bordure sharing tinctures with both halves of a field divided in evenly in two tinctures. [Johann Lederer, 11/2007, A-East]
[Azure, ... and on a chief Or ..., overall a bordure counterchanged] The most common depiction of a chief and a bordure has the chief overlying the bordure; however, precedent indicates that there are some examples of bordures overlying chiefs (v. Ambrosius MacDaibhidh, December 1995). Prior precedent states:
Please note that the design of counterchanging a bordure over a pile is considered "a weirdness" in the SCA - a single step from period practice (per the LoAR of July 2001). One such step in armory is acceptable, but more than one such step is considered too far from period practice and reason for return. [Clef of Cividale, 03/03, R-Calontir]
Similarly, barring period evidence of such counterchanging, counterchanging a bordure over a chief is also a step from period practice. [Albrecht of Caer Anterth-Mor, 01/2008, A-Northshield]
[a bordure argent crusilly couped sable] The crosses on the bordure are tilted, with the bottommost one set saltirewise. Black Stag noted:
In at least some times and places, it's standard for charges on a bordure to 'tilt along' with the shield shape. Godinho's Livro da Nobreza is a perfect example. The arms of Pimentes on f.XV have crosses couped on a bordure and they are pretty much oriented as the ones here - except for the one at the very base of the shield, it's palewise not saltirewise, but the others are pretty tilted. This is characteristic of the charged bordures in the entire book. For example, looking at the "gules semy of castles/towers triple towered Or" bordure of the arms of Portugal itself, v. VI verso shows the arms of Portugal and the basemost is palewise but the ones in the dexter and sinister base flanks are tilted. More tellingly perhaps are the arms where Portugal is shown in a different shape than standard shield shape. In f.VIII verso, we have the arms of Portugal as the sinister half of the princess' impaled arms, on a lozenge shape. The bordure goes all the way around the sinister half, so there is a palewise part along the palar line (where the buildings are all palewise), a bendwise part along the sinister chief of the escutcheon (where the buildings are all bendwise) and a bendwise sinister part along the sinister base of the escutcheon (where the buildings are all bendwise sinister.) At the fess point of the shield it so happens that the tower is bendwise sinister (following the line of the ones 'coming up from the bottom.') On f.IX there are the arms of Marques which are quartered, with the arms of Portugal in 1 and 4. In the rectangular quarter 1, all the towers are palewise. But in quarter 4, the towers along the curved part of the shield edge are various angles of bendwise sinister (following the bordure.)
For those interested, the list of period rolls at http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/periodrolls.html says "Livro da Nobreza e Perfeicam das Armas is a Portuguese roll from the first half of the 16th C, including over 300 coats of arms. It includes a color reproduction of the roll with explanatory text in English and Portuguese. Livro da Nobreza e Perfeicam das Armas, Introduction, notes etc. by Martim de Albuquerque and Joao Paulo de Abreu e Lima, Acadamia Portuguesa da Historia, Lisbon 1987." [John Moran, 05/2008, A-Ealdormere]

BOTTLE

The leather bottell is a period heraldic charge. It was used as a charge by the Worshipful Company of Horners since at least the end of the 16th C. (Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London, Bromley & Child, pp.141-142.) Baron Bruce Draconarius has provided an illustration of the Horners' leather bottell, which can be found at the end of this LoAR. [JML: The referenced illustration can be found at http://heraldry.sca.org/loar/2005/10/bottell.gif] [Svein sutari svithanda, 10/2005, A-Calontir]
[mariner's whistle] Blazoned on the LoI as a flask, and on the submission form as a wine flask, the charge is actually a mariner's whistle. This charge is a period charge; it is one of the badges of the de Veres, earls of Oxford. Heraldic writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries (such as Fox-Davies, in his Heraldic Badges, pp.132-133) describe it as a bottle, and usually specify it as a wine bottle. However, in an article titled "Official Badges" by H. Stanford London (Coat of Arms, vol. IV (27), July 1956), it is shown that the charge in question -- the charge in this submission -- is a mariner's whistle. It was originally depicted fesswise (even Fox-Davies admits that), and only later was it misdrawn as palewise and thus misinterpreted as a bottle. [William Fletcher of Carbery, 12/2005, A-Calontir]
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. Ælfgifu 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. [03/2006 CL]

BOX

The Ark of the Covenant is a period heraldic charge, appearing in Legh's Accedens of Armory as Sable, an Arke Or; these are attributed arms (to the Levites), but period armory nonetheless. The Ark of the Covenant is depicted here slightly in trian aspect; this is the same manner it is depicted in Legh. We are retaining the long form, Ark of the Covenant, rather than using ark, since in SCA heraldry an ark is a type of ship.

As the Ark of the Covenant appears only in the attributed arms the Tribe of Levi, the question was raised whether or not its use was presumptuous. The use of the Ark of the Covenant is not in and of itself presumptuous as we do not consider a claim to be a member of the Tribe of Levi presumptuous. [Henil von Berg, 02/2008, A-Caid]

BREAST

[A woman's breast proper distilling goutes argent] This badge is returned for conflict with Edwin Bersark, Gules, a roundel so drawn as to represent a round shield battered in long and honourable service, argent, and with Erryk Blackwolf, Per bend sinister sable and gules, a plate. In each case there is a CD for fieldlessness, but there is no difference between a plate (that is, a roundel argent) and a woman's breast proper. The goutes count for naught.

On the question of whether a woman's breast proper distilling goutes argent is a registerable charge, no commenter claimed it was either offensive or unblazonable. It is unquestionably period: the LoI cited Dennys' Heraldic Imagination and the arms of Dodge, Barry of six or and sable, on a Pale gules a Woman's Breast distilling drops of milk proper. Brachet notes that Guillim's Display of Heraldrie (p.256) dates the Dodge arms to 34 Edward I (i.e. 1306) with a slightly different blazon. [Meredydd ferch Owain ap Eliseg, 05/2006, R-Calontir] [JML: Precedent overturned in the registration of a badge to Tetchubah of Greenlake, 01/2008, - see below.]
[A human breast azure distilling three gouttes argent] We hereby overturn the precedent of May 2006 (v. Meredydd ferch Owain ap Eliseg):
[(Fieldless) A woman's breast proper distilling goutes argent] This badge is returned for conflict with Edwin Bersark, Gules, a roundel so drawn as to represent a round shield battered in long and honourable service, argent, and with Erryk Blackwolf, Per bend sinister sable and gules, a plate. In each case there is a CD for fieldlessness, but there is no difference between a plate (that is, a roundel argent) and a woman's breast proper. The goutes count for naught.
A human breast is an allowed charge that has one clear difference (CD) from a roundel. It must have gouttes, and the gouttes must be visible. This means that they need some contrast with the breast but need not have good contrast. (We realize that the one period example of a breast, in the arms of Dodge, is a breast proper with argent gouts; however, SCA heraldry does in fact make some distinctions that period heraldry did not. As we will allow a breast that is not proper, we are requiring some contrast with the gouttes to ensure its identifiability.) The tincture of the gouttes must be blazoned. As in the arms of Dodge, the gouttes may extend beyond the edge of the breast. The gouttes do not count as tertiary charges; they are part of the charge as a whole.

Granting a CD between a roundel and a breast is not inconsistent with our treatment of moons. Moons and roundels were both period charges, between which we grant no difference. The moon is distinguished only by drawn lines (diapering, in effect). The gouttes distilled by the breast are not diapering, and thus can contribute to the difference between a roundel and a breast.

This submission used a lighter shade of azure for the nipple. The use of different shades of the same tincture is found in period heraldic art: not so much in rolls of arms done in haste, but in grants of arms or occasional rolls, which could be painted with more care. Thus in Lant's Roll c. 1595, the crosses are shaded and given depth using two shades of gules [Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 4], while the fleurs-de-lys in the arms of Patenson, 1559, are done in two shades of gold [Heraldry by Bedingfeld and Gwynn-Jones, p. 50]. Given that the use of two shades of a tincture is supported by period heraldic art, and indeed serves to increase recognizability of the breast, it is allowable. The breast is still azure, no matter what particular shade of azure is used for the detailing. [Tetchubah of Greenlake, 01/2008, A-Caid]

BROOM

When a besom is blazoned as hafted proper, it means that the handle is wooden and is colored brown. [Herriðr Freyugyðja Ögvaldsdóttir, 02/2006, A-Atlantia]

CANDLESTICK

[two lit candles mounted in flat candlesticks] Registered May 1988 with the blazon ...two candlesticks ... the charges in chief are not candlesticks, which are the ornate metal columns on which candles are placed. Candlesticks are period charges, quite separate from candles; they're found in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Founders, 1590. The reblazon gives the charges in chief their correct name. [Mustapha al-Muhaddith ibn al-Saqaat, 12/2006, A-East]
We have registered nine-armed menorahs twice before. We have no evidence that a nine-armed menorah is a period artifact, but we will register them as an artistic variant of the seven-armed temple menorah, which is found in period. The number of arms will not be blazoned. [Gideon ha-Khazar, 03/2007, A-East]

CANNON

[three cannons reversed, mounted on ship's carriages] Registered in September 2000 with the blazon Lozengy Or and gules, in pale three cannons reversed, on a chief sable three bezants, that blazon did not describe the mounting of the cannons. Cannons on ship's carriages (i.e., wheeled carriages for use on warships) are permitted, but must be specified in the blazon. [Angus Olyver, 11/07, A-Aethelmearc]
[A cannon] There was considerable discussion on OSCAR about the type of cannon shown here. This form, essentially a bombard in a wooden cradle, was the original form of cannon in Society armory, and therefore our default form. The bombard was intended more for blasting down walls than killing troops, so it didn't have to be moved much: it could be dragged into position and left there [Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911, vol. xx, p. 190]. Note that cannon barrels alone, as well as cannon mounted in wheeled carriages, are perfectly permissible, but must be explicitly blazoned. [Wilhelm von Homburg, 11/2007, A-West]
The cannon in its carriage is considered a single charge... [Thomas Cyriak Bonaventure, 07/2008, R-Atenveldt]

CANTING

[a foot couped and in chief a bar] The submitter requested that the fess be blazoned as a bar as a cant on her name. Single diminutives of ordinaries aren't normally blazoned as such. Only if there are multiple diminutives (e.g. three bendlets) or if the charge is otherwise reduced in importance (e.g. a bendlet enhanced) would the diminutive term be used. Because of the cant -- and the enhanced nature of the fess -- we have blazoned it as a bar. [Emma Barfoot, 06/2005, A-Atlantia]
For SCA purposes, we will blazon a small generic bird as a martlet if does not have feet. If a small generic bird has feet showing - which is to say actual toes - then it is NOT a martlet. If for some reason, the blazon term martlet was chosen for purposes of cant, the cant can be preserved by blazoning it as a merle (for blackbird). [Gráinne inghean Shéadna, 07/2006, A-Ansteorra]
[a lamb] There was also some question as to the registration of a lamb as we do not generally register baby animals. Laurel has previously noted:
As a rule, baby animals are not used in SCA heraldry: they're visually indistinguishable from adult animals, and period examples of their use are rare. Lambs appear to be an exception: not only is the Paschal lamb often found in period armory, but lambs were used for canting purposes (e.g. the arms of Lambert --- or the current submission). (Agnes Margaret de Grinstead, October, 1992, pg. 12)
While there is not a cant here, the use of Paschal lambs and lambs in period heraldry is sufficient to allow its registration in this submission. [Ian Kirkpatrick, 12/2006, A-Caid]
The submitter requested that the hen be blazoned as a geline for the sake of the cant. This term is not a standard heraldic term, nor is it a common modern term. Given the difficulty one would have in determining what a geline is, we decline to use it in this blazon.

We wish to inform the submitter that cants needn't be blazoned. The arms of the Earls of Arundel, with their martlets, are canting arms: but you'd only know that if you knew that the French for "swallow" is hirondelle. The martlets aren't blazoned that way; but that doesn't stop them from canting. The same is true here. [Jeneuer le Geliner, 05/2007, A-Lochac]
The household name, House Estoc, was registered to the submitter in February 1982. We have elected to retain the term estoc for the sword in this badge for the cant on the household name. While emblazons are grandfathered, blazons are not; thus the fact that the submitter already has the term used in describing armory is irrelevant and if not for the cant we would have simply blazoned it as a sword. [Illuminada Eugenia de Guadalupe y Godoy, 04/2008, A-Caid]

CARD PIQUE

[a leaf vs. a card pique] ... visual conflict under RfS X.5 ... This leaf is a nice, oval leaf, which is the default for a generic leaf. As noted elsewhere in this letter (q.v.Marthe Elsbeth of Oak Hill, R-Meridies), there is a CD between an oak leaf and a card pique; however, a generic leaf is not an oak leaf (and in fact there is CD between a generic leaf and an oak leaf). A properly drawn oak leaf would be unlikely to visually conflict with a card pique. [Elaria filia Robert, 09/2006, R-Atenveldt]
While there is a CD between a card pique and an oak leaf, there is not a substantial (X.2) difference ... [Marthe Elsbeth of Oak Hill, 09/2006, R-Meridies]

CASTLE

... precedent tells us that there is "nothing for the difference between a castle and a tower" [Dana Moirreach, 11/93, R-Outlands]. Moreover, castles are too complex too fimbriate so there is no difference for changing only the type of the tertiary per RfS X.4.j.ii. [Gabrielle Juliana Raron, 06/2005, R-Middle]
Per precedent "There is no difference between a tower and a lighthouse given the varying depictions of towers and similar architecture in period ..." [Dun an Chalaidh, Shire of, 08/01, R-An Tir]. [Oldenfeld, Barony of, 07/2005, R-Trimaris]
The LoI asked if there was a CD between a ruined tower and a completed tower. There is not. ...

The precedent
Saint Basil the Great, College of. Device. Per pale sable and argent, a tower broken counterchanged and on a base Or two laurel sprigs bases crossed in saltire vert. Barring evidence of period armorial towers or castles being broken in such a manner as this, this broken tower motif is not registerable. [04/2004, R-Lochac]
does not apply in this case. The tower here appears to be a single tower with the sinister chief portion missing. In the prior submission, the castle was actually in two parts with the top part hovering above the bottom part of the tower. [Thomas the Incomplete, 04/2006, R-Trimaris]
[Sable, a pagoda within a dragon in annulo vorant of its tail Or] This device is returned under RfS X.5 for visual conflict with the device of Balin the Fairhaired, Sable, a square anvil within an annulet Or. [Liu Yuan Ming, 09/2006, R-Outlands]
While a pagoda is not found in period European heraldry, we will register them as variants of towers (and as such they conflict with towers). The pagoda in this submission does not match those that we could find. A pagoda should be drawn with at least three tiers and with a pointy, not flat, top. If documentation for the style of pagoda (as a period style of pagoda) shown in the submission exists, the submitter should provide it with any resubmission using this same style of pagoda. [Liu Yuan Ming, 09/2006, R-Outlands]
The primary charge, the tower, is not simple enough in outline to void; therefore, this device is not suitable for purposes of RfS X.4.j.ii and there is no CD for changing only the type of the tertiary charge. [Maria Kaldere, 10/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
Blazoned on the LoI as Argent, three bendlets purpure on a tower overall azure a Latin cross pometty argent, the cross appears to be a standard arrow slit and not worth a CD. ... This is similar to the way that portals and windows are treated. [Matillis atte Hethe, 01/2007, P-An Tir]
[a tower azure] This is clear of the badge of Serena Lascelles, (Fieldless) A chessrook azure. In December 2001 Laurel ruled:
[Sable, a chess rook argent] This is clear of conflict with ... Sable, a tower argent. There is substantial difference between a tower and a properly drawn chess rook, so RfS X.2 applies.

In the LoAR of October 1996, it was stated that there was "nothing for the difference between a tower and a chess-rook". This precedent is hereby overturned: a tower and a chess rook were considered different charges in period and have substantial visual difference. The period heraldic chess rook is drawn consistently in a form where the top is forked into two prominent curled points. This was a standard depiction for the period chess piece, as illustrated in Caxton's 1474 "Game and Playe of the Chesse". The period heraldic chess rook does not resemble any sort of fortification and cannot be mistaken for a tower. On examining the collated commentary for the October 1996 ruling, it appears that perhaps the commenters mistakenly believed that the particular chess rook in the possible conflict was drawn as a tower, rather than as a period chess rook. [William fitzBubba, 12/01, A-East]
Serena's chess rook is a properly drawn, period chess rook and thus has a substantial difference from a tower. [Matillis atte Hethe, 01/2007, P-An Tir]
[a lighthouse] Nor does Ysende's device conflict with the device of William of Hoghton, Sable, two towers joined by a bridge Or. William's device is essentially two towers conjoined by a maintained bridge. Whether considered a variant of a castle or a bridge, there is a CD for the difference between a lighthouse and a bridge or a castle. This follows current precedent, which does grant a CD between a tower and a bridge:
While a castle is not significantly different from either a tower or a bridge, there is little history of identification between a tower and bridge, unlike that between a tower and a castle. Neither is there a strong visual similarity between a tower and a bridge as there is between a castle and a bridge. Thus we find that there is a CD between a tower and bridge. [Michael Gillean of Blackwater Keep, 08/99, A-Æthelmearc]
Ysende's device has a CD for changes to the primary charge and two more for adding the secondary charges when compared to William's device. [Ysende Herberiour, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
There is at least a CD between a tower and a correctly drawn beacon ... [Einarr Grímsson and Jacqueline de Meux, 02/2007, A-Calontir]
[the I Ching symbol "jiji" gules vs. a tower gules] The I Ching symbol jiji, as emblazoned here, appears to be a tower gules masoned argent. On a stonework edifice, such as a tower, masoning does not contribute to difference. Thus there is no difference in the primary charges... [Nakada Tadamitsu, 08/2007, R-Atenveldt]
There is a CD between a column or a tower and a cylinder sundial. [Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, 10/2007, A-Caid]
The tower has a cross-shaped arrow slit that some commenters felt should be blazoned as a tertiary charge (i.e., a cross); however, such an arrow-slit is standard for towers and castles. In pending a badge for Matillis atte Hethe on the January 2007 LoAR it was ruled that such crosses are considered arrow slits, not tertiary charges. Crosses that do not appear to be arrow slits - such as Celtic crosses - will be treated as tertiary charges. Cross that appear to be arrow slits, such as plain crosses and crosses pometty, will be treated as architectural details - not as tertiary charges. [Conogan mab Rioc, 01/2008, A-East]
There is a CD between a tower and a windmill with its sails in the default orientation (in saltire). This does not contradict the 1994 precedent:
[Returning Argent, a windmill, sails in cross, within a bordure embattled azure.] The sails of the windmill are effectively invisible here, even on the large emblazon. As a consequence, not only is the primary charge unidentifiable (itself grounds for return), but there are several conflicts [with towers]. [5/94, p.18]
When a windmill's sails are set in cross, two of the sails become effectively invisible - they appear to be part of the tower. This increases the resemblance between the windmill and a tower. There continues to be no difference granted between a windmill with its sails set in cross and a tower. [Aleksandr the Traveller, 02/2008, A-East]

CAULDRON

[a kettle] Registered in October 2004 with the blazon ...a pot ..., a pot implies a default heraldic pot (i.e., a flesh-pot, with looped handles and three legs). However, as the charge isn't a flesh-pot, we are substituting another term that more accurately describes this form: deep, but wider than it is tall, and with a lifting grip on either side. [Ian MacEwan, 09/2007, A-Ansteorra]
Blazond on the LoI as an inkpot, the charge is not an inkpot as defined for SCA use, nor is it simply a pot which implies a flesh-pot or cooking pot. The term clay pot does describe this type of basic ceramic pot, and will be used for this type of pot in the future. [Elynor of Glastonbury, 09/2007, A-Calontir]
[clay pots] Blazoned on the LoI as jars, jars would have lids. The charges are [clay pots: handle-less, footless, flat-bottomed vessels of this shape. The charge was first registered, in this form and blazon, to William Taylor the Pure, in August 1997. [Isabel Ximena Galiano de Valera, 12/2007, A-Middle]

CHAIN

FROM LAUREL - A Clarification Regalia for the Order of Knighthood includes (Tinctureless) A circular chain. This means a circular chain of any tincture, not just gold. It was so designated by Laurel in 1998, so there is nothing new here. Wreath tells me that some have interpreted this to mean that any necklace, whether or not it is unadorned, should be restricted. That is not the case. A necklace with a pendant is not the same as a knight's chain and there should be no question of improper use of a restricted charge in such a submission. [08/2006 CL]
[a cross of Santiago vs. two links of chain fretted in cross] There is a substantial (X.2) difference between the crosses. [Cristóbal Vázquez de Narriahondo, 11/2005, A-Outlands]
[a bend sinister argent cotised with chains] No evidence was presented, nor were we able to find any, that cotising with chains is a period heraldic practice. There are period examples of saltires of chains and escarbuncles of chains, thus cotises of chain are a step from period practice. [Edward de Foxton, 05/2006, R-Atenveldt]
Blazoned on the LoI as a bordure of chain, such usage is unattested. We have blazoned the chain as an orle of chain, which must therefore follow the edge of the shield as a bordure would (rather than as an annulet of chain, which would always be displayed as a circle). [Raim y Hynnddyl, 06/2006, A-Meridies]
A correctly drawn Stafford knot, even of chain, does not infringe on a knight's chain. [Antonio Alexandre Dias de Navarra, 10/2006, A-Meridies]
... a single link of chain isn't really a heraldic charge. An annulet would be; but what we have here is, in essence, a cartouche fesswise voided. It would not be recognizable as a chain link at all, without the presence of true chains elsewhere in the device, and it is arguably not recognizable, even then. [Roland Merritt de Carr, 05/2008, R-Trimaris]

CHAIR

... the default orientation for a chair is affronty. [Geoffrey Kyle Kiffin, 03/2006, A-Atlantia]

CHARGE - Maintained and Sustained

There is a CD ... for substantially changing the type of the tertiaries under RfS X.4.j.ii. Our practice has been to ignore maintained charges when defining a device as simple armory for the purposes of this rule and RfS X.2. [Elise l'Éstrange, 05/2005, A-An Tir]
[in pale a sinister hand issuant from a vol argent] The wings do not have the same visual weight as the hand; however, the wingspan is as wide as the hand is tall. This meets our criterion for a sustained charge. A similar design, Per fess vert and sable, issuant from a vol argent a sinister hand argent, was returned 08/2003 for conflict with Francois le Féroce, Per chevron vert and argent, in chief two wings addorsed argent, as the hand was considered to be a maintained charge. [Muirenn ingen meic Martain, 10/2005, A-Caid]
[Ingilborg Sigmundardóttir] (Fieldless) A sheaf of a sword inverted between four arrows argent bound with a garter sable. The garter is equivalent to a maintained charge, thus this does not violate RfS VIII.1.a - Tincture and Charge Limit. By the same token, as a maintained charge it won't contribute to tincture difference. [Ingilborg Sigmundardóttir, 06/2006, A-Caid]
The deciding point for us is the fact that many heraldic charges include a maintained charge, if not as part of the definition, then as part of the default method of display. Squirrels are shown maintaining nuts, and may do so even if the fact is not explicitly blazoned. Cranes in their vigilance must maintain a stone. Ostriches are almost always shown with a bit of iron (e.g., a horseshoe) in their mouths. And so on. These are the expected, and period, depictions of these charges; it would make no sense to penalize a submitter for using them in a per pale or quarterly design, merely because they include a maintained charge. Therefore the maintained charge, of itself, cannot create the appearance of marshalling.

We hereby partially overturn the 2004 precedent, to this extent: if a divided field contains the same type of charge in each portion, and those charges maintain the same of charge, then the maintained charges do not contribute to the appearance of marshalling. ... Note, however, that Quarterly sable and argent, in bend a lion Or maintaining a sword argent and a lion Or maintaining a halberd argent would be returned for the appearance of marshalling. The different maintained charges aren't worth a CD, but they're enough to establish non-identity (just as they would in cases requiring a letter of permission to conflict); and since the two quarters aren't identical, they appear to be separate - and hence quartered - coats. Also note that using sustained charges instead of maintained charges - held charges large enough to be worth heraldic difference - will definitely cause the appearance of marshalling, identical or not. [12/2007 CL] [JML: See "From Wreath: Maintained Charges and Marshalled Armory", for the complete discussion.]
There is a CD for changing the type of sustained charged, but nothing for the fact that it is sustained in the bird's feet rather than its mouth. [Finnr jafnkollr, 06/2008, R-Æthelmearc]

CHARGE - Miscellaneous
The enteries in this section are arranged in alphabetical order.

[flower petals] Barring evidence of their use in period heraldry, flower petals are not registerable charges. [Erdenitei Badm-a-Delgere, 06/2006, R-Caid]
[hankerchief] There is a single registration of a handkerchief and that as a maintained charge. We are uncertain that a handkerchief can be emblazoned in an identifiable and reproducible manner and thus satisfying the requirements of RfS VII.7 - Armorial Elemental Requirements. [Dycon Gestour, 11/2006, R-Middle]
[lauburu] This device must be returned for lack of documentation of the lauburu as a period design. While the submitter provided a number of documents that appear to show this charge in use, under various names, in modern heraldry, none of them provided evidence that it was used in our period. [Brunihelt de Ravenel, 05/2005, R-East]
[a ribbon] Some commenters questioned the registerability of the badge due to the presence of the ribbon. A ribbon is not registerable as a stand-alone charge; that is, as a primary, secondary, or tertiary charge. However, in this case the ribbon is equivalent to a hawk's jesses: a blazonable detail or ornamentation, rather than a charge in its own right. As such, the ribbon is registerable, though submitters should be aware that the exact depiction of such ribbons will be considered an artistic detail. [Bronwen Selwyn, 06/2005, R-Ansteorra]

CHARGE - Overall

[Or, two pallets sable, overall a cross clechy and overall in chief a coronet gules pearled argent] This device must be returned for non-period style. The difference in size between the cross and the coronet makes it impossible to see them as a single charge group, and we have seen no evidence that the use of multiple overall charge groups is in keeping with period practice. [James the Tormentor, 05/2005, R-An Tir]
[a pair of rapiers in saltire argent surmounted by a rose Or] This device violates RfS VIII.1.a, which states that "three or more types of charges should not be used in the same group." Although the rose is technically overall, its size and location make it appear to be a part of the primary charge group. This problem has been previously discussed in precedent. For example, returning (Fieldless) A quill pen and a rapier crossed in saltire and overall a compass star all argent, precedent states, "[This] is a single group of three dissimilar charges, which violates RFS VIII.1.a." [Valentine Michael de La Fère, 8/91, R-Outlands]. Similarly, the rapiers and rose in this device are a single group of two dissimilar charges and are also co-primary with the frog, resulting in a primary charge group that includes three dissimilar charges. [Frederick Alton, 06/2005, R-Gleann Abhann]
[a plate and overall an eagle displayed Or] The device is at the very edge of acceptability. An overall charge is required to have good contrast with the field, which this does. However, the combination of a roundel and a displayed bird means that the majority of the overall charge is metal on metal, making identification of the overall charge difficult. Since the wings can be identified, and since a displayed bird is generally assumed to be an eagle, we are registering this. [Fiona inghean Dubhghaill mhic Néill, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
[(Fieldless) An open book argent, overall two recorders in saltire azure] Several commenters recommended returning this badge for using an overall charge on a fieldless badge. We routinely allow overall charges on fieldless badges where the area of intersection is small, which is not the case in this submission. However, the November 1992 Cover Letter, where the current standard for acceptability of such overall charges was set, Laurel stated
I've therefore decided not to implement a comprehensive ban on fieldless badges with overall charges. I will be returning cases where the underlying charge is rendered unidentifiable, per Rule VIII.3; this will include the most egregious cases of overall charges (e.g. A pheon surmounted by a hawk's head). But this can be done as an interpretation of the current Rules, and needn't involve a new policy. In cases where identifiability is maintained -- where one of the charges is a long, slender object, and the area of intersection small -- overall charges will still be permitted in fieldless badges.
The primary concern is identifiability. The charges in this badge maintain their identifiability, though the area of overlap is larger than we normally allow, and thus the badge is registerable. We note that if the charges had been reversed, that is (Fieldless) Two recorders in saltire azure overall an open book argent, the badge would not have been registerable as the recorders would have been unidentifiable. [Sondra van Schiedam, 09/2006, A-Calontir]
[a pair of wings conjoined in lure counterchanged and on the honor point overall a trillium] ... while blazoned as overall, the trillium is not overall - the top half lies on the field and the bottom half lies on the wings. This in itself is sufficient grounds for return. [Yang SuGyong, 08/2007, R-Æthelmearc]
We note that in period armory when an ordinary is surmounted by an animate charge the charges' main axes are not parallel. Having a vertical charge overlying a vertical ordinary tends to obscure the underlying ordinary. [Owain ap Iorwerth, 02/2008, R-Middle]
From Wreath Emeritus: Fimbriated Ordinaries and Overall Charges
For several years now, we have been returning armory that uses fimbriated ordinaries with overall charges, based on the following precedent from October 1992:
Cerridwen nic Alister. Device. Vert, on a pale purpure fimbriated ermine two axe-heads, blades to chief, overall a lion passant Or.

The device is overly complex. Ermine fimbriation is disallowed (LoAR of 3 Aug 86, p.17), as are overall charges surmounting fimbriated ordinaries (9 March 86, p.12). Reblazoning this as Vert, on a pale ermine a pallet purpure charged with two axe-heads ... overall a lion passant Or would remove those objections, but then the axe-heads would be obvious quaternary charges. No matter how blazoned, this is unacceptably complex.
A submission this month, that of Faolán Ó Sirideáin, challenged this ban in appealing a kingdom return, on the basis that the precedent from 9 March 1986 did not exist and that at least one piece of armory was registered that month with this motif, that of Dak Ulfredsson, Pean, a bend sinister azure fimbriated Or and overall a goat's head erased Or.

The submitter is correct, at least, in stating that the precedent being quoted does not appear to exist on that letter. The only reason for return of this motif that we have found, other than for conflict, before October of 1992 was the June 1988 return for identifiability reasons of the submission of Alaric Kelson Palamon (Per bend sinister vert and azure, a pile issuant bendwise sinister from dexter base gules, fimbriated, overall a hawk striking Or). No absolute prohibition on this practice surfaces until the October 1992 return of Cerridwen's armory, citing a non-existent precedent. Indeed, the standard set in November of 1989 reads as follows:
Crimson River, Shire of Azure, a pall wavy gules, fimbriated, in chief a horse's head couped, overall a laurel wreath argent.

The combination of the old rules with their wording on "thin-line heraldry" and the standing Laurel precedent indicated that the pall with a complex line should not be fimbriated. To allow comment on this subject, this item was pended from the August meeting. Although little commentary has been elicited, the bulk of commentary on the rules ran to the direction of allowing latitude where identifiability was not unacceptably reduced. This resulted in the wording of the new rules which limit voiding and fimbriation to "simple geometric charges placed in the center of the design" (Armorial Identifiability, VIII.3, p. 11). PRECEDENT: For the purposes of the rule on Armorial Identifiability, any ordinary placed at the center of the shield (e.g., a pale, pall, bend, fess, etc.) may be fimbriated, even if it uses a complex line of division, provided that the identifiability of the charge and the line of division are not significantly reduced by the voiding or fimbriation or any other element of the design (e.g., the placement of superimposed charges). [emphasis added]
...which explicitly states that overall charges are acceptable over fimbriated ordinaries.

The 1992 precedent was applied in November 1992 in the return of Dyryke Raleigh's device and then appears to be forgotten for quite some time. In May 1993, the armory of Brychen Silverfist was returned for complexity - a combination of a complexity of eight and fimbriation, and also for an arrow drawn with unrecognizably small fletching and point. The 1992 precedent was not mentioned.

Starting in May 1994, 14 items with this motif were registered without comment, all returns being for other reasons, until October 2002, in the return of the device of the Shire of Rivenvale. Curiously, the very next month, a device with a fimbriated ordinary and an overall charge was accepted without comment (Thomas de Carisbourg).

From that point onward, however, the precedent has been applied, leading to returns in February 2003 and January 2004. It was mentioned in the acceptance of Bj{o,}rn blundr Tomasson in December 2006, noting that his previous return of the same armory had not mentioned the issue, nor had it been raised in commentary, so it was being allowed. There is also a June 2007 acceptance of this motif using the grandfather clause.

While several commenters have called for a continuing ban unless period evidence can be found for the motif, this standard exceeds our usual standard. Both fimbriated ordinaries and overall charges are found in period. The combination of two motifs found in period armory would be at most a single step from period practice.

We are hereby returning to the original standard: the use of an overall charge surmounting a fimbriated ordinary is henceforth acceptable as long as identifiability is maintained. [06/2008 CL]
[a lion rampant atop a base enarched] Commenters noted the overlap of the rear foot and the base and questioned whether this was 'barely overall', which would be grounds for return. Normally, we would rule in such a fashion; however, in the case of creatures standing atop bases, such an arrangement is extremely common in period armorials. Therefore, we are registering this device. [Madog Llwyd ap Madog, 07/2008, A-Lochac]

CHARGE - Peripheral
see also individual peripheral ordinaries: BASE, BORDURE, CHIEF, and TIERCE and FLAUNCH.

There is a CD for changing the type of the peripheral ordinary from a triple tressure to a tierce and a second CD for changing the number of peripheral ordinaries from three to one. [Paul Spyke, 02/2006, A-Æthelmearc]
This device is returned for a redraw; the orle and the spaces on either side of it should be of approximately equal width. [Draco de Euruic, 09/2006, R-Lochac]
[Bendy Or and azure ... a chief Or] There were some calls to return this for lack of contrast in accordance with the June 2006 precedent:
Séamus mac Dubhgaill. Device. Per saltire argent and Or, on a goute de sang a goblet argent within a bordure bendy gules and Or. This device is returned for lack of contrast due to using a bordure bendy sharing a tincture of the field. The bordure loses its identifiability when large strips of it share a tincture with the field.
In Séamus's case, the bordure appeared to be snippets, not solid, and lost its identifiability. In this case the peripheral ordinary is solid and the field is bendy, which allows the chief to maintain its identifiability. Therefore these cases are not analogous.

Batonvert did some research on multiply-divided fields with peripheral ordinaries that share a tincture of the field. He notes:
The Dictionary of British Arms, vol.2, gives some examples of divided fields sharing tinctures with solid bordures: Holcott, c.1520, Lozengy argent and gules, a bordure argent, and Crofte, 1480, Lozengy sable and argent, a bordure sable. Papworth gives a few examples with chiefs, e.g. Peltot, 1452, Paly of six Or and vert, a chief of the second, and Hayersegge, 1240, Paly argent and gules, a chief of the first. The only instance of the reverse situation, a solid field sharing a tincture with a party bordure or chief, uses a compony bordure (e.g. von Commerstat, Siebmacher 162). So the return of the bendy bordure is consistent with allowing this chief and bendy field.
Electrum has provided some additional examples:
Evidence of a striped field and a bordure in period can be found in Dictionary of British Armorials, volume 2, page 194 et seq. Amongst the multiple "patterned field plain border" examples listed there are Barry Argent and Azure, a bodrure Azure (Houtone (Powell Roll c. 1350)); Barry Argent and Azure, a bordure Gules (Alissaunder, (William Le Nave's Book, c. 1500)), Barry wavy Gules and Argent a bordure Argent (Chok, (College of Arms Manuscript c. 1520 (copy of lost original)); Bendy Or and Azure a bordure Gules (Burgundy); Checky Or and Azure, a bordure Gules (Dreux (William Le Nave's Book) et al). Unfortunately, there is not an easy way to search the volumes for <stripy field, complex charge, peripheral sharing tincture with field>.
Given these examples, we will register a multiply-divided field and a solid tincture peripheral ordinary sharing one of the tinctures with the field so long as identifiability of the peripheral ordinary is maintained, as it is in this case. [Eginolf von Basel, 04/2007, P-Middle]
... the mountain is couped, not issuant from base, which is the default for mountains. A mountain (issuant from base) is a peripheral charge and cannot be a primary charge; a mountain couped is in the center of the field and is a primary charge. [Ruthven of Rockridge, 09/2007, A-West]

CHARGE - Restricted or Reserved

We remind the College that the caduceus is no longer a charge restricted to modern medical personnel. [Ian Michael Hudson, 07/2005, A-Caid]
This submission raised the issue of when the Red Hand of Ulster is protected. We need to distinguish between conflict and presumption here: The use of Argent, a sinister hand appaumy gules is presumptuous (and disallowed) when displayed in a manner that makes it appear to be an augmentation. However, the independent armory, Argent, a sinister hand appaumy gules, is protected from conflict as belonging to Great Britain. [Johnathan Crusadene Whitewolf the Younger, 03/2006, A-Atenveldt]
[Red Crescent] Restricted charge. A single gules decrescent on any argent background or in any way that could be displayed on an argent background (such as a fieldless badge). Currently, the flag of the Red Crescent, Argent, a decrescent gules, is protected. The symbol of the International Red Crescent is not currently listed as a restricted charge in the Glossary of Terms. The Letter of Intent to Protect proposed adding as a restricted charge "A decrescent gules on argent, fieldless, or tinctureless". That would prohibit designs with multiple decrescents as well as tinctureless designs with decrescents.

This is not a copyright or trademark issue. The protection afforded the symbol of the International Red Crescent by international treaty and by national laws is at a much higher level than simple copyright or trademark. By treaty, the symbol of the Red Crescent has the same protection as the symbol of the Red Cross. The consensus of the College of Arms was that, while the proposed restriction was overly broad, the Red Crescent did need to be restricted in accordance with these treaties and laws. We believe that the symbol of the Red Crescent should be protected to the same extent as the symbol of the Red Cross is protected. Thus at this time we are adding to the list of restricted charges the Red Crescent, "A single gules decrescent on any argent background or in any way that could be displayed on an argent background (such as a fieldless badge)". The use of multiple gules decrescents may be returned on a case-by-case basis if their placement or usage appears too evocative of the symbol of the Red Crescent. [Red Crescent, 07/2006, A-Ansteorra]
[Red Cross] Restricted charge change. A single gules cross couped on any argent background or in any way that could be displayed on an argent background (such as a fieldless badge). Currently, the flag of the Red Cross, Argent, a cross couped gules, is protected while "A cross couped gules on an argent background" is listed as a restricted charge in the Glossary of Terms. This is the symbol of the International Red Cross and is protected by international treaty as well as various national laws. The Letter of Intent to Protect proposed expanding the restricted charge to "A cross gules on argent, fieldless, or tinctureless". That would prohibit designs with multiple crosses couped as well as tinctureless designs with crosses couped.

This is not a copyright or trademark issue. The protection afforded the symbol of the Red Cross by international treaty and by national laws is at a much higher level than simple copyright or trademark. The consensus of the College of Arms was that, while the proposed restriction was overly broad, the protection of the Red Cross did need to be expanded in accordance with these treaties and laws. At this time we are modifying the restriction listed in the Glossary of Terms to "A single gules cross couped on any argent background or in any way that could be displayed on an argent background (such as a fieldless badge)". The use of multiple gules crosses couped may be returned on a case-by-case basis if their placement or usage appears too evocative of the symbol of the Red Cross. [Red Cross, 07/2006, A-Ansteorra]
[Swiss Cross] Restricted charge. A cross couped argent on gules, fieldless, or tinctureless. The Swiss Cross is currently protected as the arms of Switzerland, Gules, a cross couped argent. The level of protection of the Swiss Cross does not rise to that required of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, or the Red Crystal by international treaty and national laws. The Geneva Conventions state "the use by private individuals, societies or firms, of the arms of the Swiss Confederation, or of marks constituting an imitation thereof, whether as trademarks or commercial marks, or as parts of such marks, or for a purpose contrary to commercial honesty, or in circumstances capable of wounding Swiss national sentiment, shall be prohibited at all times." We believe that the current protection of Gules, a cross couped argent is sufficient and decline to extend that protection to the level we protect the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, and potentially the Red Crystal, by adding this to the table of Restricted Charges in the Glossary of Terms. [Swiss Cross, 07/2006, R-Ansteorra]
[Red Crystal] The protection afforded the symbol of the International Red Crystal by international treaty and by national laws is at a much higher level than simple copyright or trademark. By treaty, the symbol of the Red Crystal has the same protection as the symbols of the Red Cross and of the Red Crescent. The consensus of the College of Arms was that the Red Crystal does need to be restricted in accordance with these treaties and laws. We believe that the symbol of the Red Crystal should be protected to the same extent as the symbols of the Red Cross and Red Crescent are protected. Thus, at this time, we are adding to the list of restricted charges the Red Crystal, "A single gules mascle on any argent background or in any way that could be displayed on an argent background (such as a fieldless badge)". The use of multiple gules mascles may be returned on a case-by-case basis if their placement or usage appears too evocative of the symbol of the Red Crystal. [Red Crystal, 03/2007, A-Laurel]
The evidence strongly suggests that the ombrellino was only used as a Papal augmentation in conjunction with the crossed keys. If that's the case, then the use of the ombrellino alone cannot be considered presumptuous, any more than the use of keys alone (with no other Papal elements) would be presumptuous. We therefore rule that the ombrellino alone is not a reserved charge, and may be registered in any Society armory that doesn't also have two keys in saltire. [Luciana Caterina de Borghese, 06/2007, A-Ansteorra] [JML: see OMBRELLINO for the complete discussion]
From Wreath: The Red Hand of Ulster
One of this month's submissions (Éamonn mac Alaxandair, Æthelmearc LoI of September 2007) raised a question about the Red Hand of Ulster, which the College's Glossary of Terms reserves to "British Baronets". This isn't strictly accurate: the augmentation reserved for Baronets and the Red Hand of Ulster are two different armories... mirror images, in fact. The Baronet augmentation is a sinister hand apaumy gules; the Red Hand of Ulster is a dexter hand apaumy gules. (In our defense, we aren't the only ones who have confused these two: a number of authors, some of them very well known, have made the same mistake. For instance, Boutell's Heraldry, 1970 edition, pp. 62-3, gives a dexter hand apaumy gules as the badge of Ulster, and a canton or inescutcheon argent charged with a sinister hand apaumy gules as the distinguishing badge of Baronets... and then on p. 201 explicitly calls the latter the hand of Ulster. So we're in good company, you see.)

Both the Red Hand of Ulster and the augmentation for Baronets are armories of the United Kingdom, so both should be protected against conflict. The Baronet augmentation remains presumptuous; and given that the Red Hand of Ulster is used on an inescutcheon in Ulster's arms, its use on an inescutcheon should likewise be seen as presumptuous. But the two armories are not the same, and we will take greater care in the future to avoid conflating them.

The Glossary of Terms and the Online Armorial will be updated to separate these two armories and protect them under their proper names. [01/2008 CL]
From Laurel: Order of the Pelican
Table 1 of the Glossary of the Terms notes that a chapeau, a pelican in its piety, and a pelican vulning itself are reserved to the "Order of the Pelican". A submission this month (Dorio of the Oaks, East LoI) questioned whether or not a member of the Order of the Pelican could register armory containing a pelican in its piety. They can: prior Laurels have implicitly assumed they might do so (LoAR of June 1988), and there has been no explicit prohibition since then. We hereby state outright that members of the Order of the Pelican may incorporate the symbols of their Order - the pelican and the chapeau - in their personal armory. The Glossary of Terms will be updated to clarify these items are reserved to members of the Order of the Pelican. [02/2008 CL]

CHARGE GROUP
see also DIFFERENCE - Counting and DIFFERENCE - Groups

[Or, two pallets sable, overall a cross clechy and overall in chief a coronet gules pearled argent] This device must be returned for non-period style. The difference in size between the cross and the coronet makes it impossible to see them as a single charge group, and we have seen no evidence that the use of multiple overall charge groups is in keeping with period practice. [James the Tormentor, 05/2005, R-An Tir]
[a pair of rapiers in saltire argent surmounted by a rose Or] This device violates RfS VIII.1.a, which states that "three or more types of charges should not be used in the same group." Although the rose is technically overall, its size and location make it appear to be a part of the primary charge group. This problem has been previously discussed in precedent. For example, returning (Fieldless) A quill pen and a rapier crossed in saltire and overall a compass star all argent, precedent states, "[This] is a single group of three dissimilar charges, which violates RFS VIII.1.a." [Valentine Michael de La Fère, 8/91, R-Outlands]. Similarly, the rapiers and rose in this device are a single group of two dissimilar charges and are also co-primary with the frog, resulting in a primary charge group that includes three dissimilar charges. [Frederick Alton, 06/2005, R-Gleann Abhann]
[a triskelion arrondy within a mascle vs. a quatrefoil within a mascle] The charge in the center, not the mascle, is the primary charge. There is a substantial (X.2) difference between a quatrefoil and a triskelion. [Alexandre of Kapellenberg, 07/2005, A-Atlantia]
[a cross throughout argent, entwined of a serpent vert] This device is returned for non-period style. No documentation was provided, and none could be found, that charges were entwined about ordinaries in period. The serpent here is neither surmounting nor surmounted by the cross; nor is it a tertiary charge. When she resubmits, please have her draw the serpent as one of these -- or else provide examples of charges entwined around ordinaries in period armory. [Kathryn Aster, 01/2006, R-Atlantia]
[on a plate embattled argent, a cross pointed between four Passion nails, heads to center] This is returned for having two different tertiary groups on the same charge per the precedent:
[... on a pale azure a salmon haurient embowed contourny in chief a compass star argent ...] It is not period style to have two different tertiary groups on the same underlying charge. The difference in scale between the salmon and the compass star makes the compass star appear to be in a subsidiary charge group to the salmon. There is precedent pertaining to this matter: [returning A mullet Or charged with a fleur-de-lys florency between five daggers points outwards sable] None of the commenters could find a similar motif: a primary charged with a tertiary X and a group of five tertiary Y's. Barring documentation of such an arrangement of tertiary charges, we believe that the motif is not a period one and therefore unregisterable. [The submission was returned for this reason and for conflict.] (Esperanza Razzolini d'Asolo, 10/95 p. 15) [Uma, Shire of, 10/01, R-Drachenwald]
In this case the cross forms one tertiary charge group and the Passion nails a second tertiary charge group. [Mathias Kotov, 03/2006, R-Æthelmearc]
[on a pale and a base gules, an inverted tau cross throughout] The submission doesn't match any period style with which we're familiar. The pale and base, despite being the same tincture, are actually two separate charges; they cannot bear a single tertiary group, certainly not one that overlies their edges. ... This must be returned for redraw and redesign - with any tertiary groups confined to a single underlying charge each... [Vladislav cel Înalt, 03/2006, R-Ealdormere]
[Per chevron azure and argent, within a laurel wreath counterchanged a phoenix argent] Normally in the design a widget within a laurel wreath, the widget is the primary charge; however, in this case the laurel wreath is the primary charge. The phoenix is not in the center of the design; in fact due to its tincture (and the design of the device), it is forced to be small and in chief. [New Wyndehame, Shire of, 08/2006, A-East]
[in pale two roses argent barbed and seeded proper, in fess two inkhorns sable each sustaining a feather bendwise] This badge is returned for violating RfS VIII.1.a (Tincture and Charge Limit). This badge has three type of charges in the same charge group, what is commonly referred to as "slot-machine heraldry". A pen and inkhorn (ink bottle) is not a single charge. [Rhiannon Amber ferch Morgan ap Maredudd, 08/2006, R-Middle]
This device is returned for violating the "sword-and-dagger" rule. The use of both a goose and ducks on the same device leads the eyes to be confused by the almost-but-not-quite-identical charges into thinking that this is three ducks, or three geese. Whether or not the use of similar charges as primary charges and tertiary charges ... is permissible led to much discussion. The original precedent, from the September 1993 Cover Letter states:
If two charges are artistically distinct, but heraldically identical, they should not be used in the same armory.

The reason for this is the raison d'etre of heraldry: instant identification. When the eye first sees a design such as, say, Sable, two lions and a Bengal tiger Or, it will be fooled for a moment into seeing three lions, or three tigers. There'll be a moment of confusion until the eye sorts out the almost-but-not-quite-identical charges... and that confusion is exactly what we try to avoid.

The charges, be it noted, need not be in a single group for confusion to arise. Sable, a sword between three daggers argent will suffer the same lack of ready identifiability, despite the sword being primary and the daggers being secondary. Nor need the charges necessarily be "artistic variants" of one another, although that is the most common application of the rule: any too [sic] charges that are visually indistinct may run afoul of this policy (for instance, Sable, in pale a horseshoe and a torc Or). In general, if there's a CD of difference between the charges, the "sword-dagger" ruling won't apply; less than that, and one takes one's chances.
This precedent was partially overturned in February 2003:
Geneviève de Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Device. Purpure, a sun Or eclipsed by a moon in her plenitude azure and on a chief Or three compass stars azure. It is acceptable for charges on charges to be a close variant of charges on the field. This sort of design does not run afoul of the design strictures colloquially known as the "sword and dagger" problem:
[...on a chevron between three hearts argent three hearts sable] There is no problem with having the same type of charge as both secondaries and tertiaries. Submissions are only returned if the same type of charge is used as primary and secondary charges. (LoAR September 1999.)
While it is acceptable to use the same charge as both a primary (or secondary) charge and a tertiary charge, using a similar charge is not acceptable for exactly the reasons discussed in the September 1993 Cover Letter. We hereby overturn the February 2003 precedent and restore the September 1993 precedent. Due to the armorial identification problems caused by using similar but not identical charges in two different charge groups, this practice is no longer allowed. The use of identical charges as both a primary (or secondary) charge and a tertiary charge is allowed. [Desiderata Drake, 03/2007, R-Æthelmearc]
[a turtle fesswise vert between two bars wavy azure] The LoI questioned whether this submission is clear of ... Argent, a goutte de poix between two bars wavy azure. In both cases the central charge is the primary charge and the bars are secondary charges. [Anna Tarr, 03/2007, A-East]
[a Celtic cross and on a chief ... two equal-armed Celtic crosses] This device is returned for violating the "sword-and-dagger" rule. As ruled in the March 2007 LoAR (v., Desiderata Drake):
While it is acceptable to use the same charge as both a primary (or secondary) charge and a tertiary charge, using a similar charge is not acceptable for exactly the reasons discussed in the September 1993 Cover Letter. We hereby overturn the February 2003 precedent and restore the September 1993 precedent. Due to the armorial identification problems caused by using similar but not identical charges in two different charge groups, this practice is no longer allowed. The use of identical charges as both a primary (or secondary) charge and a tertiary charge is allowed.
Having two different styles of Celtic crosses is not allowed. [Conchobhar Mac Cionaoith, 05/2007, R-Caid]
[in chief three crosses couped each between four more crosses couped Or] This device is returned for a redraw or redesign. The charges in chief were originally blazoned as crosses of Jerusalem. This was changed to three crosses couped each between four more crosses couped Or by the Calontir College of Heralds, who noted "We believe the plain cross between four plain crosses to be a valid depiction of a Cross of Jerusalem. We have, however, changed the blazon in kingdom to a more generic one." However, we have no evidence that these are a period variation of a cross of Jerusalem.

The charges in chief aren't a group of three self-contained charges (Jerusalem crosses): they are a group of three "primary" secondaries (the larger crosses couped) and twelve "secondary" secondaries (the crosses couped surrounding them). That's the problem. This is not a case of a single group with two types of charge, as we'd have if this were in chief a cross couped between two mullets or some such. Nor are the three larger crosses and twelve smaller crosses separate groups of secondaries. These are all one group of identical secondary charges, but with a definite "subdivision" which doesn't make for the simplicity that characterizes medieval heraldry. A cross of Jerusalem would not have this problem as it is considered a single charge. [Kaios Alexandrou, 05/2007, R-Calontir]
[Azure, three mullets of four points in bend sinister between two tygers sejant contourny Or] This device is returned for redesign. The mullets are centrally located, which would normally make them the primary charges; the tygers are located where one would expect secondary charges to be placed. However, looking at the emblazon, the mullets have nothing like the visual weight of the tygers; the mullets therefore cannot be the primaries, which by definition are the dominant charges. Yet neither can the tygers be primary, since they're in the spots on the shield where the eye expects to find secondaries. Nor can we get around the problem by considering the tygers and mullets together, as one group of charges: as placed here, considered as a single group, the charges aren't in any blazonable arrangement. The entire design fatally blurs the distinction between primary and secondary charges; it must therefore be returned. [Tareija de Tomar, 07/2007, R-Calontir]
The arrangement of charges - with the fleur-de-lys in the center of the shield and the sword in the upper sixth of the shield - makes these charges a primary charge with a secondary charge in chief, despite the fact the sword is longer than the fleur-de-lys is wide. [Madeleine de Rouen, 09/2007, A-An Tir]
[on a tower argent a chevron cotised] This badge is returned for non-period style. Precedent states:
[... on a pale azure a salmon haurient embowed contourny in chief a compass star argent ...] It is not period style to have two different tertiary groups on the same underlying charge. The difference in scale between the salmon and the compass star makes the compass star appear to be in a subsidiary charge group to the salmon. There is precedent pertaining to this matter: [citing the return of Esperanza Razzolini d'Asolo, 10/95] [Uma, Shire of, 10/01, R-Drachenwald]
This precedent was upheld in March 2006, in the return of Mathias Kotov.

When on a field, a chevron cotised is considered a primary charge and two secondary charges. It is still two charge groups when placed on another charge. As we have not yet been presented evidence for this practice, the motif is still unregisterable. [Eoforwic, Canton of, 10/2007, R-Ealdormere]
Blazoned on the LoI as Per chevron vert and sable, a wolf rampant to sinister argent, in chief three oak leaves Or, the charges are co-primary. The presumption when there are two types of charges, one type on either side of a line of division, is that the charges are co-primary. If one type of charge is much smaller than the other, there is a chance that the armory will be returned for blurring the distinction between a group of co-primary charges and a group of primary charges plus a group of secondary charges. In this case, the oak leaves, while smaller than the wolf, are sufficiently large enough to be considered co-primary charges on this divided field. On an undivided field, this may have been returned for not being clearly a group of co-primary charges or a primary charge with three secondary charges. [Jared of Midewinde, 10/2007, A-Outlands]
This device uses a primary charge and two secondary charges. While three primary charges arranged two and one may have the charges in chief slightly smaller, the mullets here are sufficiently smaller to be considered secondaries. Moreover, it's easier for the eye to see a single group if all the charges in the group are identical: had this been three mullets of eight points or three seahorses, they would have been presumed to be a single group of three primary charges, almost without regard to size. In this case, the mullets are markedly smaller than the seahorse, they are of a different type, and they're shoved up to chief exactly where we'd expect secondary charges in chief to be. Visually, as well as by the precepts of heraldic design, they are secondary charges. [Sorcha inghean Uí Thoráin, 11/2007, A-East]
[a sinister hand aversant inverted issuant from chief and a two-fingered dexter hand aversant issuant from base argent] This does not violate the so-called "sword-and-dagger" rule, which prohibits the use of two similar but non-identical charges in the same armory (for example, see the return of Desiderata Drake device on the March 2007 LoAR). In this case, the two charges are the same charge - they are just in different orientations and postures. However, this is not good style and its use is not recommended. [Tómas Halvar, 12/2007, R-Outlands]
This device was blazoned on the LoI as Per chevron argent and vert, a squirrel grasping a pine cone argent and in chief four pine trees erased vert, which implied that the pine trees were secondary charges. The trees are of a size to be secondary charges on plain field; however, where there are two types of charges on either side of a line of division, as in this case, the charges must be considered co-primary charges. [Alyna of Pinehyll, 01/2008, P-Northshield]

CHESS PIECE

[chess rook] The unmodified term rook is a synonym for a corbie (i.e., a crow, raven, or such); as this device uses a chess piece, it must be so blazoned. [John of Crimson River, 10/2006, A-Meridies]
This device is returned for using a modern, not a period, chess piece. The emblazon represents a chess knight from the Staunton chess set, which was created in the mid-nineteenth century. The period heraldic chess knight, as found in the arms of Hertzheim (Siebmacher, plate 95) is double-headed; we permit single-headed chess knights in the SCA if they are explicitly blazoned, but they still can't be the Staunton form. That, alone, has long been reason for return, as far back as the case of Graça d'Alataia (returned February 1985). [Durko Vadas, 12/2006, R-East]
[a tower azure] This is clear of the badge of Serena Lascelles, (Fieldless) A chessrook azure. In December 2001 Laurel ruled:
[Sable, a chess rook argent] This is clear of conflict with ... Sable, a tower argent. There is substantial difference between a tower and a properly drawn chess rook, so RfS X.2 applies.

In the LoAR of October 1996, it was stated that there was "nothing for the difference between a tower and a chess-rook". This precedent is hereby overturned: a tower and a chess rook were considered different charges in period and have substantial visual difference. The period heraldic chess rook is drawn consistently in a form where the top is forked into two prominent curled points. This was a standard depiction for the period chess piece, as illustrated in Caxton's 1474 "Game and Playe of the Chesse". The period heraldic chess rook does not resemble any sort of fortification and cannot be mistaken for a tower. On examining the collated commentary for the October 1996 ruling, it appears that perhaps the commenters mistakenly believed that the particular chess rook in the possible conflict was drawn as a tower, rather than as a period chess rook. [William fitzBubba, 12/01, A-East]
Serena's chess rook is a properly drawn, period chess rook and thus has a substantial difference from a tower. [Matillis atte Hethe, 01/2007, P-An Tir]
The default, double-headed, chess knight has a CD from a horse's head; a single-headed chess knight does not have a CD from a horse's head. [James Winfeld, 10/2007, A-Meridies]

CHEVRON and CHEVRON INVERTED

Please advise the submitter that a chevron couched should issue from the side of the shield and not from the chief. [Hagen von Scharfeneck, 06/2005, A-Drachenwald]
A charged chevron inverted abased is at least two steps removed from period style, and if it were being considered for the first time, would be returned. However, the size, angle, and placement of the chevron inverted is exactly the same as in his previous submission, returned June 2004. The previous return dealt only the voiding of the charge, and how it could not be done on a chevron inverted abased. The return cited precedent to support this -- all dealing with the voiding. As he has fixed the reason for the previous return, we are giving the submitter the benefit of the doubt and reluctantly registering this. Future submissions of a charged chevron inverted abased will be returned for non-period style unless accompanied by period heraldic examples. [Voron Gregor'ev syn Tsetseneviskii, 11/2005, A-Atenveldt]
There is no heraldic difference between embattled and raguly, and a chevron embattled is embattled on the upper edge only. [Aarnimetsä, Barony of, 12/2005, R-Drachenwald]
While a chevron embattled is embattled only on the upper edge, it is unclear which edge is embattled with a chevron inverted embattled. The fact that the chevron inverted is embattled only on the upper edge should be specified. [Amy Marie MacCormack, 05/2006, A-Atenveldt]
From Wreath: Concerning Chevrons and Per Chevron Fields
We've had a number of submissions recently, using either a chevron or a per chevron field, with three charges in the area above the chevron line. Sometimes these three charges have been one and two; sometimes they've been in fess. The question has naturally arisen as to which of these is the default placement for three charges in that sort of design.

The fact is that neither placement is particularly good heraldic style. Neither of them fills the space available for the charges. The area above a chevron line is best suited for two charges, with the space below the line for a third charge. Two and one is the default placement for three charges for good reason: that placement best fills the heater shape that is the standard medium for heraldic display. Anything else, almost by definition, is sub-optimal.

It's true that there are rare period examples (very rare) of three charges above a chevron line: e.g., the arms of Robert Pakington (Collins' Roll, c.1295), Per chevron sable and argent, in chief three pierced mullets argent (Anglo-Norman Armory II, p.498). In those cases, the charges are arranged in fess, not one and two. That will be considered the SCA default for three charges above a chevron line. But it remains likewise true that such a design is poor style by period standards: its rarity, its difficulty in blazoning, and the fact that it does not efficiently use the space available for the charges, are all evidence of this.

Whether or not there's a CD for arranging three charges in fess or in chevron above a chevron or the upper portion of a Per chevron field will be worked out over time, as the cases come before us. In many instances, e.g. using long charges, this difference is nearly impossible to discern and thus not worth a CD. [09/2006 CL]
A chevron embattled is embattled on the upper edge only. There is a CD between a chevron embattledand a chevron embattled-counter-embattled, which is embattled on both the upper and lower edge. [Jeffery of Jarrow, 10/2006, A-West]
There is no difference between embattled and dovetailed when considered alone; however, a chevron embattled is embattled on the upper edge only while a chevron dovetailed is dovetailed on both the upper and lower edges. Thus there is another CD for changes to the line of division of the chevron. [Evelyn Westbrook, 11/2006, A-Northshield]
[a chevron couped couched from sinister] Blazoned on the LoI as a Kano rune, the tertiary charge is not identifiable as a rune. This particular rune has been registered once before, in the device of Clef of Cividale where it was blazoned an early Norwegian kauna rune. Some runes are recognizable as runes, even if you don't know which rune they might be: the "feoh" and "thorn" runes in the Saxon futhark, to name two. Other runes won't be recognizable as such, particularly in a heraldic context. In a heraldic context, we see a mascle, not the rune "ingwaz"; a pale couped or a staff, not the rune "isaz". So it is here: this being heraldry, we see this as a chevron couped couched from sinister, not a "kano/kauna" rune. However, as it can be blazoned in standard heraldic terms, it is registerable. [al-Barran, Barony of, 12/2006, A-Outlands]
The use of a chevron rayonny only on the lower edge is a step from period practice. [Elianora Feverel, 02/2007, A-Trimaris]
The chevron in this badge issues from the corner of the shield. We have in the past returned chevrons inverted for this, for example in returning Anastasia Gutane's badge in October 1999 Laurel noted:
"The chevron [inverted] should not intersect the corners of the chief" (Baldwin of Erebor, LoAR 7 July 1986, p. 6). The device needs to be redrawn with the ordinary issuing from the sides of the shield.
This raised the question of whether chevrons should be treated the same way as chevrons inverted. In this case, no. Chevrons are much more common in period heraldry than chevrons inverted and it is not unknown for period emblazons to show a chevron as depicted in this submission. While we encourage the submitter to draw the chevron from the sides of the shield rather than the corner, at this time we do not believe that this is cause for return. [Dugan Makgowin of Aydel, 03/2007, A-East]
[a chevron rompu rayonny to chief] This device is returned for combining two complex lines of division, which has consistently been grounds for return since at least 1992. [Cristine Tailleur, 04/2007, R-Calontir]
This device is returned for non-period style. We are unaware of any examples of a primary chevron accompanied by braced secondary chevronels. Barring period heraldic examples of this motif, it is not registerable. [Estienne Delemontagne, 05/2007, R-Lochac]
While a chevron rompu is most frequently drawn by "slicing" the chevron palewise and displacing the point to chief, the slicing can also be done at right angles (more or less) to the chevron itself; an example is found in Guillim's Display of Heraldrie, second edition, 1632, p.133. [Jane the Tall of Carlisle, 10/2007, A-Middle]
[two chevronels couched from dexter vert, in sinister chief an acorn proper] Barring evidence of couched chevrons sharing a field with other charges in period heraldry, this design motif is a step from period practice. [Katrín in hárfagra, 05/2008, A-Gleann Abhann]

CHIEF

... a chief invected should have five to eight invects ... [Stórvarr örvarsmiðr, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
[Azure, a maunch between on a chief argent three fleurs-de-lys azure and on a base argent a fleur-de-lys azure] This device is returned for non-period style. With the top and bottom of the shield the same color, and carrying the same charges, heraldic convention demands that this be blazoned Argent, on a fess between four fleurs-de-lys, three and one, azure a maunch argent. However, the "fess" is drawn so wide that it blurs the distinction between what heraldic custom dictates and what the eye sees. If the submitter wishes this basic design, it should be emblazoned such that the center portion of the shield is clearly a charged fess. If the submitter wishes to keep the maunch the primary charge, we'd suggest removing either the chief or the base (assuming no conflicts, of course). [Azemars Martel, 12/2005, R-Artemisia]
[on a chief argent the word SEXTON sable] This is returned for non-period style as no evidence was present that the use of an office title (or an unrelated name) on a chief is compatible with period armorial practices. [Little John of Hamilton, 04/2006, R-Middle]
[a chief Or semy of trefoils] This device is returned for a redraw of the semy of trefoils. Thirty trefoils is too many to place on a chief: drawn so small they become unrecognizable. We'd suggest about two-thirds of them should be removed, leaving seven to ten trefoils. This will allow the trefoils to be drawn larger, which will aid in their identifiability. [Áine Finnólfsdottir, 05/2006, R-Calontir]
Blazoned on the LoI as Argent, a mullet of two interlocking mascles, a chief and a base vert, the use of a chief and a base together is unacceptably poor design. As was noted in the return of Azemars Martel, Dec 2005:
This device is returned for non-period style. With the top and bottom of the shield the same color, and carrying the same charges, heraldic convention demands that this be blazoned Argent, on a fess between four fleurs-de-lys, three and one, azure a maunch argent. However, the "fess" is drawn so wide that it blurs the distinction between what heraldic custom dictates and what the eye sees. If the submitter wishes this basic design, it should be emblazoned such that the center portion of the shield is clearly a charged fess. If the submitter wishes to keep the maunch the primary charge, we'd suggest removing either the chief or the base (assuming no conflicts, of course).
In this case, the blurring of the distinction between a chief and a base and a charged fess is still here, even without tertiary charges in chief and base. Unlike other examples of motifs where such distinctions are blurred - for instance, between A pile and chaussé - we have been given no examples of a chief and a base used together, and so blazoned, in period. Rather, the overwhelming number of period examples is of charged fesses, drawn recognizably as such. The conventions of blazon require Cynwrig's submission to be blazoned as a charged fess - and by that blazon, it becomes obvious that it is drawn in an unacceptably non-period style, with the fess far too wide. (Or, to put it another way, the attempt to render this as a primary charge between a chief and a base makes the chief and base unacceptably narrow.)

For all these reasons, then - the lack of period support for the motif; the tendency to misemblazon the "fess" too wide, or the "chief" and "base" too narrow; and most of all, the blurring of the distinction between this motif and a charged fess, against the heraldic precepts found in RfS VIII.3 - we affirm that the use of a chief and a base together is, in general, non-period heraldic style, and grounds for return. The Society's prior registrations using a chief and a base will be left as they are, but will not be considered as support for future submissions.

We leave open the possibility that there might be designs with a chief and a base together, which would not blur the distinction from a charged fess: if the chief and base were different tinctures, for instance, or if they had different lines of division. But these will have to be considered case-by-case; we'd love to see some period examples of them. In any event, the return of Cynwrig's submission is unaffected. [Cynwrig de Montain, 11/2006, R-Artemisia]
[on a chief azure a saltire argent] While the use of a chief of Scotland's flag caused concern among some comments, its use is allowed under our current rules. [Fiona Heather the Fortunate, 03/2007, R-Ealdormere]
[Per pale vert and argent, a chief counterchanged] Batonvert wrote:
In early period, unfortunately, this would have been considered Quarterly argent and vert -- the Per fess line being drawn a bit higher then. In Anglo-Norman Armory Two, we see examples of this equivalence: e.g., the arms of Ralph Perot, c.1300, being blazoned both as Per pale azure and Or, a chief indented counterchanged (p.278) and as Quarterly per fess indented Or and azure (p.526).

Considering this, then, as a valid depiction of Quarterly argent and vert, it conflicts with the arms of Hohenzollern (important non-SCA armory), Quarterly argent and sable.
We have a history of returning things for blurring the distinction between a chief and a per fess line. As we routinely enforce the difference between the two, this does not conflict with a quarterly field. We do recommend drawing the chief a bit narrower so as to minimize the potential confusion. [Dugan Makgowin of Aydel, 03/2007, A-East]
Given these examples, we will register a multiply-divided field and a solid tincture peripheral ordinary sharing one of the tinctures with the field so long as identifiability of the peripheral ordinary is maintained, as it is in this case. [Eginolf von Basel, 04/2007, P-Middle] [JML: see CHARGE - Peripheral for the complete discussion]
There was much discussion on whether the chief should be blazoned as a chief wavy barry wavy azure and argent or as on a chief wavy azure two barrulets wavy argent. As Black Stag noted:
Well, the situation on a chief isn't exactly the same as the situation for charges/multiply divided tinctures on the field. After all, 8 'stripes' for barry wavy on the field would be unexceptionable. While 8 'stripes' on a chief would probably get a return for teeny thin stripes (as that'd be a lot like 24 stripes on the field.)
Six stripes on a chief would probably be too many, making the stripes too thin. Using three stripes this would clearly be a charged chief. Four or five stripes is about the best that can be done to make a chief clearly barry. The chief in this submission has five stripes; while there is no heraldic difference between this and on a chief wavy azure two barrulets wavy argent, there is no reason not to blazon it as a chief wavy barry wavy azure and argent. [Rachell Gray, 05/2007, A-Ealdormere]
[Gyronny ... a chief] This device is returned for a redraw of the gyronny. As al-Jamal notes: "Chiefs on divided fields are really treated as an extension of the shield; they do not overlie the underlying field divisions like in the emblazon here". [Kilian the Black, 05/2007, R-Meridies]
Albion has documented several period coats with a chief charged with an A between two B's. [Law O Kervy, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
[Azure, ... and on a chief Or ..., overall a bordure counterchanged] The most common depiction of a chief and a bordure has the chief overlying the bordure; however, precedent indicates that there are some examples of bordures overlying chiefs (v. Ambrosius MacDaibhidh, December 1995). Prior precedent states:
Please note that the design of counterchanging a bordure over a pile is considered "a weirdness" in the SCA - a single step from period practice (per the LoAR of July 2001). One such step in armory is acceptable, but more than one such step is considered too far from period practice and reason for return. [Clef of Cividale, 03/03, R-Calontir]
Similarly, barring period evidence of such counterchanging, counterchanging a bordure over a chief is also a step from period practice. [Albrecht of Caer Anterth-Mor, 01/2008, A-Northshield]
A chief fleury is found in Brook-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet but there is no indication that it is a period depiction. We will grant the submitter the benefit of the doubt and allow the registration of a chief fleury; however, lacking evidence of its use in period heraldry, it is a step from period practice. ... The correct depiction of a fleury line of division should be drawn with demi-fleurs-de-lys issuing from the line of division of the chief; a demi fleur-de-lys would show three petals tapering to a stalk, like the top half of a fleur-de-lys. [Katheryn M'Kethirryke, 01/2008, R-Æthelmearc]
The use of a chief doubly enarched is a step from period practice. [Gráinne inghean Dauídh uí Chonchobhair, 04/2008, A-Atlantia]
The chief-pale (or chéf-pal) is a Continental charge, which is usually treated as an ordinary (Woodward 120). It is found as early as 1415, in the Concilium zu Constenz, fo. clxxxi, and described in de Bara's Blason des Armoiries, 1581, p. 37. In both cases it's drawn as a chief and a pale, conjoined but with no seam where the charges meet. Certainly by the end of our period, it was considered a single charge, and we will do so as well. There is a CD between a pale and a chief-pale, and a substantial (X.2) difference between a chief-pale and any other ordinary.

If a device combines a chief and a pale of different tinctures (e.g., Azure, a pale Or and a chief argent), or with different complex lines (Azure, a pale engrailed and a chief argent), then it will not be considered a chief-pale. Like the chief, the chief-pale cannot be voided, fimbriated, or cotised. It can be charged with tertiaries, but (as the example in de Bara shows) the tertiaries must cover the entire charge, both the horizontal and vertical portions. Within those guidelines, we welcome further registrations of the charge.

We note that several prior registrations of a pale and chief exist. We are not reblazoning them at this time; however, if the owners wish them blazoned as chief-pales we will be happy to do so. [Reynier de Vriere, 05/2008, A-Atenveldt]

CLOTHING

[(Fieldless) A belt in annulo sable garnished Or] This badge is returned for conflict with ... Argent, an annulet fracted on the dexter side sable. There is no difference between an annulet and a garter, nor between a fracted annulet and a garter. [Giudo di Niccolo Brunelleschi, 02/2007, R-Calontir]
This does not conflict with ... (Fieldless) A garter sable charged with the letters N.A.G.S. Or. There is a CD ... for removing the tertiary letters. As with a book, a few letters on a garter are considered tertiary charges. [Giudo di Niccolo Brunelleschi, 02/2007, R-Calontir]
Blazoned on the LoI as (Fieldless) A belt in annulo bendwise sable tipped and buckled Or, the location of the dangling bit of the garter is artistic license. [Giudo di Niccolo Brunelleschi, 02/2007, R-Calontir]
[(Fieldless) A mantle Or] A mantle is a period heraldic charge dating from 1586 in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, as shown in The Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London (plate 38). As drawn in this submission, the mantle is similar to that form, including the collar; it's affronty, slightly open by default. The mantles shown in Guillim, 1632 (p.275) and Friar's Dictionary of Heraldry (p.63) are basically the same but without the collar and with tasseled cords in front. Either depiction is correct. [East, Kingdom of the, 09/2007, A-East]

CLOUD

[cloud] This is clear of Cassandra de la Mistral, Azure, a Boreas (wind) affronty argent. There is a CD ... for the difference between a heraldic cloud and a Boreas affronty.

A prior return (February 1994) stated:
Damales Redbeard. Household badge for Maison du Cheval Volant. Azure, on a cloud argent, a horseshoe inverted sable.

Conflict with Cassandra de la Mistral (SCA), Azure, a Boreas affronty argent. There is only one CD for the addition of the tertiary, and even that is minimal because it lies where the "face" of Cassandra's Boreas is. Additionally, the cloud here is not drawn in a period manner, but is the modern "cotton candy" form of cloud.
A re-examination of Cassandra's Boreas shows that there is a significant difference, or a CD, between a Boreas affronty and a cloud regardless of whether the cloud is a heraldic cloud or a modern cloud. We are thus explicitly overturning the cited February 1994 precedent. [Elisabetta Tempesta, 07/2005, A-East]
... there is a CD between a wind and a cloud. [Hidden Mountain, Barony of, 06/2006, R-Atlantia]

COLLAR

[a dog's head couped argent, collared Or] The LoI noted "The client has made the collar Or, so that the second CD can be attained for adding a tertiary charge." While collaring a beast's head is normally worth a CD, in this case the collar cannot be considered a tertiary charge as it is the same tincture class (metal) as the underlying charge. Thus the device must again be returned for conflict. If the collar is considered a tertiary charge, then this would have to be returned for violating RfS VIII.2.b - Contrast Requirements. Making the collar a color rather than a metal will allow it to count as a tertiary charge ... We note that a purpure collar should not be used on a purpure field. [Rolant Richolf von dem Reyne, 07/2006, R-Atenveldt]
The lower charge was blazoned on the LoI simply as a collar, which by default implies a horse's collar. We [William Malcolmesson of Berwickshire, 09/2007, R-Atenveldt]

COMET

[Per chevron Or and azure, a compass star gules] Blazoned on the LoI as Per chevron Or and azure, a compass star elongated to base gules a potential conflict with the badge for Aurildis Peregrina, (Fieldless) A comet gules, based on the precedent:
Ysmay de Chaldon. Device. Vert, a compass star elongated to base Or between flaunches erminois. This conflicts with the device of Esme ffoulkes of Mercia (SCA), Vert, a comet palewise Or between flaunches ermine. There's a CD for the tincture of the flaunches, but nothing for comet vs. mullet elongated to base. She might consider another field tincture. (September 1993)
The comet seen in Galbraith's Papal Heraldry for Pope Innocent VII (1404-1406) appears similar to a compass star elongated to base. This is a drawing based on the only surviving period example of this pope's arms (though seriously damaged), and shows a mullet (of four or six points), attached to a tail that does not waiver in width in the entire length that has survived. Assuming this interpretation of the comet is accurate, the only distinction between the mullet elongated to base and the comet seen here is the fact that the comet's tail is wavy rather than straight.

Certainly, looking at this submission, the compass star doesn't look much at all like a comet. On the other hand, that's because it's only barely elongated to base: the base point is only slightly longer than the chief, dexter and sinister points. From tghe [sic] submitted blazon, it could equally legitimately be drawn with the base point six or eight times the length of the chief/dexter/sinister points -- and that would conflict with a comet, given the latitude we permit in drawing comets. And in fact, the compass star in the device of Ysmay de Chaldon, the submission that prompted the precedent, was elongated in just such an exaggerated fashion.

At this time we reaffirm the September 1993 precedent and declare that there is not a CD between a compass star elongated to base and a comet.

We take this opportunity to remind the College that the emblazon, not the blazon, is registered. Given the fact that the compass star in this submission isn't really elongated - and thus doesn't look like a comet - we have chosen to reblazon it simply as a compass star gules and to register it. [Randal de Tancresleia, 10/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]
Shooting star is a term used in Society blazonry for a comet inverted. It's used here solely for the sake of the cant. [Serret of Falling Stars, 10/2007, A-Trimaris]

COMPASS ROSE

By precedent (q.v. Hans Dörrmast von der Wanderlust, 12/02, R-An Tir), there is no difference given between a compass star within an annulet and a compass rose. [Friedrich Sybold, 01/2006, R-West]
... at least a CD for the difference between a compass rose and an escarbuncle. [Christel Leake, 03/2007, A-Caid]
This device is returned for redraw. Blazoned on the LoI as a compass rose, the tertiary charge is not a compass rose as it lacks any directional marker. It is not a compass star within and conjoined to an annulet as the greater points overlie the annulet. It is not an annulet and overall a compass star as the lesser points of the compass star do not extend over the annulet. As it cannot be accurately blazoned, it must be returned. [Simon d'Este da Mantua, 04/2007, R-Atlantia]
... as noted in precedent (e.g., June 2000), no difference is granted between a compass rose and a compass star within and conjoined to an annulet. [Cassandra Grey of Loch Leven, 02/2008, R-East]
... nothing for removing the fleur-de-lys at the point of the compass rose. [Gabriel Wayfarer, 07/2008, R-Artemisia]

COMPASS STAR and SUN
see also MULLET

[Per bend sinister sable and azure, a mullet of nine points voided and interlaced within a bordure argent] This device conflicts with Cynedd ap Gwen, Sable, a sun eclipsed within a bordure argent. Although the two devices may be technically clear, the voiding of Christoff's mullet and the eclipsing of Cynedd's sun, together with the shared tincture of half the field, create an overwhelming visual similarity between the two pieces of armory under RfS X.5. [Christoff of Swampkeep, 05/2005, R-Trimaris]
[(Fieldless) On a compass star azure a bear statant argent] This badge must be returned for multiple conflicts: with the badge ... Argent, on a compass star azure, a thistle couped argent, with two badges... (Fieldless) On a sun azure a hammer argent and (Fieldless) A sun azure eclipsed argent, and with ... Argent, on a mullet of six points azure, a falcon displayed argent. In each case, there is a CD for changing the field or for fieldlessness versus another piece of fieldless armory but nothing for changing the type of the primary charge or for changing the type only of the tertiary. Precedent notes that "[t]here's ...no difference between suns and multi-pointed mullets --- which includes compass stars" [Friedrich von Rabenstein, 6/93, R-Caid] and that "[t]here is no type difference between the compass stars and the mullets of six points" [Brian Sigfridsson von Niedersachsen, 7/03, R-Atenveldt]. In addition, precedent states, "There is nothing for change of type only of tertiary charge on a sun or multipointed mullet, as this shape is not simple for purposes of RfS X.4.j.ii" [Burke Kyriell MacDonald, 2/02, R-Ansteorra]. [Gabrielle von Strassburg, 06/2005, R-Gleann Abhann]
There is a substantial (X.2) difference between a sun and an escarbuncle. [Derian le Breton, 07/2005, A-An Tir]
... nor is there any difference between a compass-star and a sun. [Dessa Demidova Zabolotskaia, 10/2005, R-Calontir]
There is not a CD between mullets of eight points and compass stars ... [Hallbera sneypir Vigbjarnardottir, 01/2006, R-An Tir]
This device must be returned as a sun is too complex to fimbriate. [Bj{o,}rn blundr Tómasson, 01/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
[a sun vs. a mullet of six greater and six lesser points] ...there is no difference granted between a sun and a twelve-pointed mullet. [Rebecka MacGillivray, 01/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
There is no difference granted between a sun and a riven star. ... [Rebecka MacGillivray, 01/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
No difference is granted between a compass star, that is, a mullet of four greater and four lesser points, and a mullet of five greater and five lesser points. [Friedrich Sybold, 01/2006, R-West]
By precedent (q.v. Hans Dörrmast von der Wanderlust, 12/02, R-An Tir), there is no difference given between a compass star within an annulet and a compass rose. [Friedrich Sybold, 01/2006, R-West]
There is a CD for the difference between a caltrop and a compass star ... [Mylisant de Impinton, 03/2006, A-Ansteorra]
When accepting Chlothar Bructerus's badge (August 2005, Trimaris), Laurel ruled, "a charge that may be voided may be borne voided as a fieldless badge." Prior precedent states "The compass star meets the guidelines established by Master Bruce for voiding and fimbriation. [12a/93, p.1]". As a compass star is simple enough to void, a voided compass star can be registered as a fieldless badge. [Sunniva Kyrre, 04/2006, A-Atlantia]
While suns generally have alternating wavy and straight rays, it is acceptable to have all straight rays as in this submission. [Rakonczay Gergely, 07/2006, R-Drachenwald]
[Argent, a compass star voided, in chief three mullets and in base a bar wavy azure] This device is returned for conflict with a badge of Lorimer MacAltin of Garioch, Argent, on a compass star azure a thistle couped argent. In June 2002 Laurel ruled:
We can thus see that the three following very dissimilar-sounding blazons can all be drawn identically, and thus should be considered heraldically equivalent: A lozenge Or charged with a lozenge gules, A lozenge Or voided gules, and A lozenge gules fimbriated Or. This heraldic equivalence will apply for any charge "simple enough to void" by the criteria stated in the Cover Letter for the November 1992 LoAR. When checking for conflict with armory using fimbriation or voiding, all these interpretations should be considered when checking for conflict, and if one of the interpretations conflicts, the two pieces of armory conflict. This does not seem overly restrictive when one considers the rarity of armory in period featuring voided or fimbriated charges, or arms with the design of A "charge" charged with "the same type of charge. These are very uncommon designs in period. Period viewers probably had the same sorts of problems that we have when interpreting such designs. [Cecily of Whitehaven, 06/02, R-Æthelmearc]
Consider Jean's device as Argent, on a compass star azure a compass star argent, in chief three mullets and in base a bar wavy azure. Against Lorimer's badge there is a CD for adding the secondary charges. However, as there are more than two types of charges on the field, at least two visually significant changes to the tertiary charges are required to gain a CD under RfS X.4.j.ii. Changing the type only of the tertiary charge from a thistle to a compass star is insufficient for the necessary second CD. [Jean de la Montaigne, 09/2006, R-East]
[Per chevron Or and azure, a compass star gules] Blazoned on the LoI as Per chevron Or and azure, a compass star elongated to base gules a potential conflict with the badge for Aurildis Peregrina, (Fieldless) A comet gules, based on the precedent:
Ysmay de Chaldon. Device. Vert, a compass star elongated to base Or between flaunches erminois. This conflicts with the device of Esme ffoulkes of Mercia (SCA), Vert, a comet palewise Or between flaunches ermine. There's a CD for the tincture of the flaunches, but nothing for comet vs. mullet elongated to base. She might consider another field tincture. (September 1993)
The comet seen in Galbraith's Papal Heraldry for Pope Innocent VII (1404-1406) appears similar to a compass star elongated to base. This is a drawing based on the only surviving period example of this pope's arms (though seriously damaged), and shows a mullet (of four or six points), attached to a tail that does not waiver in width in the entire length that has survived. Assuming this interpretation of the comet is accurate, the only distinction between the mullet elongated to base and the comet seen here is the fact that the comet's tail is wavy rather than straight.

Certainly, looking at this submission, the compass star doesn't look much at all like a comet. On the other hand, that's because it's only barely elongated to base: the base point is only slightly longer than the chief, dexter and sinister points. From tghe [sic] submitted blazon, it could equally legitimately be drawn with the base point six or eight times the length of the chief/dexter/sinister points -- and that would conflict with a comet, given the latitude we permit in drawing comets. And in fact, the compass star in the device of Ysmay de Chaldon, the submission that prompted the precedent, was elongated in just such an exaggerated fashion.

At this time we reaffirm the September 1993 precedent and declare that there is not a CD between a compass star elongated to base and a comet.

We take this opportunity to remind the College that the emblazon, not the blazon, is registered. Given the fact that the compass star in this submission isn't really elongated - and thus doesn't look like a comet - we have chosen to reblazon it simply as a compass star gules and to register it. [Randal de Tancresleia, 10/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]
[a compass star] Unfortunately, this badge must be returned for multiple conflicts including ... a sun ..., with ... a sun of eight straight rays throughout ..., and ... an estoile of four straight and four rayonny voided rays ... In each case, there is ... nothing for changing the type of the primary charge. [Mateo de Merida, 11/2006, R-Ealdormere]
There is not a CD between a compass star and a mullet of seven points ... [Sarah the Foole, 11/2006, R-Northshield]
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. [Mittainne von Wald, 11/2006, P-Trimaris]
This is also returned for violated RfS VIII.1.c.ii - Layer Limit. A sun eclipsed is simply a sun charged with a roundel. As such, a sun eclipsed may not be used as a tertiary charge, since the roundel becomes a quaternary charge. [Toirdhealbhach Bodhar, 02/2007, R-Artemisia]
[issuant from chief a demi-sun gules eclipsed Or] This device is returned for a redraw of the demi-sun; as drawn it appears to be a roundel Or fimbriated of flame gules. Fimbriation of flames has long been disallowed. The sun should have larger rays and the eclipsing should extend to the edge of the sun's disc. [Caitrin de Lacy, 10/2007, R-Ansteorra]
... as noted in precedent (e.g., June 2000), no difference is granted between a compass rose and a compass star within and conjoined to an annulet. [Cassandra Grey of Loch Leven, 02/2008, R-East]
There is a CD ... for the difference between a sun and a sunflower. [Cristina Rose da Napoli, 03/2008, A-Atenveldt]

COMPLEXITY
see also STYLE

[Sable, three ermine spots in pale Or between an owl contourny maintaining an acorn argent and a boar rampant, between two ermine spots in fess Or, all between two roses in bend argent and two roses in bend sinister Or] This badge is returned as it is not really blazonable. The two best options we could derive were the blazon shown above and Sable, in fess an owl contourny maintaining in its sinister claw an acorn argent and a boar rampant Or, all between in bend two roses argent, in bend sinister two roses, and in cross five ermine spots Or. It is complex, having a complexity count of eight for three tinctures and five charges (yes, the maintained acorn counts). This is borderline when it comes to complexity and, in association with the non-period style of the device and the trouble in blazoning it, is grounds for return. [Adeliza of Bristol, 08/2007, R-Atlantia]
This badge is returned for being overly complex ... As a rule of thumb, the complexity count (number of tinctures plus number of types of charges) of a piece of armory should not exceed eight. The complexity count is nine with three tinctures (argent, purpure, azure) and six types of charges (bend, merman, feather, unicorn's head, letter, mullets). While exceptions are made, such as for late-period style armory, in this case the armory does not closely reflect period armory and thus there is no justification for such an exception. [Ulrich Rickher and Christoph Rickher, 08/2007, R-Middle]
[in pale a rose proper slipped and leaved vert and a crescent environing the slip] Chevron Herald has found several period examples of arms with a charge between the horns of a crescent. In particular, the Lindsay Armorial, 1542, shows the coats of "Cathkart lord of Cathkart", Azure, three crosses crosslet fitchy issuant from as many crescents argent, and of "Monypeny Lord Monypeny", Gules, three crosses crosslet fitchy issuant from as many crescents argent. The crosses occupy the same relation to their crescents as this slipped rose does here. There is also the civic coat of Monheim, 1605, Argent, in pale a mullet of six points between the horns of a crescent moon gules [Siebmacher 224]. We found no examples of a crescent completely encircling a charge - but having a charge between a crescent's horns, even extending outward as here, seems well within period heraldic style.

While the device has a complexity count of nine - three charges (rose, crescent, and bordure) in six tinctures (argent, gules, vert, Or, azure, and sable) - the documentation for the motif cited above, and the simple symmetric design, allow us to waive the rule of thumb outlined in RfS VIII.1.a here. [Asiya al-Mubaraka, 10/2007, A-Atenveldt]
[Argent, a hummingbird rising vert and on a chief embattled purpure a feather bendwise sinister argent between two clay pots Or] The use of a hummingbird is a step from period practice. ... Some commenters argued that this device should be returned for being two steps from period practice, with the second step being a complexity count of eight (four tinctures: argent, vert, purpure, Or, and four charges: hummingbird, chief, clay pots, and feather). Cited was the return of Cadwan Galwiddoe of Redmarch's badge in June 2000:
This device has multiple weirdnesses or rarities: a gyronny of sixteen with a central charge, a complexity count of eight, and identifiability problems with the primary charge. While none of these problems (with the possible exception of identifiability) would, by themselves, make the device returnable, the combination is fatal.
While a high complexity count may be grounds for return, it is not considered a step from period practice. There are examples of period armory - most notably Tudor armory - that have complexity counts of eight or higher. This is the reason that a maximum complexity count of eight is a guideline, not a limit (unlike the number of types of charges in a group). In general, armory with a high complexity count will be non-period in style, which may contribute to causes for a return. In this case, a complexity count of eight is acceptable as all of the charges are clearly identifiable, there is a single primary charge with charged chief, and the pattern an X between two Ys on a chief is not unknown in period heraldry. [Isabel Ximena Galiano de Valera, 12/2007, A-Middle]

COMPONY
see also CONTRAST

[a bordure denticulada azure] The submitter provided copious documentation to support the use of this bordure in Iberian armory. Commenters also supplied evidence that similar bordures can be found in Italy and in England. We believe that its use is compatible with general SCA style and blazon, just as we permit the use of Germanic motifs such as the schneke.

The documentation provided actually showed two different types of this bordure. One variant is a bordure compony that shares a tincture with the field. Another variant, as in this submission, has no line marking the edge of the bordure, giving the impression of square "teeth" that issue from the edges of the field at regular intervals. In some of the latter cases, the bordure is clearly not a bordure compony because the "teeth" actually go around the corners at the top of the field. We have elected, therefore, to maintain the Spanish denticulada as the blazon for this second variant.

Finally, the documentation provided, together with the supplementary materials noted in commentary, demonstrates that our precedents banning the use of a bordure compony that shares a tincture with the field, which date to 1987, do not accurately reflect period usage. We therefore explicitly overturn those precedents and permit the registration of bordures compony that share a tincture with the field. We have not, however, as yet seen evidence to suggest that this ruling should be applied to ordinaries other than the bordure. [Teresa de Çaragoça, 05/2005, A-Atlantia]
[Per bend sinister argent and purpure, a bend sinister countercompony sable and argent] This device is returned for lack of contrast. A counter-compony non-peripheral ordinary cannot share a tincture with the field. Laurel has previously ruled when returning William of Bellwood's device, Sable, a chevron checky sable and Or and in dexter chief a lion passant Or, in July 1985:
The chevron does not have sufficient contrast half of it vanishes into the field, leaving the viewer with a confused visual impression. A charge checky, compony, or countercompony should not be placed on a field which is the same tincture as part of the charge.
While period examples have since been found of ordinaries checky sharing a tincture with the field, the ban still applies for compony and countercompony ordinaries until evidence is provided that such compony and countercompony ordinaries shared a tincture with the field in period heraldry. Evidence has been provided for compony and countercompony bordures, and for countercompony chiefs, that share a tincture with the field. Thus such bordures and chiefs may be registered. [Brigid of Kerry, 04/2006, R-Middle]
[a pale compony Or and azure] Blazoned on the LoI as Azure, five delfs in pale Or, the delfs touch the top and bottom edges of the shield making this a pale rather than a set of delfs. A charge (other than a bordure) compony may not share a tincture with the field, thus this must be returned. [Cristobal de Corrales, 07/2006, R-An Tir]
[Per chevron Or and azure, ... a bordure compony azure and Or] There was discussion during commentary on the registerability of a compony bordure sharing tinctures with both halves of a divided field. In registering armory for Teresa de Çaragoça in May 2005, Laurel ruled:
Finally, the documentation provided, together with the supplementary materials noted in commentary, demonstrates that our precedents banning the use of a bordure compony that shares a tincture with the field, which date to 1987, do not accurately reflect period usage. We therefore explicitly overturn those precedents and permit the registration of bordures compony that share a tincture with the field. We have not, however, as yet seen evidence to suggest that this ruling should be applied to ordinaries other than the bordure.
In that case, the field was a single tincture. We see no reason at this time to disallow the registration of a compony bordure sharing tinctures with both halves of a field divided in evenly in two tinctures. [Johann Lederer, 11/2007, A-East]

CONTRAST
see also COMPONY

[Per fess fleury counter-fleury gules and sable] When fields with low contrast are used, complex lines of division are accepted on a case-by-case basis. In this case there are no charges obscuring the line of division and the line of division is clearly drawn; therefore it is acceptable. [Isabel la Fouchiere, 12/2005, A-Calontir]
This device is returned for lack of contrast; a bend (or a bend sinister) may not share a tincture with a lozengy field. While, for instance, Chesshyre & Woodcock's Dictionary of British Arms (vol.1) shows examples of a bend sharing a tincture with a barry field (Saynt Owen), a checky field (Bekering) and a paly field (Langforde), they cite no examples of a bend sharing a tincture with a lozengy field. This is due to the fact that barry, checky and paly field lines don't parallel the bend; they can therefore be distinguished, even when sharing a tincture. The same cannot be said for lozengy field lines; the visual effect is of a complex bend, which blurs its identifiability. [Juliana of Avon, 03/2006, R-West]
[Quarterly vert and argent, a flanged mace bendwise argent] A small portion of the argent mace lies on the argent field; however, the mace has a long skinny handle which means that the area of overlap is minimal. Since the identifiability of the mace is not compromised we are registering this. [Sifrid der Blint, 08/2006, A-Æthelmearc]
If not for the conflict, this would have been returned for lack of contrast - while maintained charges need not have good contrast, they must have some contrast. [Symon de Warwyck, 08/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
This device is returned for lack of contrast. Unfortunately, just as a black orca with a white belly can't be put on an argent field (v. Rowan Seer, March 2000), so too a black auk with a white belly can't be put on an argent field. [Luke Aucher, 07/2007, R-Ansteorra]
[Per pale wavy purpure and sable] This device must be returned for unidentifiability of the line of division, due to the extremely low contrast between purpure and sable. In the case of Landric Dægmær (August 1992), it was ruled that a field Per pale embattled purpure and sable had insufficient contrast to permit identification of the embattled line. The same principle applies here: even though the line of division isn't covered by a charge, the tinctures used are so dark that it's impossible to say which complex line of division is used here. [Eleri Cadarn, 10/2007, R-Meridies]
There is an additional problem with this device: the use of a complex line of division between azure and sable portions of the field. Precedent holds:
[Per bend sinister nebuly azure and sable, in bend a Norse sun cross argent and double rose argent and azure.] This has an unregisterable low-contrast complex line of division: "...Finally, we no longer allow combining azure and sable with a complex line of division." (Sep 1997, Returns, Trimaris, Tymm Colbert le Gard) This is one of the combinations that has been held to violate RfS VIII.3, Armorial Identifiability, even without a charge overlying it." [Katerin ferch Gwenllian, LoAR 06/2004, Middle-R]
[Ainder ingen Demmáin, 04/2008, R-Atenveldt]

COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK

[Or, a roundel within an annulet sable] This is returned for obtrusive modernity due to its resemblance to the Target Brands trademark.

Some commenters raised the issue of potential conflict with the trademark for Target Brands. While the most common version of their trademark could be blazoned as Argent, a roundel within an annulet gules, Target has actually trademarked the design we would blazon as (Tinctureless) A roundel within an annulet. When dealing with trademarks there are actually two issues: conflict and obtrusive modernity.

On the matter of conflict, the Administrative Handbook says that we protect Copyrighted Images, Trademarks, Military Insignia, et cetera "when covered by applicable laws and regulations in the country from which the material derives." We are not aware of any pertinent laws by which registration of this badge would infringe on the brand recognizability or business of Target. While Rosa's device would conflict with Target's trademark (having a single CD for tincturelessness of the trademark), the stated uses for Target's trademarks concern very modern goods and services, and do not resemble the uses to which the SCA puts its armory. Therefore we would not protect Target's trademark and this would not be reason for return.

The second issue is possible obtrusive modernity due to resemblance to a real-world trademark per RfS VIII.4.b. This rule forbids "Overt allusions to modern insignia, trademarks or common designs". As noted in the LoAR of April 2002, "As a guideline, there generally will not be an obtrusively modern 'overt' allusion to a logo when the logo uses a single charge, unless the artwork of the submission matches the artwork of the logo very closely, or unless the charge is in some way unique." In this case, the charges are not unique but the combination of the two in this arrangement does provide an overt allusion to the trademark and must therefore be returned. [Rosa Maria di Calabria, 07/2005, R-Atenveldt]
[a rabbit's head couped close argent] Some commenters wondered if this was too close to the Playboy trademark to register. As noted in the LoAR of April 2002, "As a guideline, there generally will not be an obtrusively modern 'overt' allusion to a logo when the logo uses a single charge, unless the artwork of the submission matches the artwork of the logo very closely, or unless the charge is in some way unique." In this case, the charge is not unique nor does the submitted emblazon look similar to the trademarked logo. It is therefore registerable. [Amber Roriksdatter, 09/2006, A-Atlantia]

COTISES

[a bend sinister argent cotised with chains] No evidence was presented, nor were we able to find any, that cotising with chains is a period heraldic practice. There are period examples of saltires of chains and escarbuncles of chains, thus cotises of chain are a step from period practice. [Edward de Foxton, 05/2006, R-Atenveldt]
... a pale cotised is the same as a pale endorsed ... [Ysoria Chaloner, 05/2006, R-Calontir]
We wish to remind the College that endorses (and cotises) follow the line of the ordinary. Thus, a pale engrailed endorsed has both the pale and the endorses engrailed, while a pale endorsed engrailed has only the endorses engrailed. [Ysoria Chaloner, 05/2007, A-Calontir]
This is returned for a redraw as the cotises are so wide in comparison to the central chevron that this appears to be a badly drawn three chevrons. While a chevron cotised is the same motif as used in the canton's arms, the cotises in that emblazon are only about a quarter of the size of the chevron and therefore lacks the identifiability problem inherent with the submitted emblazon. [Eoforwic, Canton of, 05/2007, R-Ealdormere]
[on a tower argent a chevron cotised] This badge is returned for non-period style. Precedent states:
[... on a pale azure a salmon haurient embowed contourny in chief a compass star argent ...] It is not period style to have two different tertiary groups on the same underlying charge. The difference in scale between the salmon and the compass star makes the compass star appear to be in a subsidiary charge group to the salmon. There is precedent pertaining to this matter: [citing the return of Esperanza Razzolini d'Asolo, 10/95] [Uma, Shire of, 10/01, R-Drachenwald]
This precedent was upheld in March 2006, in the return of Mathias Kotov.

When on a field, a chevron cotised is considered a primary charge and two secondary charges. It is still two charge groups when placed on another charge. As we have not yet been presented evidence for this practice, the motif is still unregisterable. [Eoforwic, Canton of, 10/2007, R-Ealdormere]
[on a bend sinister cotised between two owls] Cotises are considered to be the same charge type as the ordinary they follow. Thus there are only two types of charge on the field here, and the conditions of RfS X.4.j(ii) are met; we can grant a CD for the substantial change of type of the tertiary charges. [Elena of Axed Root, 11/2007, A-Calontir]

COUNTERCHANGING

[Purpure scaly Or, a pale Or scaly purpure] Precedent says, "A number of commenters questioned the propriety of counterchanging a field treatment over a charge in this manner. Certainly no one was able to find any period exemplars of such, bringing into question the propriety of such a counterchange" [Arnolt Brekeswerd, 4/94, R-East]. However, while the device discussed in that precedent was returned, it also had other problems. In this more simple case, the counterchanged field treatment seems to be only one step from period practice. [Ursula Bienaimé, 05/2005, A-Trimaris]
[Quarterly sable and argent, a winged sword inverted wings elevated and inverted counterchanged] This is returned for counterchanging a long, skinny object along its long axis. "[A sword palewise, winged at the hilt, counterchanged palewise] This run[s] afoul of the ban on long, thin objects counterchanged along their long axis. (LoAR Jun 88, p. 19)." [Matheus Reyner, 01/2006, R-Caid]
A cross formy, or any non-ordinary cross used as a charge, is not an ordinary and thus cannot be counterchanged over an ordinary such as a pile inverted. [Eithne Ruad, 05/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
[Gyronny sable and argent, a cross formy counterchanged] This device is returned as the counterchanging makes it too difficult to identify the primary charge. Precedent notes that, in general, charges should not be counterchanged over a gyronny fields. In some cases, a single, simple charge (such as a lozenge) has been ruled simple enough for such counterchanging (q.v., John Michael Midwinter, 10/00, A-Atenveldt]. However, Laurel has previously ruled that a saltire cannot be counterchanged over a gyronny field:
[Gyronny vert and Or, a saltire counterchanged] The combination of the gyronny field and the saltire is very visually confusing. Each arm of the saltire is counterchanged along its long axis, which generally hampers identifiability. Because each piece of the counterchanged saltire is similar in size to the pieces of the gyronny field which show between the arms of the saltire, it is difficult to distinguish which parts of the emblazon belong to the charge, and which belong to the field. This design also does not appear to be period style. Absent documentation for the design of a cross or saltire, as an ordinary, counterchanged on a gyronny field in period, this must be returned. [Wilhelm von Düsseldorf, 01/02, R-West]
In this case, the lines of division almost line up with the angles of the cross's arms. This further adds to the apparent complexity of the design and hinders the identification of the cross. [Maximillian Johann von Kleve, 02/2007, R-Calontir]
[Per saltire argent and vert, an annulet all semy of flames counterchanged] This device is returned for the use of excessive counterchanging. Laurel has recently ruled (November 2004):
[Per pale argent estencely azure and azure estencely argent, a fleur-de-lys estencely counterchanged] This is being returned for non-period style. "Counterchanging a semy over an ordinary appears to be modern and not Period style." [Giovanna di Piacensa, R-Trimaris, February 1992 LoAR] Counterchanging a semy across a charge more complex than an ordinary appears to be even further from period style.
If the flames were not also on the annulet, the level of counterchanging would be acceptable. We note that most commenters had problems identifying the strewn charges as flames. On resubmission we recommend that more distinctive flames be used. [Muin maqq Mínaín, 06/2007, R-East]
[Per chevron vert and purpure, on a pile Or a feather vert, overall a chevron rompu counterchanged purpure and Or] This device is return for violating the Rules for Submission (RfS) section VIII.3, Armorial Identifiability, which states "Elements must be used in a design so as to preserve their individual identifiability." The section goes on to state "Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by significant reduction in size, marginal contrast, excessive counterchanging, voiding, or fimbriation, or by being obscured by other elements of the design."

In general, a charge may only be counterchanged over another charge if both are ordinaries. The assumption is that both charges will maintain their identifiability in such cases. However, in the submitted emblazon counterchanging the chevron rompu fatally hampers its identifiability. This must therefore be returned. [Aubray Brangwyne de Vitry, 08/2007, R-Caid]
[Per chevron vert and purpure, on a pile Or a feather vert, overall a chevron rompu counterchanged purpure and Or] It was suggested that this be reblazoned as Per chevron vert and purpure, on a pile Or a feather vert, overall a chevron rompu Or counterchanged purpure. While this is a valid blazon, we have only twice registered this form (specifying a single tincture) twice - once in 1986 and once in 1988. The form counterchanged tincture 1 and tincture 2 has been registered almost 300 times. In order maintain clarity of the blazon, we have elected to use the slightly longer blazon and specified both tinctures. [Aubray Brangwyne de Vitry, 08/2007, R-Caid]
[Bendy sinister of six argent and gules, a greyhound courant counterchanged and in canton a rose argent] This device is returned for excessive counterchanging; the counterchanging makes the greyhound too difficult to identify. Laurel has previously ruled:
[Paly sable and argent, a unicorn rampant counterchanged] This is excessively counterchanged and non-period style. The unicorn is not identifiable when counterchanged over this multiply divided field. No documentation has been presented, nor could any be found, for the counterchanging of a complex-outlined charge over a multiply divided field. [Cynwrig Chwith, 02/02, R-Atlantia]
Evidence for counterchanging a complex-outlined charge over a multiply divided field has not yet been found. [William Fetherstan, 09/2007, R-West]
[Paly purpure and argent, a chevron counterchanged] This submission raised the question of whether an ordinary could be counterchanged over a multiply divided field such as paly, barry, etc. Precedent suggests it may not:
[Bendy sinister vert and Or, a hawk striking contourny argent a bordure counterchanged] The commentary from the College of Arms overwhelmingly indicated that the combination of bendy sinister and bordure is excessive counterchanging. In general, we would like to see documentation for any charge counterchanged over a multiply divided field, such as barry or gyronny. [Tvorimir Danilov, 08/01, R-An Tir]
Saker has found such documentation: the arms of Calvert, Lord Baltimore (as quartered on the modern flag of Maryland), are Paly sable and Or, a bend counterchanged. According to Saker, the arms had been in use for some years before they were certified in 1617; Papworth (p.193) gives the date of creation for Baron Baltimore as 1624. This puts the coat in our pre-1650 "grey area" of documentation, which is usually sufficient for our needs.

We note that identifiability must still be maintained in these cases. Calvert's arms, and the submission here, have no complex lines of division (e.g., wavy), either for the field or the charge; and the counterchanged ordinary is both centrally placed and oblique to the lines of the field. (The latter conditions weren't met by the bordure on the bendy field, cited in the precedent.) We also note that the multiply divided fields are simple stripes in both cases; a more complex field (e.g., lozengy, paly bendy, etc.) would exceed the bounds set by the period example. Within those bounds, however, an ordinary may be counterchanged over a multiply divided field. [Ardovino Dragonetti, 11/2007, A-Calontir]
[Argent semy of patriarchal crosses sable, on a pile inverted wavy gules a natural tiger passant reguardant argent striped sable, a bordure counterchanged gules and argent semy of patriarchal crosses sable] We note that strewn charges (semy) are not part of the field tincture. As such, counterchanged does not indicate that the item counterchanged is also semy. We have thus explicitly blazoned the bordure semy of patriarchal crosses. [Tatiana Nikonovna Besprozvannyja, 12/2007, A-Calontir]
[Azure, ... and on a chief Or ..., overall a bordure counterchanged] ... barring period evidence of such counterchanging, counterchanging a bordure over a chief is also a step from period practice. [Albrecht of Caer Anterth-Mor, 01/2008, A-Northshield]
[Per pale sable and Or, two swords in saltire surmounted by another inverted counterchanged] There was some discussion on whether or not this violated our ban on counterchanging long, skinny objects. In general, a charge that is part of a sheaf of identical charges, all counterchanged, is registerable even though one of the three charges is counterchanged along its long axis. In cases such as this submission, where the charge counterchanged on its long axis is inverted relative to the other charges, the situation is less clear. Because the criterion for registerability is whether the charge counterchanged along its long axis maintains its identifiability, each case must be resolved on a case-by-case basis. The center sword here is identifiable and thus is registerable. [Þorvaldr friðsamr, 01/2008, A-Æthelmearc]
[a pale argent, overall a fret counterchanged] Precedent states that "The only time we permit a charge to be counterchanged over another is when they are both ordinaries." [December 1998, Crystal Crags, Shire of]. As the fret is not an ordinary, this submission must be returned. [Grainne Dhonn, 07/2008, R-Artemisia]

COUPED and THROUGHOUT

Per precedent, "There is no difference between [an ordinary] and [the same ordinary] couped on fieldless armory. (LoAR 6/90 Symposium p.3)." [Aarnimetsä, Barony of, 12/2005, R-Drachenwald]

CRAMPET

This is the defining instance of a crampet in Society armory. The crampet is the metal tip on the end of a scabbard (also known as a chape, bouterol, or boteroll); it's a period heraldic charge, best known as the badge of the de la Warr family. The various heraldic texts (Brooke-Little's Heraldic Alphabet, p. 73; Parker, p. 566) show the crampet in a number of forms, but they all have a closed bottom and the upper ends split into two prongs each, with the inner prongs bending to center. The form in this submission, taken from carvings on the de la Warr chantry chapel, 1535, have the inner prongs conjoined with an open heart-shaped space in the middle. This form is very close to that shown on a standard for "the Lord Laware", as noted by Batonvert:
I've recently acquired a wonderful book, Banners, Standards and Badges from a Tudor Manuscript In the College of Arms, 1904, the only source outside the College for MS.I.2, a book of standards c.1520. The renderings I've been able to check have been faithful reproductions. The standard for "the Lord Laware" shows his alphyn badge on a field powdered with crampets... drawn pretty much as they are here. (The interiors of the crampets were less heartlike.) It looks like this might have been the original version of the charge.
Based on this information, we are comfortable with registering this form of crampet as the defining form for Society armory. Any other documented period rendition is, of course, equally valid. [Lillia de Vaux, 12/2007, A-East]

CRESCENT

[four crescents conjoined in cross at the points gules] This is being returned for lack of identifiability of the crescents. The motif is registerable; however, the crescents should be clearly drawn as crescents. Their interior edges should not form a smooth line: as drawn, this looked more like a quatrefoil charged with a roundel, charged with a bow and arrow. If this were in fact a charged roundel, it would have to be returned for violating RfS VIII.c.1.ii - Layer Limits for having quartenary (fourth level) charges. [Jamukha Batu, 06/2005, R-Artemisia]
The motif a roundel between an increscent and a decrescent has previously been ruled registerable but one step from period practice. [Linet Grímólfsdóttir, 07/2005, A-An Tir]
[a crescent between an increscent and a decrescent argent] The question was raised if this was "slot-machine" heraldry; that is, if it violated RFS VIII.1.a for using three different charges in the same charge group. The charges on the chief are all crescents, though in three different orientations. Thus, no, this is not "slot-machine" heraldry. [Sorcha inghen uí Dhonnchaidh, 07/2005, A-Middle]
[four crescents conjoined in cross at the points and a cross clechy argent] While the lunel is a period Portuguese heraldic charge, it does not have a defined number of crescents. We will therefore continue to blazon the crescents explicitly and to treat them as individual charges, in this case four, rather than a single charge. [Áine inghean uí Ghríobhtha, 12/2005, A-Atenveldt]
There is a ... CD for the difference between a crescent inverted and fer-a-loup. Both are period heraldic charges and, since we have no evidence that they were used interchangeably, there is a CD between the two. [Frederich Karl Kyburg, 04/2007, A-Trimaris]
From Laurel - On the Cross of Caid
This month several submitters from the Kingdom of Caid appealed Crescent's decision to blazon their augmentations of arms as four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward rather than as a cross of Caid.

Over the years, Laurel has declined to use the term cross of Caid or Caidan cross, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly (by changing the blazon that appeared on the LoI without comment). The first return was when Jaelle Laurel in July 1986 wrote
To quote Baldwin in his April 1986 LoAR: "Spring is in the air, and the fit is upon me - let me name but one Cross before I die!" While it is indeed quite tempting to call the four crescents conjoined in saltire a "Cross of Caid", we feel that named SCA motifs make reconstruction of blazons more difficult for heralds and scribes.
The letter of appeal stated:
We feel that the cross of Caid is not an obscure charge, not as obscure as many period charges that the College routinely registers. The charge is 25+ years old. Naming a cross for the person or territory that bears it was a common period practice, the cross became known by its association.

The charge is known almost exclusively within the kingdom as a cross of Caid, or a Caidan cross. Further, this usage has spread throughout the Known World, due to the emigration of Caidans. With this in mind & given the widespread computer usage within the SCA, a herald or scribe could easily determine what a cross of Caid is.

Therefore, we request that Wreath and the Laurel office grant our appeal, and reblazon our augmentations as a cross of Caid argent.
We agree that that the term cross of Caid is not an obscure charge and that heralds and scribes can easily determine that it is four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward. We also agree that a cross of Caid is much less obscure than a number of period charges which we register without question.

That being said, we are trying to recreate medieval heraldic design, including blazonry. The last few Wreaths/Laurels have been diligent in reblazoning old, old registrations to bring them in line with patterns of period usage, which were more recently documented.

For the usage "cross of Caid" to be acceptable, we'd need to show it too matches a pattern of period usage.

As Crescent notes, many national emblems were given names... the cross of St. George being the prime example. However, we have yet to find any instances of period blazons using such terms. While we do use such terms (e.g., cross of Jerusalem) in SCA blazon, we are not inclined to introduce a new named crosses at this time when such can easily be blazoned by its parts (as four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward).

The usage of the terms cross of Caid and Caidan cross is perfectly acceptable, outside of blazons. These terms will not be used in blazons unless we find support in period blazonry for named crosses (and not just a single instance). If such evidence is presented, this issue may be revisited.

Given that we are not inclined to introduce the term cross of Caid into SCA blazon at this time, we are not considering what bearing, if any, the fact that the crescents are in saltire rather than in cross has on the issue. [05/2007 CL]
[in pale a rose proper slipped and leaved vert and a crescent environing the slip] Chevron Herald has found several period examples of arms with a charge between the horns of a crescent. In particular, the Lindsay Armorial, 1542, shows the coats of "Cathkart lord of Cathkart", Azure, three crosses crosslet fitchy issuant from as many crescents argent, and of "Monypeny Lord Monypeny", Gules, three crosses crosslet fitchy issuant from as many crescents argent. The crosses occupy the same relation to their crescents as this slipped rose does here. There is also the civic coat of Monheim, 1605, Argent, in pale a mullet of six points between the horns of a crescent moon gules [Siebmacher 224]. We found no examples of a crescent completely encircling a charge - but having a charge between a crescent's horns, even extending outward as here, seems well within period heraldic style.

While the device has a complexity count of nine - three charges (rose, crescent, and bordure) in six tinctures (argent, gules, vert, Or, azure, and sable) - the documentation for the motif cited above, and the simple symmetric design, allow us to waive the rule of thumb outlined in RfS VIII.1.a here. [Asiya al-Mubaraka, 10/2007, A-Atenveldt]

CROSS
See CROSS - Difference Between for rulings on the amount of difference between types of crosses.

A cross nowy quadrate is simple enough to fimbriate. [Lochlainn Ó Cléirigh, 07/2005, A-Meridies]
This is returned for a redraw. While a cross of Saint Bridget is an acceptable charge, this particular emblazon is not identifiable as a cross of Saint Bridget. Adding the center detail and the straw markings would improve the identifiability of the charge. [Ainbthen ingen Séigíne, 10/2005, R-Atlantia]
A cross moline disjointed can also be blazoned as a cross moline charged with a cross throughout. [Catlyn Kinnesswood, 10/2005, R-Caid]
A key cross is a period charge found in the arms of Pisa. It is defined as a cross clechy pommety at the points. [Alienor Sanz-Argent, 01/2006, A-An Tir]
[a cross pointed between four Passion nails, heads to center] ... There are also problems with this combination of Passion nails and a cross; they appear to be a single charge - a variant of a cross irradiated. [Mathias Kotov, 03/2006, R-Æthelmearc]
[a doubled cross] The arms of the cross are different lengths; however, they are drawn so as to fill the available space. [James of Ravenhill, 04/2006, A-East]
A cross formy, or any non-ordinary cross used as a charge, is not an ordinary and thus cannot be counterchanged over an ordinary such as a pile inverted. [Eithne Ruad, 05/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
[on a dove displayed ermine a key cross azure charged with a cross clechy argent] Blazoned on the LoI as a cross of Toulouse, the cross's interior is not of the underlying tincture as there are no ermine spots within the cross. In fact, the ermine spots were cut off at the edge of the cross. Thus this is actually a key cross charged with a cross clechy and is returned for violating RfS VIII.1.c.ii - Layer Limit, which states "All charges should be placed either directly on the field or entirely on other charges that lie on the field." We note that it may not be possible to draw an acceptable cross of Toulouse as a tertiary charge on an ermine charge - both the underlying tincture and the cross must retain their identifiability, which is hampered by the relatively small size of most tertiary charges. [Julienne fille Gaspard, 06/2006, R-Atlantia]
This device is returned for using a fimbriated cross moline.

In July 1999 (q.v. Andrew Talbot), Laurel ruled "A cross moline is too complex to fimbriate". Evidence was presented on the LoI and in commentary that crosses flory, crosses patonce, and crosses moline were voided in period; however, a number of those examples were actually a complex cross charged with a cross couped. Most of the citations were from Papworth, meaning that they are modern blazons with no emblazons. Brachet found that Anglo-Norman Armory II - An Ordinary of Thirteenth Century Armorials by Cecil R. Humphery-Smith has Azure a cross Moline voided Or, debruised by a bendlet gules for William Cassinges from the First Dunstable Roll, 1308. Brachet notes that the drawing clearly shows the curls at the end as voided and that it is the only cross voided in the book. Anglo-Norman Armory II is a modern redraw of period armory. It is worth noting that the First Dunstable has not yet been published in the Aspilogia series, or in any other publicly available format to verify that this form of voiding a cross moline is a valid period form. As only a single example was found in Anglo-Norman Armory II of a cross voided, this is insufficient to overturn the July 1999 precedent. [Damian O'Hara, 09/2006, R-Caid]
[a cross of Saint Brigid throughout counterchanged] This device is returned for violating the requirements of RfS VIII.3 - Armorial Identifiability. While a cross of Saint Brigid is an acceptable charge, the center detail and the straw markings are required for identifiability purposes. Making a cross of Saint Brigid throughout fatally hampers its identifiability; a cross of Saint Brigid throughout is not registerable. Counterchanging a cross of Saint Brigid hampers its identifiability; however, we are uncertain if such counterchanging is a bar to registration and decline to rule on the issue at this time. [Brigit Larkin, 09/2006, R-Ealdormere]
Blazoned as an equal-armed cross of Calvary potent, a cross potent is by definition equal-armed. However, a cross of Calvary would have the cross larger than the steps; here, the steps are much larger than the cross, to the point that the steps are the primary charge. As drawn, we can't judge whether the cross is maintained or sustained; it matches no period emblazon of which we're aware. Therefore, this must be returned for redrawing.

When resubmitting, the cross should be drawn somewhat larger than the steps; the example of Glochen (Siebmacher, pl.62) shows the right proportions. Better still would be to have the cross not be potent, but the whole blazonable as a standard cross of Calvary. Assuming no conflicts in the interim, it should be acceptable. [Armatus Kamateros, 12/2006, R-An Tir]
In period the term cross patty was used to describe a variety of crosses including patonce, formy, and sometimes fleury. [Brynhilde Kristiana Emma von Kohlenfeld, 12/2006, A-Atenveldt]
Whether or not the arms of an equal-armed Celtic cross are drawn potent is artistic license. [Berenice of Coldedernhale, 02/2007, A-Northshield]
From Laurel - On the Cross of Caid
This month several submitters from the Kingdom of Caid appealed Crescent's decision to blazon their augmentations of arms as four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward rather than as a cross of Caid.

Over the years, Laurel has declined to use the term cross of Caid or Caidan cross, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly (by changing the blazon that appeared on the LoI without comment). The first return was when Jaelle Laurel in July 1986 wrote
To quote Baldwin in his April 1986 LoAR: "Spring is in the air, and the fit is upon me - let me name but one Cross before I die!" While it is indeed quite tempting to call the four crescents conjoined in saltire a "Cross of Caid", we feel that named SCA motifs make reconstruction of blazons more difficult for heralds and scribes.
The letter of appeal stated:
We feel that the cross of Caid is not an obscure charge, not as obscure as many period charges that the College routinely registers. The charge is 25+ years old. Naming a cross for the person or territory that bears it was a common period practice, the cross became known by its association.

The charge is known almost exclusively within the kingdom as a cross of Caid, or a Caidan cross. Further, this usage has spread throughout the Known World, due to the emigration of Caidans. With this in mind & given the widespread computer usage within the SCA, a herald or scribe could easily determine what a cross of Caid is.

Therefore, we request that Wreath and the Laurel office grant our appeal, and reblazon our augmentations as a cross of Caid argent.
We agree that that the term cross of Caid is not an obscure charge and that heralds and scribes can easily determine that it is four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward. We also agree that a cross of Caid is much less obscure than a number of period charges which we register without question.

That being said, we are trying to recreate medieval heraldic design, including blazonry. The last few Wreaths/Laurels have been diligent in reblazoning old, old registrations to bring them in line with patterns of period usage, which were more recently documented.

For the usage "cross of Caid" to be acceptable, we'd need to show it too matches a pattern of period usage.

As Crescent notes, many national emblems were given names... the cross of St. George being the prime example. However, we have yet to find any instances of period blazons using such terms. While we do use such terms (e.g., cross of Jerusalem) in SCA blazon, we are not inclined to introduce a new named crosses at this time when such can easily be blazoned by its parts (as four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward).

The usage of the terms cross of Caid and Caidan cross is perfectly acceptable, outside of blazons. These terms will not be used in blazons unless we find support in period blazonry for named crosses (and not just a single instance). If such evidence is presented, this issue may be revisited.

Given that we are not inclined to introduce the term cross of Caid into SCA blazon at this time, we are not considering what bearing, if any, the fact that the crescents are in saltire rather than in cross has on the issue. [05/2007 CL]
From Wreath - Concerning Maltese Crosses
We've recently had submissions containing Maltese crosses, where the crosses haven't been easily identifiable. Properly drawn, a Maltese cross should have four deeply notched arms, converging to a central point (or very nearly); and each arm should take up an angle as wide as the space between the arms. This doesn't need mathematical precision: the arms can be a bit narrower, or a bit wider, but they should be roughly the same as the space between the arms. The illustration below is taken from Parker, p.166; Neubecker's Heraldry: Sources, Symbols and Meaning, p.217, has some examples as well.

By contrast, our problem submissions have had crosses whose arms didn't converge to a point, and which were considerably less wide than the space between the arms: one-third to a quarter of the width, in some cases. They were more reminiscent of the Society's cross swallowtailed, but weren't that, either: the arms of a cross swallowtailed have parallel sides, not converging. Even if no heraldic difference is granted between a Maltese cross and a cross swallowtailed (and there's yet been no firm ruling on that point), we must still be able to distinguish the two - as well as the cross fourchy and the cross double-fitched. Unidentifiability of charges has always been grounds for return.

Please advise submitters to draw their Maltese crosses correctly; anything less risks a return. An example of a correctly drawn Maltese cross is included with this letter. [JML: The drawing can be found at http://heraldry.sca.org/loar/2007/05/maltese.jpg] [05/2007 CL]
In registering Vanya Popovitch's device in March 1984, Laurel ruled that the lowermost cross bar on a Russian Orthodox cross should be bendwise. In registering Monenka Romanyak's device in July 1985, Laurel ruled that it should be bendwise sinister. At this point we are declaring that the orientation of the lowermost cross bar is an unblazoned detail worth no difference. In other words, it doesn't matter if it is bendwise or bendwise sinister. [Taisha Markov, 05/2007, A-Atenveldt]
[a Celtic cross and on a chief ... two equal-armed Celtic crosses] This device is returned for violating the "sword-and-dagger" rule. As ruled in the March 2007 LoAR (v., Desiderata Drake):
While it is acceptable to use the same charge as both a primary (or secondary) charge and a tertiary charge, using a similar charge is not acceptable for exactly the reasons discussed in the September 1993 Cover Letter. We hereby overturn the February 2003 precedent and restore the September 1993 precedent. Due to the armorial identification problems caused by using similar but not identical charges in two different charge groups, this practice is no longer allowed. The use of identical charges as both a primary (or secondary) charge and a tertiary charge is allowed.
Having two different styles of Celtic crosses is not allowed. [Conchobhar Mac Cionaoith, 05/2007, R-Caid]
[equal-armed Celtic crosses] The crosses ... do not resemble the stone cross upon which the SCA based this charge, nor do they resemble the crosses seen in the Book of Kells and other period manuscripts. All of the period examples of which we are aware have ends wider than the center. However, given the variation of Celtic crosses we have registered, these are currently registerable. [Conchobhar Mac Cionaoith, 05/2007, R-Caid]
[in chief three crosses couped each between four more crosses couped Or] This device is returned for a redraw or redesign. The charges in chief were originally blazoned as crosses of Jerusalem. This was changed to three crosses couped each between four more crosses couped Or by the Calontir College of Heralds, who noted "We believe the plain cross between four plain crosses to be a valid depiction of a Cross of Jerusalem. We have, however, changed the blazon in kingdom to a more generic one." However, we have no evidence that these are a period variation of a cross of Jerusalem.

The charges in chief aren't a group of three self-contained charges (Jerusalem crosses): they are a group of three "primary" secondaries (the larger crosses couped) and twelve "secondary" secondaries (the crosses couped surrounding them). That's the problem. This is not a case of a single group with two types of charge, as we'd have if this were in chief a cross couped between two mullets or some such. Nor are the three larger crosses and twelve smaller crosses separate groups of secondaries. These are all one group of identical secondary charges, but with a definite "subdivision" which doesn't make for the simplicity that characterizes medieval heraldry. A cross of Jerusalem would not have this problem as it is considered a single charge. [Kaios Alexandrou, 05/2007, R-Calontir]
[a tau cross throughout] The tau cross is correctly drawn - it is throughout in only three directions; there is a significant amount of field showing above the crossbar. [Hans Krüger, 05/2007, A-East]
[Argent crusily saltirewise] An equally valid blazon for this is Argent crusily St. Julian ...; however, as the submitter did not indicate a preference for this blazon, we have retained the blazon submitted on the LoI. [Phiala O'Ceallaigh, 07/2007, A-Æthelmearc]
Black Stag has shown that, in period, a cross crosslet/bottony fitchy had a bottom limb significantly longer than the other three. Thus these do not need to be blazoned Latin. [Alexandra de la Mer Verte, 08/2007, R-Atenveldt]
The fitching on the cross is too small, and may have been sufficient grounds for return by itself. The fitched limb should be at least as long as the other limbs. [Erik de Tyr, 09/2007, R-Calontir]
This device is returned for a redraw of the crosses. Blazoned on the LoI as Latin crosses clechy, they are not: a Latin cross clechy would be elongated to base, with the clechy motif then applied to all four limb-ends. The crosses in this submission are crosses clechy with the bottom limb stretched into a long point; the base-most limb is not clechy. A cross clechy fitchy at the foot, based on Parker's example of the cross formy fitchy at the foot, would be a cross clechy; with a spike issuant from the center third of the base-most limb. We note that a cross formy fitchy at the foot is a period form of cross, though probably not with that exact blazon: see for example the Armorial de Gelre, fo. 62v, and the banner of Aragon. The crosses in this submission are not really blazonable, which is reason for return. In addition, without documentation for the form of the cross in this submission, it must be returned. [Martyn de Haliwell, 09/2007, R-East]
[a cross moline fitchy] This device is returned for a redraw. The cross is very poorly drawn: the ends do not visibly break into the recurved forks one expects of millrinds and crosses moline. Also, fitchy doesn't mean the cross's bottom limb is that of a cross pointed; it means the entire bottom limb has been replaced with a spike, tapering from the center to the very point. A medieval herald would have seen this as a long cross (what we'd call a Latin cross) with some unidentifiable frou-frou at the very ends of the limbs.

Please advise the submitter that the top three limbs have to be much more deeply forked and curved, and the bottom limb a spike. We note that a cross fitchy will automatically have a longer bottom limb; it need not be blazoned as a Latin cross. [Orlando the Pure, 09/2007, R-Lochac]
[a Norse sun-cross] There was some call to return this badge for using only a single abstract charge. As stated in precedent:
The Norse sun cross is also the symbol for Earth, and by precedent symbols cannot be registered as the sole charge. This ruling was applied to Norse sun crosses in April 1994 (pg. 15, s.n. Barony of Bonwicke). [Briget MacLeod, 09/2000, R-West]
However, in the registration of Æduin's device in March 2001, Laurel ruled:
Norse sun crosses are allowed, if not encouraged, because by their alternate blazon, a cross within and conjoined to an annulet, they fit a pattern of combined charges that we have registered for many years, and are at most one step from period practice.
It has long been our standard that you while you cannot blazon your way out of conflict, you can blazon your way out of style problems. If blazoned as a cross within and conjoined to an annulet instead of a Norse sun cross, this would obviously not be a single abstract charge. Therefore it is registerable even as the only charge (or charge combination) on the armory. [Mary Taran of Glastonbury and Æduin of Skye, 10/2007, A-Caid]
... these crosses are not fitched at the foot, which would have a spike issuant from the center of the bottom limb; they are simply fitched or fitchy, the lower limb replaced with a spike. [Katheryn de Gonneville, 11/2007, A-An Tir]
[a cross clechy voided] A cross of Toulouse, which is a period charge, is effectively a cross clechy pometty on the points and is voided by definition. Since the voiding is acceptable (and necessary) for a cross of Toulouse, the somewhat simpler cross clechy is also voidable. [Vanya Betzina, 12/2007, A-An Tir]
... a cross nowy is simple enough to fimbriate ... [Thorsteinn Vandringsmann, 02/2008, A-Outlands]
Celtic crosses are Latin (with the lower limb longer than the others) by definition. [Geoffrey Lucas, 06/2008, A-Calontir]
[a cross of Santiago] The top limb of the cross terminates in a shape similar to a card pique, rather than fleury as the other arms do. There was some question as to whether this was an acceptable depiction. It is a period Spanish form of the cross of Santiago and thus acceptable. It's dated in this form to at least 1445, from the retable in the chapel of Santiago at Toledo Cathedral (The Monks of War: the Military Religious Orders, Desmond Seward, 1972, plate 9). [Carlos Nieto de Andrade, 06/2008, A-Outlands]

CROSS - Difference Between
This category contains rulings on the difference - or lack thereof - between types of crosses.

There is a substantial (X.2) difference between a tau cross and a Latin cross. [Ian Michael Hudson, 07/2005, A-Caid]
There is a ... CD for the difference between a Latin cross and a cross bottony. [Ian Michael Hudson, 07/2005, A-Caid]
There is a substantial (X.2) difference between a cross of Jerusalem and a cross formy. [Murchadh Mac Diarmada, 07/2005, R-Outlands]
There is a substantial (X.2) difference a cross couped and a cross botonny. [Everard Sefar, 09/2005, A-Lochac]
Precedent grants a CD between a cross throughout and a cross formy throughout (q.v., Jessimond of Greencrosse, 11/2003, Acceptances-An Tir), providing the second CD. [Murchadh Mac Diarmada, 09/2005, A-Outlands]
... there is a substantial (X.2) difference between a cross crescenty and a cross moline disjointed. [Catlyn Kinnesswood, 10/2005, R-Caid]
[a rogacina doubly crossed vs. a rogacina crossed] There is a CD for changes to the field and another CD for the changes to the primary charge.

Nebuly commented:
I feel there should be a CD between a rogacina singly crossed and one that is doubly crossed.

When one looks at the period usage of the rogacina, the situation is not clear. Szyma{n'}ski has two situations which bear on the question of whether an additional crossbar is worth a CD. On the one hand, Szyma{n'}ski (s.n. Ko{s'}cieszka, pp.136-136, 149) gives the arms of Ko{n'}cieszka as: Gules, a rogacina crossed and fourchy argent. He notes an apparent variant form (tinctures unknown) where the rogacina is doubly crossed. Taken alone, this would argue in favor of your opinion that we should not count a CD for adding a cross bar.

On the other hand, Szyma{n'}ski (s.n. Lis, pp.161-162, 166) gives the arms of Lis as Gules, a rogacina doubly crossed argent, and identifies a variant form of Azure, a rogacina doubly crossed argent. We would consider these variants to be a CD apart by SCA standards for changing the field tincture. When the Ko{s'}cieszka example is seen in the light of this one, we must now consider that there may indeed be a CD for the additional cross bar. There is also a separate listing for Lis (ibid.) with the arms: Gules, a rogacina triply crossed argent. I say "separate" in that this is given a separate header and appears to be the arms of a different Polish ród (clan) having the same name. Here, adding the cross bar apparently was used to provide difference, though I cannot tell this for certain since Szyma{n'}ski does not seem to address this issue directly in his text.

Interpretation of CDs in Polish heraldry is made cloudy by the fact that Polish use of heraldry was rather different from that in England and France. Arms did not belong to individuals, and were not inherited. As a result, cadency did not exist. Instead, a single design was used by all members of a Polish ród (clan), a group held together more through political alliance than by blood. When ten percent of your population belongs to the nobility, this version of heraldic practice has obvious advantages.

Taken on the whole, I would argue for granting a CD between a rogacina singly crossed and a rogacina doubly crossed, both on visual grounds and historical Polish practice.
Based on Nebuly's research we are granting a second CD for changing the number of crossbars on the rogacina from one to two. At this time we decline to rule whether there is a CD between a rogacina doubly crossed and a rogacina triply crossed. [Vitus Polonius, 11/2005, A-Drachenwald]
[a cross of Santiago vs. two links of chain fretted in cross] There is a substantial (X.2) difference between the crosses. [Cristóbal Vázquez de Narriahondo, 11/2005, A-Outlands]
... there is a substantial (X.2.) difference between an ankh and a cross of Santiago. [Cristóbal Vázquez de Narriahondo, 11/2005, A-Outlands]
There is a CD ... for the difference between a cross clechy and a cross of Santiago. [Cristóbal Vázquez de Narriahondo, 11/2005, A-Outlands]
... a CD ... for the difference between a cross bottony and a cross of Santiago. [Cristóbal Vázquez de Narriahondo, 11/2005, A-Outlands]
Per precedent, there is no difference between a cross flory and a cross of Santiago (q.v. : Taran z Azov, 12/04, R-Calontir). [Sedania le Blacke, 06/2006, R-Atenveldt]
... there is not a CD between a Bowen cross and a cross of five mascles. [Pierre de Tours, 08/2006, R-East]
... there is a CD ... for the difference between a patriarchal cross and a cross crosslet. [Mikhail Nikolaevich Kramolnikov, 09/2006, P-Calontir]
... there is a substantial (X.2) difference between a cross clechy and a cross of Saint Brigid. [Brigit Larkin, 09/2006, R-Ealdormere]
There is a substantial (X.2) difference between a Maltese cross and a Latin cross throughout. [Trahearn ap Candalo, 09/2006, A-Middle]
There is a CD ... for the difference between a cross formy and a cross moline. [Maximillian Johann von Kleve, 02/2007, R-Calontir]
There is a CD ... for the difference between a cross formy and a key cross. [Giovanni Vendelino da Firenze, 03/2007, A-Lochac]
There is a CD ... for the difference between a cross moline disjointed and a cross of Calatrava. [Mikhail Nikolaevich Kramolnikov, 04/2007, A-Calontir]
There is a CD ... between a cross moline disjointed and a cross of Toulouse. [Katerine Bontemps, 05/2007, A-Ansteorra]
... a CD ... for the difference between a cross formy and a cross Maltese. [Martino Michele Venèri, 05/2007, A-Calontir]
[a cross Maltese vs a cross patty] ... a CD for the type of cross ... [Martino Michele Venèri, 05/2007, A-Calontir]
[a Maltese cross vs. a cross botonny] ... at least a CD for the type of cross. [Niccola di Cristiano, 08/2007, A-Æthelmearc]
... there is not a substantial difference between a cross barby and a cross potent ... [Erik de Tyr, 09/2007, R-Calontir]
... there is a substantial (X.2) difference a cross barby and a cross formy quadrate. [Erik de Tyr, 09/2007, R-Calontir]
[a cross of four lozenges] This device is clear of ... a cross triparted and fretted fleury ... There is a substantial (X.2) difference between the crosses. [Aline Blakwode, 11/2007, R-An Tir]
... there is no difference between a cross crosslet and a cross bottony as they were interchangeable in period [Elizabeth de Bohun de Caldecote, 02/2008, R-Lochac]
[a cross crosslet fitchy] This is clear of the device of William of Weir, Per bend wavy azure and bendy wavy argent and azure, in sinister chief a cross crosslet flory argent. There's a CD for the field and another CD for the type of cross. William's cross is essentially a cross crosslet with every terminus sprouting a fleur-de-lys, twelve in all; it differs visually from a plain cross crosslet as much as a cross flory differs from a plain cross couped. [Elizabeth de Bohun de Caldecote, 02/2008, R-Lochac]
There is a CD ... for the difference between a cross couped and cross throughout. [Lilian Bowyer, 06/2008, R-Outlands]

CROWN

This device must be returned for lack of documentation of the type of coronet it depicts. Precedent says, "While it has been true that the default coronet is a simple coronet of three points, we have for a while now been allowing the blazon coronet to be used with any period depiction of a coronet that is not otherwise reserved" [David of Moffat, 04/00, R-An Tir]. No documentation was provided showing that a coronet with single central point at the front is a period depiction of a coronet. [Steinn Vikingsson, 05/2005, R-An Tir]
The submitter is a court baroness and thus entitled to display a coronet. We wish to remind the College of Arms that being a territorial baroness alone does not allow one to register armory with a coronet. [Minowara Kiritsubo, 04/2006, R-Atlantia]
The submitter is a court baron and thus entitled to display a coronet. We wish to remind the College of Arms that being a territorial baron alone does not allow one to register armory with a coronet. [Phillip of Ghent, 04/2006, R-Atlantia]

CUP and CHALICE

[Gules, a goblet fesswise Or] Please inform the submitter that on resubmission the goblet should not be drawn in trian aspect (that is, it shouldn't look three-dimensional). Turning the lip of the cup a little to the viewer is acceptable, but the extreme trian aspect here caused more than one person to see the charge as a doorknob. [Francesca Ambrogini, 02/2006, R-Middle]
This is returned for conflict with William of Woodland, Vert, on a tankard Or a cross crosslet fitchy vert. A tankard is too complex to void, thus it is not a suitable charge under RfS X.4.j.ii and changing the type only of the tertiary charge is insufficient for a CD. [Máel Dúin mac Gilla Énnae, 04/2006, R-Middle]
[a mug reversed vs. a tankard] Precedent states "[Gules, a two-handled tankard Or within an annulet argent] Conflict with ... Gules, a tankard of beer Or, headed argent. There is a CD for adding the secondary charge, but nothing for adding the second handle nor for the removal of the head. [James Dexter, 07/01, R-Calontir]". As there is no difference for the number of handles, there is no difference for the orientation of the handle. Thus there is only the single CD for fieldlessness. [Máel Dúin mac Gilla Énnae, 04/2006, R-Middle]
... we grant difference between goblets and tankards ... [Medb ingen ui Mael Anfaid, 06/2007, R-Gleann Abhann]
This device is returned for lack of documentation of the depicted form of the goblet. We know of no goblets in period heraldry that match this form: they are almost all of the standard cup-shape, usually covered as well. Note that, if it had a handle, this might have been acceptable as a "double cup". There is a double cup shown in figure 362 of the Zurich roll, found at http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ZurichRoll/. The handle on the top part is a visual cue to the nature of the cup, as is the fact that both the bottom and the top part have a "foot" on which the cup could stand. Double cups were not-uncommon in period, thus a documented form of a double cup would be registerable. [Gregory of Sherwood, 07/2007, R-Atenveldt]
[a mug] This is returned for using a non-period depiction of a tankard or stein. The consensus of the commentary was that the steins were drawn as "A&W root beer mugs", which are modern. If the submitter wishes a tankard (or a variant: stein, mug, jack, etc.), this must be redrawn in a period form.

If the submitter wishes to use a period glass vessel that was designed for beer, we note that glass steins didn't appear before the 18th Century, and were luxury items, elaborately engraved. A better choice would be the "prunted beaker", a roughly barrel-shaped glass with lumps of glass (the "prunts") covering the outside to ensure a better grip. It's not only a period beer glass, found in the source cited by Batonvert (von Saldern's Glass: 500 BC to AD 1900), but a period heraldic charge as well: it's used in the canting arms of Escher vom Glas, 1605 (Siebmacher, plate 199). [Jared of Midewinde, 08/2007, R-Northshield]

DEFAULTS
see also PROPER

[a fox's tail] Past registrations have been confused as to the fox's tails default orientation, so we hereby deem it not to have one -- though the tail should be straight in whatever orientation is chosen.[Bronwen Selwyn, 06/2005, R-Ansteorra]
A lymphad by default has its sails furled and its oars in action. [Deirdre Lasairíona ni Raghailligh, 06/2005, A-Ansteorra]
[(Fieldless) A wedge of Emmental cheese Or] Quinto's cheese is in the default orientation with the point of the wedge facing to dexter. [Quinto Formaggio, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
Research this month found that the Society has been inconsistent in defining the default orientation for prickspurs. Prickspurs are a variant of spurs; no difference is granted between these two charges. The default orientation of prickspurs is thus defined to be the same as spurs, palewise with the rowel or point to chief. When fesswise, the rowel or point is to dexter. In both cases, the presence or absence of strapping is an artistic detail that need not be blazoned. [Roger Mighel de Ryes, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
There is no default orientation for awls in the SCA. [Gwenlian Catharne, 08/2005, R-An Tir]
There is no defined form for a scarab either heraldically or in Egyptian art. The presence of the wings and the presence of a roundel between them must be specified but whether the roundel is conjoined to the wings and/or the forelegs is considered an unblazoned, artistic variant, as is the presence or absence of a smaller roundel maintained by the hind legs. Scarabs were known artifacts in period and are registerable under RfS VII.3. [Arsenda of Calais, 12/2005, A-Atenveldt]
As with most helms in heraldry, the Saxon helm faces to dexter by default. [Gina Dragoni, 01/2006, A-Ealdormere]
This is the defining instance of the block plane in SCA armory. It matches the block plane seen in Albrecht Durer's Melencolia, 1514, as seen at http://www.artchive.com/artchive/D/durer/melencol.jpg.html. The block plane is shown in profile, fesswise and with the handle to dexter by default. [Aleyn Kynyd ap Rhys, 01/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]
... the posture of the panther was omitted and there is no default. [Azelina of Exanceaster, 03/2006, A-Atlantia]
... the default orientation for a chair is affronty. [Geoffrey Kyle Kiffin, 03/2006, A-Atlantia]
The SCA has been inconsistent over the years in whether stems to chief or stems to base is the default orientation of a pinecone. Given the confusion, we are now declaring that there is no default orientation. As it says in The Glossary of Terms, the orientation of a pinecone must be explicitly blazoned. [04/2006 CL]
The term rising is used primarily with birds and phoenixes. When applied to phoenixes, rising means displayed emerging from (generally flames). ... we are now declaring that the default for rising is wings (elevated and) addorsed. These eleven items not conforming to this default have been reblazoned in the LoAR. As with other defaults, a bird in the default rising posture may still be explicitly blazoned as rising wings addorsed or rising wings elevated and addorsed, or it may simply be blazoned rising. [04/2006 CL] [JML: See POSTURE/ORIENTATION - Animate Charges for the complete discussion.]
[comb] The default comb in mundane and SCA heraldry has rows of teeth on opposites sides (a double comb). For artistic reasons we are blazoning this as a single-sided comb, though there is no difference between the two types of combs. [Solveig Tryggvadottir, 04/2006, A-An Tir]
An ordinary between two groups of charges will have one group on each side, thus in chief and in base is not required. [Geoffrey FitzKenneth of Pinewood, 04/2006, A-Middle]
Concerning Japanese wisteria sprigs: Most of the examples in period mon have the large leaf in chief with the sprig of blossoms hanging to base, while the SCA default for other heraldic sprigs and branches is the opposite. ... We will continue to use the SCA standard as the default orientation for Japanese wisteria sprigs (the leaf in base when in the default orientation). [Soma no Ryoichi Masayuki, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
The default trebuchet is at rest, which has the arm bendwise sinister, aiming to dexter. The arm on this trebuchet is bendwise (with the trebuchet ready to release its load). We have thus chosen to blazon it as loaded. There is a blazonable difference between a trebuchet at rest and a loaded trebuchet, but there is not a CD. The fact that this trebuchet has no wheels is an unblazonable, artistic detail. [Tristán Isidro de Alcaçar, 08/2006, A-Æthelmearc]
This leaf is a nice, oval leaf, which is the default for a generic leaf. ... however, a generic leaf is not an oak leaf (and in fact there is CD between a generic leaf and an oak leaf). [Elaria filia Robert, 09/2006, R-Atenveldt]
[a dog] Blazoned as a dog, as drawn it appears to be a boarhound. This raised the question as to whether there's a default breed of dog in heraldry. There is not: we have ample period examples of dogs blazoned curs, hounds, etc., without specifying exact breeds. Certainly the floppy-eared hound usually blazoned a talbot is very common in period armory - the submitter should be aware that her dog can legitimately be drawn as a talbot - but neither it nor any other breed of dog is the default, so far as we can tell. [Margaret Hamilton of Stirlingshire, 10/2006, A-An Tir]
The scimitars are fesswise, as expected for long charges on a chief. Concerning the default orientation of charges on ordinaries, Laurel has previously noted:
[on a chief gules three recorders palewise argent] Long thin charges such as arrows, swords and recorders default to the fesswise posture when placed on a chief or a fess. Thus, even though all these charges are palewise by default when on the field, it is also necessary to blazon them as palewise when they are on a chief.

It is an incorrect oversimplification to state that "charges on an (ordinary) are oriented (ordinary)-wise by default". A crescent or fleur-de-lys charged on a fess is in its default palewise posture, not fesswise. If a saltire were charged with a cross crosslet, the cross crosslet would be in its default palewise (or crosswise) posture, not saltirewise.

A more complicated rule of thumb, but one which recreates period practice with greater accuracy, would be:
(1) Charges on a bend are bendwise by default, and charges on a bend sinister are bendwise sinister by default.
(2) Charges on any other ordinary have the same default for such a charge on the field (which is generally palewise.) This statement has the following exceptions.
(2a) "Long thin" charges such as arrows tilt to follow the ordinary on which they lie.
(2b) When charging an ordinary such as a chevron, saltire, or pall, which has some diagonal arms, the charges may all be drawn using the same default for the charge on the field. They may also be drawn with the centermost charge in the default posture but the outermost charges tilted to follow the arms of the charge. (There is a fair amount of evidence indicating that the difference between these two forms of emblazon may be purely artistic in period. However, the SCA has so far always blazoned this distinction and given corresponding difference for changing the posture of the charges.)
Once again we are reminded that while blazon is a type of technical language, the people who developed it in the Middle Ages weren't computer programmers, and the people listening to it weren't computers, so blazon also partakes of natural language. [Gunnarr skáld Þorvaldsson, 06/02, A-Ealdormere]
[Shamir ibn Abd al-Rahman, 10/2006, A-An Tir]
Dragon's and lion's jambes are erect (with their claws to chief) by default ... [Ronan Barrett, 12/2006, A-An Tir]
Torques have their openings to base by default. [Kilian Wyldebor, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
We note that scissors have their points to chief by default, unlike shears which have their points to base. [Maudeleyn Godeliva Taillour, 02/2007, A-Meridies]
... the ladle's bowl is to sinister, which is the expected orientation for a fesswise ladle. [Ingrid Elizabeth de Marksberry, 02/2007, A-Middle]
There is no default orientation for keys, though (as noted in the Glossary of Terms) when they are fesswise, the wards are to dexter and facing downwards. In this case the wards are to sinister and facing downwards, so the key is reversed. [Sabina Makcaill, 03/2007, A-East]
... the default posture for dragon's feet is with claws to chief (as with lion's jambs, and as opposed to bird's legs with claws to base). Also, the talon is only a claw, while this shows the full foot and some of the leg. [One Thousand Eyes, Barony of, 05/2007, A-Artemisia]
A lightning flash, like a lightning bolt, does not have a default orientation. [Tav-Alandil, 05/2007, A-Atenveldt]
A dexter gauntlet is the default gauntlet. [Michael von Fulda, 05/2007, A-Atlantia]
While maintaining an acorn is the default for a squirrel, there is no reason that this detail cannot be blazoned if the submitter wishes, as in this case. [Katarzyna Dambrowska, 06/2007, A-Ansteorra]
We note that an artichoke has its stem to base by default. [Mora Ottavia Spadera, 07/2007, A-Caid]
Embroiderer's quills (and yarn quills) are palewise by default. [Bricia de Neubold, 07/2007, A-East]
From Wreath: Reblazoning Defaults
In processing submissions every month, Wreath and her staff frequently review past SCA registrations, to insure that our assumptions regarding the College's defaults are true. This can lead to our discovering gaps in our policies over the years, which we then try to correct by reblazoning. There are a number of such reblazons in this month's LoAR; the topics they address may be summarized as follows:
  • Bobbins. There were several types of bobbin in period; none have been ruled the Society default. We hereby rule that there is no default form of bobbin in society armory. If lace bobbins are intended, they must be specified.
  • Brushes. In medieval heraldry, the default brush was a large handheld bundle of straws, as in the canting arms of von Börstel, 1605 (Siebmacher, plate 174). We accept this as the default brush in society heraldry, as well. The most common type of brush in Society armory, the artist's (paint)brush, wasn't known in period armory, and is not the Society default; if this type is intended, it must be blazoned as such.
  • Human figures. Unless a specific type of human is stated, whose definition includes the style, or lack, of clothing (e.g., monk, savage, etc.), the type of clothing on a human figure is usually left to the artist. However, some clothing is assumed. Nude human figures must have the fact expressly blazoned.
  • Lizards. Lizards, or natural salamanders, are statant by default, as are heraldic (enflamed) salamanders. This is true in period heraldry as well, as in the canting arms of Lagartos, c.1540 (Livro da Nobreza, fo. xxxviii). Lizards tergiant must be blazoned as such.
  • Pipes. There are several types of pipe found in SCA heraldry: bagpipes, panpipes, smoking pipes (or clay pipes), and organ pipes. Given this profusion, no one type of pipe will be considered default. The unmodified term pipe should not be used: the type of pipe must be specified in the blazon.
  • Pomegranates. The unmodified term pomegranate refers to the fruit alone. If a pomegranate is slipped and leaved - which we admit is more often found than the unslipped fruit - the fact must be blazoned.
[10/2007 CL]
Drakkars, unlike lymphads, have their sails set by SCA default. [Solveig Hákonsdóttir, 11/2007, A-Outlands]
The default orientation for a drop spindle is palewise with the whorl in base; it is threaded (or full) by default. [Scolastica la souriete, 11/2007, R-East]
A scorpion is tergiant by default. [Robin the Ruthless in Battel, 01/2008, A-West]
As noted in the Glossary of Terms, by default a reremouse, or a bat, is displayed and guardant. [Guilhem Bosquet, 02/2008, A-East]
A quatrefoil is set crosswise by default but a four-leaf clover is set saltirewise. The fact that it is slipped must still be blazoned, however. [Finn O'Flaherty, 02/2008, A-Meridies]
[a bald human head in profile] There is no way to determine whether this head is masculine or feminine. A masculine head defaults to being in profile (facing dexter), which [JML: should be while] a feminine head is affronty (guardant). We have thus explicitly blazoned the orientation of the head. [Ascelina of Dereleie, 02/2008, A-Middle]
We note that demi-creatures are erect by default. [Mari the Far-Travelled, 06/2008, A-Outlands]

DICE

The azure dice are marked sable. This means we have lost the internal detailing that lets us identify the charges as dice. As they cannot be identified, this must be returned per RfS VII.7.a, which requires that "Elements must be recognizable solely from their appearance." [Alfred of Suffolk, 07/2005, R-Atlantia]

DIFFERENCE - Counting

From Wreath: Counting Differences
The Outlands submission this month for Bjorn inn gauzki, Sable, in bend a compass star and a drakkar prow Or, was an appeal of a kingdom return. The armory was originally returned in kingdom for a conflict with Luxandra of Altumbrea, Sable, semée of suns in splendour Or (1/80, Caid) based on the precedent:
Dyan du Lac des Calandres. Badge. Gules, in fess a tassel Or between a decrescent and an increscent argent.
Conflict with a badge of Conrad von Regensburg, Gules semy of decrescents argent. In Conrad's arms, there is a single group of primary charges consisting of (six or more) evenly strewn argent decrescents. In Dyan's arms, there is a single group of primary charges consisting of one argent decrescent, an Or tassel, and an argent increscent. The LoAR of December 2003 gave a lengthy analysis of the way to count difference in a similar situation, where the charge group changed from a registered group of charges on the field consisting of six lions Or, to an in-submission charge group consisting of a lion and a tower Or. That analysis summarized the change as follows:
It should be recalled that the SCA protects REGISTERED armory. Because of this, the SCA considers changes to have been made from the registered armory to the armory currently under submission, and has interpreted the Rules for Submission in the manner that gives the greatest protection to the registered armory, and allows the fewest possible differences for a change to armory. This implies a certain lack of symmetry to the ruling, because the interpretation of a change from "registered" to "considered" does not necessarily match the change from "considered" to "registered"...

In [this] case, the submitter is changing one of the lions into a castle, which leaves us with a charge group consisting of five lions and one castle. This change is to less than half of the charges in that group, so there is no CD under RfS X.4.e.

After the change of the type (a lion into a castle), we apply the change to the number by removing all but one of the lions and the castle. Of six charges, we remove four of the lions, leaving a total of two charges in the group, which is a change from six to two. RfS X.4.f notes that two and six are signficantly [sic] different, and therefore, entitled to a CD.
In this case, we have changed the charge group on the field from [semy of] decrescents argent to a decrescent argent, an increscent argent, and a tassel Or. The strewn ("semy") charges are considered to be equivalent to any charge group with six or more charges for purposes of the rule for difference in the number of charges on the field (RfS X.4.f).

Thus, when changing Conrad's badge to Dyan's, we are changing one of the (six or more) argent decrescents into an argent increscent, and one of the (six or more) argent decrescents into an Or tassel, and leaving (four or more) of the argent decrescents as argent decrescents. The change in type of two of six (or more) charges (the single tassel and the single increscent) is a change to less than half of the charges in the group, so there is no CD under RfS X.4.e. The change in tincture to one in six (or more) charges (the tassel) is also a change to less than half the charges in the group, so there is no CD under RfS X.4.d.

After the changes to type and tincture (six or more decrescents argent into four or more decrescents argent, one increscent argent, and one tassel Or), we then remove (three or more) of the decrescents, leaving a total of three charges, which is a change from six (or more) charges to three charges. RfS X.4.f notes that three and six are significantly different, and therefore entitled to a CD.

As a result, there is only one CD between these two pieces of armory, and they are therefore in conflict.
Under this precedent there was a single CD between Bjorn's and Luxandra's armory -- the CD for number of charges.

The LoI stated:
I find no evidence of period armory that was cadenced by changing the type of only one of several identical charges and then removing all but the changed one and one other. Without solid period evidence that this sort of pattern would suggest one cadency step, this ruling seems unnecessarily narrow in its interpretation, and I therefore respectfully request that it be revisited with an eye to period cadency.
It should be noted that while many of the rules are based on period cadency, the application of multiple rules may have an effect that is not in line with period cadency. This is a fact that will not be changed no matter how the rules are interpreted.

In interpreting the rules, three things are important: protection of registered armory, ease of explanation (e.g., does the interpretation make sense and can it be explained to heralds and submitters in a straightforward way), and simplicity of the registration process.

The Rules for Submission are a means to codify what is essentially a visual art. The process for determining difference as explained in the ruling on Dyan du Lac des Calandres has some problems.
  • It assumes that counting difference is a process requiring a series of intermediate steps to move from point A, the registered armory, to step B, the submitted armory, ignoring the visual aspect of the actual armory.
  • It depends on the rules being applied in a specific sequence. In this case, that was type of charges before number of charges: changing one of six charges, worth no CD, and then changing from six to two charges, worth one CD. However, equally valid would be the reverse sequence: changing from six to two charges, worth one CD, and then changing type of one half of the charges, worth a second CD.
  • It depends on a non-intutive interpretation of the number of charges changed; Laurel interpreted the change of type as only one of six charges and worth no CD. However, this could equally have been interpreted as three of six charges and worth one CD. This second interpretation is the more likely interpretation.
  • It is not easy to explain to heralds and is especially not easy to explain to submitters.
Instead, we view counting CDs under RfS X.4 as a two-step process: first, the assumption that differences are reached in the fewest possible steps, and second, a comparison of the armory as it exists.

Under the first step, consider the hypothetical case where Azure, a unicorn argent is registered:
  • Against this, Azure, a lion and a unicorn combatant argent has a single CD for adding the argent lion.
  • Also against this, Azure, a lion Or and a unicorn argent combattant has a single CD for adding the Or lion. You cannot get a CD for adding an argent lion and a second CD for changing its tincture to Or as adding an Or lion is the simplest (i.e., fewest steps) counting of the differences.
This interpretation is consistent with prior precedent, including the December 2003 ruling (Siridean MacLachlan, R-Calontir), which stated
The SCA has always had difficulty dealing with the situation when both the number and the type of a single charge group change. For a classic example, consider the hypothetical arms Azure, a lion Or and a unicorn argent combattant versus Azure, a unicorn argent. In both cases, you have a blue field with a white rampant unicorn. In the first, the unicorn is also accompanied by a gold lion rampant to sinister. The traditional SCA view is to give only one CD for removing the lion so that the two arms are in conflict. However, occasionally, someone tries to argue from a different perspective, namely, that we should give one CD for changing the number of the group (from two to one charge), another CD for changing the type of the group (from half unicorn, half lion to all unicorn), a third CD for changing the tincture of the group (from half Or, half argent, to all argent), and a fourth for changing the posture of the group (from half facing dexter and half facing sinister, to all facing dexter). This, of course, would make the arms well clear of conflict. This interpretation has been disallowed fairly consistently in precedent, although the issue continues to be raised occasionally.
The second step in determining CDs is comparing the actual armory rather than using hypothetical intermediate armory. In the original precedent (Siridean MacLachlan, cited in Dyan du Lac des Calandres, above) with a lion and a castle (submitted) versus six lions (registered), conflict was discussed considering intermediate armory of a castle and five lions and rejecting the alternate intermediate armory of three castles and three lions. Under that precedent, comparing the current submitted armory Sable, in bend a compass star and a drakkar prow Or with the registered armory Sable, semée of suns in splendour Or, there is a CD for the number of charges but nothing for type due to the assumption that the intermediate armory is Sable, a drakkar prow and six (or more) compass stars (or suns). However, this is not a valid assumption as any intermediate armory is hypothetical. Therefore, the determination of difference must be based on a comparison of the actual armory, submitted versus registered, rather than against hypothetical intermediary armory. In the case of the current submission, we are comparing a compass star and a drakkar prow versus semée of suns. There is no difference granted between a compass star and a sun; however, there is a CD for the number of charges and there is a second CD for changing from all suns (compass stars) to only half suns (compass stars).

This two-step process still provides reasonable protection to registered armory, while being both easier to explain and to apply. The December 2003 and March 2004 precedents are thus overturned. In summary, when counting differences:
1. Use the minimum number of steps or changes between the armory to determine the number of CDs
2. Compare the registered and submitted armory without assuming any hypothetical intermediate armory.
[07/2005 CL]
[Per saltire sable and argent, two suns Or and two roses gules slipped and leaved vert] This is clear of Finn with the Roses, Per saltire sable and argent, in fess a rose sable and a rose gules, each slipped and leaved vert. Using the July 2005 precedent, "From Wreath: Counting Differences", we must first determine the minimum number of steps required to change the armory. It requires at least two steps to change Finn's armory to match Cateryn's (adding two suns and changing the tincture of one of the roses). Thus the two pieces of armory must be compared as they exist without considering any intermediate armory. There is a CD for the change in number of primary charges. In Finn's armory half of the primary charges are gules and half sable. In Cateryn's armory half of the primary charges are gules and half Or. There is thus a second CD for changing the tincture of half the charge group. [Cateryn M'Manis, 06/2006, A-An Tir]
[Per chevron azure and argent, three clouds one and two argent] This badge is returned for conflict with of Brigid of Skye's device, Per chevron azure and argent, three clouds counterchanged. There are no countable differences between Brigid's device and Hidden Mountain's badge. There is not a CD for changing the tincture as only one of the three clouds has changed tincture. While the bottommost of three charges arranged two and one counts as half the charges, we look at changes from the registered armory to the armory in submission. Since Hidden Mountain's badge is the armory in submission, and the clouds are [JML: should be "are not"] arranged two and one, the tincture of half of the charges has not been changed. [Hidden Mountain, Barony of, 06/2006, R-Atlantia]
[Argent, a chevron sable between two thistles proper and a chalice gules] This is also clear of ... Argent, a chevron sable between two sprigs of rowan vert, fructed gules, and a lynx in summer phase sejant erect proper, perched on a horn fesswise vert. [Lynx canadensis]. There is a CD for changing the type of all the secondary charges and another for changing the tincture of the bottommost charge, which is considered to be half the charge group.

A question was raised whether or not the tincture change to the bottommost charge could be counted since the Glossary of Terms notes "The bottommost of three charges arranged two and one, either alone on the field or surrounding a central ordinary such as a fess or chevron, is defined as half of that charge group. However, no more than one difference may be obtained by making changes to that bottommost charge". As a CD was granted for changing the type of all the secondaries, commenters thought that perhaps the tincture change couldn't count. However, the limitation applies only when changes are made solely to the bottommost charges. Thus against the hypothetical device, Argent, a chevron sable between three thistles proper there is only one CD - that for changing the type of the bottommost charge (from a thistle to a chalice) or that from changing its tincture (from vert to gules). You cannot get two CDs for multiple changes to the bottommost charge of three charges arranged two and one. However, when one of the CDs is for changing the type of all the charges, not just the bottommost one, a second CD can be obtained for changing the tincture of the bottommost charge alone. We also note that the charges in chief and the charge in base can be considered separately, since each is considered half the charge group, as long as the CDs are derived from different types of changes. [Talitha le Barde, 07/2006, A-Caid]
The July 2005 Cover Letter states two basic principles to be followed when counting difference: use the smallest possible number of steps to get from the registered to the submitted armory, and don't hypothesize any intermediate armory. The LoI asked "The smallest step that one can take between "one black bird" and "two black birds and a red fish" is "add a black bird and a red fish." But does the presence of the word "and" mean that this is really two steps (1. add a bird, 2. add a fish), and therefore two changes?" No, and does not mean this is two steps. There is but a single step - the addition of two charges, which just happen to be different (a black bird and a red fish). Thus there is not a CD for changing the tincture or type of the bottommost charge. [Elene of Lochcarron, 11/2006, R-East]
[Vert, on a lozenge azure, fimbriated, a mullet of seven points argent] The device does not conflict with the device for Amber Lang, Vert, on a lozenge argent, a cat sejant guardant sable. This potential conflict call generated a lot of discussion concerning two relatively recent precedents. The first is from the tenure of Francois I:
... the three following very dissimilar-sounding blazons can all be drawn identically, and thus should be considered heraldically equivalent: A lozenge Or charged with a lozenge gules, A lozenge Or voided gules, and A lozenge gules fimbriated Or. This heraldic equivalence will apply for any charge "simple enough to void" by the criteria stated in the Cover Letter for the November 1992 LoAR. When checking for conflict with armory using fimbriation or voiding, all these interpretations should be considered when checking for conflict, and if one of the interpretations conflicts, the two pieces of armory conflict. This does not seem overly restrictive when one considers the rarity of armory in period featuring voided or fimbriated charges, or arms with the design of A "charge" charged with "the same type of charge". These are very uncommon designs in period. Period viewers probably had the same sorts of problems that we have when interpreting such designs.

Note that charges which are voided by definition are generally given one CD from their solid equivalents: mascles are given a CD from lozenges, and annulets are given a CD from roundels. If one interpreted these charges as voided, fimbriated, or charged charges, the guidelines above would also give exactly one CD between them. Comparing Azure, a lozenge Or vs. Azure, a lozenge Or charged with a lozenge azure: one CD, for adding a tertiary charge. Azure, a lozenge Or vs. Azure, a lozenge Or voided azure: equivalent to the previous case of adding a tertiary charge. Azure, a lozenge Or vs. Azure, a lozenge azure fimbriated Or: one CD for changing the tincture of the lozenge from Or to azure, and no additional difference for removing the fimbriation. [Cecily of Whitehaven, 06/02, R-Æthelmearc]
This precedent supports the conflict call against Josephus' device but it does not discuss the case of a "quaternary" charge. In the tenure of Francois II, the June 2004 Cover Letter included the discussion:
From Wreath: Alternate Blazons and Conflicts
This month we registered ...on a pale argent fimbriated vert, a peacock feather proper despite a possible conflict with ...on a pale vert three fangs palewise Or. The argument was made that both pieces of armory could be considered as ...a pale vert charged with <stuff>. However, in order for the new submission to fit this interpretation, it would be blazoned as ...on a pale vert a pale argent charged with a peacock feather proper. That would be four layers, which is unregisterable. Since the unregisterable blazon is the only blazon under which the conflict exists, this is not a conflict.

However, there are other circumstances do exist where there is a conflict with already registered armory due to reblazoning the registered armory. Last month, for example, we returned ...on a compass star argent a Maltese cross azure...for conflict with ...within a sun throughout argent, eclipsed azure, a goshawk displayed argent, giving no CD between the two excerpted parts. In this case the already registered armory would today be blazoned as ...on a sun throughout argent, a roundel azure charged with a goshawk displayed argent, emphasizing that the goshawk can be considered a quaternary charge and thus ignored completely when checking for conflict.

The main difference between these two cases is that in the "no conflict" example it was the new armory to which the problematic reblazon applied, while in the "yes conflict" example it was the old armory that had the unregisterable reblazon.
Sarah's device would conflict with Amber's device if Sarah's were considered under the blazon Vert, on a lozenge argent a lozenge azure charged with a mullet of seven points argent; however, this alternate blazon is unregisterable. Under the Francois II precedent, since conflict would only exist if Sarah's submission were blazoned in a way that made it unregisterable, the conflict call isn't valid: no conflict exists with Amber's device. [Sarah the Foole, 11/2006, R-Northshield]
[Per pale sable and argent, a sheaf of arrows inverted counterchanged] This device is returned for conflict with the device of Brian Blackarrow, Per pale sable and argent, three arrows inverted counterchanged. There is a CD for changing either the tincture or the arrangement of the arrows, but not separate CDs as these are not independent changes. The change in tincture means that Seth's arrows cannot be in the same arrangement as Brian's arrows - if they were, there would be not be sufficient contrast as half the arrows would be tinctured identically to the field, making them sable on sable and argent on argent. Thus there is only a single CD between Brian's device and Seth's device. [Seth Fletcher, 04/2007, R-Artemisia]
[Per fess gules and sable, three goblets and an elephant passant argent] This device is returned for conflict with the device for Odo de Payens, Per fess embattled purpure and vert, three goblets and a wolf statant argent. There is a CD for changes to the field. However, as only the type of the bottommost charge has been changed, a second CD cannot be derived from the changes to the primary charge group. Precedent states:
[Per fess dovetailed azure and argent, three mullets argent and a wolf's head erased sable] The device does not conflict with a ... Per fess embattled azure and argent, two mullets of four points and a comet fesswise, head to sinister, counterchanged. There is one CD for changing the number of the charges in the group. There is a second CD for changing the type and tincture of the primary charge(s) on one side of the line of division, even though that portion of the primary group is only one quarter of the group, per the following precedent from the November 1995 LoAR:
There is ... a CD for the change to the field and another for changing the type and tincture of the primary charge group on one side of the line of division, even though numerically this is not "one half" of the primary charge group. For a fuller discussion of this precedent granting a CD for two changes to charges on one side of a line of division even when less than half the charge group is affected, see the December 21, 1991 Cover Letter (with the November 1991 LoAR).
This situation arises very rarely aside from the well-known situation concerning the bottommost of a group of three charges two and one, which has its own different set of controlling precedents. The cited precedent appears to have remained in force; the registration history shows that this precedent has neither been overruled nor passively ignored. [Cassandra of Standing Stones, 01/03, A-Calontir]
[Medb ingen ui Mael Anfaid, 06/2007, R-Gleann Abhann]

DIFFERENCE - Groups
see also CHARGE GROUP and DIFFERENCE - Counting

[Per bend sinister vert and azure, a bend sinister cotised between a wyvern sejant and a dolphin urinant argent] This device does not conflict with ... Per bend sinister azure and vert, a bend sinister cotised between a wyvern sejant, wings displayed, and a lion statant argent. Each of these devices has two secondary charge groups - the cotises as one group and the wyvern + lion/dolphin as the second. Changing the lion to the dolphin is a change of half its charge group and thus worth a CD. [Ragnhildr Sigtryggsdottir, 11/2005, A-Meridies]
[between in chief two keys fesswise Or and a ford proper] RfS X.4.b states "Each charge group may be counted separately, so Argent, a pale gules has two clear changes from Argent, a pale between two owls all within a bordure gules." As the ford - a peripheral ordinary - and the keys form two separate charge groups, there are two CDs for adding these secondary charges. [Ysende Herberiour, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
[Vert, a bend sinister cotised between a stag springing and a pheon argent] If resubmitted with a properly drawn pheon, this will not conflict with the device for Euriol of Lothian, Vert, a bend sinister doubly cotised argent. In armory with cotises and other secondary charges, the cotises form one secondary charge group and the other charges a separate secondary charge group. There will be a CD between cotised and doubly cotised and a second CD for adding the stag and pheon. [Sabine d'Antan, 01/2007, R-Lochac]
[a winged sword and three decrescents argent] This is not slot-machine heraldry. A winged object is a single charge, thus there are only two types of charges in the primay charge group - the decrescents and the winged sword. [Elyas Tigar, 02/2007, A-Artemisia]

DOCUMENTATION
See individual charges for instances when Wreath required additional documentation for defining instances of charges or accepted such documentation.

This device is returned as no translation for the phrase "es verus ipso" was provided. Regarding the grammar, Metron Ariston wrote:
The phrase on the book makes no sense if it is meant to be Latin. "It is true." would be Verum est. And, if you wanted to use ipso vero you would use that phrase by itself as a tag. What you appear to have is the second person singular of the verb to be ("you are") with an nominative masculine adjective ("true") and an unrelated ablative reflexive used adverbially with an intent that is unclear.
Phrases are allowed in armory but a translation must be provided. In addition, they may not be nonsensical or offensive. In this case, the poor grammar makes the phrase nonsensical and unregisterable. [Etienne Saintier, 07/2007, R-Middle]
[a whistling arrow] ... included a photograph from the Museum of Anthropology (University of Missouri at Columbia), showing a whistling arrowhead from 13th C. Mongolia.

The documentation showed that the artifact existed in period Mongolia -- not that it was known to period Europeans, as required by RfS VII.3. Given that the documented period contact between Mongols and Europeans (albeit mostly of a combat nature) is enough to allow Mongol names to be registered, and that weapons are the class of artifact most likely to be known by both sides of that combat, we will grant the submitter the benefit of the doubt that the whistling arrow might have been known to period Europeans. As with non-European flora and fauna that may have been (but not documented as) known to period Europe, non-European artifacts that may have been known are registerable but considered a step from period practice. Documented proof that the Europeans knew of the artifact in question is best; the suitability of artifacts lacking this documentation for use in Society armory will be determined on a case-be-case basis. [Karin Ollesdotter av Augvaldsnes, 12/2007, A-An Tir]

DOCUMENTED EXCEPTION

[Azure, a scimitar inverted and reversed proper issuant from a trimount vert, in chief two crescents Or] Although the documentation provided was not adequately summarized on the Letter of Intent, it showed a number of period examples of a charge issuant from a vert trimount on an azure field with two secondary charges in chief, most often crescents, mullets, or one of each. This device, therefore, follows the patterns of regional style allowed in this documented exception to our rules. [Kathws Rusa, 05/2005, A-Outlands]
[Azure, a boar statant sable transfixed by an arrow bendwise sinister Or in chief a decrescent argent and a sun Or] Many commenters noted that this should be returned for lack of identifiability of the boar and for violating RfS VIII.2.b - Contrast Requirements. While we sympathize with those commenters, this motif is registerable to the submitter under RfS VIII.6.b - Documented Exceptions - Regional Style. The submitter provided documentation for sable animals on azure fields, argent decrescents with Or suns, and sable animals transfixed by Or arrows in period Hungarian armory. He also provided documentation for the combination of these charges. Multiple examples of each were provided. In keeping with precedent, we note that the documented exception applies only to this submission; not to submission[s] by other submitters. [Rakonczay Gergely, 07/2006, R-Drachenwald] [JML: Returned for a redraw - registered 01/2008.]
[Azure, a raven sable perched atop a trimount vert and in chief two mullets argent] The LoI noted that the documentation was available at a certain website but failed to summarize that documentation. It appears that while some commenters did view the documentation, notably those using OSCAR, most commenters did not. We are pending this to allow all members of the CoA a chance to review the documentation. We are taking this unusual step so that others who wish to claim a regional style exception under RfS VIII.6.b can see the type of documentation that is required.

Many commenters noted that this should be returned for lack of identifiability of the raven (due to poor contrast) and for violating RfS VIII.2.b - Contrast Requirements. While we sympathize with those commenters, this motif is being submitted under RfS VIII.6.b - Documented Exceptions - Regional Style. When supported by documentation, the regional style exception allows the registration of motifs that would otherwise violate our rules.

The following is documentation that Victor Ispan's device submission, Azure, a raven sable perched on a trimount vert and in chief two mullets argent, uses design elements and styles compatible with period Hungarian heraldry. Evidence is presented for the use of complex dark or sable charges on azure fields; for green trimounts, mounts, or bases with azure fields, some with dark or sable charges standing on them; for light-colored peripheral stars, often accompanying otherwise low-contrast designs; and for the use of all three design elements together (see plate L Kállay Vitéz, plate LXIX Hohenperger, and illustration 63 Hartha).

All of the documentation is from Nyulásziné Straub Éva's Öt évszázad címerei (Babits kiadó, Szekszárd, 1999). In this book, an archivist at the Hungarian National Archives collected almost all the authenticated Hungarian (i.e., issued by a Hungarian monarch) letters patent kept in the archives. ("Almost all" because if the emblazon was missing, it was not re-created, and arms awarded to non-Hungarians who never settled in Hungary were omitted.) Out of the over 1300 coats of arms presented, 283 come from letters dated before the 17th century. Of these, 77 are from the 15th century, and 206 are from the 16th.

The book begins with a set of color plates reproducing the original emblazons; 70 of these date from SCA period. The other 213 period coats appear in chronological order as black-and-white illustrations with heraldic hatchments. The book also gives a description (Hungarian doesn't do "Blazon") for each color plate; these are given below in English translation (with translator's notes in square brackets). For the illustrations, a blazon is attempted below, but please check the picture.

The pictures from this book can be found online, on the website of the National Archives at http://www.arcanum.hu/mol/ (look for "A Magyar Országos Levéltár címereslevelei" in the left-hand frame). The numbers given below are the plate or illustration numbers from the book, followed by the hexadecimal number (in parentheses) which can be plugged in at the end of the following URL to take you straight to a no-frames version of just the page in question.
http://www.arcanum.hu/mol/lpext.dll/mol_cimer/1/
(For example, http://www.arcanum.hu/mol/lpext.dll/mol_cimer/1/12 is Plate XIV, Paczali Peres.) Black complex things on blue (17 examples):
  • Plate XIV (12), Paczali Peres, 1431: On a blue field growing from a red-lined gold crown a white-beaked black eagle- (falcon?-)head, with two naturalistic [i.e. proper] stag's antlers at [coming up from] the sides of the crown.
  • Plate XLVI (32), Kanizsai, 1519: On a blue field, on a floating gold eagle's claw a black eagle's wing, accompanied [in base] on the right by a silver halfmoon and on the left by an eight-armed gold star.
  • Plate L (36), Kállay Vitéz, 1521: On a blue field, on a green riverbank a right-facing naturalistic bear, with a gold chain around his neck, holding a gold ball in his mouth, accompanied [in chief] on the right by a silver halfmoon and on the left by a gold eight-armed star.
  • Plate LII (38), Szerdahelyi Imreffy, 1523: On a blue field a [gold with red, blue, and green jewels] crown on whose outer points stand two gold-crowned and -armed black eagles with wings up facing each other, holding aloft with their inside legs a [white] bone; in the center of the crown a [naturalistic, green] lily-stem with three gold flowers, accompanied on the right by a gold [many-armed] star and on the left by a silver halfmoon.
  • Plate LXIX (47), Hohenperger, 1589: (1st and 4th quarters): On a blue field a black chamois (mountain goat) facing inward standing on green ground, accompanied in the 1st quarter on the left, and in the 4th on the right [i.e., in outside chief] by a gold moon and star.
  • 29 (83). Sándy, 1437. Azure, in fess a wing sable and a mullet above an orb Or.
  • 32 (86). Hunyadi, 1453. (1st and 4th) Azure, a raven displayed contourny sable maintaining in its beak a ring Or.
  • 58 (A0). Brauen, 1515. (2nd) Azure, a wing sable clawed Or between in base a decrescent and two mullets Or. (3rd, same thing mirrored.)
  • 62 (A4). Kormossy, 1521. Azure, a bird, wings elevated sable, maintaining in its beak an oak wreath vert, standing atop a bare rock mount proper.
  • 63 (A5). Hartha, 1521. Azure, a bird displayed sable maintaining in its beak a quill, atop a leafy treetrunk argent growing from a base vert, in chief two mullets argent.
  • 64 (A6). Básthi, 1522. Azure, a bird's head sable collared argent, crowned, issuant from a crown Or.
  • 75 (B1). Máramarosi Szigethy, 1545. Azure, a demi-griffin? per fess sable and gules issuant from a base Or, maintaining a Turk's head proper.
  • 85 (BC). Budaházi Vitéz, 1552. Azure, a bear statant erect (standing on two legs) sable, crowned, maintaining a lily, in chief a decrescent argent and a mullet Or.
  • 108 (D4). Barla, 1563. Azure, a demi-bear sable pierced by a sword argent, issuant from a mount vert.
  • 135 (EF). Dannyani Thúry, 1578. Azure, a raven sable pierced by an arrow argent perched on a tree proper issuant from a crown Or.
  • 168 (110). Békeffy, 1590. Azure, a raven sable maintaining in its beak a ring perched upon a trimount Or.
  • 185 (121). Eördögh, 1595. Azure, an arm issuant from base wielding a sword (bend sinisterwise) argent, conjoined at the wrist to a sinister wing sable, in dexter chief a crescent and in sinister base a mullet Or.
Green trimounts on blue (11 examples):
  • Plate XIX (17), Sánkfalvi, 1455: On a blue field sitting atop a green trimount a left-facing naturalistic monkey holding a triple-twisted snake in his front paws.
  • Plate LXVIII (46), Kampmacher, 1588: (1st and 4th) On a blue field standing on a green trimount a left-facing, spread-winged naturalistic crane holding a sword perpendicularly with its right foot.
  • 68 (AA). Lokachi Chavrack, 1524. Azure, a demi-horse being cut by a sword argent issuant from a trimount vert, in chief a mullet and an increscent Or.
  • 113 (D9). Ghyczy, 1564. (Left half of a per pale.) Azure an arm vested gules issuant from a crown Or atop a trimount vert, holding aloft a sword impaling a Turk's head argent.
  • 165 (10D). Kezy, 1588. Azure, a lion statant erect Or atop a trimount vert, piercing himself through the mouth with a sword argent.
  • 169 (111). Magyari Ferenczy, 1590. Azure, an armored elbow issuant from clouds holding a sword, behind it three green-stemmed white flowers, in base a trimount vert.
  • 173 (115). Iwchych, 1592. Azure, a griffin statant erect Or maintaining a Turk's head impaled on a sword argent, stadning on a trimount vert.
  • 175 (117). Jánosdeák, 1592. Per pale Or and azure, two lions combattant counterchanged, in base a trimount vert.
  • 177 (119). Medwiai Suskowyth, 1592. (1st and 4th.) Azure, a lion statant erect Or maintaining a lance palewise, standing atop a trimount vert.
  • 188 (124). Huszár alias Czigány, 1596. (Bottom of a per fess.) Azure, three roses one and two gules, slipped and leaved argent, issuant from the center mount of a trimount vert.
  • 198 (12E). Szoldán, 1598. Azure, a lion statant erect Or maintaining a roundel azure (yes, azure on azure!) standing atop a trimount vert.
Green bases or mounts on blue (25 examples in addition to those above): plates XXXVI Gersei Peth{o"} (28; more visible in the illustration at e5), XL Radák (2c), XLIX Bicskey (35), LVII Szentgyörgyvölgyi Bakács (3d), LXVI Keresztúri Szabó (44), LXVII Adorján (45); black-and-white drawing numbers 59 Balajthy (a1), 60 Hiezernicai Tarnovszky (a2), 66 Devecseri Csoron (a8), 73 Gávai (af), 100 Thopolyai Gjanchewyth (cc), 124 Ochay (e4), 129 Peleskef{o"}i Istóczy (e9), 134 Morál (ee), 140 Köcsei Rodvánczy (f4), 142 Nagyidai Bornemissza (f6), 144 Miskolci Szahary (f8), 148 Ary (fc), 149 Prodi Rácz (fd), 163 Zok (10b), 171 Dics{o"}szentmártoni Szabó (113), 182 Lugosi Ztanissa (11e), 183 Váradi Barcza (11f), 193 Radics (129), 197 Bántó (12d).

Light peripheral celestial objects (moons and/or stars) on blue, 15 examples in addition to those described above: plates XXXV Enyingi Török (27), LIII Cserneki Dessewffy (39), LIV Gimesi Forgách (3a), LXII Vízkelethy (40); black & whites 49 Bási (97), 53 Nádasdi Ercsi (9b), 69 Kolozsvári Zalczer (ab), 70 Krasznai Pándy (ac), 105 Rákói Rakovszky (d1), 127 Somogyi Koroknay (e7), 142 Nagyidai Bornemissza (f6), 147 Skerlecz (fb), 148 Ary (fc), 179 Tótdiósi Feinnecker (11b), 205 Kolozsvári Literatus (135). [Victor Ispan, 08/2006, P-East] [JML: registered 03/2007]

EMBLAZON
see also EMBLAZON - Coloring Problems

[Per pale embattled barry purpure and Or and gules] The very careful alignment of the bars of the dexter field to the per pale embattled line of division is unlikely to be duplicated from this blazon; however, a compentent heraldic artist will create an emblazon that matches the above blazon and is heraldically equivalent to the submited emblazon. [Giudo di Niccolo Brunelleschi, 08/2005, A-Calontir]
[a dragon rampant, wings displayed] This device is returned for a redraw. At first glance this appears to be wyvern, not a dragon, as both forelegs and half the head are invisible due to their placement against the rest of the dragon. While no difference is granted between a wyvern and a dragon, they are still separate charges. On resubmission please advise the submitter that the head should not overlap the wing, nor should the forelegs lie entirely on the dragon's body. [Magdalene de Saint Benoit-sur-Loire, 12/2005, R-Outlands]
The submitter has been informed that it is the emblazon that is registered, not the blazon, but she still is unwilling to accept a blazon with denticulada in it. We ask the College to be certain to inform submitters that it is the emblazon that is registered and that the blazon armory is accepted under may be changed in the future. [Janina Krakowska, 02/2006, R-Atlantia]
[a shamrock per pale azure and vert] The shamrock is divided down the center, with a slight curve in the per pale division as it follows the curve of the shamrock's slip. This is an acceptable variation of per pale for charges such as this. [Rose Bailie Marsh, 05/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]
Blazoned on the LoI as incensed, incensed monsters normally have flames spouting from the mouth and ears. [Ysabeau Anais Roussot du Lioncourt, 06/2006, A-Caid]
From Wreath: OSCAR and Mini-Emblazons
This month a number of armory submissions have been returned as the mini-emblazon shown in OSCAR does not match the emblazon on the forms sent to the Laurel office. The Administrative Handbook section V.B.2.e requires "An accurate representation of each piece of submitted armory shall be included on the letter of intent. Such emblazons must be clearly labelled and large enough that all elements of the design may be clearly distinguished." We have consistently returned armory when the mini-emblazon has not matched the emblazon on the LoI.

Emblazons in OSCAR must still meet this requirement: they must be accurate representations of the emblazons sent to Laurel. Yes, there are scanner issues and tinctures may sometimes be in question (especially azure/purpure). However, the outlines must match.

At the July Wreath meeting it appeared that a significant number of emblazons were created by methods other than by scanning the form. In some cases the differences were minor; in other cases they were significant. In all cases they denied the commenters the opportunity to give reasoned opinions on the emblazon actually being registered. All such armory is being returned.

Submissions heralds, please resist the temptation to improve a questionable emblazon by "tweaking" it or cutting-and-pasting from another source of heraldic art. Even if the result is a marked improvement (and we concede it may well be), it's not what the client has submitted. As we register the emblazon, not the blazon, we need commentary on the drawing that will be in the files -- which means that drawing must match what's displayed in OSCAR. [07/2007 CL]
The raven's tail is distorted somewhat, due to the need to draw the charge as large as will fit in the available space; this was not uncommon for animate charges in heraldic art. Still, the bird has a raven's characteristic pointy beak, and the hairy feathers found in some German emblazons; it is certainly identifiable as a raven. [Branwen ferch Idris, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]

EMBLAZON - Coloring Problems

This badge is returned for redraw, or rather, re-coloring. A brown hippopotamus proper would be registerable. However, the emblazon was not brown -- it was an unblazonable combination of grey, brown, green, and white. As depicted, the hippo's coloration could not be described in a way that was reproducible -- and therefore, it cannot be registered, per RfS VII.7.b. [Sajah bint Habushun ibn Ishandiyar al-Hajjaji, 01/2006, R-Atlantia]
[a rapier argent] The sword was tinctured in a light shade of grey. While this isn't recommended for argent charges - for reasons which the color scan on OSCAR made clear - it is currently permitted. [Juan Santiago, 10/2007, A-West]
From Wreath: Computer Colorizing
An increasing number of submissions have been placed into OSCAR using color emblazons which are not scans of a colored emblazon; they are a scanned copy of the black-and-white emblazon which has been colorized using a paint program. Beginning at the March 2009 decision meeting, these items will be returned without consideration on their merits, regardless of any commentary on the item. Too many of these colorized emblazons are colored incorrectly and require pending, and, fundamentally, they are a violation of the Admin Handbook, section V.B.2.e which requires that there be "an accurate representation of each piece of submitted armory" on a Letter of Intent. We realize that there may be scanning and monitor issues that cause the colors not to match for all commenters, and will make allowances for this, but anything obviously re-colored will be returned.

Commenters should mention this as a possible issue, but otherwise comment fully, as it may be impossible to distinguish between colorized scans and scans of submission forms which were created using a color printer. Submissions heralds are encouraged to note which items on Letters of Intent were submitted using computer-colored emblazons on the paperwork. [04/2008 CL]

ERMINE SPOT
see also FUR

[Per saltire Or and sable, an ermine spot counterchanged] An ermine spot counterchanged on a per saltire field is the tincture of the dexter and sinister quarters, not the chief and base quarters. For conflict purposes, such an ermine spot is treated as a single tincture. In this case, Katharine's badge is equivalent to Per saltire Or and sable, an ermine spot sable. [Katharine Devereaux, 10/2006, R-Atlantia]
This device is returned for redrawing of the ermine spots. The ermine spots used in this spot appear to be taken from Friar's A Dictionary of Heraldry, but with no citations of period use. Whether or not this particular style of ermine spot is period, it is too visually similar to a fleur-de-lys for use in Society armory. [Isabella Pallini, 04/2007, R-Middle]
[on a chief sable five ermine spots argent] There is no heraldic difference between this chief and a chief counter-ermine, and we would normally blazon it as the latter; however, five is few enough that the number may be specified, if the submitter insists. [Alaina Frantzin von Wirtenberg, 01/2008, A-Calontir]

ESCARBUNCLE

There is a substantial (X.2) difference between a sun and an escarbuncle. [Derian le Breton, 07/2005, A-An Tir]
... at least a CD for the difference between a compass rose and an escarbuncle. [Christel Leake, 03/2007, A-Caid]
[An escarbuncle gyronny argent and azure] This must be returned for redesign: the spokes of the escarbuncle are divided along their long axes into two tinctures. This makes each tinctured section difficult to distinguish. In a similar case (Garbhan Kepler, April 2007), it was ruled:
[(Fieldless) A wagon wheel gyronny azure and argent] Gyronny is not a suitable division for a wagon wheel, as the spokes will generally be divided along their long axis into the two tinctures. This is not acceptable due to the resulting identifiability problems.
If gyronny is not a suitable division for a wagon wheel, which at least has a rim connecting the spokes, it is certainly not suitable for an escarbuncle. [Ruantallan, Barony of, 02/2008, R-East]

ESCUTCHEON

[an escutcheon vs. a nesselblatt] There are period depictions of nesselblatten that actually show them as escutcheons with added frou-frou. For example, see the arms of Holstein in Siebmacher, plate 7: the nesselblatt in the 3rd quarter is drawn as a regular escutcheon within and conjoined to three passion nails in pall and three "bird's tails" (for want of a better description) in pall inverted. Given this, we will grant significant difference (CD), but not a substantial (X.2) difference, between an escutcheon and a nesselblatt. [Christoph of Willaston, 12/2006, R-Meridies]

ESTOILE

There is a significant, but not substantial (X.2), difference between mullets of six greater and six lesser points and estoiles. [Aildreda de Tamworthe, 07/2006, R-East]
[a compass star] Unfortunately, this badge must be returned for multiple conflicts including ... a sun ..., with ... a sun of eight straight rays throughout ..., and ... an estoile of four straight and four rayonny voided rays ... In each case, there is ... nothing for changing the type of the primary charge. [Mateo de Merida, 11/2006, R-Ealdormere]

EWER

There was some commentary on whether the ewer was in trian aspect, which would be grounds for return. Given the irregularity of pottery handles in period (and in modern efforts with period materials) the slight trian aspect is acceptable. [Aber of Western Seas, 08/2007, A-Caid]

EYE

[human eyes argent, irised gules] The irises of the eyes touch the outer edges at two points only; for the purposes of contrast, they may be considered argent with red spots. The eyes thus have good contrast with the vert lozenges. [Rosalinda Gertrude Kesselheim, 10/2007, A-Atenveldt]
From Wreath: Eyes Proper
Human eyes are period heraldic charges: they're found in armory, in the arms of di Belugi, mid-15th Century (Stemmario Trivulziano, p.80), and in badges, the famous rebus of Islip being a well-known example (St. John-Hope, Heraldry for Craftsmen and Designers, p.189). The Society has gone so far as to define tinctures for an eye proper - which have not been widely understood or used. (In fact, the original definition of an eye proper, back in Jan 1973, used the wrong terminology for the ocular portions, mislabeling the iris as the pupil.) In the past, we've registered four armories with eyes proper - which didn't match one another, let alone the putative definition.

We hereby rule that that there is no proper tincture for eyes. We will no longer worry about tiny details such as the eyelashes (if present) or the pupil: those are considered unblazoned artistic details. The tinctures of the sclera (the "white" of the eye) and the iris may be specified in blazon; contrast against the field will be judged by the sclera's tincture.[11/2007 CL]

FEATHER

[a peacock feather vs. a feather] Laurel has ruled:
Antoine de Breton. Device reblazon. Quarterly gules and purpure, a feather bendwise Or.

The previous blazon, Quarterly gules and purpure, a peacock feather bendwise Or, did not accurately describe the type of feather. Precedent makes it clear that we distinguish between peacock feathers and regular feathers, to the point of having given difference between them, "[A default azure feather vs. a proper peacock plume] "There is one CVD...for the change in type of feather. The peacock plume...is quite distinct in shape, with a prominent 'eye'" (LoAR December 1990 p. 11). The feather in this submission is a normally shaped feather. [12/2003, A-Atenveldt]
The feather in Antonio's badge has the distinctive shape and the eye of a peacock's feather, thus there is a CD for changing the type of feather. [Antonio Alexandre Dias de Navarra, 11/2006, A-Meridies]

FER-A-LOUP

There is a ... CD for the difference between a crescent inverted and fer-a-loup. Both are period heraldic charges and, since we have no evidence that they were used interchangeably, there is a CD between the two. [Frederich Karl Kyburg, 04/2007, A-Trimaris]
The orientation for a fer-a-loup is determined by its line of symmetry, as with a crescent. [Frederich Karl Kyburg, 10/2007, A-Trimaris]

FESS and BAR

[a foot couped and in chief a bar] The submitter requested that the fess be blazoned as a bar as a cant on her name. Single diminutives of ordinaries aren't normally blazoned as such. Only if there are multiple diminutives (e.g. three bendlets) or if the charge is otherwise reduced in importance (e.g. a bendlet enhanced) would the diminutive term be used. Because of the cant -- and the enhanced nature of the fess -- we have blazoned it as a bar. [Emma Barfoot, 06/2005, A-Atlantia]
There is a blazonable distinction but no heraldic difference between a field with three bars and a barry field. Please advise the submitter that if she desires a barry field, the argent and azure traits should be the same width and there should be an equal number of each argent and azure trait. [Bethóc ingen Mael Féchín Fynletyr, 10/2005, A-Ealdormere]
[Azure, a maunch between on a chief argent three fleurs-de-lys azure and on a base argent a fleur-de-lys azure] This device is returned for non-period style. With the top and bottom of the shield the same color, and carrying the same charges, heraldic convention demands that this be blazoned Argent, on a fess between four fleurs-de-lys, three and one, azure a maunch argent. However, the "fess" is drawn so wide that it blurs the distinction between what heraldic custom dictates and what the eye sees. If the submitter wishes this basic design, it should be emblazoned such that the center portion of the shield is clearly a charged fess. If the submitter wishes to keep the maunch the primary charge, we'd suggest removing either the chief or the base (assuming no conflicts, of course). [Azemars Martel, 12/2005, R-Artemisia]
As discussed in Baldwin's tenure: "Gemel means 'coupled, paired, twin'; it is derived from Latin gemellus 'twin'. (Webster's Second) Two bars are thus 'a bar gemel', four bars are 'two bars gemels', and so forth. [BoE, 20 Oct 85, p.11]". We note that four bars would be evenly spaced, while two bars gemels would, as in this submission, have two bars close together, then a larger space, then two more bars close together. [Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen, 07/2006, A-Æthelmearc]
[a turtle fesswise vert between two bars wavy azure] The LoI questioned whether this submission is clear of ... Argent, a goutte de poix between two bars wavy azure. In both cases the central charge is the primary charge and the bars are secondary charges. [Anna Tarr, 03/2007, A-East]
[within a fess nowy voided] Registered in August 1982 with the blazon Vert, a garb of five stalks between a bar nowy and a bar counter-nowy Or, that blazon showed a misunderstanding of the term nowy. It means literally "knotted", but not in this case referring to braiding or tying; rather, a knot as in a knot of wood, a bulge or swelling. A fess nowy would be equivalent to a fess surmounted by a roundel; we have no evidence of fesses nowy in period, but in this case it's grandfathered to the submitter. [Antonia Martín de Castilla, 10/2007, A-Meridies]
The blazon didn't accurately describe the type and placement of the wall: as drawn here, it covers the entire bottom half of the shield, instead of being the visual equivalent of a fess embattled which is the default wall. We've amended the blazon to make the wall issuant from base. [Ziegfried Gunter von Wieselburg, 11/2007, A-Middle]
[Sable, three bars wavy and in chief an otter statant regardant argent] Blazoned on the LoI as Barry wavy argent and sable, on a chief wavy sable an otter statant regardant argent, the tinctures and repeated wavy lines give a stronger appearance of a plain black field with argent charges. The use of three bars with charges in chief is well attested in period armory: cf. the arms of Multon, c.1295, Sable, three bars and in chief three annulets argent (Humphery-Smith, Anglo-Norman Armory II, p.35); or, closer to this submission, the arms of Inglefield or Englefield, c.1510, Argent, three bars gules, in chief a lion passant azure (Chesshyre & Woodcock, Dictionary of British Arms, vol.1, p.68). [Alheydis von Riga, 02/2008, A-East]

FIELD DIVISION - Barry

There is a blazonable distinction but no heraldic difference between a field with three bars and a barry field. Please advise the submitter that if she desires a barry field, the argent and azure traits should be the same width and there should be an equal number of each argent and azure trait. [Bethóc ingen Mael Féchín Fynletyr, 10/2005, A-Ealdormere]
There is a substantial difference between barry and barry and per pale. [Melchior Hebenstreit, 03/2006, A-Outlands]
Baring evidence to the contrary, we will grant submitters the benefit of the doubt and will treat multiply divided fields/multiple ordinaries the same way we treat paly and three pallets. This applies to chevronelly/three chevrons, chevronlly inverted/three chevrons inverted, barry/three bars, bendy/three bends, and bendy sinister/three scarpes. That is, the two blazons are interchangeable as are the corresponding emblazons. [Deanna della Penna, 02/2007, A-Ansteorra]
[Sable, three bars wavy and in chief an otter statant regardant argent] Blazoned on the LoI as Barry wavy argent and sable, on a chief wavy sable an otter statant regardant argent, the tinctures and repeated wavy lines give a stronger appearance of a plain black field with argent charges. The use of three bars with charges in chief is well attested in period armory: cf. the arms of Multon, c.1295, Sable, three bars and in chief three annulets argent (Humphery-Smith, Anglo-Norman Armory II, p.35); or, closer to this submission, the arms of Inglefield or Englefield, c.1510, Argent, three bars gules, in chief a lion passant azure (Chesshyre & Woodcock, Dictionary of British Arms, vol.1, p.68). [Alheydis von Riga, 02/2008, A-East]

FIELD DIVISION - Bendy and Bendy Sinister

[pily bendy] The field is incorrectly drawn. As Brachet notes, "The real problem here is that "pily bendy" is actually just an extreme form of "per bend sinister indented." As such, the underlying per bend sinister line should not pass to the corner of the shield under the chief, but should pass to the sinister chief corner of the portion of the field not covered by the chief." In addition, the piles should extend throughout. The majority of the piles on the submitted emblazon did not reach the opposite edge of the field. [Marcus Dundee the Brewer, 06/2005, R-Ansteorra]
[Bendy sinister sable and gules] This is clear of Laetitia of Blackthorn, Sable, two scarpes gules fimbriated Or. Armory with three or more bendlets is equivalent to a bendy field. As Laetitia's device has only two bendlets, it is not equivalent to the field. John's device is clear of Laetitia's by RfS X.1, the removal of primary charges. Normally there would be a visual conflict between Bendy sininster X and Y and X, two scarpes Y; however, the fimbriation in this case is wide enough (each is half the width of the scarpe) to remove the visual conflict. [John FitzArnulf de Lithia, 09/2005, A-East]
[Bendy sinister Or and sable estencely Or, a winged lion rampant argent] This device could have been blazoned as Or, three scarpes sable estencely Or, overall a winged lion rampant argent; but that would have contrast problems between the overall argent lion and the Or field. While you can't blazon yourself out of a conflict, you can blazon your way out of style problems. There is no heraldic difference between Or, three scarpes sable estencelly and Bendy sinister Or and sable estencely Or. Laurel has previously noted:
[Purpure, three palets Or, overall two flaunches] We were tempted to blazon this as Paly purpure and Or, two flaunches That's the visual effect of the traits' regular widths and the overall charges. There are instances of period arms blazoned and emblazoned, interchangeably, as paly and three palets: cf. the armory of Valoines found in Foster, p.196. Certainly, we grant no heraldic difference between the two renditions. The above blazon does more accurately describe the submitted emblazon, however. (Eleonora Vittoria Alberti di Calabria, December, 1992, pg. 8)
Baring evidence to the contrary, we will grant submitters the benefit of the doubt and will treat multiply divided fields/multiple ordinaries the same way we treat paly and three pallets. This applies to chevronelly/three chevrons, chevronlly inverted/three chevrons inverted, barry/three bars, bendy/three bends, and bendy sinister/three scarpes. That is, the two blazons are interchangeable as are the corresponding emblazons. As such, this submission can be blazoned as Bendy sinister Or and sable estencely Or, a winged lion rampant argent. As a neutral field, there is no longer a contrast problem between the lion and the field. [Deanna della Penna, 02/2007, A-Ansteorra]
[Bendy sinister of six argent and gules, ... and in canton a rose argent] There was some discussion whether or not the placement of the rose (and the fact that there was a single rose) should be grounds for return. There is period evidence of a multiply divided field with a charge on a single division of that field: the arms of de Cataniis de Modoesta, Paly Or and gules, on the third trait an eagle displayed sable, or of di Cazoli, Barry azure and Or, on the second trait a lion passant azure maintaining an iron rod with a lamp hanging at either end sable flammant gules (Stemmario Trivulziano, pp.88, 108). Having a bendy or bendy sinister field with a single trait charged seems a reasonable extension of period practice. [William Fetherstan, 09/2007, R-West]
[Purpure, four bendlets enhanced and in bend two lions Or] Bendlets enhanced may be validly depicted either (greatly) enhanced, as on this submission, or merely enhanced, such that the lower edge of the lowest bendlet lies along the per bend line. As such, a device featuring more than two bendlets enhanced is functionally equivalent to a per bend bendy field division. The submitted device is equivalent to Per bend bendy purpure and Or and purpure, in bend two lions Or. [Giovanna Elisabetta Cellini, 07/2008, R-Æthelmearc

FIELD DIVISION - Chapé and Chaussé
see also PILE and PILE INVERTED

By long standing precedent, chaussé fields can alternatively be blazoned as having a pile, and both forms must be considered for conflict. [Ceara inghean Lasair, 01/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
[Or chaussé azure, a chevron counterchanged] This device is returned for a redraw; the chevron cannot be counterchanged over the chaussé portion of the field. While you can blazon your way out of a style problem, this particular emblazon cannot be reblazoned as a pile because it issues from the corners of the chief. A correctly drawn field with a pile would allow the chevron to be counterchanged. [Agmund Stoltefoth, 03/2007, R-Drachenwald]
There was some discussion in the commentary about whether this should be blazoned as a per chevron field, or whether it would be more accurately blazoned as Argent, on a pile inverted throughout azure between two sheaves of arrows sable, a stag at gaze argent. Most of the discussion centered on the width of the per chevron angle. We note that earlier period heraldry tended to draw the per chevron field more narrowly than later in period: the angle of the point more acute, and extending further to chief. (It could be considered to trisect, not bisect, the field.) Thus, for example, the arms of von Ortenburg, c. 1413 (Conzilium zu Constenz, folio clxiiii), showed a per chevron field very similar to the one in this submission. Moreover, the presence of three charges two and one on either side of the division strongly reinforces the impression of a per chevron field - and would do so, regardless of the angle of the point. A lone pile inverted was rare enough in heraldry, and when it appeared, tended to be uncharged; in other words, the lower portion of the shield would be uncharged. A chapé field division would never have the upper portions of the field charged. When the upper and lower portions are charged, then, this must (absent of other clues such as cotising) be a per chevron field. [Rorik smiðr, 10/2007, A-Atlantia]

FIELD DIVISION - Checky

Pily bendy is substantially different from gridlike partitions such as lozengy and checky. It was argued that since pily bendy is not listed under RfS X.4.a.ii that it must have at most a CD from other partitions. It would be nearly impossible to list all possible types of partitions in this rule. As in other cases (e.g., checky vs. party of six, q.v. Jeanne Marie Lacroix, 3/02) where one or both partitions are not included in the list, a decision must be made on a case-by-case basis. [Beatrix von Leipzig, 04/2006, A-Atlantia]
This device submission is representative of a common problem with checky fields and charges - the emblazons on the submitted forms do not match. The chief on one copy is checky Or and vert (which matches the blazon on the LoI) and on the other copy it is vert and Or (which matches the blazon on the form). While there is no heraldic difference between these, in the past Laurel has often enforced the blazonable difference between them.

We have excellent examples of roughly contemporary rolls, from the late 14th through late 15th centuries; Armorial Bellenville, Armorial Gelre, the Grand Armorial Equestre de la Toison d'Or, and the Scots Roll. These rolls are available in editions providing photographs of the extant rolls (three in color and one in black and white), so we can be certain of the order of these checky tinctures. These four rolls all include Scots armory using blue and white checky fesses. Various Stewarts bear this fess on an Or field, and various Lindsays bear it on a gules field. So, these rolls are not only contemporary, but provide the arms of closely related members of the same families.

The first two of these rolls show all the blue and white checky fesses in the roll as checky azure and argent, the second two show all these fesses with the tinctures reversed, checky argent and azure. It thus appears that the order of the checky depends on the artist's preference. It does not seem to depend either on the particular family represented, or on the question of whether the fess is on a metal or a color field.

It seems reasonable to extrapolate from checky fesses to other uses of checky. In some other checky elements, such as chevrons, it is difficult to determine which is the "first" tincture. This is not ambiguous in a checky fess. We thus explicitly rule at this time that checky fields and charges may be drawn with either tincture in the dexter chief corner (the position that has determined the first tincture blazoned). In this case we have retained the blazon that appeared on the submission form. Our thanks to Black Stag for providing this research. [Talbot of Galtris, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
[Paly purpure and argent, a fess counterchanged] This device is returned for conflict with ...Checky argent and purpure, a chief embattled sable. The submitted device is equivalent to Checky purpure and argent, as the combination of three vertical divisions and several horizontal divisions closely resembles a typical depiction of checky. Thus there is a single CD for removing the chief. [Ardovino Dragonetti, 07/2006, R-Calontir]

FIELD DIVISION - Chevronelly

Baring evidence to the contrary, we will grant submitters the benefit of the doubt and will treat multiply divided fields/multiple ordinaries the same way we treat paly and three pallets. This applies to chevronelly/three chevrons, chevronlly inverted/three chevrons inverted, barry/three bars, bendy/three bends, and bendy sinister/three scarpes. That is, the two blazons are interchangeable as are the corresponding emblazons. [Deanna della Penna, 02/2007, A-Ansteorra]
[Per pale vert and sable, three chevronels ermine] There was considerable discussion over whether or not this device conflicts with the device for John le Burguillun, Ermine, three chevronels wavy vert. When both pieces of armory are considered as <field> + chevronels, these are clear with a CD for changes to the field, a CD for changing the style of the partition lines on the chevronels, and a third CD for the tincture of the chevronels. However, as previously noted (v., February 2007 LoAR), A, three chevronels B is interchangeable with Chevronelly A and B. When Vasilii's device and John's device are reblazoned as field-only armory - as Chevronelly ermine and per pale vert and sable and Chevronelly wavy ermine and vert, respectively - it is less clear whether they are sufficiently different. This was the source of the discussion in commentary.

Comparing Chevronelly wavy ermine and vert with Chevronelly ermine and per pale vert and sable, there is a definite CD for changing the line of division from wavy to plain. There is not a CD for changing the tincture, as only a quarter of the tincture has changed (from vert to vert and sable). Thus, conflict depends on whether or not there is a CD for the number of pieces of the field, which seems impossible to count while ignoring the change of tincture.

Fortunately, the question has become moot for the moment: John has graciously granted permission to Vasilii to conflict with his device. We feel the issue will come forward again, however, and we would like the College to consider whether it's reasonable to count a CD for number of field pieces even when the added tincture of the extra pieces is worth no difference. [Vasilii Volchogo Zuba syn, 04/2007, A-Middle]

FIELD DIVISION - Gyronny

By precedent, "Gyronny of six more properly has a division per fess, with the upper and lower halves divided into thirds" (Wilhelm von Schlüssel, LoAR 25 November 1982). This field division is Per pale and per saltire. [Fiona inghean Léid, 05/2005, A-Æthelmearc]
From Wreath: Gyronny Arrondi
The question was raised this month on what is the appropriate way to draw gyronny arrondi. Since at least 1992 precedent has required gyronny to be symmetric around the horizontal line: Gyronny of ten is symmetric around the horizontal line, not the vertical line. (Iestyn ap Cadfael ap Ianto ap Danno ap Richard ap Owen ap Rhys o'r Cwm, September, 1992, pg. 33) A more recent precedent states:
Gyronny should always be drawn with one of its constituent lines fesswise. With straight lines, one can blazon a field like this one as per pale and per saltire, but this is not possible when the lines are arrondy. This design has been returned for redrawing in the LoAR of September 1996:
[Gyronny arrondi of six argent and gules] This is being returned for a redraw. As Master Bruce as Laurel said in his 3/93 cover letter "Parker, p.301, states that gyronny of six should be symmetric around the horizontal axis, not the vertical axis; and this is borne out by such period examples as I've been able to uncover."
[Dofinn-Hallr Morrisson, 02/03, R-East]
However, in October 2004 Laurel registered to Garðr Gunnarsson Gyronny arrondi argent and sable, a roundel within an orle Or with the comment "We have an example from an armorial of period Swedish devices showing a gyronny arrondi field similar to this, though standard SCA practice has appropriate lines of division issuing from the corners." Garðr's device does not have the line of division starting in the corner, nor is it symmetrical around the horizontal axis.

Gunnvör sílfrahárr, the Viking Answer Lady, discusses gyronny arrondi (http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/vikheraldry.htm), stating:
As suggested above, the SCA herald expects that a gyronny will have a line of division on the fess-line of the device. The gyronni arrondi shown here does not have a line of division running on the fess-line (a fess-line bisects the shield via a straight line run across the middle, dividing the field into top and bottom halves). Early Norwegian heraldry, however, does use the version shown here, as early as the 14th century: see the arms of Erling Amundsson in 1303, in: Huitfeldt-Kass, Henrik Jørgen, Norske Sigiller fra Middelalderen, 8 vols. Kristiania/Oslo: 1899-1950, entry 30, p.3 and plate 8]. Nine years later he sealed with a similar gyronny arrondy of six (see entry 62 in Norske Sigiller, above): the lines curve in the same direction (clockwise moving out from the centre), and each of the three corners of the shield is approximately in the centre of a piece. (Number the pieces of Invarr's field 1 through 8, starting in dexter chief and going counterclockwise. The pieces of Erling's 1312 seal correspond roughly to 1, 2+3, 4+5, 6, 7, and 8, in alternating tinctures.) Here again there is no line that closely follows the per fess line.

Another item to consider is that gyronny is almost never charged at the center point in period heraldry, and never in Norske Sigiller fra Middelalderen. Some examples of charged gyronny fields are found elsewhere in the SCA's period, for instance Edward Vaughan (1509-1522) had "Gyronny of eight argent and sable, four fleur-de-lys counterchanged; on a saltire Or, five cinquefoils gules".
Given this information, gyronny arrondi may be drawn so that the corners of the shield are in the center of a gyron rather than having the line of division issue from the corner. This emblazon of gyronny arrondi has no heraldic difference from the standard gyronny arrondi or from gyronny. The use of a central charge on a field drawn in this manner is one step from period practice. [07/2005 CL]
... nor is there a difference between gyronny and gyronny arrondi. [JML: comparing two fields] [Ingvarr Halvarson, 07/2005, R-Outlands]
[Gyronny Or and azure, an eagle displayed argent within a bordure engrailed counterchanged] This is at the edge of acceptability. While a bordure can be counterchanged over a gyronny field, the use of a complex line of division reduces its identifiability and will be registerable on a case-by-case basis. In this case the engrailings are boldly drawn and there is only a single primary charge, so it is registerable. [Primus Gavius Falconius Britannicus, 09/2005, A-Atlantia]
[a gyron issuant from sinister base] This device is returned as we were unable to derive a blazon that would adequately specify which gyron was meant. As far as we could determine, in period heraldic tracts a single gyron always referred to the one in dexter chief that has one edge fesswise and one edge bendwise. Barring evidence that other gyrons were used in period heraldry, this is the only registerable gyron. [Bertrand Valois, 07/2006, R-East] [JML: Note documentation for two gyrons presented later (Genefe Wizsilberlin, 12/2007, A-Caid) and registered as a field Per bend and per fess; see FIELD DIVISION - Miscellaneous for the complete discussion.]
While in the past a CD has been granted for quarterly versus quarterly arrondi (q.v. Br{o,}ndólfr the Stout, 03/03, A-Middle), there is no difference between gyronny and gyronny arrondi (q.v. Ingvarr Halvarson, 07/05, R-Outlands). The 2003 ruling was not clear whether it applied only to quarterly arrondi or to all arrondi fields. At this time we are explicitly ruling that there is not a CD between gyronny and gyronny arrondi. [Reyna Thorne, 08/2006, R-Northshield]
[Gyronny sable and argent, a cross formy counterchanged] This device is returned as the counterchanging makes it too difficult to identify the primary charge. Precedent notes that, in general, charges should not be counterchanged over a gyronny fields. In some cases, a single, simple charge (such as a lozenge) has been ruled simple enough for such counterchanging (q.v., John Michael Midwinter, 10/00, A-Atenveldt]. However, Laurel has previously ruled that a saltire cannot be counterchanged over a gyronny field:
[Gyronny vert and Or, a saltire counterchanged] The combination of the gyronny field and the saltire is very visually confusing. Each arm of the saltire is counterchanged along its long axis, which generally hampers identifiability. Because each piece of the counterchanged saltire is similar in size to the pieces of the gyronny field which show between the arms of the saltire, it is difficult to distinguish which parts of the emblazon belong to the charge, and which belong to the field. This design also does not appear to be period style. Absent documentation for the design of a cross or saltire, as an ordinary, counterchanged on a gyronny field in period, this must be returned. [Wilhelm von Düsseldorf, 01/02, R-West]
In this case, the lines of division almost line up with the angles of the cross's arms. This further adds to the apparent complexity of the design and hinders the identification of the cross. [Maximillian Johann von Kleve, 02/2007, R-Calontir]
This is returned for dividing a charge into gyronny of sixteen. It has previously been ruled that "In Society heraldry, while fields may be gyronny of as many as 12, charges may be gyronny of no more than 8. (LoAR of 22 March 83) (Katrine Vanora of Maidstone, October, 1992, pg. 26)". Later precedent allows fields of gyronny of sixteen; from the June 1999 LoAR:
Padric O Mullan. Device. Gyronny of sixteen gules and Or, a Celtic cross azure. The question was raised regarding whether gyronny of sixteen is period, and whether it can be used in the SCA. Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials, cites an instance from the 12th century, and Martin Schrot's Wappenbuch, a German heraldic treatise shows a 16th century example. Additionally, the LoI mentions a 13th century example. Given this, we will register Gyronny of sixteen in simple cases, but nothing more, barring period evidence.
Barring similar evidence for charges divided gyronny of sixteen, they remain unregisterable. [Edborough Kellie, 04/2007, R-Caid]
[Gyronny ... a chief] This device is returned for a redraw of the gyronny. As al-Jamal notes: "Chiefs on divided fields are really treated as an extension of the shield; they do not overlie the underlying field divisions like in the emblazon here". [Kilian the Black, 05/2007, R-Meridies]
Submitted on the LoI as Gyronny arrondi, the dividing lines don't issue from the top corners of the field, as gyronny (arrondi or not) normally would -- but do issue from the bottom corner of the field. At the top, they're also not centered on the corners, as is permitted as a variant form of gyronny arrondi in the Society (as of the LoAR of July 2005). Finally, the gyrons aren't of equal width, with the result that this is less a field division than it is the Society's cross arrondi, first registered Feb 1998. Yet it can't be that, either, as the crosses which are our basis for the cross arrondi -- found on some of the shields depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry -- have limbs of constant width, not expanding width as shown here. The multiple anomalies of the depiction, and the impossibility of accurately blazoning it, require this to be returned.

We note that, had this been drawn as gyronny arrondi with the gyrons centered on the corners, the addition of the charge overall would be a step from period practice. If this was intended to be the usual gyronny arrondi, please inform the submitter that the bordure should abut the edge of the field, not lie over it: in other words, the lines should issue from the corners of the visible field, not the escutcheon (shield). [Úrsúla Þorbjargardóttir, 09/2007, R-West]
[Per bend gules and argent, a pile bendwise inverted throughout counterchanged] This device was registered in September 1971 with the blazon Gyronny of four from dexter chief gules and argent. We have no examples of either Gyronny of four or Gyronny (of any number) issuant from the edge of the field in period armory; we might, in a pinch, accept the latter, but not the former, and certainly not both. This arrangement is visually a pile issuant from sinister base and counterchanged, and we have so reblazoned it. [Roy des Cascades, 02/2008, A-West]

FIELD DIVISION - Miscellaneous

[pily bendy] The field is incorrectly drawn. As Brachet notes, "The real problem here is that "pily bendy" is actually just an extreme form of "per bend sinister indented." As such, the underlying per bend sinister line should not pass to the corner of the shield under the chief, but should pass to the sinister chief corner of the portion of the field not covered by the chief." In addition, the piles should extend throughout. The majority of the piles on the submitted emblazon did not reach the opposite edge of the field. [Marcus Dundee the Brewer, 06/2005, R-Ansteorra]
[plummetty argent and azure vs. vair] Woodward in A Treatise on Heraldry - British and Foreign (pp. 71-72) states
Two curious forms of Vair occasionally met with in Italian or French coats are known as 'Plumeté' and 'Papelonné'. In Plumeté the field is apparently covered with feathers. Plumeté d'argent et d'azur, is the coat of CEBA (note that these are the tinctures of Vair). SOLDONIERI of Udine, Plumeté au naturel (but the SOLDONIERI of Florence bore: Vairé argent and sable with a bordure chequy or and azure, TENREMONDE of Brabant: Plumeté or and sable (Plate VIII., fig. 7.) In the arms of the SCALTENIGHI of Padua; the BENZONI of Milan, the GIOLFINI, CATANEI, and NUOVOLONI of Veroni, each feather of the plumeté is said to be charged with an ermine spot sable.
Given the discussion above, and the examples of the Solonieri family, vair and plumetty are clearly related to one another. It is unclear with the evidence at hand whether vair and plumetty are artisticallly interchangeable. Giving the submitter the benefit of the doubt and granting that the two are not artistically interchangeable, there's still the question of whether the difference between them is sufficient for a CD under RfS X.4.a (significantly changing the style of the partition of the line).

Given Woodward's suggestion that the plumetty field is a form of vair; and given the wide variation in the depiction of vair in period, along with the fact that the internal markings of plumetty are worth no more than diapering we unfortunately must conclude that vair and plumetty are too similar for a CD. They lack the significant change in field partition required by RfS X.4.a for a CD. [Ilona von Neunhoff, 08/2005, R-Atenveldt]
Pily bendy is substantially different from gridlike partitions such as lozengy and checky. It was argued that since pily bendy is not listed under RfS X.4.a.ii that it must have at most a CD from other partitions. It would be nearly impossible to list all possible types of partitions in this rule. As in other cases (e.g., checky vs. party of six, q.v. Jeanne Marie Lacroix, 3/02) where one or both partitions are not included in the list, a decision must be made on a case-by-case basis. [Beatrix von Leipzig, 04/2006, A-Atlantia]
[Plumetty Or and sable vs. Masculy sable and Or] There is no CD for changes to the field as both fields consist of sable and Or lozenge shapes (in the same arrangement). [Uther von Gotland, 04/2006, R-Meridies]
Eastern Crown noted:
The motif of "per fess, the bottom portion per pile inverted throughout" can be seen in several period Hungarian grants, dating from 1558, 1600, and 1601. (The last is a variation on the first: the recipient's name is identical, and both grants have a pelican above and three fleurs-de-lys below, but there are some tincture differences--including an argent pelican on Or in the later device.) See http://www.arcanum.hu/mol/lpext.dll/mol_cimer/1/c7, http://www.arcanum.hu/mol/lpext.dll/mol_cimer/1/13c, and http://www.arcanum.hu/mol/lpext.dll/mol_cimer/1/13e.
We note that purpure appears to be vanishingly rare in Hungarian armory, thus this cannot be termed typical Hungarian armory -- but it is registerable. We have chosen to blazon the field as Per fess Or and per chevron throughout purpure and Or to avoid confusion over whether or not the pile inverted was complete. [Szöke Ersébet, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
[Per saltire vs. Per pall] Situations where one or both fields are not explicitly listed in X.4.a.ii.a are determined on a case by case basis, as noted in the April 2006 LoAR - while per pall is not mentioned in this rule, we here rule that per saltire is substantially different from per pall, which means that these two do not conflict. [Brianna Wulfbeald, 05/2006, R-An Tir]
[Lozengy argent and vert, on a chief indented] While lining up the indentations of the chief with the lozenges is not the only way to draw an indented chief on a lozengy field, it is definitely a common, and valid, depiction. [Valentina Barrow, 09/2007, A-East]
[Per bend and per fess] Batonvert commented:
Several of the late-period heraldic tracts mention two gyrons arranged as here: Legh's Accedens of Armory, fo.86, de Bara's Blason des Armoiries, p.32, and Guillim's Display of Heraldrie, p.81. All of them agree that's enough to blazon this as two gyrons, with no other qualifiers (such as in bend) needed. So this could be Vert, two gyrons between a wolf's head erased and an oak leaf bendwise argent. However, since we would inevitably ask after the placement of the gyrons, the submitted blazon is probably better.
In the SCA this is treated as a field, not as a field with charges. To avoid confusion, both in the placement of the gyrons and whether or not they are charges, we have retained the submitted blazon, per bend and per fess. [Genefe Wizsilberlin, 12/2007, A-Caid]

FIELD DIVISION - Paly

[Paly purpure and argent, a fess counterchanged] This device is returned for conflict with ... Checky argent and purpure, a chief embattled sable. The submitted device is equivalent to Checky purpure and argent, as the combination of three vertical divisions and several horizontal divisions closely resembles a typical depiction of checky. Thus there is a single CD for removing the chief. [Ardovino Dragonetti, 07/2006, R-Calontir]
[Per fess azure and gules, a dragon couchant and two demi-pallets issuant from the line of division Or] In the case of Deanna della Penna (February 2007), it was ruled that paly and three pallets are interchangeable blazons, and no difference is granted between them. This was based on period examples of the same arms (e.g. Aragon) depicted both ways. However, we have no period examples of any armory with two pallets being also depicted as paly; that distinction is still made in blazon, and is still worth difference. This submission, therefore, cannot be legitimately reblazoned as Per fess azure and paly gules and Or, in chief a dragon couchant Or; and it therefore does not conflict with such armories as ... Per chevron azure and gules, in base a dragon couchant Or. [Alsinda de Rochabaron, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]

FIELD DIVISION - Per Bend and Per Bend Sinister

The field is incorrectly drawn. As Brachet notes, "The real problem here is that "pily bendy" is actually just an extreme form of "per bend sinister indented." As such, the underlying per bend sinister line should not pass to the corner of the shield under the chief, but should pass to the sinister chief corner of the portion of the field not covered by the chief." In addition, the piles should extend throughout. The majority of the piles on the submitted emblazon did not reach the opposite edge of the field. [Marcus Dundee the Brewer, 06/2005, R-Ansteorra]
... the per bend sinister line should intersect the corner of the chief; it shoulds not be overlaid by the chief. [Gamel of Mottrum, 08/2005, A-Caid]
This is returned for using two dissimilar charges on a field bevilled. As precedent states:
Even the documented per bend bevilled cannot, by Laurel precedent, be used with dissimilar charges. Legh, Accidences [sic] of Armory (1586), asserts that the field should not be charged at all. We have, as one step beyond period practice, allowed the field to be used with a single type of simple charge. The submitted device, however, would be at least two steps beyond period practice. [Béla Kós, 02/01, R-Outlands]
[Lidia de Ragusa, 11/2005, R-Atlantia]
[Per bend argent and azure, two bendlets azure and three mullets of six points Or] Blazoned as in bend on the LoI, the mullets are not really in bend; however, they are drawn offset in an attempt to fill the space. Precedent states:
[in base three millrinds two and one] The millrinds' arrangement was not originally explicitly blazoned on the LoI, but it was blazoned on the form. On a shield shape three charges in base will be two and one by default, but this is not necessarily the case on other shapes, such as a rectangular banner. Since the submitter explicitly blazoned the charges in base as two and one, we have reinstated this term. If the submitter would prefer to have this left as a matter of artist's licence, she may request a reblazon. [Áine Sindradóttir, 10/02, A-Atlantia]
Similarly in this case, the placement of the charges on the azure portion of the field will vary depending on the shape the device is displayed on. As the submitter did not blazon the position of the charges, and as they fall between in bend and two and one, we are leaving the exact placement as a matter of artistic license. [Brian Sigfridsson von Niedersachsen, 12/2005, A-Atenveldt]
A field with three bendlets must also be conflict checked as if it were a bendy field. [Matillis atte Hethe, 01/2007, P-An Tir]
This device is returned for redraw of the line of division. When a chief is present, the per bend sinister line should issue from the corner where the chief meets the field, not the corner of the shield as in this depiction. [David de Brygenhall, 02/2007, R-Calontir]
We therefore confirm and expand our current definition: A field division engrailed has the points to the "honorable" part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister engrailed have the points to chief, while Per pale engrailed now has the points to dexter. A field division invected has the points to the less honorable part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister invected have the points to base, and Per pale invected has the points to sinister. [03/2007 CL]
When engrailed, a per bend field division has its points facing to chief. [Constance Sayer, 03/2007, A-Ansteorra]

FIELD DIVISION - Per Chevron and Per Chevron Inverted

[Sable, on a pile azure fimbriated between two step-cut gemstones palewise a step-cut gemstone palewise pendent from a necklace of beads argent] This is returned for a redraw as the multiple problems push it past the limits of registerability. The pile is drawn too wide and too shallow, leading to the appearance of a per chevron inverted field. The argent line is too narrow to be a chevron inverted and a field division cannot be fimbriated. A properly drawn pile may be fimbriated. Whether a per chevron inverted field or a charged pile, the charges are not in the expected locations. The gemstones should not be arranged in fess; the most applicable description of their arrangement should be one and two. [Giuliana Maria di Grazia, 07/2005, R-An Tir]
Nor is there a CD between a field per chevron and a field per chevron ployé. [Myfanwy Afrwydd, 07/2005, R-Meridies]
[Per chevron ployé purpure and argent, a mullet of eight points issuant from the point argent] This is returned for conflict. Commenters questioned whether or not this was a valid, period design and, if it was, how would it be considered for conflict checking purposes.

There are many period examples of lines of division (not just per chevron) being "mutated" to form charges. We tend to blazon them as "charges issuant from the line of division".

All of the following examples are from Siebmacher, 1605:
  • plate 24: Rumpff (second quartering), Per bend Or and sable, issuant from the line of division a trefoil bendwise sinister and another inverted counterchanged.
  • plate 81: von Hermbsdorf, Per fess engrailed of two argent and gules, issuant from the point a leaf gules.
  • plate 85: die Feur von Au, Per chevron inverted ployé argent and gules, issuant from the point a trefoil inverted argent.
This submission follows these examples and is period in design. If there were multiple charges issuant from the line of division, such as fleury-counter-fleury (with demi-fleurs-de-lys issuant in alternating directions from a straight line), this would be a complex line of division. With a single charge issuant from the line of division, this is treated as a charge. We grant no difference between Per chevron, issuant from the point a charge and Per chevron, in chief a charge.

Thus this conflicts with Ulrich Drachendonner Tierced in pall azure, gules and sable, in chief a compass star argent. There is one CD for changes to the field. There is no difference between a compass star and a mullet of eight points, nor is there a difference for the location of the charge. [Katrine van Deventer, 09/2005, R-Outlands]
There is no difference in comparing per chevron to per chevron throughout ... [Dessa Demidova Zabolotskaia, 10/2005, R-Calontir]
[Per chevron throughout argent and sable, two ravens addorsed and a pegasus segreant counterchanged] This is returned for multiple conflicts. It conflicts with Brann Morgan Dunmore, Argent, upon a pile inverted throughout, between two ravens sable, a tower argent. This was mistakenly ruled clear when it was pended, with Wreath granting a CD for changing the orientation of half the secondaries and another for changing the type of tertiary per X.4.j.ii. However, both pieces of armory must be conflict checked as per chevron field divisions as well as piles inverted. Considering Brann's device as Per chevron throughout argent and sable, two ravens and a tower counterchanged, the conflict is more apparent - there is a CD for changing the bottommost of three charges but there is nothing for changing the orientation of only one or three charges. Had this been the only conflict, it is likely it would have been registered since the Letter of Pends and Discussions explicitly ruled it clear. However, the submitted device also conflicts with Tangwystl Tyriau Gleision, Per chevron argent and sable, two towers and a horse rampant counterchanged. A horse is significantly different (a CD) from a pegasus, but not substantially (X.2) different. Therefore RfS X.2 (complete change of primary charges) does not apply and there is only a single CD for changing the type of primary charges. [Freydis Orkneyska, 04/2006, R-Drachenwald]
Blazoned on the LoI as Per chevron throughout Or and sable, two ravens addorsed and a pegasus segreant counterchanged, this was pended to correct the tinctures of the field and the pegasus. At that time Wreath reblazoned the device as Argent, on a pile inverted throughout between two ravens addorsed sable a pegasus segreant argent stating "Given the relative sizes of the charges, this is more accurately blazoned as a pile inverted.". As was pointed out in commentary, we routinely blazon this arrangement as per chevron throughout regardless of the relative sizes of the charges. This is one reason that such designs must be conflict checked under both interpretations. We are therefore restoring the original blazon. [Freydis Orkneyska, 04/2006, R-Drachenwald]
From Wreath: Concerning Chevrons and Per Chevron Fields
We've had a number of submissions recently, using either a chevron or a per chevron field, with three charges in the area above the chevron line. Sometimes these three charges have been one and two; sometimes they've been in fess. The question has naturally arisen as to which of these is the default placement for three charges in that sort of design.

The fact is that neither placement is particularly good heraldic style. Neither of them fills the space available for the charges. The area above a chevron line is best suited for two charges, with the space below the line for a third charge. Two and one is the default placement for three charges for good reason: that placement best fills the heater shape that is the standard medium for heraldic display. Anything else, almost by definition, is sub-optimal. It's true that there are rare period examples (very rare) of three charges above a chevron line: e.g., the arms of Robert Pakington (Collins' Roll, c.1295), Per chevron sable and argent, in chief three pierced mullets argent (Anglo-Norman Armory II, p.498). In those cases, the charges are arranged in fess, not one and two. That will be considered the SCA default for three charges above a chevron line. But it remains likewise true that such a design is poor style by period standards: its rarity, its difficulty in blazoning, and the fact that it does not efficiently use the space available for the charges, are all evidence of this.

Whether or not there's a CD for arranging three charges in fess or in chevron above a chevron or the upper portion of a Per chevron field will be worked out over time, as the cases come before us. In many instances, e.g. using long charges, this difference is nearly impossible to discern and thus not worth a CD. [09/2006 CL]
[Per chevron indented] The emblazon shows the indents at right angles, so that the line of division looks like a staircase. Several commenters suggested that this should be returned, as the indents should be acute angles, not right angles. This is a valid depiction of an indented line of division .... [Randall Clark, 11/2006, A-Northshield]
[(Fieldless) A tree blasted and eradicated per chevron argent and sable] This badge must be returned as, at any distance, the line of division appears to be per fess rather than per chevron. Precedent states:
[A sword per chevron] "A long skinny charge may not be divided per chevron in this manner. The line of division is not identifiable, thus falling afoul of RfS VII.7.a." (5/92 p.24).
This precedent dealt with a fieldless badge. On a field divided per chevron, it is possible to tell the line of division because of the field; on a fieldless badge there is no other indication the line of division is angled rather than horizontal. A long skinny object, which includes a tree trunk, may not be divided per chevron on a fieldless badge. [Besseta Wallace, 02/2007, R-Meridies]
We therefore confirm and expand our current definition: A field division engrailed has the points to the "honorable" part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister engrailed have the points to chief, while Per pale engrailed now has the points to dexter. A field division invected has the points to the less honorable part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister invected have the points to base, and Per pale invected has the points to sinister. [03/2007 CL]
While the per chevron line is a bit low, given the fact that there are three identical charges two and one, it is an acceptable depiction. If the bottommost charge had been different (for example, a mullet), this would have most likely have been returned for blurring the distinction between a per chevron field and a point pointed. [Dísa í Birkilundi, 09/2007, A-An Tir]
There was some discussion in the commentary about whether this should be blazoned as a per chevron field, or whether it would be more accurately blazoned as Argent, on a pile inverted throughout azure between two sheaves of arrows sable, a stag at gaze argent. Most of the discussion centered on the width of the per chevron angle. We note that earlier period heraldry tended to draw the per chevron field more narrowly than later in period: the angle of the point more acute, and extending further to chief. (It could be considered to trisect, not bisect, the field.) Thus, for example, the arms of von Ortenburg, c. 1413 (Conzilium zu Constenz, folio clxiiii), showed a per chevron field very similar to the one in this submission. Moreover, the presence of three charges two and one on either side of the division strongly reinforces the impression of a per chevron field - and would do so, regardless of the angle of the point. A lone pile inverted was rare enough in heraldry, and when it appeared, tended to be uncharged; in other words, the lower portion of the shield would be uncharged. A chapé field division would never have the upper portions of the field charged. When the upper and lower portions are charged, then, this must (absent of other clues such as cotising) be a per chevron field. [Rorik smiðr, 10/2007, A-Atlantia]
[Per chevron vert and argent, three Latin crosses flory one and two Or and a turtle vert] This device is returned for conflict with ... Per chevron azure and argent, three Latin crosses flory Or and an ash sprig vert. No difference is granted for the change in arrangement of the crosses (from in fess to one and two). The September 2006 Cover Letter stated "Whether or not there's a CD for arranging three charges in fess or in chevron above a chevron or the upper portion of a Per chevron field will be worked out over time, as the cases come before us. In many instances, e.g. using long charges, this difference is nearly impossible to discern and thus not worth a CD." In this case, the crosses are long charges and the difference is nearly impossible to discern, therefore a CD is not granted. [Aurora Cecilia da Castel di Sangro, 02/2008, R-Caid]

FIELD DIVISION - Per Fess

[Sable, a wall issuant from base argent masoned and portalled sable and in chief three A-frame plumb lines Or] Blazoned on the LoI as Per fess embattled sable and argent masoned, a demi-cartouche issant from base sable and in chief three A-frame plumb lines Or, the submitter had originally blazoned this as a wall. Batonvert has provided some research on walls:
It's proven difficult to find examples of the wall, so blazoned, in period heraldry. There are numerous examples of what would, in modern terms, be blazoned a wall, but period blazons are lacking. Part of this is due to the fact that the blazons of all heraldic stonework edifices are, bluntly, arbitrary. (When the same charge can be blazoned either as a castle or a tower - depending solely on whether its bearer is Castile or Delatour - it becomes pointless to argue over exact definitions.)

That said, there are examples of walls in period armory. The Armorial de Gelre, c.1370, in the arms of Vinay (f.50), gives us a tower conjoined to a wall to sinister (la tour et son avant-mur); and an odd charge resembling a fess with spears issuant to chief (f.63), which is blazoned a mur (wall) because of the cant with its owner, Vilamur. It does not, however, give us an example of the charge normally deemed a wall, in either of its usual forms.

For these, we must look to the European Armorial, c.1460. On pp.46-47 we see an example of each type of wall: the arms of Wineck, with a wall of the "embattled fess" type, and the arms of Kettenberg or Calterburg, with a wall of the "per fess embattled" type. In each case, there are added details - masoning, three-dimensionality, portals or towers - to convince us that these are stonework edifices, not ordinaries or field divisions.

By the time of Siebmacher's Wappenbuch of 1605, many more examples make their appearance. Of the "embattled fess" walls, Wineck is still to be seen (pl.97), as are Auer von Auberg (pl.90), Ziegler (pl.161) and Lauternau (pl.200); there's also a wall bendwise in the arms of Lühe (pl.169). More frequently found, especially in civic arms, is the "per fess embattled" wall, issuant from base: in its simplest form, Per fess embattled gules and argent masoned sable (with no towers, portals, or other signs of depth), it's found in the arms of Wirsberg (pl.104). Rietstap gives a modern blazon for Wirsberg: Coupé de gueules sur un mur crenellé de trois pièces d'argent, maçonné de sable (Per fess gules over a wall embattled of three argent masoned sable). This strange hybrid blazon of field division and charge, per fess and a wall, is used by Rietstap for the other examples in Siebmacher as well - even when (as in the arms of Pogrell, pl.50) the wall has towers issuant to chief and a portal in base.

Without period blazons or cants, I can't be sure that the "per fess embattled" wall was indeed considered a wall in period. However, the fact that it was frequently shown with doors, windows, and shields hanging from the battlements (Siebmacher, pl.225), does strongly suggest it: such artistic decorations wouldn't have been needed if it were simply a divided field, however complex.
Thus, this emblazon of a wall appears to be period; the blazon may be period. In this case the masoning and portal suggest an edifice, not a field division. As the submitter had blazoned this a wall, we will preserve that term. [Griffith Jenner, 04/2006, A-Atlantia]
[Per fess embattled gules and sable masoned argent] Given the masoning of the lower portion of the field, it was suggested that this be blazoned as issuant from base a wall sable masoned argent. It has neither windows nor a portal, nor are there standards or features (other than the masoning) to indicate this is a wall. In fact, a sable wall could not be placed on a gules field without violating the requirements for armorial contrast. The device does have two primary charges - one on either side of the line of division - which is typical for a field division but not for a wall. Therefore, this is a per fess embattled field rather than a wall.

We note that Parker says that a wall is masoned and embattled, but doesn't mention windows or portals as a characteristic. The Pictorial Dictionary says that "The wall is embattled and throughout by default; it is very often issuant from base. A wall may be fortified, with watch towers; and it may have a port or gate; such details are always blazoned." Batonvert's research on the use of wall in blazons, and emblazons, is discussed in the April 2006 LoAR (q.v., Griffith Jenner, A-Atlantia). [Timo Schuzzilwenst, 07/2006, A-An Tir]
[Per fess embattled azure and argent, a fleur-de-lys argent and a ford proper] This badge is returned for conflict with the badge of Catelin Parry the Patient, (Fieldless) A fleur-de-lys argent. In the case of Bernard ben Moshe ha-Kohane (LoAR of April 2003), a design with Per fess embattled Or and sable ... in base three bars wavy Or was held to be equivalent to Per fess embattled Or and barry wavy sable and Or.... The same could be said of this design; unlike the other submissions from the barony, this is the only one that combines a ford and a field divided per fess. By the above precedent, this badge is equivalent to Per fess embattled azure and barry wavy argent and azure, in chief a fleur-de-lys argent; and it thus conflicts with Catelin's badge. There's a single CD for fieldlessness; placement on the field doesn't count when comparing fielded armory to a fieldless badge. [Havre de Glace, Barony of, 08/2006, R-East]
We therefore confirm and expand our current definition: A field division engrailed has the points to the "honorable" part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister engrailed have the points to chief, while Per pale engrailed now has the points to dexter. A field division invected has the points to the less honorable part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister invected have the points to base, and Per pale invected has the points to sinister. [03/2007 CL]
This device is returned for a redraw. As drawn, it blurs the distinction between a field with a chief and a per fess field. If this is a field with a chief, the design violates our requirements for contrast by having a colored chief on a colored field. As a per fess field division, the line is too high: the bottom of the dovetails is at the per fess line and thus this is not a per fess line of division. For a per fess line of division, the per fess line (as indicated by the tick marks on the form) should clearly fall between the top and bottom of the dovetails. [Elizabeth Seale, 04/2008, R-Ansteorra]

FIELD DIVISION - Per Pale

There is a substantial difference between barry and barry and per pale. [Melchior Hebenstreit, 03/2006, A-Outlands]
We therefore confirm and expand our current definition: A field division engrailed has the points to the "honorable" part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister engrailed have the points to chief, while Per pale engrailed now has the points to dexter. A field division invected has the points to the less honorable part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister invected have the points to base, and Per pale invected has the points to sinister. [03/2007 CL]

FIELD DIVISION - Per Pall and Per Pall Inverted

[Per saltire vs. Per pall] Situations where one or both fields are not explicitly listed in X.4.a.ii.a are determined on a case by case basis, as noted in the April 2006 LoAR - while per pall is not mentioned in this rule, we here rule that per saltire is substantially different from per pall, which means that these two do not conflict. [Brianna Wulfbeald, 05/2006, R-An Tir]
[Per pall inverted arrondi argent, sable, and ermine] This device is returned for lack of identifiability of the field division. The use of an argent and ermine on the field, without an ordinary to separate them, is not allowed as the two portions of the field blend together. This is true of any ermine-type fur and its base tincture (e.g., ermine and argent, pean and sable, or argent ermined gules and argent). [Anastasia von der Wilgenhalle, 11/2006, R-Middle]

FIELD DIVISION - Quarterly

[Quarterly per fess indented] Blazoned on the LoI as per pale and per fess indented, that blazon is ambiguous in that it is unclear as to whether the per pale line is also indented. [Ascelin d'Ypres, 06/2006, R-Lochac]
[Per pale vert and argent, a chief counterchanged] Batonvert wrote:
In early period, unfortunately, this would have been considered Quarterly argent and vert -- the Per fess line being drawn a bit higher then. In Anglo-Norman Armory Two, we see examples of this equivalence: e.g., the arms of Ralph Perot, c.1300, being blazoned both as Per pale azure and Or, a chief indented counterchanged (p.278) and as Quarterly per fess indented Or and azure (p.526).

Considering this, then, as a valid depiction of Quarterly argent and vert, it conflicts with the arms of Hohenzollern (important non-SCA armory), Quarterly argent and sable.
We have a history of returning things for blurring the distinction between a chief and a per fess line. As we routinely enforce the difference between the two, this does not conflict with a quarterly field. We do recommend drawing the chief a bit narrower so as to minimize the potential confusion. [Dugan Makgowin of Aydel, 03/2007, A-East]
[Quarterly checky gules and argent and sable, in bend sinister two sets of six lozenges in annulo, points to center, argent] This device must be returned as it appears to be marshalling. The Rules for Submission (RfS XI.3) state "Armory that appears to marshall independent arms is considered presumptuous....". The explanatory text of RfS XI.3.b states "No section of the field may contain an ordinary that terminates at the edge of that section or more than one charge unless those charges are part of a group over the whole field." Laurel has previously ruled:
After much soul-searching, I must agree with the commenters who saw an appearance of marshalling in the device. Rule XI.3.b states that quarterly may be used only "when no single portion of the field [appears] to be an independent piece of armory." In general, complexity in any of the quarters makes it look like independent armory; for example, XI.3.b explicitly cites the use of multiple charges in a quarter as unacceptable. The motif Quarterly X and Y, in bend two [charges] is allowable when the uncharged quarters are plain tinctures; we don't protect plain tinctures. But when the uncharged quarters are complex fields, we lose that rationale; and the complexity then begins to make it look like an independent coat. This, beneath all the subtext, is exactly what XI.3.b is meant to prevent. (Aric Thomas Percy Raven, October, 1992, pg. 30)
In this case, using a checky field in the uncharged quarters means that this submission must be considered marshalled arms. Uncharged quarters may only consist of plain tinctures and those must not be tinctures of protected important non-SCA arms (v. Murdoch Bayn, 08/2002).[Elena de Toledo, 05/2007, R-Meridies]
... a quarterly field is not equivalent to the impalement of two per fess fields and is not, in and of itself, marshalling. ... Thus Quarterly X and Y will not be treated as the impalement of Per fess X and Y and Per fess Y and X. [Arthur Greenwood, 08/2007, A-West] [JML: see PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Marshalling for the complete discussion]

FIELD DIVISION - Vêtu

[Argent vêtu ployé vert, on a golpe a triquetra argent] This does not conflict with Amber Lang, Vert, on a lozenge argent, a cat sejant guardant sable. Mairi's device could be blazoned as Vert, on a lozenge throughout ployé argent a golpe charged with a triquetra argent. Versus Amber's device, there would only a single CD for changes to the charges on the lozenge. However, the June 2004 Cover Letter has a section "From Wreath: Alternate Blazons and Conflicts which states in part:
This month we registered ...on a pale argent fimbriated vert, a peacock feather proper despite a possible conflict with ...on a pale vert three fangs palewise Or. The argument was made that both pieces of armory could be considered as ...a pale vert charged with <stuff>. However, in order for the new submission to fit this interpretation, it would be blazoned as ...on a pale vert a pale argent charged with a peacock feather proper. That would be four layers, which is unregisterable. Since the unregisterable blazon is the only blazon under which the conflict exists, this is not a conflict.
In this case, Vert, on a lozenge throughout ployé argent a golpe charged with a triquetra argent is an unregisterable blazon and is the only blazon under which the conflict exists, thus it is not a conflict. [Mairi Rose, 08/2005, A-Calontir]
[Per saltire azure and sable, on a lozenge argent a horse passant sable] This does not conflict with ... Per fess rayonny argent and sable, in chief a horse courant sable. Precedent states:
[Argent vêtu ployé quarterly sable and gules, a cat passant guardant sable] This .... conflicts with Amber Lang, Vert, on a lozenge argent, a cat sejant guardant sable. When comparing armory using a vêtu field with armory using a lozenge, the comparison must be made in two ways: as if both pieces of armory used a vêtu field, and as if both pieces of armory used a lozenge. If we consider Isabel's armory as the equivalent blazon Quarterly sable and gules, on a lozenge ployé througout [sic] argent a cat passant guardant sable, there is one CD from Amber's armory for changing the field, but no difference by RfS X.4.j for changing only the posture of the tertiary charge. There is no difference between a lozenge and a lozenge ployé, nor is there difference between a lozenge and a lozenge throughout. [Isabel Margarita de Sotomayor y Pérez de Gerena, 11/02, R-Trimaris]
While a lozenge throughout must always be checked as though it were a vêtu field (and thus comparable to all other fields) a lozenge need only be compared to a vêtu field (not to all fields). This is similar to the way we treat chaussé fields, as noted in the precedent:
[Barry vert and Or, on a pile sable a thunderbolt Or] This does not conflict with Huldah von Jal, Per bend sinister sable and gules, a thunderbolt Or. While we consider piles to conflict with chaussé fields, a field with a pile is not reblazonable as having chaussé field, as there is an artistic distinction that we enforce (namely that the pile does not issue from the corners of the chief). Therefore, the devices are clear by X.2.

Note that had Roiberd's device been Barry vert and Or, on a pile inverted sable a thunderbolt Or it would have been in conflict with Huldah because Roiberd's device would have had the equally valid blazon Per chevron barry vert and Or and sable, a thunderbolt Or so there would have been only a single CD for the change in the field. [Roiberd Mor Barra, 11/00, A-Drachenwald]
[Caitilín inghean Fheichín, 04/2008, A-Ansteorra]
[Or vêtu, a duck purpure between in pale two gouttes de larmes] This device is returned for conflict with ... Purpure, on a lozenge ployé Or a bunch of grapes proper. There is but a single CD for changes to the tertiary charges when Mariota's device is considered as Purpure, on a lozenge Or.... On the April 2008 LoAR (v. Caitilín inghean Fheichín), it was ruled that "While a lozenge throughout must always be checked as though it were a vêtu field (and thus comparable to all other fields) a lozenge need only be compared to a vêtu field (not to all fields)." This was not a new precedent, merely a clarification of longstanding precedent.

Given that the duck and the gouttes appear to be two different groups, a fact that is acceptable on a field but not for charges on a charge, there was some question if the above conflict held. This argument is based on the June 2004 Cover Letter Discussion, "Alternate Blazons and Conflicts". Essentially the Cover Letter states that if a conflict only exists when the armory in submission is blazoned in a way that is not registerable, then the conflict doesn't exist. In that case, the issue was the presence of a quaternary charge if the armory was reblazoned. The precedent from the June 2004 Cover Letter does not apply in this case. Lozenges, and vêtu, are a special case. Vêtu is visually a lozenge. We have period examples of vêtu and lozenges throughout being used interchangeably. Therefore, vêtu must always be checked as if it were a lozenge, even if the result is something we wouldn't register for stylistic reasons.

Given that the duck and the gouttes appear to be two different groups, a fact that is acceptable on a field but not for charges on a charge, there was some question if the above conflict held. This argument is based on the June 2004 Cover Letter Discussion, "Alternate Blazons and Conflicts". Essentially the Cover Letter states that if a conflict only exists when the armory in submission is blazoned in a way that is not registerable, then the conflict doesn't exist. In that case, the issue was the presence of a quaternary charge if the armory was reblazoned. The precedent from the June 2004 Cover Letter does not apply in this case. Lozenges, and vêtu, are a special case. Vêtu is visually a lozenge. We have period examples of vêtu and lozenges throughout being used interchangeably. Therefore, vêtu must always be checked as if it were a lozenge, even if the result is something we wouldn't register for stylistic reasons. [Mariota of Kildare, 06/2008, R-East]

FIELD PRIMARY ARMORY

[Per pale vert and sable, three chevronels ermine] There was considerable discussion over whether or not this device conflicts with the device for John le Burguillun, Ermine, three chevronels wavy vert. When both pieces of armory are considered as <field> + chevronels, these are clear with a CD for changes to the field, a CD for changing the style of the partition lines on the chevronels, and a third CD for the tincture of the chevronels. However, as previously noted (v., February 2007 LoAR), A, three chevronels B is interchangeable with Chevronelly A and B. When Vasilii's device and John's device are reblazoned as field-only armory - as Chevronelly ermine and per pale vert and sable and Chevronelly wavy ermine and vert, respectively - it is less clear whether they are sufficiently different. This was the source of the discussion in commentary.

Comparing Chevronelly wavy ermine and vert with Chevronelly ermine and per pale vert and sable, there is a definite CD for changing the line of division from wavy to plain. There is not a CD for changing the tincture, as only a quarter of the tincture has changed (from vert to vert and sable). Thus, conflict depends on whether or not there is a CD for the number of pieces of the field, which seems impossible to count while ignoring the change of tincture.

Fortunately, the question has become moot for the moment: John has graciously granted permission to Vasilii to conflict with his device. We feel the issue will come forward again, however, and we would like the College to consider whether it's reasonable to count a CD for number of field pieces even when the added tincture of the extra pieces is worth no difference. [Vasilii Volchogo Zuba syn, 04/2007, A-Middle]
[Per pale embattled gules and argent] This device does not conflict with the flag for Malta, Per pale argent and gules, as there is one CD for the adding the complex line of division and another for reversing the order of the tinctures. [Mikael Rantzow, 09/2007, A-Drachenwald]

FIELD TREATMENT - Miscellaneous

[Purpure scaly Or, a pale Or scaly purpure] Precedent says, "A number of commenters questioned the propriety of counterchanging a field treatment over a charge in this manner. Certainly no one was able to find any period exemplars of such, bringing into question the propriety of such a counterchange" [Arnolt Brekeswerd, 4/94, R-East]. However, while the device discussed in that precedent was returned, it also had other problems. In this more simple case, the counterchanged field treatment seems to be only one step from period practice. [Ursula Bienaimé, 05/2005, A-Trimaris]
[Purpure scaly argent] Scaly is considered a field treatment and, per the Glossary of Terms, a field treatment is part of the tincture. As used in the SCA, <X> scaly <Y> and <Y> scaly <X> are not interchangeable. For comparison, consider papellony, which is discussed in the 09/2002 Cover Letter.

This is thus clear under RfS X.4.a.ii(b) (complete change of tincture) of Trimaris; Order of the Argent Scales (June 1995): Argent scaly azure -- much as Argent ermined azure would be clear of Azure ermined argent. The two are considered distinct tinctures. [Elizabeth Little, 09/2005, A-An Tir]
[a bend sinister argent scaly sable] There was commentary concerning this depiction of scaly; we note that the scales are acceptable as drawn. We have a period example of a bend scaly, in the arms of von Tiefenbach, 1605 [Siebmacher, pl.85]. Tiefenbach's bend is about 3 or 4 scales wide, just as the bend in this submission. [Cormac Ó Duinn, 07/2007, R-Caid]

FIELDLESS

[(Fieldless) On a billet fesswise vert, seven annulets interlaced in fess Or] This is returned for style problems. First, a billet is a shape used for heraldic display. This appears to be a display of Vert, seven annulets interlaced in fess Or. As precedent notes:
We do not register fieldless badges which appear to be independent forms of armorial display. Charges such as lozenges, billets, and roundels are all both standard heraldic charges and "shield shapes" for armorial display. ...

Therefore, a "shield shape" which is also a standard heraldic charge will be acceptable as a fieldless badge in a plain tincture, as long as the tincture is not one of the plain tinctures that is protected armory in the SCA. This explicitly overturns the precedent "We do not normally register fieldless badges consisting only of forms of armorial display, such as roundels, lozenges and delfs in plain tinctures, since in use the shape does not appear to be a charge, but rather the field itself" (LoAR January 1998).

Note that this does not change our long-standing policy about such "shield shape" charges used in fieldless badges if the tincture is not plain (thus, divided or with a field treatment), or if the charge is itself charged. Such armory will continue to be returned for the appearance of an independent form of armorial display.[Solveig Throndardottir, 04/02, A-Æthelmearc]
[Brion Gennadyevich Gorodin, 07/2005, R-Trimaris]
The use of a saltire gringolé voided humetty is grandfathered to the submitter when used on a field. The question then becomes whether fielded and fieldless armory should have different standards for voided charges. The conclusion we reached was No - in this regard, fielded and fieldless armory should be treated the same. Thus a charge that may be voided may be borne voided as a fieldless badge. In the case of this submission, the voided charge is grandfathered to the submitter; thus he may also use it in a fieldless badge. [Chlothar Bructerus, 08/2005, A-Trimaris]
[(Fieldless) A tree blasted and eradicated per chevron argent and sable] This badge must be returned as, at any distance, the line of division appears to be per fess rather than per chevron. Precedent states:
[A sword per chevron] "A long skinny charge may not be divided per chevron in this manner. The line of division is not identifiable, thus falling afoul of RfS VII.7.a." (5/92 p.24).
This precedent dealt with a fieldless badge. On a field divided per chevron, it is possible to tell the line of division because of the field; on a fieldless badge there is no other indication the line of division is angled rather than horizontal. A long skinny object, which includes a tree trunk, may not be divided per chevron on a fieldless badge. [Besseta Wallace, 02/2007, R-Meridies]
[(Fieldless) An annulet checky azure and argent fimbriated gules pendant therefrom five hawks' bells Or] This registration is for a heraldic badge, not regalia. A checky collar with bells is not a badge; the proper way to display this is as an annulet with bells as part of an obvious heraldic display, such as on a medallion. [Atenveldt, Barony of, 03/2007, A-Atenveldt]
[(Fieldless) A mantle Or] A mantle is a period heraldic charge dating from 1586 in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, as shown in The Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London (plate 38). As drawn in this submission, the mantle is similar to that form, including the collar; it's affronty, slightly open by default. The mantles shown in Guillim, 1632 (p.275) and Friar's Dictionary of Heraldry (p.63) are basically the same but without the collar and with tasseled cords in front. Either depiction is correct.

In the return of Lochac's badge, (Fieldless) A mantle gules, lined and charged on the sinister breast with a mullet of six points argent in June 2003), it was noted "if someone wore a red mantle which was lined white and charged on the sinister breast with a mullet of six points argent, it would not appear to be a correct display of this badge. ... One correct heraldic display... would be to create an enameled pin in the shape of the charged mantle. Another correct display would be to make a flag and put a picture of the charged mantle on the flag." Similarly, the correct display of this badge is not a yellow mantle; it would be a pin or medallion displaying a yellow mantle. [East, Kingdom of the, 09/2007, A-East]
[(Fieldless) Two torches in saltire Or] There was considerable discussion on whether or not this submission was a technical or visual conflict with the heralds' badge, or whether it was too similar to the reserved two straight trumpets in saltire. ...As Cormac's badge is fieldless, for purposes of visual conflict we must assume it to be displayed on the same field as the heralds' badge. ... [Cormac Mór, 01/2008, A-Caid]

FIMBRIATED and VOIDED CHARGES

[a bend sinister enhanced fimbriated] This is being returned for using unallowable fimbriation. RfS VIII.3 states: "Voiding and fimbriation may only be used with simple geometric charges placed in the center of the design." It has previously been ruled that "The bendlets abased are not in the center of the design and therefore their fimbriation is not acceptable." ([Ann Busshenell of Tylehurst, 10/02, R-Atenveldt]). By the same reasoning, fimbriating a bend or bendlets enhanced is not acceptable. [Mathild de Valognes, 06/2005, R-Ealdormere]
A cross nowy quadrate is simple enough to fimbriate. [Lochlainn Ó Cléirigh, 07/2005, A-Meridies]
The use of a saltire gringolé voided humetty is grandfathered to the submitter when used on a field. The question then becomes whether fielded and fieldless armory should have different standards for voided charges. The conclusion we reached was No - in this regard, fielded and fieldless armory should be treated the same. Thus a charge that may be voided may be borne voided as a fieldless badge. In the case of this submission, the voided charge is grandfathered to the submitter; thus he may also use it in a fieldless badge. [Chlothar Bructerus, 08/2005, A-Trimaris]
A mullet of eight points is simple enough to void, though mullets with more points are not. [Uilliam mac Ailéne mhic Seamuis, 10/2005, A-An Tir]
This device must be returned as a sun is too complex to fimbriate. [Bj{o,}rn blundr Tómasson, 01/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
This device is returned for a redraw of the flame. As noted in the April 1995 Cover Letter proper flames should be drawn with alternating gules and Or flames, not as voided or fimbriated charges (which had previously been considered proper flames). If blazoned as a flame gules voided Or, it would still need to be returned since flames are considered too complex to void. [Dante di Pirro, 01/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
A fleur-de-lys is too complex to fimbriate. [Philippe de Castlemere d'Artaignan, 02/2006, R-Trimaris]
When accepting Chlothar Bructerus's badge (August 2005, Trimaris), Laurel ruled, "a charge that may be voided may be borne voided as a fieldless badge." Prior precedent states "The compass star meets the guidelines established by Master Bruce for voiding and fimbriation. [12a/93, p.1]". As a compass star is simple enough to void, a voided compass star can be registered as a fieldless badge. [Sunniva Kyrre, 04/2006, A-Atlantia]
[a bend azure fimbriated flory] This is returned for using fimbriation with a complex line of division. Precedent states
A pile rayonny is a voidable charge. Most ordinaries with complex lines are considered to be voidable charges. At this time we hold that ordinaries with the following complex lines are voidable charges when drawn correctly: engrailed, invected, indented, dancetty, embattled, raguly, dovetailed, urdy, wavy, nebuly, and rayonnny. The College may consider the question of the voidability of ordinaries with some of the more complex lines, such as flory counter-flory, on a case by case basis. [Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato, 10/03, A-Æthelmearc]
While a bend with a complex line of division can be fimbriated, the line of division of the fimbriation must match the line of division of the bend. If resubmitted with a bend flory fimbriated, the submitter should be prepared to argue why the fimbriation should be allowed. [Lynette Silverlock, 04/2006, R-Middle]
This is returned for conflict with William of Woodland, Vert, on a tankard Or a cross crosslet fitchy vert. A tankard is too complex to void, thus it is not a suitable charge under RfS X.4.j.ii and changing the type only of the tertiary charge is insufficient for a CD. [Máel Dúin mac Gilla Énnae, 04/2006, R-Middle]
... a bordure cannot be fimbriated. [Séamus mac Dubhgaill, 06/2006, R-Ealdormere]
This device is returned for using a fimbriated cross moline.

In July 1999 (q.v. Andrew Talbot), Laurel ruled "A cross moline is too complex to fimbriate". Evidence was presented on the LoI and in commentary that crosses flory, crosses patonce, and crosses moline were voided in period; however, a number of those examples were actually a complex cross charged with a cross couped. Most of the citations were from Papworth, meaning that they are modern blazons with no emblazons. Brachet found that Anglo-Norman Armory II - An Ordinary of Thirteenth Century Armorials by Cecil R. Humphery-Smith has Azure a cross Moline voided Or, debruised by a bendlet gules for William Cassinges from the First Dunstable Roll, 1308. Brachet notes that the drawing clearly shows the curls at the end as voided and that it is the only cross voided in the book. Anglo-Norman Armory II is a modern redraw of period armory. It is worth noting that the First Dunstable has not yet been published in the Aspilogia series, or in any other publicly available format to verify that this form of voiding a cross moline is a valid period form. As only a single example was found in Anglo-Norman Armory II of a cross voided, this is insufficient to overturn the July 1999 precedent. [Damian O'Hara, 09/2006, R-Caid]
[Argent, a compass star voided, in chief three mullets and in base a bar wavy azure] This device is returned for conflict with a badge of Lorimer MacAltin of Garioch, Argent, on a compass star azure a thistle couped argent. In June 2002 Laurel ruled:
We can thus see that the three following very dissimilar-sounding blazons can all be drawn identically, and thus should be considered heraldically equivalent: A lozenge Or charged with a lozenge gules, A lozenge Or voided gules, and A lozenge gules fimbriated Or. This heraldic equivalence will apply for any charge "simple enough to void" by the criteria stated in the Cover Letter for the November 1992 LoAR. When checking for conflict with armory using fimbriation or voiding, all these interpretations should be considered when checking for conflict, and if one of the interpretations conflicts, the two pieces of armory conflict. This does not seem overly restrictive when one considers the rarity of armory in period featuring voided or fimbriated charges, or arms with the design of A "charge" charged with "the same type of charge. These are very uncommon designs in period. Period viewers probably had the same sorts of problems that we have when interpreting such designs. [Cecily of Whitehaven, 06/02, R-Æthelmearc]
Consider Jean's device as Argent, on a compass star azure a compass star argent, in chief three mullets and in base a bar wavy azure. Against Lorimer's badge there is a CD for adding the secondary charges. However, as there are more than two types of charges on the field, at least two visually significant changes to the tertiary charges are required to gain a CD under RfS X.4.j.ii. Changing the type only of the tertiary charge from a thistle to a compass star is insufficient for the necessary second CD. [Jean de la Montaigne, 09/2006, R-East]
[Vert, on a lozenge azure, fimbriated, a mullet of seven points argent] The device does not conflict with the device for Amber Lang, Vert, on a lozenge argent, a cat sejant guardant sable. This potential conflict call generated a lot of discussion concerning two relatively recent precedents. The first is from the tenure of Francois I:
... the three following very dissimilar-sounding blazons can all be drawn identically, and thus should be considered heraldically equivalent: A lozenge Or charged with a lozenge gules, A lozenge Or voided gules, and A lozenge gules fimbriated Or. This heraldic equivalence will apply for any charge "simple enough to void" by the criteria stated in the Cover Letter for the November 1992 LoAR. When checking for conflict with armory using fimbriation or voiding, all these interpretations should be considered when checking for conflict, and if one of the interpretations conflicts, the two pieces of armory conflict. This does not seem overly restrictive when one considers the rarity of armory in period featuring voided or fimbriated charges, or arms with the design of A "charge" charged with "the same type of charge". These are very uncommon designs in period. Period viewers probably had the same sorts of problems that we have when interpreting such designs.

Note that charges which are voided by definition are generally given one CD from their solid equivalents: mascles are given a CD from lozenges, and annulets are given a CD from roundels. If one interpreted these charges as voided, fimbriated, or charged charges, the guidelines above would also give exactly one CD between them. Comparing Azure, a lozenge Or vs. Azure, a lozenge Or charged with a lozenge azure: one CD, for adding a tertiary charge. Azure, a lozenge Or vs. Azure, a lozenge Or voided azure: equivalent to the previous case of adding a tertiary charge. Azure, a lozenge Or vs. Azure, a lozenge azure fimbriated Or: one CD for changing the tincture of the lozenge from Or to azure, and no additional difference for removing the fimbriation. [Cecily of Whitehaven, 06/02, R-Æthelmearc]
This precedent supports the conflict call against Josephus' device but it does not discuss the case of a "quaternary" charge. In the tenure of Francois II, the June 2004 Cover Letter included the discussion:
From Wreath: Alternate Blazons and Conflicts

This month we registered ...on a pale argent fimbriated vert, a peacock feather proper despite a possible conflict with ...on a pale vert three fangs palewise Or. The argument was made that both pieces of armory could be considered as ...a pale vert charged with <stuff>. However, in order for the new submission to fit this interpretation, it would be blazoned as ...on a pale vert a pale argent charged with a peacock feather proper. That would be four layers, which is unregisterable. Since the unregisterable blazon is the only blazon under which the conflict exists, this is not a conflict.

However, there are other circumstances do exist where there is a conflict with already registered armory due to reblazoning the registered armory. Last month, for example, we returned ...on a compass star argent a Maltese cross azure...for conflict with ...within a sun throughout argent, eclipsed azure, a goshawk displayed argent, giving no CD between the two excerpted parts. In this case the already registered armory would today be blazoned as ...on a sun throughout argent, a roundel azure charged with a goshawk displayed argent, emphasizing that the goshawk can be considered a quaternary charge and thus ignored completely when checking for conflict.

The main difference between these two cases is that in the "no conflict" example it was the new armory to which the problematic reblazon applied, while in the "yes conflict" example it was the old armory that had the unregisterable reblazon.
Sarah's device would conflict with Amber's device if Sarah's were considered under the blazon Vert, on a lozenge argent a lozenge azure charged with a mullet of seven points argent; however, this alternate blazon is unregisterable. Under the Francois II precedent, since conflict would only exist if Sarah's submission were blazoned in a way that made it unregisterable, the conflict call isn't valid: no conflict exists with Amber's device. [Sarah the Foole, 11/2006, R-Northshield]
[an annulet voided counterchanged] The annulet is a simple, geometric charge placed in the center of the field. This meets our stated requirements for voiding a charge. We advise the submitter to draw the solid parts of the annulet thicker to aid in identifiability. [Michael O'Brien, 01/2007, A-Artemisia]
[Or semy of annulets sable] The LoI stated:
Consider Evan Little: Or, hurty., if the submission were alternately blazoned as Or semy of bezants fimbriated sable. Although an annulet has an independent heraldic existence it is still a roundel voided; still both are distinct period charges, and between the type and tinctures, we hope that this is clear.
This is not a conflict - there is at least a CD between a roundel and an annulet and another CD for the tincture of the charges. Just as Or, a bend Or fimbriated sable appears to be two bendlets, not a fimbriated bend, Or semy of bezants fimbriated sable appears to be annulets, not fimbriated bezants. Given the fact that, as the LoI noted, an annulet is a distinct heraldic charge we see no reason to treat the charge as anything other than an annulet. [Shanda MacNeil, 03/2007, A-Atenveldt]
[Gules, a rooster close Or between two pallets azure fimbriated argent between three bezants] The primary charge in this device is the rooster; the pallets form one secondary charge group and the bezants another secondary charge group. This must be returned for fimbriating the pallets; secondary charges may not be fimbriated. The Rules for Submission (RfS VIII.3) state "Voiding and fimbriation may only be used with simple geometric charges placed in the center of the design." As secondary charges, the pallets do not meet the requirements of this rule. [Eiríkr á Vestrgautlandi, 03/2007, R-East]
This is returned for redraw; the scarpes are too thin. Blazoned on the LoI as Azure, on a bend sinister azure fimbriated between two hammers bendwise sinister a hammer bendwise sinister argent, a fimbriated bend cannot be the same tincture as the field it lies on. Such a bend appears to be two scarpes rather than a bend fimbriated. What was drawn very thin to act as fimbriation must be interpreted as scarpes - extremely thin scarpes, but scarpes nonetheless. [Odolf Liafwin, 05/2007, R-Artemisia]
[issuant from chief a demi-sun gules eclipsed Or] This device is returned for a redraw of the demi-sun; as drawn it appears to be a roundel Or fimbriated of flame gules. Fimbriation of flames has long been disallowed. The sun should have larger rays and the eclipsing should extend to the edge of the sun's disc. [Caitrin de Lacy, 10/2007, R-Ansteorra]
... a cross nowy is simple enough to fimbriate ... [Thorsteinn Vandringsmann, 02/2008, A-Outlands]
We are hereby returning to the original standard: the use of an overall charge surmounting a fimbriated ordinary is henceforth acceptable as long as identifiability is maintained. [06/2008 CL] [JML: See "From Wreath Emeritus: Fimbriated Ordinaries and Overall Charges" for the complete discussion.]

FIRE

This device is returned for using improperly drawn flames. The flames in this submission are gules voided Or; this depiction of flames proper has been disallowed since the LoAR of April 1995 cover letter. Flames proper are drawn correctly using alternating tongues of Or and gules flame. See the April 1995 Cover Letter for more discussion on proper flames. Unfortunately, when drawn correctly, flames proper cannot be placed on either a gules or Or field. [Ulrich Einarsson, 01/2006, R-Caid]
This device is returned for a redraw of the flame. As noted in the April 1995 Cover Letter proper flames should be drawn with alternating gules and Or flames, not as voided or fimbriated charges (which had previously been considered proper flames). If blazoned as a flame gules voided Or, it would still need to be returned since flames are considered too complex to void. [Dante di Pirro, 01/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
Blazoned on the LoI as incensed, incensed monsters normally have flames spouting from the mouth and ears. [Ysabeau Anais Roussot du Lioncourt, 06/2006, A-Caid]
This device is returned for lack of contrast: flames proper cannot be placed on Or or gules, as by definition they are half Or and half gules. [Boris Nemtsov, 06/2007, R-Calontir]
[(Fieldless) On a ball of flame proper a single-horned anvil reversed sable] Registered in July 1989 with the blazon Argent, a single-horned anvil reversed sable, enflamed proper, there have consistently been conflict calls against this armory. Laurel has previously ruled: "We considered reblazoning Richard's armory as a flame proper charged with an anvil sable, but the shape of the flame so generated would be so unusual as to be unacceptable. Therefore we are maintaining the current blazon. [Leonardo Giovanni, 09/02, A-East]" At this time, given the continued conflict calls against this armory, we are reblazoning it to more accurately reflect the emblazon. This is blazoned as a ball of flame so that (hopefully) an artist working from the blazon will be able to generate the correct shape of the flame. There is no heraldic difference between this ball of flame proper and a flame proper. [Richard of Black Iron, 07/2007, A-Caid]
[An annulet of flame] The submitted badge is clear of ... A flame argent. There is a CD ... for the difference between a flame and an annulet of flame. The submitted badge is also clear of ... an open penannular brooch, pin to base ... While a penannular brooch is granted no difference from an annulet, both are granted a CD from an annulet of flames. [Wiesenfeuer, Barony of, 06/2008, A-Ansteorra]
[a skull enflamed] This is not "slot-machine heraldry", which is defined as the use of more than two types of charges in the same charge group. The flame is not a separate charge; it is more similar to a crown or a hat. As ruled in the registration of the device for Fabio Ventura (January 2008), the addition or removal of a hat is worth no difference, though in some cases it may be considered half the charge and thus may contribute to a tincture difference. As the flame and skull do not represent two distinct but conjoined charges, there are only two types of charges in the primary charge group: the hands and the enflamed skull. [Morgan MacDuff, 07/2008, R-Atenveldt]

FISH

There is a CD ... for the difference between a heraldic dolphin and a herring. Precedent states:
[Per fess engrailed azure and vert, in chief a natural dolphin argent] ... this conflicts with Anton de Winton, Per chevron azure, and Or scaly sable, in chief a herring naiant embowed argent. There is one CD for changing the field. There is no difference for changing the type of fish. A natural dolphin is not apparently a period heraldic charge, and thus its difference from other charges must be determined on visual grounds under RfS X.4.e. Comparing this dolphin with Anton's herring, the outlines of the two charges are very similar. They both have slightly forked tails (it is impossible to tell whether the tail is supposed to have horizontal or vertical flukes without resorting to internal details, and Anton's dolphin lacks these). Both creatures have a dorsal fin and a forefin. The "beak" or "bottle-nose" on a natural dolphin helps identify it as a natural dolphin, but is not a sufficient outline difference to give a CD from a herring.

Note that this ruling does not revoke the many rulings that grant no difference between a heraldic and a natural dolphin. Given the well established trends towards naturalism in Renaissance art and Renaissance heraldic art, it is possible that a natural dolphin might have been used as an artist's variant of a heraldic dolphin. Without evidence for natural dolphins in period heraldry, the natural dolphin will conflict both with heraldic dolphins and with standard-outlined fish, like herring. [Helga Iden dohtir, 04/02, R-Caid]
However, conflict is not transitive and there is a CD between a heraldic dolphin and a fish such as a herring. The precedent "There's a CD between dolphins and most kinds of fish. (Alethea of Fair Isle, October, 1992, pg. 16)" applies to heraldic dolphins, not natural dolphins. [Atlantia, Kingdom of, 06/2005, A-Atlantia]
From Wreath: On Whales
A submission this month raised the question of what a whale should look like.

Le Blason des Armoiries by Hierosme de Bara, 1581, p.88, gives an illustration of the heraldic whale (une baleine). It isn't attributed to anyone, so it doesn't appear to be actual arms; it's just an example of the charge, in the book's section on Fish.

Bara's whale has features in common with the whale in the arms of the Soap Boilers of London (taken from Gesner's De Avibus et Piscibus), shown in the Oxford Guide to Heraldry, pp. 64-65. They're both essentially "monstrous great fish". Both have lots of teeth (though Gesner's whales also have tusks). Both have the majority of the body mass well forward on the body, like modern cartoon whales do. Gesner's whales have two blowholes, while Bara's whale has one (and a small one at that). Bara's whale has a smooth dorsal fin, which Gesner's does not.

Based on these two period emblazons, there are enough features in common to allow us to state: the heraldic whale is a monstrous fish, toothed, with at least one blowhole, and the bulk of its mass well forward on the body. It is definitely not a sperm whale, or any other recognized species of natural whale. The heraldic whale's spout (or spouts) is not blazoned.

As we do with heraldic vs. natural tigers, heraldic vs. natural antelopes, heraldic vs. natural dolphins, etc., we should only use the unmodified term whale to refer to the heraldic whale, and all natural whales be either blazoned as such or by their species (sperm whale, killer whale, etc.)

Just as a heraldic dolphin conflicts with a natural dolphin, a heraldic whale conflicts with a natural whale. The majority of whales currently registered specify the type of whale: narwhal (also a heraldic monster), sperm whale, killer whale, etc. Those that do not have been reblazoned in this letter. [08/2005 CL]
The whale was originally blazoned a sperm whale. The submitter contacted the College of Arms and indicated that the blazon was not acceptable; it was reblazoned simply as a whale on the Errata letter of 02/2005. We would have changed it back to a sperm whale, but for the submitter's preference. However, a whale with no other modifiers indicates a heraldic monster, which this is not. Therefore we have reblazoned it as a natural whale. [Aine Paixdecoeur, 08/2005, A-An Tir]
[a whale vs. a catfish] A whale is a heraldic monster, just a dolphin is a heraldic monster, and has a CD against most standard outline fish, such as a catfish. [Jehanne de Kael, 08/2005, A-Ealdormere]
A killer whale, or orca, may be blazoned as proper when it is sable, marked argent, but need not be. [Tymoteusz Konikokrad, 10/2005, A-Atlantia]
Blazoned on the LoI as a skate, the primary charge is instead a manta ray, which is distinguished by its two "horns". We have no explicit period citations for the manta ray, but it lives in waters frequented by the Spanish in period; we are giving it the benefit of the doubt here.

If the submitters would prefer to resubmit with a genuine skate (as their order name would suggest), they could do no better than to copy the depiction of a skate in the Macclesfield Psalter, c.1330, as seen at http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/gallery/macclesfield/gallery.html.[Tir-y-Don, Barony of, 11/2005, A-Atlantia]
The primary charge is not a humpback whale and does not match the documentation supplied. It is however recognizable as a natural whale. [Berley Cort, Shire of, 02/2006, A-Atlantia]
We have no explicit period citations for the hammerhead shark, but they are found in tropical waters throughout the world. We will give the submitter the benefit of the doubt and allow their registration; however, the use of hammerhead shark as a charge is a step from period practice. [Pascual de la Mar, 06/2006, A-East]
[a fish skeleton vs. a swordfish] There is a CD between a fish and its skeleton. A fish skeleton is a period charge as seen in Pinches & Wood, A European Armorial (a reproduction of a 15th C roll of arms for the Order of the Golden Fleece) and in Siebmacher's Wappenbuch of 1605. [David Fisch, 09/2006, A-East]
[Three fish fretted in triangle] This arrangement of fish is found in Guillim's Display of Heraldrie, p.240: "He beareth, Azure, three Trouts Fretted in Triangle, Teste a la Queue, Argent, by the name of Trowtebeck. We vse these words Teste a la Queue, in Blazon, to signifie the manner of their Fretting." Teste a la Queue translates to Head to Tail, which we feel is not needed in SCA blazon. We advise the submitter that drawing the fish more like those in Guillim, i.e. with the head and tails less obscured by the body of the adjacent fish, will aid in their identification. [Frozen Mountain, Shire of, 10/2006, A-An Tir]
There is no difference between a generic fish and a natural dolphin, and this fish so nearly symmetric that we cannot give difference for haurient vs. haurient contourny in this case. [Fearghus mac Ronain, 02/2007, R-Northshield]
There was some question whether or not the fish were salmon. Period heraldic salmon appear to be generic fish, as do the ones in this submission, therefore we have maintained the submitter's preferred blazon. [Eoghan Ó Domhnaill, 02/2007, A-Calontir]
[fantail goldfish] This device must be returned for using a charge which has not been demonstrated to have been known to Europeans in period. Goldfish have long been bred as pets in China, but the fantail goldfish appears to have originated during the Ming dynasty. They do not appear to have been known to Western Europe until the 19th century. This places them outside the domain of the Society, making them unsuitable as heraldic charges, barring evidence that they were known to Western Europeans in period. Lacking such evidence, we must return the device. [Elinor Strangewayes of Dorset, 07/2007, R-East]
The use of a fish tergiant is a step from period practice. [Iuliana Muñoz Maldonado de Castile, 08/2007, A-Atenveldt]
[a humpback whale] We would have blazoned this simply as a natural whale, but the submitter has consistently asked for a humpback whale. As the humpback whale appears to have been known in period, though not by that name, and as emblazoned this now matches the depictions of a humpback whale, we are acceding to her wishes. [Aine Paixdecoeur, 12/2007, A-An Tir]
[the lower half of a fish palewise, couped end to chief] Blazoned on the LoI as a "dolphin's tail", with the head missing there is no way to tell that this tail came from a dolphin. As the charge is more than just the tail of the fish, we have blazoned it as half a generic fish. The LoI stated "Unlike a whale or dragon tail, the heraldic dolphin tail is highly recognizable. If this were not the case, placing the tail on a demi-animal would not result in sea creatures (e.g. Sea Lion, Sea Elephant, Sea Wolf, etc) which regularly appear for consideration." However, this is not the case. As Tanczos Istvan wrote, "'Sea-quadruped' means that the hind end has been replaced by a marine critter's rear half, beyond which it doesn't really matter what kind it is, since it's a whopping big fluke, not two legs." [Kára in hárfagra, 01/2008, A-Calontir]

FISHHOOK

[a fishhook] Blazoned on the LoI as banded sable, the banding is actually argent. This is an unblazonable artistic detail, similar to languing on a beast. In this case, the band is a narrow stripe near the top of the fishhook. [Drosten Sutherland, 04/2006, A-An Tir]
From Wreath: On Fishhooks
While there are very few registrations of fishhooks, we have been inconsistent in how we blazon them. This is one of the few charges that cannot be blazoned unless you assume a default orientation. The question becomes, what is that default?

The defining instance of a fishhook (Mons Draconis's badge, March 2000) was taken from Gelre, f.41v, where it's given as the arms of von Borne or Born. The (modern French) blazon in the index of Gelre is: d'argent au croc de hameçon de gueules (Argent, a fishhook gules). It has the couped end to base, the curved end to chief; the barbed point is on the dexter side, inside the curve of the hook.

Guillim's "Display of Heraldrie", 1632, p.319, gives an example of fishhooks: "He beareth, Sable, a Cheveron between three Fishing Hookes, Argent, by the name of Medvile." The shape is the same as in von Born, but inverted: the couped end is to chief, though the opening with the barb is still to dexter. Note that Medvile's fishhooks aren't blazoned as "inverted": they are in what Guillim considers the default posture.

A similar fishhook is found in Siebmacher's "Wappenbuch", 1605, in the arms of von Angelloch (pl.125). It matches Guillim's depiction of a fishhook in its appearance: a bit slenderer than von Born, but with couped end to chief. The opening is depicted to sinister, but Siebmacher always turned the shields (including the charges, helms and crests) in the first and fourth column of each page to face sinister; its normal depiction would therefore be with the opening to dexter, just as in Guillim's depiction.

Parker also mentions fishhooks (p.330, s.n. hook); he cites Medville, the arms cited in Guillim. Parker's drawing is the skinniest fishhook of any, but it still shows the couped end to chief (though with the barb to sinister, which we'd call reversed).

So, fishhooks were period charges; the form found in Gelre and Guillim are the same, but with opposite default postures. All of the period heraldic fishhooks that we have found have a couped end; they do not terminate in a ring.

We are hereby declaring that the default fishhook matches that shown in Guillim and Siebmacher: the couped end is to chief and the curved end to base, the opening is to dexter with the barb on the inside of the curve. An example, courtesy of Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, is shown at the end of this letter. A fishhook inverted has the couped end to base. A fishhook reversed has the opening to sinister.

A fishhook may terminate in a ring, rather than having a couped end; this will be considered an unblazonable, artistic detail. Fishhooks with the barb on the outside of the curve will be returned for redraw. [01/2007 CL] [JML: see http://heraldry.sca.org/loar/2007/01/ for illustration]

FLAG
This category deals with flags and banners as charges; not with important non-SCA flags or registered SCA flags/banners

... we will register passant creatures maintaining or sustaining a banner that is not -- and cannot -- be protected armory. This means a banner of a single tincture other than Ermine (the protected arms of Brittany) or Vert (the protected flag of Libya). [Ealdormere, Kingdom of, 07/2005, R-Ealdormere]

FLEUR-DE-LYS

A fleur-de-lys is too complex to fimbriate. [Philippe de Castlemere d'Artaignan, 02/2006, R-Trimaris]
We note that the lily and the fleur-de-lys, while related, were considered separate charges in period. The arms of Eton College (temp. Henry VI) contain both lilies and a fleur-de-lys. [Mabell McEwin, 12/2006, A-Outlands]
[Per bend sable and barry argent and purpure, the sinister half of a fleur-de-lys bendwise issuant from the line of division argent] The submitter provided examples of this armorial motif (the vertically divided fleur issuing from a per bend line of division) from Svenska Medeltids-vapen by Jan Raneke on p. 754, dating to 1473 and 1510. [Emoni de la Fère, 04/2007, A-Drachenwald]
With five fleurs-de-lys this could either be blazoned as on a chevron Or five fleurs-de-lys gules or a chevron Or semy-de-lys gules. We have elected to retain the submitted blazon. [Conall O'Rylan, 05/2007, A-East]
The banding on the fleurs-de-lys, gules in this case, is an unblazoned artistic detail. [Kateryna Bouland de Lancastre, 05/2007, A-Lochac]

FLOWER - Cup shape

[Vert, on a bend cotised Or, three roses proper] This is clear of ... Vert, on a bend cotised Or, three tulips palewise gules, slipped and leaved vert, a bordure Or. There is one CD for removing the bordure. While roses are significantly different from tulips, a second significant change is needed for a CD by RfS X.4.j(i). As heraldic roses are essentially round charges they cannot be palewise, therefore there is no difference for the orientation of the flowers. However, precedent states "Tulips are like thistles, the slipping and leaving of a tulip makes up more than half the charge; therefore, it is the tincture of the slips and leaves rather than the tincture of the flower that is used when checking conflict. [Catharina de Bruyn, 09/00, R-Middle]". This means that changing the tincture of the flowers from mostly vert to mostly gules is a significant change. The change in type and tincture of the flowers provides the necessary second CD. [Lourdes d'Arlès, 06/2005, A-West]

FLOWER - Few petals

This device is returned for a redraw of the trilliums. A trillium should be drawn in a "Y" shape, not a "T". We are not sure the varying orientations of the trilliums are blazonable and recommend on resubmission that the trilliums be drawn in the same orientation - either as a trillium with the petals in pall (two up, one down) or as a trillium inverted with the petals in pall inverted (one up, two down). [Jaqueline de Bucquoy, 11/2006, R-Ealdormere]
While there is a CD between a trillium and a trefoil, as Laurel ruled in the June 2005 registration of Ástríðr in spaka's device, there is not a CD between a trillium inverted and a trefoil. [Sorcha inghean Uí Lorcain, 04/2007, R-Artemisia]
[on a bend ... three trilliums ...] Because of the radial symmetry of the trilliums these can be considered to be in their default orientation (following the line of the bend) or palewise inverted. [Aurelia da Calabria, 12/2007, A-East]

FLOWER - Iris

While there is a CD between an iris and a forget-me-not, there is not the substantial (X.2) difference ... [Malis Lauird, 05/2007, R-East]

FLOWER - Lily

[a hazelnut base to chief] This device is returned under RfS VII.7.a for lack of identifiability of the hazelnut. Inverting the hazelnut fatally hinders its identifiability. On resubmission, please be aware that a hazelnut is likely to conflict with a lily and other flowers. [Coblaith Mhuimhneach, 11/2006, R-Ansteorra]
We note that the lily and the fleur-de-lys, while related, were considered separate charges in period. The arms of Eton College (temp. Henry VI) contain both lilies and a fleur-de-lys. [Mabell McEwin, 12/2006, A-Outlands]

FLOWER - Multifloreted

A hemlock blossom is a five-petalled flower, whose seed pods extending between each petal are its identifying characteristic. It will conflict with any other five-petalled flower, including the rose and the cinquefoil. [Charis Sabran, 10/2006, A-Atenveldt]

FLOWER - Multipetaled

A hemlock blossom is a five-petalled flower, whose seed pods extending between each petal are its identifying characteristic. It will conflict with any other five-petalled flower, including the rose and the cinquefoil. [Charis Sabran, 10/2006, A-Atenveldt]
[A gillyflower] This badge is returned for conflict with the Emperor of Japan (important non-SCA mon), Dark, a sixteen-petalled chrysanthemum light. ... Laurel has previously ruled that there is not a CD between a gillyflower and the Emperor's mon:
Deirdre de la Fleur. Badge. (Fieldless) A gillyflower quarterly gules and azure. This is being returned for conflict against the Emperor of Japan (Important mundane armory), Dark, a sixteen-petalled chrysanthemum light. After comparing the picture submitted and the picture in Laurel's books on Japanese mon, we felt that we could not grant a difference. [LoAR 09/1996]
[Catriona nicHugh McLae, 04/2007, R-Middle]
A daisy proper is argent, seeded Or. [Michelle of Arenal, 05/2007, A-Meridies]
From Wreath: Sunflowers Proper
In returning Cassandra von Schwabing's device in November 2000 Laurel ruled, "There is no default color for the seeds of sunflowers: sometimes they are black, sometimes brown. Therefore, we cannot register a sunflower proper." However, over the years we have registered several sunflowers proper. Some of these had black seeds, some brown seeds. We hereby overturn the November 2000 precedent and allow sunflowers proper to be registered. Just as a thistle proper can have its tuft either gules or purpure, a sunflower proper may have either brown or sable seeds. For purposes of conflict checking, the tincture of a sunflower's seeds is not worth a difference. The presence of these seeds does not count as a tertiary charge. [JML: Note that the fact that the petals are Or was not included in the CL discussion.] [
07/2007 CL]
[a sunflower proper] While sunflowers are New World flowers, Parker cites a single instance in English heraldry dated 1614: the arms of Florio (originally from Spain), blazoned Azure, a heliotrope (or sunflower) or issuing from the stalk sprouting out of two leaves vert; in chief the sun in splendour proper. Therefore the use of a sunflower is not a step from period practice.

The fact that Florio's arms have both a sun and a sunflower is evidence that period heralds did not consider these to be the same charge. ... There is a CD ... for the difference between a sun and a sunflower. [Cristina Rose da Napoli, 03/2008, A-Atenveldt]

FLOWER - Rose

... roses are significantly different from tulips ... As heraldic roses are essentially round charges they cannot be palewise, therefore there is no difference for the orientation of the flowers. [Lourdes d'Arlès, 06/2005, A-West]
... nor is there any difference between a rose gules and a rose proper. [Constance de Coligny, 07/2005, R-Lochac]
... there is a substantial difference between a roundel and a rose. [Arganhell merch Briauc, 09/2005, A-Lochac]
[a six-petalled periwinkle] Periwinkles normally have five petals. [Tanczos Ilona, 09/2005, A-East]
This badge is returned for redraw. The flower is unidentifiable; it appears to be a roundel with some type of complex line of division. A flower, or an octofoil, should show some separation between its petals. [Eleanor Lebrun, 07/2006, R-East]
A hemlock blossom is a five-petalled flower, whose seed pods extending between each petal are its identifying characteristic. It will conflict with any other five-petalled flower, including the rose and the cinquefoil. [Charis Sabran, 10/2006, A-Atenveldt]
While we grant difference between a quatrefoil and a rose when both are primary charges, as tertiary charges the two flowers don't have the substantial (i.e., X.2) difference needed for a CD for changing the type only of a tertiary charge. [Kristin Leifsdottir, 11/2006, R-Northshield]
[two roses gules slipped and leaved vert] The slips are drawn to fill the available space; their orientation need not be specified. We note that keeping them in the same orientation, as here, is much better heraldic style than the mirror-image orientation we often see. [Çynara of Twin Moons, 01/2007, A-Atenveldt]
Blazoned on the LoI as frangipani blossoms, according to Brachet there is no conclusive evidence as to the source of that name. We have reblazoned the flowers as plumeria blossoms to aid in their reproducibility. Plumeria blossoms will conflict with cinquefoils, roses, and other similar flowers. [Ceara MacTagan, 02/2007, A-Atenveldt]
While there is a CD between an iris and a forget-me-not, there is not the substantial (X.2) difference ... [Malis Lauird, 05/2007, R-East]
[a double rose argent and sable] ... there's a CD ... for adding the tertiary rose. Precedent states:
[two roses azure each charged with a rose argent vs a semé of roses] ... there is a CD for changing the number of secondary charges and a second CD for adding the tertiary charges. As drawn the charges in chief cannot be double roses as the outer rose and the inner rose have different orientations. [Beatrice Domenici della Campana, 05/01, A-An Tir]
We do not grant a CD for the orientation of a rose. The orientation in a double rose is even harder to determine. Given this, the precedent cited above is hereby overturned - the orientation of the tertiary rose is not a factor in whether or not the inner rose is considered tertiary charge. However, if you charge a rose with a rose of a different tincture, it is a rose with a tertiary rose whether it is blazoned as a double rose A and B or as a rose A charged with a rose B. The orientation of the rose is not worth difference one way or the other. [Melodia Shaw, 05/2007, A-Outlands]
For purposes of conflict, an apple blossom is no different than a cinquefoil or a rose (or other similar flowers). [Lukas Brierley, 01/2008, A-Atlantia]
[a rose bendwise counterchanged slipped and leaved vert] The rose is blazoned as bendwise because of the orientation of the slip and leaves. These are equivalent to maintained charges and thus neither require good contrast with the field nor contribute to difference. No difference is granted for the orientation of a rose, though an orientation may be blazoned when the rose is slipped. [Lucia Magna, 03/2008, A-An Tir]
Dogwood blossoms are essentially quatrefoils, and thus have a CD from roses. This is in line with the precedent:
Ærne Clover. Device. Or, a four-leaved clover saltirewise slipped vert. This is clear of conflict with Kathleen Regina the Wild Irish Rose, Or, a rose vert, its stem nowed sable, in chief two lions rampant gules. The type comparison between the primary charges in the devices is, effectively, the difference between a rose and a quatrefoil, and these two charges have a type CD between them: "Quatrefoils and roses do not appear to have been considered equivalent charges in our period" (LoAR of October 1995). [LoAR 08/2002]
This overturns the October 1998 precedent (v. David Cade) which said that there is no difference between dogwood blossoms and roses. [Adaleide de Warewic, 03/2008, A-Atenveldt]
We have dropped the term garden in line with current practice for blazoning roses. We note that any rose may be drawn as a garden rose or, preferably, as a heraldic rose. [Corwin Renwald, 03/2008, A-East]
Some people believed that there should be a CD for the orientation of the roses ... However, while we might blazon the orientation of slipping and leaving, the latter is usually not worth difference at all (even in its addition or deletion, let alone its orientation). If a slip is so big that its orientation counts, then it's more properly blazoned a slip flowered, not a flower slipped. [Regina O'Duncan, 05/2008, A-An Tir]

FLOWER - Thistle

[Quarterly purpure and vert, a thistle argent] This is clear of Ealdgytha of Spalding Abbey (Fieldless) A teazel slipped and leaved argent. As Laurel ruled when registering her badge, "Period heralds seem to have distinguished between a teazel and a thistle, despite the similarity of the nouns. For armory as simple as this [(fieldless) A teazel slipped and leaved vs. <Field>, a thistle], we can see granting a CD for type of flower. (Ealdgytha of Spalding Abbey, December, 1992, pg. 12)". [Jenne McGill, 07/2005, R-Outlands]
If drawn in an identifiable manner, the thistle heads would be registerable. They would be analogous to the teazel head, a 16th C. heraldic charge; using thistle heads would be a single step from period practice. [Wyllow MacMuireadhaigh, 04/2006, R-Ansteorra]
Blazoned on the LoI as a thistle proper, the entire head is purpure, not just the top therefore this is not proper. [Gregor Davidson, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
This device is returned for conflict with the device for Alina de Montague, Azure, on a pile argent between two fleurs-de-lys Or a sprig of holly vert, fructed gules. There is a CD for changing the tincture of the pile. There is a significant difference (X.4.e) but not a substantial difference (X.2) between a thistle and Alianor's sprig of holly, which is depicted as three holly leaves in pile. Both the thistle's leaves and the holly leaves are jagged with many points. [Alianor Rowan, 11/2007, R-Artemisia]

FLOWER - Trumpet shape

This device is returned as there is no proper defined for a columbine nor are the alternating blue and white petals a blazonable combination. We note that a columbine is a period heraldic charge; it appears in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Cooks in 1467. For those who are curious, the columbines in those arms were azure. [Amelia Van Hemessen, 02/2007, R-Gleann Abhann]
[a wolfsbane blossom stem to chief] There is no default orientation for a wolfsbane blossom. [Ædric Lambert, 12/2007, A-Middle]
[a daffodil blossom vs. an amaryllis flower] ... there is a CD ... for the difference between the flowers. [Gwenllian of Emlyn, 04/2008, R-Gleann Abhann]

FOIL - Cinquefoil see FLOWER - Rose


FOIL - Quatrefoil

There is a substantial (X.2) difference between a quatrefoil and a triskelion. [Alexandre of Kapellenberg, 07/2005, A-Atlantia]
While we grant difference between a quatrefoil and a rose when both are primary charges, as tertiary charges the two flowers don't have the substantial (i.e., X.2) difference needed for a CD for changing the type only of a tertiary charge. [Kristin Leifsdottir, 11/2006, R-Northshield]
A quatrefoil is set crosswise by default but a four-leaf clover is set saltirewise. The fact that it is slipped must still be blazoned, however. [Finn O'Flaherty, 02/2008, A-Meridies]
Dogwood blossoms are essentially quatrefoils, and thus have a CD from roses. This is in line with the precedent:
Ærne Clover. Device. Or, a four-leaved clover saltirewise slipped vert. This is clear of conflict with Kathleen Regina the Wild Irish Rose, Or, a rose vert, its stem nowed sable, in chief two lions rampant gules. The type comparison between the primary charges in the devices is, effectively, the difference between a rose and a quatrefoil, and these two charges have a type CD between them: "Quatrefoils and roses do not appear to have been considered equivalent charges in our period" (LoAR of October 1995). [LoAR 08/2002]
This overturns the October 1998 precedent (v. David Cade) which said that there is no difference between dogwood blossoms and roses. [Adaleide de Warewic, 03/2008, A-Atenveldt]

FOIL - Sexfoil

[six-petalled flowers] The secondary charges were blazoned on the LoI as sexfoils. The usual heraldic depiction of a sexfoil shows the field between the petals, so that they can be distinguished. The petals on these flowers were conjoined, to the point that at least one commenter confused the flowers for roundels. Please instruct the submitter to draw the usual heraldic sexfoil when she resubmits. [Katherine von Oppel, 02/2008, R-Artemisia]

FOIL - Trefoil

... there is a CD ... for the difference between a trefoil and a triquetra. [Ástríðr in spaka, 06/2005, A-West]
There is a substantial difference between a hop vine and a trefoil ... [Ilona von Neunhoff, 08/2005, R-Atenveldt]
[a shamrock per pale azure and vert] The shamrock is divided down the center, with a slight curve in the per pale division as it follows the curve of the shamrock's slip. This is an acceptable variation of per pale for charges such as this. [Rose Bailie Marsh, 05/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]
While there is a CD between a trillium and a trefoil, as Laurel ruled in the June 2005 registration of Ástríðr in spaka's device, there is not a CD between a trillium inverted and a trefoil. [Sorcha inghean Uí Lorcain, 04/2007, R-Artemisia]
The tertiary charge lacks the heart-shaped leaves of the shamrock and has thus been reblazoned as a trefoil. [Brian Ó hUilliam, 01/2008, A-Ansteorra]

FOODSTUFF

[(Fieldless) A wedge of Emmental cheese Or] Quinto's cheese is in the default orientation with the point of the wedge facing to dexter. [Quinto Formaggio, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]

FOOTPRINT

The use of footprints is a step from period practice. [Aziza al-Labu'a bint Ibrahim ibn Rashid al-Rahhala and Chaninai al-Zarqa' bint Ibrahim ibn Rashid, 06/2007, A-Atenveldt]

FRET and FRETTY

[a saltire interlaced with an annulet vs. a fret] If we think of these devices as each having two co-primary charges, there would be a CD for changing the type of half the primary group from a mascle to an annulet. On the other hand, if we think of the saltire and annulet motif as a single charge, as we typically do a fret, we must rely on RfS X.4.e, which states, "A charge not used in period armory will be considered different in type if its shape in normal depiction is significantly different." Under this rule, we consider the saltire and annulet motif to be significantly, albeit not substantially, different from a fret. [Fionnghuala inghean mhic Oitir, 05/2005, A-An Tir]
[(Fieldless) Three frets couped conjoined in chevron azure] This badge is clear of Garin de Gramercy's badge, Argent, vêtu ployé, a fret azure. While a fret is an artistic variant of fretty (q.v. September 1992 Cover Letter), in this case, the three frets are not equivalent to fretty as they are not constrained to fill a space such as a field or an ordinary. [Dubheasa ní Chéirín, 09/2006, A-Drachenwald]
The question is whether or not there is a CD between fretty and three frets couped. We have long treated a single fret (throughout by default) as being equivalent to fretty. However, a fret couped is not treated the same as a fret throughout. Laurel has previously ruled:
[Gules, in dexter chief a fret couped argent] This does not conflict with ... Per fess gules fretty argent and sable. There is one CD for the change to the field. The comparison between the fretty in chief and the fret couped in dexter chief is like the comparison between a mullet in chief and a mullet in dexter chief. This is an unforced move and thus worth a CD. [Ané{zv}ka z Ro{zv}mitála, 11/01, A-Ansteorra]
More recently, in September 2006, it was ruled:
Dubheasa ní Chéirín. Badge. (Fieldless) Three frets couped conjoined in chevron azure. This badge is clear of Garin de Gramercy's badge, Argent, vêtu ployé, a fret azure. While a fret is an artistic variant of fretty (q.v. September 1992 Cover Letter), in this case, the three frets are not equivalent to fretty as they are not constrained to fill a space such as a field or an ordinary.
In a similar matter, in chief in fess three frets couped are not equivalent to fretty as by definition they do not - and cannot - fill the field. Therefore, there is a CD for the changes to the primary charges ... [Coblaith Mhuimhneach, 11/2006, R-Ansteorra]
[Quarterly azure and argent, four frets counterchanged] This device is returned for presumption. The Rules for Submission (RfS) in section XI.3.b state "Such fields may only be used when no single portion of the field may appear to be an independent piece of armory." There was much discussion concerning this device and whether or not the fret in each quarter gave the appearance of marshalling.

If this were four frets couped, it would clearly be registerable in accordance with RfS XI.3.a "Such fields may be used with identical charges over the entire field or with complex lines of partition or charges overall that were not used for marshalling in period heraldry." If it were fretty, it would also be registerable in accordance with RfS X1.3.a. However, in the submitted device the frets are throughout - or would be if each quarter is considered separately.

RfS XI.3.b states "No section of the field may contain an ordinary that terminates at the edge of that section, or more than one charge unless those charges are part of a group over the whole field." The reason ordinaries are considered a mark of an independent coat is that they're common; they're throughout by default; when on the field, their usual period use is one per coat; and in period, you generally don't see them on either side of a line of division. That is, given the blazon Per bend sinister sable and Or, two fesses counterchanged, you don't see a fess in the upper left, terminating at the line of division, and another in the lower right, ditto -- which is what you'd see if you substituted "lions" for "fesses" in the blazon. No, you see two fesses crossing the entire field. Ordinaries aren't usually constrained to a single section of a divided field. (We readily admit there are exceptions to this.)

A fret isn't an ordinary; however, frets meet the requirements above: they're fairly common, they're throughout by default; their usual period use is one per coat; and we don't usually see them on either side of a divided field. A fret is also one of the few non-ordinaries that is routinely depicted as throughout and it is composed (in part) of ordinaries - a bend and a bend sinister fretted with a mascle.

After much consideration we must agree with those commenters and members of Wreath's staff that saw this device as marshalling Azure, a fret argent and Argent, a fret azure. A charge which is depicted as throughout, when placed in each quarter of a quarterly field, still appears to be throughout that portion of the field. As such, it has the appearance of an independent piece of armory and must be treated as marshalled arms. [Raghnailt inghean Toirdhealbhaich, 07/2007, R-Ansteorra]
[a pale argent, overall a fret counterchanged] Precedent states that "The only time we permit a charge to be counterchanged over another is when they are both ordinaries." [December 1998, Crystal Crags, Shire of]. As the fret is not an ordinary, this submission must be returned. [Grainne Dhonn, 07/2008, R-Artemisia]

FRUIT - Apple

[cherry vs. apple] The cherry does appear to be a period heraldic charge: Parker, p.104, cites the example of Cheriton, Bishop of Bangor 1436-37: ... on a chevron between three martlets ... as many cherries stalked; in chief three annulets... (The ellipses are because we don't know tinctures; presumably this is a stone carving or other tinctureless rendition.) The only reason we know they're cherries is from the cant.

On the other hand, Fox-Davies (Complete Guide to Heraldry, p.209) says that "Papworth mentions in the arms of Messarney an instance of cherries. Elsewhere, however, the charges on the shield of this family are termed apples." This is confirmed by looking in Papworth, p.428, at the arms of Messarney: Or, a chevron per pale gules and vert between three (apples) cherries of the second slipped as the third. The two different blazons, apples vs. cherries, are found in different editions of Glover's Ordinary. It would appear that even period heralds had difficulty telling the two charges apart. As the charges were not distinct in period, we grant no difference between an apple and a cherry ... [Cécille Cerise of Cherybeare, 10/2005, R-Calontir]
[apples] Batonvert noted:
The apples are drawn as a modern breed of apple, in this case Golden Delicious. Period apples in heraldry, so far as I can tell, were drawn rounder than this: cf. the arms of Holzapfel (Siebmacher 134), with perfectly round apples, or the arms of Harlewin (Guillim 146), with ovoid apples (like chicken eggs). None have the heart-shaped cross section of the Delicious varietal, which is 19th Century, and which is depicted here.
The Rules for Submission, section VII.4 states:
Period Flora and Fauna. - Flora and fauna that were known in the period and domain of the Society may be registered in armory.

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.
The question raised is thus whether or not these apples are compatible with period apples or if they must be returned as a post-period variety. With regards to dogs, Laurel ruled in December 2002:
Lyn the Inquisitive. Device. Azure, a dog sejant guardant argent spotted sable within a bordure argent lozengy sable.

Many commenters noted the similarity of this emblazon to the Dalmatian breed of dog, and questioned whether that breed was period. Clarion stated:
Dalmatians are probably a period breed, there is a mention of spotted dogs in an Elizabethan Journal (National Geographic Book of Dogs). As the shape of the dog resembles a Dalmatian, we might as well use it. I would still give its color as argent spotted sable, especially as modern Dalmatians can have brown spots as well.
This is sufficient evidence to allow this sort of depiction of a dog in SCA heraldry, as the type of dog is compatible with period types of dog. Because the submitter originally blazoned this dog simply as a dog argent spotted sable rather than a Dalmatian argent spotted sable we will continue to blazon it as a dog.
In an analogous manner, if the apples depicted in this submission are compatible with period apples, they should be registerable. Metron Ariston wrote:
I seem to recall a previous submission with apples where the submitter was told to draw the apples rounder, presumably under the impression that all period apples were round like the modern pippins. I am not at all sure that that is a reasonable assumption, however, as a number of the apples appearing in Hieronymus Bosch's very famous "Garden of Earthly Delights" are less than totally round. As the variety of cultivars even in ancient Rome exceeded three dozen (see Pliny's Natural History) and the variety of apples discussed in medieval agricultural sources runs to something like double that, I would be very surprised indeed if all period apples were truly spherical.

As it happens, one site devoted to historical apples notes "The old Romans enjoy the honor of giving apple culture a great stride forward, introducing 40 varieties, among them the apple extant today has the greatest antiquity. Pomme d' Apis. Around 1600 the French pomologist Oliver de Serres wrote that this apple was mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his first century work Historia Naturalis as the apple brought to Rome from the Pelaponessus by Claudius Appius. During the Renaissance this most cherished little red and gold apple became known as the LADY APPLE, which the ladies of the French nobility carried in their pockets 'by reason they yield no unpleasant scent'. . . . Another apple believed to date from Roman days is COURT PENDU PLAT, a flat roundish apple which grows tight against the branch like a peach, which the French pomologist LeRoy said 'has an aftertaste of musky anise deliciously perfuming the mouth.' . . . In 1627, Le Lectier the procurer to King Louis XIII, first recorded CALVILLE BLANC, which he grew in the royal gardens at Orleans south of Paris, although it was known centuries earlier. Long portrayed in Impressionist still life paintings. This large yellow apple with white flesh, has a delicious spicy banana-like flavor that makes it one of the finest for dessert at the dinner table, although it requires some mellowing after picking." (www.tree-mendus.com/articles/apples_thru_time.html)
Given Metron Ariston's comments, we will grant the submitter the benefit of the doubt that the submitted apples are plausible variation of period apples. [Cadlae Locha Erne, 04/2007, A-Calontir]

FRUIT - Berry

[two bunches of grapes] This device is returned for a redraw of the grapes. As depicted in this emblazon, the roundels forming the grape bunches are not conjoined. In fact, no part of the bunches are conjoined. This is a very modern stylization of grapes, and therefore is not registerable. [Angelo d'Amico, 05/2007, R-West]

FRUIT - Nut

We note that a walnut will conflict with a roundel of the same tincture; however, even considered as roundels, no conflicts were found with this device. [Donwenna Dwn, 10/2006, A-Atenveldt]
[a hazelnut base to chief] This device is returned under RfS VII.7.a for lack of identifiability of the hazelnut. Inverting the hazelnut fatally hinders its identifiability. On resubmission, please be aware that a hazelnut is likely to conflict with a lily and other flowers. [Coblaith Mhuimhneach, 11/2006, R-Ansteorra]

FRUIT - Other

There is a CD, or significant difference, between a strawberry and a chili pepper. [Vestia Aurelia, 07/2005, A-Caid]
[cherry vs. apple] The cherry does appear to be a period heraldic charge: Parker, p.104, cites the example of Cheriton, Bishop of Bangor 1436-37: ... on a chevron between three martlets ... as many cherries stalked; in chief three annulets... (The ellipses are because we don't know tinctures; presumably this is a stone carving or other tinctureless rendition.) The only reason we know they're cherries is from the cant.

On the other hand, Fox-Davies (Complete Guide to Heraldry, p.209) says that "Papworth mentions in the arms of Messarney an instance of cherries. Elsewhere, however, the charges on the shield of this family are termed apples." This is confirmed by looking in Papworth, p.428, at the arms of Messarney: Or, a chevron per pale gules and vert between three (apples) cherries of the second slipped as the third. The two different blazons, apples vs. cherries, are found in different editions of Glover's Ordinary. It would appear that even period heralds had difficulty telling the two charges apart. As the charges were not distinct in period, we grant no difference between an apple and a cherry ... [Cécille Cerise of Cherybeare, 10/2005, R-Calontir]
Period depictions of turnips show less leaf in proportion to the bulb of the turnip. Blazoned on the LoI as a turnip proper, this turnip is predominantly purpure with a small argent tip. Period heraldic turnips appear to be primarily argent with vert leaves; some emblazons show a purpure cap. Proper for a turnip is the top half of the turnip purpure and the bottom half argent (with a somewhat wavy line of division) with vert leaves; neither the purpure nor the argent should predominate. The argent tip on a purpure turnip need not be blazoned, nor does a purpure cap on an argent turnip as both are considered artistic details. This overturns Laurel's advice from July 1988 when accepting Roger de Bayeux's device: "We would strongly suggest, however, that they be drawn so that the purple portion of the root is predominant."

The turnip leaves should be about a quater to a half of the total charge. Due to the variability in size of the leaves, the tincture of the leaves does not contribute to tincture difference. This is similar to our treatment of a rose's slip and leaves. [Ysabelot Clarisse, 02/2006, A-An Tir]
As we have no evidence that a New World pineapple was used in period heraldry, its use is a step from period practice. [Emma Barrington, 01/2007, A-An Tir]
We note that an artichoke has its stem to base by default. [Mora Ottavia Spadera, 07/2007, A-Caid]
A chili pepper proper is gules with a vert cap. [Mariana Cristina Tirado de Aragon, 12/2007, R-Meridies]

FRUIT - Pinecone

From Wreath: On Pinecones
The SCA has been inconsistent over the years in whether stems to chief or stems to base is the default orientation of a pinecone. Given the confusion, we are now declaring that there is no default orientation. As it says in The Glossary of Terms, the orientation of a pinecone must be explicitly blazoned. All prior registrations of pine cones that did not explicitly blazon the orientation have been reblazoned. [04/2006 CL]

FRUIT - Pomegranate

Pomegranates. The unmodified term pomegranate refers to the fruit alone. If a pomegranate is slipped and leaved - which we admit is more often found than the unslipped fruit - the fact must be blazoned. [10/2007 CL]

FRUIT - Strawberry

There is a CD, or significant difference, between a strawberry and a chili pepper. [Vestia Aurelia, 07/2005, A-Caid]
From Wreath: Strawberries Proper
We have registered strawberries proper 17 times, the earliest in 1973 and the latest in 2007. Over that period the tinctures of a strawberry proper have never been defined. In examining the emblazons of the registered armory, it is clear that the implicit definition of proper has been gules capped vert. There has not been a clear consensus on the tincture - or even presence/absence - of the seeds. This is true even in the case of multiple pieces of armory registered to the same person. At this time we are making the definition explicit: a strawberry proper is gules capped vert; the seeds, if present, are generally sable or Or but they count for naught. The seeds are an artistic detail; their presence (or absence) need not be blazoned. [03/2008 CL]

FUNGUS

Batonvert noted (to our surprise) that mushrooms are period heraldic charges... [Maura von Blitzbau, 11/2007, R-Atlantia]

FUR
see also Ermine Spot

The ermine spots in this submission are drawn such that the ermine spots follow the line of the bordure, that is, the tail of one ermine spot is followed by the head of the next ermine spot. Please advise the submitter that the ermine spots should be drawn palewise. On an escutcheon, tilting the ermine spots near the basemost point is also period style. It should be noted that this depiction of an ermine bordure is simply blazoned as a bordure ermine. It is not blazonably distinct from a standard ermine bordure, and certainly does not receive a CD from such a bordure. [Caroline Marie de Fontenailles and Elsbeth von Sonnenthal, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
Three ermine spots on an ordinary is equivalent to ermine.
[Vert, a bend sinister argent ermined vert between three ermine spots argent] When there are three or more ermine spots on a stripe ordinary such as a bend or fess or chief, the ordinary will be interpreted as ermined, as this is a standard way of drawing an ermine stripe ordinary. It is also true that small numbers of ermine spots on the field may be interpreted as charges, rather than part of an ermined tincture. Three spots around a bend sinister are so sparsely distributed that they can only be interpreted as charges. No documentation was presented, and none was found, for the combination of ermine spots as distinct charges and ermine spots as part of an ermined tincture in the same armory. Until documentation for this combination is presented, this combination will be considered a weirdness. [Edmund Sharpe, 02/02, A-Atlantia]
... While equivalent to ermine, the fact that there are only three ermine spots on the chevron is a blazonable detail, if the submitter wishes it. [Catherine le Guste, 04/2006, R-Caid]
Blazoned on the LoI as potenty azure and argent, there is neither a heraldic difference nor a blazonable difference between potent (or potenty argent and azure) and potenty azure and argent. [Meadhbh inghean Thaidhg uí Domhnaill, 11/2006, A-Atlantia]
[Per pall inverted arrondi argent, sable, and ermine] This device is returned for lack of identifiability of the field division. The use of an argent and ermine on the field, without an ordinary to separate them, is not allowed as the two portions of the field blend together. This is true of any ermine-type fur and its base tincture (e.g., ermine and argent, pean and sable, or argent ermined gules and argent). [Anastasia von der Wilgenhalle, 11/2006, R-Middle]
Semy fields do not technically conflict with the ermine tinctures; there's one CD for the field change and another for the addition/deletion of the strewn charge group. [Camilla the Joyful, 01/2007, R-Atlantia]
Though the badge was blazoned on the LoI as Pean, in fess an owl contourny maintaining in its sinister claw an acorn argent and a boar rampant Or, all between in bend two roses argent and in bend sinister two roses Or, there are only five ermine spots. This is insufficient for an ermined field. [Adeliza of Bristol, 08/2007, R-Atlantia]
[on a chief sable five ermine spots argent] There is no heraldic difference between this chief and a chief counter-ermine, and we would normally blazon it as the latter; however, five is few enough that the number may be specified, if the submitter insists. [Alaina Frantzin von Wirtenberg, 01/2008, A-Calontir]

FURISON

[(Fieldless) A furison vert] Unfortunately, this badge must be returned under RfS X.5 for visual conflict with a badge for the Barony of the Forgotten Sea, (Fieldless) A Ukrainian trident head vert. [Pipa Sparkes, 09/2006, R-Calontir]
While the depicted furisons (fire-steels) are period artifacts, they do not resemble the heraldic furison nor are they recognizable as furisons. Therefore this must be returned for lack of identifiability. [Eiríkr Hrafnkelsson, 03/2007, R-An Tir]

GRANDFATHER CLAUSE

[Or, on a bend wavy azure a sun in splendor palewise Or] While this conflicts with ... Or, on a bend nebuly azure a feather argent, it has exactly the same conflict as her device, Or, on a bend wavy azure three suns in splendor palewise Or. That conflict was missed when her device was registered; however, as the device was registered, the Grandfather Clause applies to the registration of this badge. As Laurel has previous stated:
To sum up: The Grandfather Clause prevents us from retroactively returning submissions. If someone registers an item that later is shown to have a problem, he may continue to use the item. By extension, he may register new items with the same problem (but no other); and so may his closest relations (but no others). The nature of the problem isn't limited, by either Corpora or the Rules (II.5, VII.8); the Clause applies to both style and conflict. (22 February, 1993 Cover Letter (December, 1992 LoAR), pp. 2-3)
[Katharine de la Vache, 03/2006, A-Atlantia]
[Argent, a sun within five swords fretted in pentagon sable] Normally this badge would be returned for conflict with Friedrich von Rabenstein, Argent, a sun, in chief a sword fesswise sable, with a single CD for the number of swords. Under current precedent we would not grant a CD for orientation or arrangement of the swords. However, when Friedrich's device was registered in April 1994 Laurel noted "Clear of Ian of Nightsgate (SCA), Argent, a sun between a fret of four swords sable, with CDs for both number and orientation of the sword(s)." As Ian's badge has the same potential conflict with Friedrich's device as Friedrich's device had with Ian's device, this is registerable under the Grandfather Clause. [Ian of Nightsgate, 03/2006, A-Outlands]
[Reblazon] ... the primary charge is not a unicorn as it lacks a beard, cloven hooves, or a lion's tail. While this emblazon is grandfathered to the submitter, the blazon is not. The College has a responsibility to amend incorrect blazons that have been registered in the past. We have thus reblazoned this as a unicornate horse. [Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani, 05/2007, A-Caid]
This badge is returned for conflict with the device of Laurelen Darksbane... This is the same conflict that existed for Barre's previous badge; however, he had a letter of permission to conflict at that time. Permission to conflict with one piece of armory does not extend to subsequent registrations (unless so noted in the original letter of permission to conflict). Barre will need a new letter of permission to conflict in order to register this badge.

Unlike armory registered with permission to conflict, armory registered without such permission to conflict does grandfather the conflict to the submitter. Thus, the conflict with the badge of Leon de Asturias, ... is grandfathered and not cause for return. [Barre FitzRobert of York, 04/2008, R-Atlantia]
The household name, House Estoc, was registered to the submitter in February 1982. We have elected to retain the term estoc for the sword in this badge for the cant on the household name. While emblazons are grandfathered, blazons are not; thus the fact that the submitter already has the term used in describing armory is irrelevant and if not for the cant we would have simply blazoned it as a sword. [Illuminada Eugenia de Guadalupe y Godoy, 04/2008, A-Caid]

GRENADE and FIREBALL

... and another CD for the difference between a roundel and a grenade. [Uadalrich von Sachsenhusen, 04/2006, A-Middle]
From Wreath: On Grenades and Fireballs
Commentary this month pointed out the fact that proper has never been defined for a grenade or fireball, despite the fact that both have been registered several times.

It is noteworthy that, while Parker (p. 257, s.n. fireball) doesn't give the tinctures of a fireball proper, his cited examples of its use (e.g. the arms of Ball) do use the term fire-ball proper, which means it's defined somewhere. (Papworth, p. 835, gives further examples of proper fireballs and their ilk. Not proven period, but examples of the blazonry term, at least.)

In the Society, both grenades and fireballs proper are hereby defined to be sable, enflamed proper, that is, sable with alternating gules and Or tongues of flame. [02/2008 CL]
No difference is granted between a grenade and a fireball. [Eldrich Gaiman, 02/2008, R-East]

GURGES and SCHNECKEN

[on a chief vert a gurges argent] While the gurges was used, in period heraldry, as a single throughout charge on a field, this use of a gurges as a single throughout tertiary on a plain peripheral ordinary would seem to be only one step from period practice. [Sigered Aldrich and Katharine Aldrich, 05/2005, A-East]
From Wreath: On Gurges and Schnecken
The gurges appears to be a purely Anglo-Norman heraldic charge, which in its earliest form was a series of concentric annulets. London's "Aspilogia II: Rolls of Arms of Henry III", p.152, describes the original arms of Rauf de Gorges as (in modern blazon) Azure, four concentric annulets argent. It began its heraldic life as an undoubted charge (or set of distinct charges, if you will).

Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme provided some research on gurges:
For a charge that appears so early in the heraldic records, the gurges is remarkably hard to track down. I suspect it's because it was held by so few families, none of whom were prominent.

At any rate, I've found two period emblazons of the gurges, both for the canting arms of Rauf (or Rafe) de Gorges. One is found in the Fitzwilliam version of the Heralds' Roll, c.1265, which may be seen in "Anglo-Norman Armory I" by Humphery-Smith, p.72. It's drawn as six concentric azure annulets on an argent field, with the outer two annulets cut off by the edge of the shield. The other is from Charles' Roll, c.1285, which may be seen in "Aspilogia III: the Rolls of Arms of Edward I" by Brault, plate I. It's drawn as four concentric azure annulets on an argent field, with the outer annulet cut off by the edge of the shield.

Though these are the only period emblazons of gurges I could find, there are still a few verbal descriptions. The best source is probably "Aspilogia II: Rolls of Arms, Henry III" by London & Tremlett, pp.93, 152. The arms of Gorges are found in Glover's Roll, blazoned in the 1253 text, but tricked in a copy made in 1310 as four concentric annulets, none of which are cut off by the shield edge. Robert Glover, Somerset Herald 1570-88, copied these tricks, rendering the gorges in the spiral form which has been used ever since.

Try as I might, I haven't been able to get a copy of the emblazon of Glover's Roll with the spiral form of gurges. Foster's "Dictionary of Heraldry", p.96, has an example of a spiral gurges, but his emblazons are not to be trusted as accurate depictions of period forms.

The gurges is not found in any of the later-period heraldic tracts. It's not in the Boke of St. Albans, nor in Legh's "Accedens of Armorie", nor in Bossewell's "Works of Armorie", nor in Gwillim's "Displaie of Heraldry" 2nd ed.

We're left, then, with modern emblazons of the spiral gurges, and here we find almost no consensus. The spiral might go clockwise or widdershins; the three points of the shield might be all the same tincture, or not; there might be as few as four turns of the spiral from the center to the edge of the shield (Scott-Giles, "The Romance of Heraldry", p.6) or as many as ten turns (Brooke-Little's "Heraldic Alphabet", p.110); the center of the spiral might end in a point for one of the tinctures and a sort of "knob" for the other tincture (Friar's "Dictionary of Heraldry", p.174) or the two tinctures might be of equal width along their entire lengths (Woodward, plate XIX). About the only thing on which modern heraldic authors agree is that the stripes of the gurges and the field are of equal width.

Most important for our purposes, there's no way of telling the gurges from the field. It's impossible to say, from a modern depiction of a spiral gurges, whether the field is argent and the gurges azure, or vice versa. At least with the earlier depiction, made from concentric annulets, one knew that the central space within the innermost annulet must be the field.

But based on the earliest "concentric annulet" form, if I were today asked to render a spiral gurges, I would draw at least four turns of the spiral before it was cut off by the shield's edge; I would draw one of the stripes with a knob at the center, to represent the center of the innermost annulet of the original form; and I would deem that to be the field.

I would certainly welcome any period emblazons of gurges (either annulet or spiral form) that anyone might uncover.
As no evidence has been found that the two forms of gurges (concentric annulets and spiral) were considered different charges in period, we will continue to register either form as simply a gurges. No difference will be granted between the two forms.

Given modern depictions of gurges, which is the depiction used in the majority of the gurges registered in the Society, no difference will be granted between <tincture 1>, a gurges <tincture 2> and <tincture 2>, a gurges <tincture 1>. This applies whether the gurges is spiral or formed of concentric annulets.

According to our rules, overall charges must have good contrast with the field, not with the charge (in this case, with the gurges). The closest analogy would be with a field fretty: since the fretwork is a charge (no matter how thickly the laths are drawn), any overall charge must count contrast with the field, not with the fret. Thus Sable fretty Or, overall a lion gules breaks the rule of contrast, no matter how thick the Or latticework is drawn. Likewise, Azure, a gurges argent, overall a lion gules breaks the rule of contrast, even though the lion may be equally supported by metal and color. However, unlike fretty, with a gurges this has the equally valid blazon, Argent, a gurges azure, overall a lion gules, which technically does have good contrast with the field. Thus, if overall charges are present with the spiral form of gurges, the field will be blazoned as the tincture that has good contrast with the overall charge. If there are no overall charges, the field will be blazoned as the tincture in the dexter chief corner.

The question was raised this month about what difference is granted between a schnecke and a gurges. Current precedent, set by Da'ud Laurel, grants a CD between the two, but not substantial (X.2) difference:
There is clearly a CD between a schnecke and a gurges, but the consensus of the commentary and those attending the meeting [was] that RfS X.2 does not apply between them. [Peter Schneck, 5/96]
Unlike the gurges, the schnecke seems to have started its heraldic life as a field division. Walter Leonhard's "Grosse Buch der Wappenkunst," 1984, p.165, classes the schnecke with other complex field divisions such as Schraegflammenspaltung (Per pale rayonny). Some of his schnecke-like field divisions are similar to period armory found in Siebmacher's "Wappenbuch of 1605": v. the arms of Fridesheim (plate 37), von Ellershofen (plate 106) and die Megentzer (plate 119). Leonhard blazons them all as divisions of the field, e.g. dreifacher Schneckenschnitt ("three-part Snail-cut"). But the schnecke itself he blazons as a charge: linke geschuppte Schnecke ("left-handed scaled Snail," which we'd blazon a schnecke invected reversed). This too is in Siebmacher, plate 198, as the arms of von Rordorf. This last example not only establishes the schnecke as a charge, but also lets us distinguish between the charge and the field: the invected line marks the charge. In SCA usage, the schnecke is always considered to be a charge.

The only thing the gurges and the schnecke have in common is a spiraling form. The schnecke never has more than a single revolution to its spiral: that is, if it issues from the chief, it circles the fess point of the shield once and comes to its point from chief. The gurges has at least four revolutions (if we take the concentric annular form as a baseline).

The research presented affirms the May 1996 precedent. Given their divergent evolutions and consistently differing emblazons, there is significant difference (a CD) between a gurges and a schnecke. However, there is not substantial (X.2) difference between the two. [07/2005 CL]
There is a significant difference or CD, but not a substantial (X.2) difference, between a gurges and a schnecke. [Wilhelm Schlagenteufel, 07/2005, R-Atlantia]
... a gurges is a charge, not a field division. [Marcos da Bragança, 07/2005, A-West]

HAMMER

[a mallet] Blazoned on the LoI as ...a carpenter's hammer ..., the term carpenter's hammer is ambiguous. It could as easily have referred to a hammer with claws, which is found in period heraldry, but which isn't the hammer in this submission. There has only been one other registration using the term, in the device of Adelric of Saxony: like here, it's a block of wood on a handle. The more usual blazon for this type of hammer is mallet, and we've used it here for clarity. Adelric's armory has been reblazoned elsewhere on this letter. [Iain MacConmhaoil, 10/2007, A-Outlands]

HAND and GAUNTLET

[hands vs. clenched gauntlets] ... precedent says that "[w]e give no difference between a hand and a gauntlet" [Brian Brock, 5/99, R-Atenveldt] and that "[t]he clenching is an artistic detail which does not contribute difference" [William MacGregor, 5/98, R-Atlantia]. Research by the College of Arms and Wreath staff was unable to provide sufficient period evidence to overturn either of these precedents. [Lulach Cauldwell, 06/2005, R-Middle]
[(Fieldless) On a gauntlet aversant argent a Lombardic letter R azure crowned Or] This conflicts with a badge for the Kingdom of the East, (Fieldless) On a dexter glove aversant argent, a rose azure charged with another Or. There is CD for fieldlessness. Changing the type only of the tertiary is not worth a CD as this is not a simple case under RfS X.4.j.ii. The removal of the quaternary rose is not worth anything; nor is the addition of the essentially "maintained" crown. In both cases you have an argent glove charged with an azure tertiary; therefore the CD for fieldlessness is the only CD. [Raim y Hynnddyl, 09/2005, R-Meridies]
The use of handprints is unattested in period heraldry and their use in SCA armory is at least one step from period practice. The submitter should address this issue if he resubmits handprints rather than using hands (which are attested period charges). [Zephyr Evanovich, 12/2005, R-Atenveldt]
[a hand vs. a six-fingered hand] There is no difference for the number of fingers on the hand nor is there a CD for changing the type only of the tertiary charge per RfS X.4.j.ii, since a hand does not qualify as a "suitable charge", as it is too complex to void. [Axel van Rügen, 12/2005, R-Lochac]
[a clenched guantl aversant vs. a sinister hand appaumy] This does not conflict with the Red Hand of Ulster, Argent, a sinister hand appaumy gules, protected as an important non-SCA augmentation for Great Britain. The SCA grants no difference between a hand and gauntlet, no difference between a dexter hand/gauntlet and a sinister hand/gauntlet, and no difference for appaumy vs. aversant. The first two are due to period examples of arms being drawn both ways; the third is due to aversant being an SCA-ism. Hitherto, we have likewise granted no difference between an open hand and a closed or clenched hand. After reviewing period examples, we have decided to grant a CD between the two. This overturns existing precedents to the contrary, such as: "[a dexter gauntlet clenched appaumy vs. a dexter gauntlet appaumy] The clenching is an artistic detail which does not contribute difference. (William MacGregor, May 1998 p.22)". With the second CD for the bordure, this is clear of the Red Hand of Ulster. [Johnathan Crusadene Whitewolf the Younger, 03/2006, A-Atenveldt]
This is the first registration of a mitten. The submitter provided documentation from the Museum of National Antiquities (Historiska Museet) in Sweden showing that the Åsle mitten in their collection dates between 1510 and 1640 (http://www.historiska.se/collections/veckansfynd/vfynd1_012003_E.html). While there is a blazonable difference, there is not a CD between a mitten and a gauntlet or a hand. [Sigrid Bríánsdotter, 04/2006, A-Atlantia]
[hand of Fatima vs. a hand] ... nothing for the type of hand. [Thea Gabrielle Northernridge, 11/2006, R-Caid]
As a hand of Fatima is not simple enough to void, RfS X.4.j.ii does not apply ... [Thea Gabrielle Northernridge, 11/2006, R-Caid]
[a sinister gauntlet bendwise sinister sustaining a handkerchief pendent] This device is returned as the gauntlet is in an unblazonable orientation; it is halfway between fesswise and bendwise sinister. Also, it is shown in profile (that is, edge on); this is not allowed for hands or gauntlets, as it is neither documented nor recognizable. [Dycon Gestour, 11/2006, R-Middle]
A dexter gauntlet is the default gauntlet. [Michael von Fulda, 05/2007, A-Atlantia]
[Quarterly argent and vert, a sinister hand aversant inverted issuant from chief and a two-fingered dexter hand aversant issuant from base argent] This device is returned for lack of documentation of the use of a hand with three fingers as used in this submission. Nor was documentation provided, or found by the College, for the use of two hands with differing numbers of fingers in period heraldry.

The majority of those polled, both heralds and non-heralds, saw this as a display of gang signs. This is also sufficient grounds for return under section IX of the Rules for Submission ("Offensive Armory") as well as section VIII.4 ("Obtrusive Modernity"). Using two identical hands in the same posture would remove this appearance. [Tómas Halvar, 12/2007, R-Outlands]

HAT

A hennin may be drawn with or without a veil; as long as identifiability is maintained. There is no difference for the presence of the veiling. [Lucrezia di Bartolomeo, 06/2005, A-Atenveldt]
[Scottish bonnet] The submitter has attempted to address the problems of his previous submission, which was returned November 2004 for using a post-period Scottish bonnet (whose form was not supported by the documentation). This time the submitter has taken the bonnet from a drawing of Highland mercenaries in the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), which is during our grey period. Unfortunately, the redrawing of the bonnet has introduced a new problem, lack of identifiability. No one, looking at the submission, was able to identify the charge as a Scottish bonnet, or indeed as a hat of any kind. Charges must be drawn in a manner that allows them to be identified, per RfS VII.7.a. It's quite possible that a Scottish bonnet cannot meet that requirement, no matter how it's drawn. If evidence is found that a Scottish bonnet was used a period heraldic charge, it would be registerable.

That said, there were other types of hat in period, similar in concept to the Scottish bonnet: simple circles of cloth, gathered at the edge to a ribbon hatband. Such hats would not carry the Highlander cachet, but if drawn recognizably as hats, and accompanied by period evidence, they would be acceptable charges. [Stuart MacDonald, 08/2006, R-East]
[a skull argent] This device is returned for conflict with ... a human skull argent pierced gules wearing a winged helmet, in its mouth a broken sword, all argent. ... The addition or removal of a hat is worth no difference: this is similar to the way we treat crowns. If evidence is found that period heralds considered that addition or removal of a hat to be a cadency step - or to represent different charges altogether - we will reconsider the issue of whether or not there is a CD for such hats. Nor is the fact the hat is, in this case, winged count for difference here: while the addition or removal of wings on a monster is a CD, the same is not true when dealing with a winged helmet as the wings are visually a much smaller proportion of the entire charge. [Fabio Ventura, 01/2008, R-Atenveldt]
[a skull argent] The submitted device does not conflict with the badge for Valentine Christian Warner, Purpure, a skull argent wearing a fool's cap per pale ermine and Or. There is a CD for changes to the field. In this case, the hat is half of the charge; therefore, there is a second CD for changing half the tincture of the primary charge. Nor does the submitted device conflict with the badge for Feliciano Grimaldi, (Fieldless) A skull argent, wearing a fool's hat with three tassels gules, erminois, and azure. There is a CD for adding the field and another for changing the tincture of half the primary charge. [Fabio Ventura, 01/2008, R-Atenveldt]

HEAD - Beast

There is no difference between a wolf's head and a fox's head. [Renard le Fox de Berwyk, 10/2005, R-An Tir]
There is no difference between a wolf's head and a dog's head ... [Tatianitsa Iaroslavna, 11/2005, R-Lochac]
[a natural tiger's head] ... the tiger's markings are not worth a difference, there is a single CD for removing the field. [Tat'iana Aleksandrovna Ragozina, 02/2006, R-Trimaris]
[a dog's head couped argent, collared Or] The LoI noted "The client has made the collar Or, so that the second CD can be attained for adding a tertiary charge." While collaring a beast's head is normally worth a CD, in this case the collar cannot be considered a tertiary charge as it is the same tincture class (metal) as the underlying charge. Thus the device must again be returned for conflict. If the collar is considered a tertiary charge, then this would have to be returned for violating RfS VIII.2.b - Contrast Requirements. Making the collar a color rather than a metal will allow it to count as a tertiary charge ... We note that a purpure collar should not be used on a purpure field. [Rolant Richolf von dem Reyne, 07/2006, R-Atenveldt]
There is a CD ... for the difference between a bull's scalp and a stag's attires. [Georg of Glacier's Edge, 07/2006, A-West]
[a rabbit's head couped close argent] Some commenters wondered if this was too close to the Playboy trademark to register. As noted in the LoAR of April 2002, "As a guideline, there generally will not be an obtrusively modern 'overt' allusion to a logo when the logo uses a single charge, unless the artwork of the submission matches the artwork of the logo very closely, or unless the charge is in some way unique." In this case, the charge is not unique nor does the submitted emblazon look similar to the trademarked logo. It is therefore registerable. [Amber Roriksdatter, 09/2006, A-Atlantia]
There is not a CD between a leopard's face and a lion's head cabossed. In fact, in period they would have been equivalent blazons. [David de Derlington, 09/2006, R-Lochac]
[boarhound's heads] The submitter provided documentation that a hound was used as a crest in period armory. However, no documentation was provided that the hound shown was known as a boarhound in period, or that boarhounds were called this in period. The OED dates the first usage of Boar-dog to 1792, and boarhound to 1884. [Katherine Kerr of the Hermitage, 09/2006, R-Lochac]
[a lion's head erased Or vs. a natural leopard's head couped Or marked sable] There is a CD for changes to the field, but nothing for the difference between the cat's heads or for erased versus couped. [William Leonard, 02/2007, R-Caid]
[a lion's head cabossed argent] The badge also conflicts with ... a white tiger's head caboshed proper. [Felix tigris]. ... There is no difference granted for the type of feline's head, nor do the markings on a tiger contribute to a difference in tincture. [James Guy of Bothwell, 02/2007, R-Gleann Abhann]
[a stag's head cabossed] In addition, the stag's attires are not drawn in an acceptable manner; they should be upright, not curved down. [Gavin O'Shannon, 04/2007, R-Calontir]
... there is not a CD between a ram's head and a ram's skull ... [Cormacc ua Néill, 08/2007, R-An Tir]
[a badger's head vs. a natural panther's head] There is a significant difference (CD) but not a substantial (X.2) difference between these particular beast heads. [Kristin Ailbe Anmclaid, 08/2007, R-Atlantia]
The default, double-headed, chess knight has a CD from a horse's head; a single-headed chess knight does not have a CD from a horse's head. [James Winfeld, 10/2007, A-Meridies]
It should be noted that wolves (and wolves' heads) ululant are a step from period practice (v. Andela Romier, LoAR of December 2000). [Eginolf von Basel, 11/2007, A-Middle]
[Cameron of Caldoon, Sable, three ornamental Chinese Fu dog's heads cabossed argent] Cameron's dogs heads are not canine heads; an ornamental Chinese Fu dog is a statute not a canine. Therefore, there is a CD for the type of primary charge [vs. wolf's heads] [Þórlæifr hvítskegg, 12/2007, R-East]
From Wreath Emeritus: Concerning the Heads of Dogs, Wolves, and Similar Beasts
In commentary on the submission of Clarissima della Chiesa (Ansteorra LoI of July 2007), the issue was raised on the difference to be granted between the heads of heraldic canines: wolves, foxes, and the various breeds of dogs. It tied in as well to the difference granted for the full-bodied beasts, but Clarrisima's submission required only a ruling on their heads.

Generally speaking, when comparing two charges, our criterion has been whether the charges were distinguished by period heralds... or, perhaps more accurately, whether there's evidence that they weren't distinguished by period heralds. Lacking such evidence, if the charges being compared are both period charges, in their period postures, then we tend to grant at least a CD between them. (See the discussion on ravens vs. falcons, on the LoAR Cover Letter of February 2006; and the discussion on crabs vs. lobsters vs. scorpions, on the LoAR of February 2007.)

Most of the dogs, foxes and wolves in period armory were chosen for cants: the badge of Talbot will always be blazoned a talbot, regardless of how it's drawn. Once canting is discounted, there is still evidence that canine heads were drawn interchangeably, with the same arms sometimes depicted with hounds' heads and other times with wolves' heads. While this is strong evidence, it is not conclusive: we don't know whether the blazon evolved along with the depiction.

If Society armory limited itself to the very few breeds of dogs found in period armory -- the talbot or kennet, the greyhound, the alaunt, the mastiff, and perhaps a couple of others -- then we might see granting difference between those breeds and wolves or foxes. However, the Society permits a far greater variety of dog breeds -- any breed, so long as it was known in period -- and the confusion with wolves and foxes is thus increased many-fold. Given the documented examples of confusion between hound's heads, wolf's heads, and fox's heads in period, the added confusion with all these breeds makes it impossible to grant difference.

Therefore, we here affirm the Society's policy of granting no difference for type of canine head: dog's heads (of whatever breed), wolf's heads, and fox's heads are treated as negligibly different. This was the specific issue with Clarissima's submission, which has now been addressed. We look forward to further arguments, based on period evidence, regarding whether difference should be granted for type of full-bodied canine (as opposed to merely their heads). [07/2008 CL]

HEAD - Bird

There is a CD between eagle's head and goose's head ... [Hróðný Aradóttir, 03/2007, A-Lochac]
A comparison of the emblazons shows insufficient difference to grant a CD between a hawk's head and a dove's head. [Arenvald the Wanderer, 06/2007, R-Atenveldt]
[a hooded hawk's head erased gules, hooded sable] The hood is not considered a tertiary charge, any more than vesting on a human, and therefore does not need good contrast with the hawk's head. This is functionally equivalent to a hawk's head gules detailed sable. [Hawk's Hollow, Canton of, 07/2007, A-Outlands]

HEAD - Human

[a human face crined and bearded of foliage] Blazoned on the LoI as a wildman's head, a wildman or savage is a period heraldic charge that looks little like the charge submitted here: a wildman's head would be a normal human head, bearded, wearing a wreath of leaves. Some commenters suggested this was a greenman's head. The term greenman was coined in 1939 for a medieval artistic motif. There are period examples online (such as at http://www.chrispye-woodcarving.com/greenman/gm_index.html) that look nothing like this submission -- or each other. Some don't even look like human faces. As there is no fixed form (and therefore no heraldic form) for this motif, a greenman's head is not registerable per se. However, as emblazoned the head can be blazoned as a human face crined and bearded of foliage and we will so register it. [Santiago Carrillo de Guadalupe, 03/2006, A-Outlands]
[a skull argent] This device is returned for conflict with ... a human skull argent pierced gules wearing a winged helmet, in its mouth a broken sword, all argent. ... The addition or removal of a hat is worth no difference: this is similar to the way we treat crowns. If evidence is found that period heralds considered that addition or removal of a hat to be a cadency step - or to represent different charges altogether - we will reconsider the issue of whether or not there is a CD for such hats. Nor is the fact the hat is, in this case, winged count for difference here: while the addition or removal of wings on a monster is a CD, the same is not true when dealing with a winged helmet as the wings are visually a much smaller proportion of the entire charge. [Fabio Ventura, 01/2008, R-Atenveldt]
[a skull argent] The submitted device does not conflict with the badge for Valentine Christian Warner, Purpure, a skull argent wearing a fool's cap per pale ermine and Or. There is a CD for changes to the field. In this case, the hat is half of the charge; therefore, there is a second CD for changing half the tincture of the primary charge. Nor does the submitted device conflict with the badge for Feliciano Grimaldi, (Fieldless) A skull argent, wearing a fool's hat with three tassels gules, erminois, and azure. There is a CD for adding the field and another for changing the tincture of half the primary charge. [Fabio Ventura, 01/2008, R-Atenveldt]
[a bald human head in profile] There is no way to determine whether this head is masculine or feminine. A masculine head defaults to being in profile (facing dexter), which [JML: should be while] a feminine head is affronty (guardant). We have thus explicitly blazoned the orientation of the head. [Ascelina of Dereleie, 02/2008, A-Middle]
There was some question about the propriety of the wreaths on the savage's heads. As Albion noted:
Those aren't laurel wreaths, they're just generic wreaths, and part of the definition of a savage's head: "The 'savage's head' and the 'wild man's head' are shown with a wreath of leaves on their heads, since the leaves on the rest of their bodies are not in evidence" (PicDic s.v. Head, human). A complete savage is "a hairy bearded man girded with leaves, often carrying a club" (PicDic s.v. Human).
[Morgund McKenzie, 02/2008, A-Ansteorra]

HEAD - Jessant-de-lys

[A lion's face Or jessant of a pomegranate] The issue was raised if lions could be jessant of anything other than a fleur-de-lys. In April 1999 Laurel ruled when returning Francesca Da Trani's badge:
[Sable, a lion's head cabossed Or transfixed by a pomegranate gules, slipped and leaved vert] This is being returned for style. It is two steps removed from any attested period practice. The charge is essentially a lion's head jessant-de-pomegranate. This is unattested, but not by itself cause for return. In considering the submission of Eudoxia d'Antioche with an owl's head jessant-de-lys in March 1996 Laurel wrote "There was ... some concern that we here we are getting too far from period practice. (Period practice being leopard's head jessant-de-lys; one step from period practice being other beast's heads; and two steps from period practice being other types of heads, including birds' heads.) Given that we have in recent years a number of different types of heads (including humanoid) jessant of items other than a fleur-de-lys (including a complex cross), Laurel does not feel that this submission is so far from SCA practice as warrant a return on that ground." The second problem is that the pomegranate here is entirely on the lion's head, not overlapping as does a true jessant treatment. This makes the submission two steps removed from period practice, which is cause for return.
The pomegranate in this submission overlaps the head, though it would be better if the stem extended further, and thus is registerable -- although it is one step from period practice. [Shaul ben Yisrael of Poznan, 01/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]
There is a ... CD for the difference between a cat's head jessant-de-lys and a wolf's head jessant-de-lys. [Uffa of Grey Niche, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
[a ram's head caboshed argent horned and jessant of a straight trumpet Or] This device is returned for combining two elements each of which is a step from period practice. The period motif of a lion's face jessant-de-lys, with a lion's or leopard's head cabossed and a fleur-de-lys issuant from the back of its head and out its open mouth, was the basis for this design; but we have no examples of the motif that uses any head but a lion's head, or any jessant charge but a fleur-de-lys. In theory, one might substitute another type of head, but precedent speaks to that issue:
[considering an owl's head jessant-de-lis] There was ... some concern that we here we are getting too far from period practice. (Period practice being leopard's head jessant-de-lys; one step from period practice being other beast's heads; and two steps from period practice being other types of heads, including birds' heads.) [Eudoxia d'Antioche, 03/96]
In theory, one might also substitute another type of jessant charge: but the history of the lion's face jessant-de-lys makes that improbable as a period motif. The original form of the arms of Cantilou or Cantilupe, Gules, three fleurs-de-lys Or, was modified c.1290 to Gules, three leopards' heads jessant-de-lys Or [Wagner's Historic Heraldry of Britain, p. 43]; so the heads were a modification of the fleurs-de-lys, not the other way around. There are, of course, other examples of animals' heads transfixed by pointed charges (swords, spearheads, etc.) in period; but the specific motif of a head jessant-de-[charge] is unique and separate from those. We must rule, based on the motif's history, that having a head jessant any charge besides a fleur-de-lys is likewise a step from period practice.

So we have the use of a head (not a leopard's) jessant, which is one step from period practice; and the use of jessant-de-[not a fleur-de-lys], which is a second step from period practice. (And the ram's head here is definitely jessant: the gold of the trumpet is seen coming out of the ram's mouth, and is in front of the lower jaw.) The two steps together bring this beyond the permissible bounds of heraldic style; it must be returned.

Mind you, if this had been Counter-ermine, a straight trumpet Or surmounted by a ram's head cabossed argent armed Or, it would have been acceptable style; and we were tempted to register it that way. But we cannot register a manifestly incorrect blazon merely to avoid a stylistic problem; by the correct blazon for what was submitted, this must be returned. [Æðeluulf munuc, 11/2007, R-Outlands]
[wolf's heads caboshed ... each jessant of an arrow] In the case of the submitted device, we also have the use of a head (not a leopard's) jessant, which is one step from period practice; and the use of jessant-de-[not a fleur-de-lys], which is a second step from period practice. [Þórlæifr hvítskegg, 12/2007, R-East]

HEAD - Monster

[a bull's head cabossed sable winged as a seraph Or] This badge is returned for lack of identifiability. Most of the commenters noted that the combination of wings and the bull's head was unidentifiable. As al-Jamal commented:
I'm not at all sure about multiply winging a bull's head this way. The identifiability of exactly what has been done to the bull's head is difficult to make out without recourse to the blazon. The wings to the sides of the head are clear enough, the the lower wings are more likely to be mistaken for flames, and the upper wings put me more in mind of Don King's hairstyle than they do the addition of wings.
Lacking period heraldic evidence that seraph's wings were applied to other charges, this motif is not registerable. [Mag Mor, Barony of, 05/2007, R-Calontir]

HEART

[a triquetra interlaced with a heart voided] RfS VIII.3 states, "Elements must be used in a design so as to preserve their individual identifiability. Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by significant reduction in size, marginal contrast, excessive counterchanging, voiding, or fimbriation, or by being obscured by other elements of the design." In this case, the heart, a charge not usually seen voided, loses its identifiability when voided and interlaced with the triquetra. [Alessandra da Montefeltro, 05/2005, R-An Tir]
[(Fieldless) A heart per pale azure and gules] The fact that this fieldless armory appears to be a independent display of a different piece of armory (because the heart is a shield shape), is in itself a reason for return. This has ruling has been upheld as recently as February 2004: "Per the LoAR of April 2002 (which upheld a significant number of prior precedents), "Note ... our long-standing policy about such 'shield shape' charges used in fieldless badges if the tincture is not plain (thus, divided or with a field treatment), or if the charge is itself charged. Such armory will continue to be returned for the appearance of an independent form of armorial display." [Geoffrey Scott, 02/04, R-West]". [Keran Roslin, 11/2005, R-Æthelmearc]

HELM and HELMET

[(Fieldless) A helm sable torsed mantled and maintaining as a crest a crescent Or] This badge was returned in kingdom on the grounds that it resembles a crest and precedent has indicated many times that the SCA does not register crests. However, a variety of period evidence located by the College of Arms and by Wreath staff suggests that a helm with mantling and a crest is not at all unreasonable as an heraldic charge.

Certainly, plain helms are found as charges in period heraldry. They can, for example, be found in the arms of Daubeney (St. George's Roll 1285), Compton and Hamby (Collins' Roll 1295), Helmshoven (Zurich Roll 1340), von Widlungen (Siebmacher 1605), and Robertoun (Pont's Manuscript 1624). In addition, Parker (p. 317 s.n. Helmet) mentions that helmets used as heraldic charges are sometimes found with plumes of feathers, a fact borne out by Papworth's blazon of the arms of Mynyot from Philipot's Ordinary (1406), Arg. three helmets with open visors adorned with plumes of feathers az, and by the arms of von Frese (Siebmacher p. 204), Azure, a helm affronty proper crested of three ostrich plumes argent. Period examples of helms crested of items other than feathers can be found in multiple examples from Siebmacher: von Helme (p. 205), Argent, a helm proper crested of five banners sable, die Schaden (p. 208), Azure, a helm affronty proper mantled Or and crested of three pennons gules, argent and Or, Kircheim (p. 243), Gules, a helm affronty proper mantled Or and crested of a pair of horns argent, Kirttorf (p. 243), Gules, a helm affronty proper mantled azure and crested of a pair of horns argent, and Niedenstein (p.244), Or, a helm affronty proper crested of a lion rampant gules between a pair of bull's horns sable. These examples, several of which include both crest and mantling, lead us to conclude that the submitted badge, despite the unattested addition of the torse, is acceptable style. [Klaus Rother von Schweinichen and Thaddeus von Orlamünde, 06/2005, A-East]
As with most helms in heraldry, the Saxon helm faces to dexter by default. [Gina Dragoni, 01/2006, A-Ealdormere]
A Corinthian helmet is an open-faced helm, with a nasal and cheek-protection; it strongly resembles the barbute of the Italian Renaissance. Many Corinthian helmets included large horns, as in this submission. For those interested, the documentation submitted for this depiction of a helm came from a webpage www.freewebtown.com/italica/italic_military/general_italic/armor/helmets/corinthian.html, which is devoted to Corinthian helmets. The website includes photographs of an existing Corinthian helmet with sheet bronze horns dated to about 650 B.C., which probably came from Tarentum, and similar helmets found in tomb paintings from southern Italy. [Christian Thomas of York, 09/2006, A-Atlantia]
The kettle helm is also known in German as an eisenhut, and in French as a chapel de fer; under the latter term, it's been registered once in the SCA, in the device of Wilhelm von dem Bajwarishen Berg, August 1985. It's also a period charge: Batonvert notes that it's "found in the arms of Sowys, c.1460 [Randal Holme's Roll] and in the arms of Spiegel, 1605 [Siebmacher 179]." [Kasian Astrakhanovich, 10/2007, A-Lochac]

HORN - Creathre

There is a CD ... for the difference between a bull's scalp and a stag's attires. [Georg of Glacier's Edge, 07/2006, A-West]

HORSESHOE

... no difference is granted between a horseshoe and a torc (no matter what the torc's opening looks like). [Isabelle Winter, 09/2007, R-Lochac]
Please advise the submitter that the horseshoes should have square ends and should show the nail holes. [Dubhghall mac Donnchaidh, 02/2008, A-Atlantia]

HOURGLASS

Laurel has previously ruled that "[an hourglass purpure framed Or vs. an hourglass Or] ... the inside of an hourglass is at least half the charge. [Carlos Juan Ramiro, 12/99, A-Atlantia]". As an hourglass may be drawn with or without the side posts, as noted when registering the device for Nathaniel Grendel the Red in November 2002:
The College of Arms generally felt that the hourglass would be more recognizable with vertical posts on the sides of the frame. This hourglass is drawn with the standard top and bottom plate, but without any vertical side posts holding the top and bottom plates together. However, hourglasses without side posts were noted to be a "standard Society depiction" of an hourglass, so this depiction is acceptable: "...with the hourglass drawn in one of its standard Society depictions (i.e., without the posts)" (LoAR 26 November 1989). We encourage the submitter to draw future renditions of the hourglass with the posts to enhance the identifiability of the charge.
As such, the frame of an hourglass must be considered less than half the charge and its tincture counts naught for difference between hourglasses. [Madrone, Barony of, 05/2007, R-An Tir]

HUMAN

Registered in January 1987 with the blazon ... wild man ... the term "wild man" normally refers to another type of human, one completely covered with hair (or leaves... descriptions vary). The SCA has only one other registration of "wild man", in the arms of Corwyn Wodewarde registered in 1982, and it matches this definition. On the other hand, all the other human figures like Thomas's, naked but girded in leaves, have been blazoned "savages" or "sauvages" in the SCA. [Thomas ap Llewellyn, 12/2006, A-Middle]
Human figures. Unless a specific type of human is stated, whose definition includes the style, or lack, of clothing (e.g., monk, savage, etc.), the type of clothing on a human figure is usually left to the artist. However, some clothing is assumed. Nude human figures must have the fact expressly blazoned. [10/2007 CL]
[Sable, a man statant affronty argent crined and bearded Or maintaining in each hand a flanged mace argent] This device is returned for conflict with the device of Bari the Unfettered, Barry argent and gules, a naked man manacled on each wrist, lengths of broken chain pendant, and a length of broken chain at his feet, all proper. In a similar case, Laurel ruled:
[(Fieldless) A horned man vested of a loincloth maintaining in his dexter hand a sword inverted and in his sinister hand two spears inverted crossed at the butts argent] Conflict with Bari the Unfettered, Barry argent and gules, a naked man manacled on each wrist, lengths of broken chain pendant, and a length of broken chain at his feet, all proper. There's one CD for fieldlessness. There is no difference for the changes to the small held charges (including the chains in Bari's armory as small held charges), and no difference for adding the horns to the man's head. [William FitzHugh de Cambria, 12/02, R-Meridies]
The submitted device has a single CD for changes to the field, and thus must be returned for conflict with Bari's device.

The submitted device is also returned for conflict with the device for Gilrae of Moorburn, Azure, a fox-headed woman affronté statant, hands crossed at the waist, vested argent, with a single CD for changes to the field. No difference is granted for the position of the arms or for the type of head. [Gamli tottr, 02/2008, R-East]
[Argent, in pale a demi-maiden proper crined gules and vested purpure] In registering the arms of the College of Sankt Vladimir in October 2001 Laurel wrote:
The device blazon appears at first glance to refer to an argent angel on an argent field. However, given the tinctures of the hair, wings and garb of the angel, there is no argent portion of the angel which rests directly on the field. Thus this has no more of a contrast problem than there is in the arms Argent, a cross argent fimbriated azure.
The same is true in this case: while Caucasian proper is equivalent to argent, and thus generally not registerable on an argent field, in this case no portion of the maiden's skin is touching the field. In April 1993 (v. Rosamond of Lancashire) it was ruled "a design that depends on artistic details (long flowing hair, style of dress) to achieve acceptable contrast is fatally flawed". That precedent referred to a maiden argent; Laurel noted at the time "this would be acceptable if the maiden were entirely gules -- indeed, if the skin were proper I'd be willing to meet the submitter halfway -- but I can't permit argent on argent, when only artistic license makes the figure visible." At this time we are ruling that in the case of humans proper relying on the hair and clothing to prevent a contrast problem is acceptable. If you have to specify the hair style or style of clothing to guarantee identifiability of the charge, then a contrast problem will exist. If you simply say "crined and vested", and the result is little or no skin touching the field, then a contrast problem doesn't exist (assuming the human can still be identified). This applies only to humans proper, not humans argent. [Jose Leodefrediz, 03/2008, A-Meridies]

IDENTIFIABILITY

[a triquetra interlaced with a heart voided] RfS VIII.3 states, "Elements must be used in a design so as to preserve their individual identifiability. Identifiable elements may be rendered unidentifiable by significant reduction in size, marginal contrast, excessive counterchanging, voiding, or fimbriation, or by being obscured by other elements of the design." In this case, the heart, a charge not usually seen voided, loses its identifiability when voided and interlaced with the triquetra. [Alessandra da Montefeltro, 05/2005, R-An Tir]
In addition, the way the eagle displayed is drawn - with its head and legs against the body - renders it virtually unidentifiable, a reason for return in its own right. If the submitter wishes to use an eagle displayed in a resubmission, please advise him to draw it in the standard fashion with the head and legs lying entirely on the field. [Dammo Utwiler, 06/2005, R-Calontir]

INKHORN

A pen and inkhorn (ink bottle) is not a single charge. [Rhiannon Amber ferch Morgan ap Maredudd, 08/2006, R-Middle]
Blazond on the LoI as an inkpot, the charge is not an inkpot as defined for SCA use, nor is it simply a pot which implies a flesh-pot or cooking pot. The term clay pot does describe this type of basic ceramic pot, and will be used for this type of pot in the future. [Elynor of Glastonbury, 09/2007, A-Calontir]

JAPANESE MON and CHARGES

The nami, or great wave, is a uniquely Japanese charge, which cannot be adequately described in European heraldic terms. It has been disallowed for SCA use since 1995.

This is part of the SCA's long-standing policy regarding Japanese culture. As the most recent edition of the Society's By-Laws states: "The SCA shall be dedicated primarily to the promotion of research and re-creation in the field of pre-17th-century Western culture." Items from outside the SCA's domain must be compatible with that goal.

Regarding the use of waves, Laurel ruled in the return of Oonami Yoshirou Kageyoshi (LoAR of August 1995):
"We don't register mon in the traditional Japanese style. Our emphasis is on European armory; our policy on Japanese-style submissions parallels the Society's policy on Japanese personae. Japanese personae are considered visitors to a European court (v. the SCA Organizational Handbook, p.74); Japanese-style armory are considered the attempts of such visitors to register their mon with a European king of arms.... This policy has been in place at least since April 83 --- as have the policy's logical extensions. Mon must be blazonable in European heraldic terminology, and meet European standards of style; a decade of registrations has shown they can do this and still keep their Japanese aura." (Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, 8 May 1993 Cover Letter (with the March 1993 LoAR), pp. 2-3) Here, the use of a Japanese great wave, or nami, has no European heraldic equivalent; it cannot be described in European heraldic terms.
The great wave still cannot be adequately described in European heraldic terms; this device must therefore be returned. [Kaga Ruri, 03/2006, R-Outlands]
The use of kanji is one step from period practice. By which, yes, we mean period European heraldic practice. [Yamahara Yorimasa, 03/2006, R-Æthelmearc]
Concerning Japanese wisteria sprigs: Most of the examples in period mon have the large leaf in chief with the sprig of blossoms hanging to base, while the SCA default for other heraldic sprigs and branches is the opposite. ... We will continue to use the SCA standard as the default orientation for Japanese wisteria sprigs (the leaf in base when in the default orientation). [Soma no Ryoichi Masayuki, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
The LoI blazoned the primary charge as a Japanese cedar tree. This is not a period heraldic charge in the domain of the Society and, without evidence of its use, would be unregisterable. However, it can be reblazoned as a rose leaf and registered as such. [Takayama Yasunaka Uchiyasu, 05/2006, A-Calontir]

JEWELRY

[gemstone] The Pictorial Dictionary (q.v. Jewelry) notes that individual gemstones are period charges; however, using two "unset" gemstones and the same gemstone "set" in a necklace is a step from period practice. [Giuliana Maria di Grazia, 07/2005, R-An Tir]
[necklace] ... the string of beads isn't really in a blazonable arrangement -- they aren't in annulo, nor does there seem to be a default for necklaces. Please inform the submitter that if she intends to resubmit a necklace, it has to be in blazonable arrangement. [Giuliana Maria di Grazia, 07/2005, R-An Tir]
[comb] The default comb in mundane and SCA heraldry has rows of teeth on opposites sides (a double comb). For artistic reasons we are blazoning this as a single-sided comb, though there is no difference between the two types of combs. [Solveig Tryggvadottir, 04/2006, A-An Tir]
This is the defining instance of a paternoster. It is an oval of even sized beads with a cross pendant at the bottom. The cross is essentially a maintained charge, thus a paternoster will not receive a CD from a necklace. The documentation presented supports this style of paternoster or a paternoster with two sizes of beads - small beads with larger beads at intervals. There is no heraldic difference for the size of the beads. [Christian de Holacombe, 05/2006, A-West]
[(Fieldless) A sheaf of a sword inverted between four arrows argent bound with a garter sable] The LoI stated "This design is undeniably period, despite the somewhat cumbersome blazon. We note that 'Fettered Cock Pewterers' sells a charm nearly identical to this design, which they call 'Battle Archers'. ... The website states the charm is based upon the badge of Prince Arthur (brother of Henry VIII). Souvenirs and Secular Badges (by Brian Spencer, Museum of London, copyright 1998) says on p.298 while describing a very similar badge without the central sword (#293), 'Five arrows tied at the middle was a badge of Arthur, Prince of Wales (1486-1502).' Prince Arthur is an important enough person to protect his armory, but we don't have a specific blazon to cite. Therefore, we feel the best course of action is to forward this badge for the College's consideration."

Fox-Davies's Heraldic Badges, p. 153 (s.n., Wales, Prince of) provides the blazon requested in the LoI: Five arrows tied in the middle, starwise. The submission, and the Fettered Cock Pewterers' charm, are not the same as Prince Arthur's badge; and in any case, it is our opinion that Prince Arthur's badge isn't important enough to protect.

However, the fact that the submission is well-nigh identical to the Fettered Cock Pewterers' charm raised another issue. The submitter is trying to register a design that is commercially available to anyone. A pewter casting of a charge may be considered a tinctureless display of that charge; it is the design itself we must consider. We saw no sign on the merchant's website that the design is copyrighted; still, anyone is able to purchase and wear this charm. The question is whether the charm should be protected.

The College of Arms has a long history of protecting famous pieces of jewelry: "We all recognize that beautiful piece of jewelry; there are people making a living out of selling reproductions of it; in some senses it is copyright and in others it is in the public domain; and you cannot register it." (KFW, June 1979) That precedent referred to a famous museum piece, a gold Scythian stag courant; it was the fame and recognition factor of the piece that caused the submissions return. That criterion doesn't seem to apply here.

At the time the Modest Proposal was implemented, we stopped checking for conflict against every piece of real world armory we could find regardless of its importance. We have no desire to start checking armory, particularly fieldless badges, against all available jewelry catalogs in order to determine if a specific piece of jewelry should be protected. If a piece of jewelry is famous enough to be immediately recognized, it merits protection. But in general, commercially available charms, pewter castings, etc., will not be protected against conflict.

There are two consequences of this. First, it's not the charges themselves that cause a piece of jewelry to be protected: it's the exact representation. The difference is between, say, registering (Fieldless) A nude man statant affronty argent and Michelangelo's David. The one is a perfectly valid armorial design; the other is so famous that it cannot be reserved to a single individual. Merchants often make use of generic heraldic elements such as fleurs-de-lys, sea-lions, and estoiles when creating items for sale. As valid heraldic design elements, their use on merchandise does not prevent their use in heraldic badges.

Second, it remains true that this badge is commercially available to anyone, inside or outside the SCA, and may be worn by anyone. The submitter has, in effect, traded exclusive use of the badge for ease in obtaining renderings of it. Given the otherwise nondescript nature of the design, we feel this is her choice. [Ingilborg Sigmundardóttir, 06/2006, A-Caid]
Torques have their openings to base by default. [Kilian Wyldebor, 01/2007, A-Atlantia]
[a brilliant-cut gemstone in profile] The device is returned for non-period style. Blazoned on the LoI as a set cut gemstone, the charge in base appears rather to be a brilliant cut gemstone. Our rules (RfS VII.3) allow artifiacts known in the period and domain of the Society to be registered as armorial elements provided they are depicted in their period forms. The brilliant cut, being developed in the 17th Century, is post-period and not registerable.

The other problem is that the gemstone is in profile. Batonvert noted: "However, be it known that my sole example in period heraldry of a gemstone used as an independent charge (i.e., not attached to a ring or other piece of jewelry), in the civic arms of Beihlstein (Siebmacher 226), shows the gem from above, not in profile. A set gem would be likewise seen from above. Neither in its natural setting (as it were) nor in heraldry would a gemstone be seen in profile. Granted that we've registered gemstones in profile once before (in the arms of Theresa Yolanda Cabeza de Vaca, April 2005), it remains a poor practice, and I see no reason to perpetuate it." Theresa's device was blazoned Argent, two chevronels braced and on a chief rayonny sable three faceted gemstones in profile argent. However, she also submitted documentation showing that style of gem cut (with a flat top, or table, with eight supplementary facets) was developed in 1380. No such documentation has been adduced here.

A non-period cut for a gemstone is not registerable. Depicting a gemstone in profile is a step from period practice. [Taran MacThamhais, 02/2007, R-Northshield]
... there is a CD but not a substantial (X.2) difference between a serpent involved and a penannular brooch... [Sarpedon Aegineta, 08/2007, R-Caid]
... no difference is granted between a horseshoe and a torc (no matter what the torc's opening looks like). [Isabelle Winter, 09/2007, R-Lochac]
[An annulet of flame] The submitted badge is also clear of ... an open penannular brooch, pin to base ... While a penannular brooch is granted no difference from an annulet, both are granted a CD from an annulet of flames. [Wiesenfeuer, Barony of, 06/2008, A-Ansteorra]

KEY

There is no default orientation for keys, though (as noted in the Glossary of Terms) when they are fesswise, the wards are to dexter and facing downwards. In this case the wards are to sinister and facing downwards, so the key is reversed. [Sabina Makcaill, 03/2007, A-East]

KNOTS

[Argent, a heart purpure within a Bowen knot crosswise sable] This conflicts with Darcy Graham, Argent, a Bowen knot in cross sable. Normally the charge in the center of the field is the primary charge; however, in this case each lobe of the Bowen knot is the same size as the heart. Given the nature of a Bowen knot (or Bowen cross), there is no way to make the central charge larger without shrinking those lobes, making the knot less identifiable. Thus in armory with a <charge> within a Bowen knot, the Bowen knot is the primary charge and the <charge> is secondary.

This ruling does not change the fact that a charge within an annulet or a mascle is the primary charge. [Emmeline Dernelove, 08/2005, R-Caid]
[A Wake knot palewise Or] There was a question on the correct orientation of the Wake badge which is currently protected, (Tinctureless) A Wake knot. A Wake knot is fesswise by default; therefore that is the orientation in which it is protected. We have no examples of the Wake knot in multiple orientations in the Wake badge. Until we are presented such evidence we will continue to grant a CD for orientation of this knot. [Swan the Red, 09/2005, A-An Tir]
[two natural panthers rampant addorsed, tails nowed together] The exact type of knot used to tie the panthers' tails is considered an artistic detail. [Caíreach inghean uí Ghiolla Phádraig, 12/2005, A-Outlands]
[three Wake knots conjoined in pall throughout] Current precedent on conjoined knots states:
[two Wake knots conjoined in pale] A Wake knot, as per the PicDic, is fesswise by default. Two Wake knots in pale would be arranged like these. However there is no guarantee that the loose ends would tie up as neatly as in this badge. It is as likely that the loose ends would stick out and the round parts would be conjoined.

The fact that the loose ends do connect up with each other in an unbroken interlace could imply that this is "knotwork". On the other hand, the knots maintain their identifiability as Wake knots, which are themselves a standard heraldic knot. The conjunction may not be the only way to conjoin the knots, but it is an acceptable way to do so.

A pertinent precedent on the topic is in the LoAR of November 1994, for the Middle Kingdom's Order of the Cavendish Knot, [Fieldless] Four Cavendish knots conjoined in cross vert:
There was much commentary on the issue of whether the charge runs afoul of our long-standing ban on knotwork; the consensus here seems to be similar to that of several years ago when we were considering three Wake knots conjoined in pall: "The question is whether the conjunction of the knots diminishes their identifiability to the point where they should not be allowed. In this case, the answer seems to be 'no'. Note, however, that this would not be the case were the knots not of themselves clearly defined period heraldic charges, were the knot itself complex or requiring modification in shape to produce the conjunction (as would be the case with a Lacy knot) or were the numbers so increased ... as to diminish the size seriously." (Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane, LoAR of 26 November 1989, p. 9)

It should be noted, however, that this badge is probably pushing right to the limits of the allowance; an increase of number would probably begin to reduce the identifiability of the separate knots.
This conjunction of knots is a weirdness, but as there is only one such weirdness, it is registerable. [Nottinghill Coill, Barony of, 08/01, A-Atlantia]
Conjoined knots are, in fact, found in period, in the arms of die Zyganer (Siebmacher, pl.73) which we would blazon as: Azure, three Cavendish knots conjoined in pall inverted Or. Die Karwinsker, plate 76, has the identical arms, and the crest makes obvious what type of knots are used. Given the period examples, and the fact that the Wake knots in this submission retain their identifiability, they are registerable. [Sadb ingen Abner uí Lorccáin, 05/2006, A-Caid]
A masthead knot, which is not used in heraldry outside the SCA, was last registered in August 1977. Pending evidence that the masthead, or jury mast, knot was known in period, its use as a heraldic charge is hereby disallowed in future registrations. [Mór ingen Lonáin, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
[(Fieldless) In saltire four mascles interlaced argent] This badge is returned for conflict with the protected badge of Bowen, (Tinctureless) A Bowen knot. There are period examples of Bowen knots drawn with square corners, c.f. The Oxford Guide to Heraldry, p. 149. There is a single CD under RfS X.4.a.iii for fieldlessness. [Turgeis Hakonsson and Sunniva Kyrre, 09/2006, R-Atlantia]
A correctly drawn Stafford knot, even of chain, does not infringe on a knight's chain. [Antonio Alexandre Dias de Navarra, 10/2006, A-Meridies]
[Three triquetras one and two conjoined vert] This badge is returned for violating our long-standing ban on Celtic knotwork ("Knotwork is not, by and large, heraldic." Karina of the Far West, July, 1979). Individual triquetras are acceptable charges, but when conjoined as they are here, the interlacing combines visually into a single, complex knotwork pattern that is neither identifiable nor particularly heraldic. [Aylwin Wyllowe, 02/2007, R-Atenveldt]
[three Lacy knots] This does not conflict with the device for Katla úlfhéðinn, Per pale gules and sable, three snakes nowed argent. Katla's snakes are nowed in Cavendish knots; there is a substantial (X.2) difference between a Lacy knot and these nowed snakes. We decline to rule at this time whether this difference extends to standard Cavendish knots. We encourage the College to provide research on whether or not substantial difference should be granted between various types of knots. [Lasairfhíona inghean an Sheanchaide, 07/2007, A-Outlands]
... at least a CD between a quatrefoil knot and a Lacy knot. [Genna inghean Braonáin uí Amaind, 11/2007, R-Lochac]
The precedent disallowing mascle knots (Madigan of Kandahar, R-Outlands, 03/1996) is hereby overturned. While it is true that the charge was not known in period (and in fact appears to be an SCA invention), it doesn't seem that incompatible with period charges: for example, see the angular Bowen knots in the arms of ap Owain, 1530 (Oxford Guide to Heraldry, p. 149). Based on those charges, the mascle knot is just one step from period practice, and hence registerable. [Eva Wen verch Wiliam, 05/2008, R-Artemisia]

LAMP

This lantern does not match the one shown in the Pictorial Dictionary; however, it is obviously a lantern and is registerable. The submitter provided period documentation for this style of lantern (http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/medieval/francais/c186.htm). The presence or absence of a candle need not be blazoned. [Brunissende Dragonette de Brocéliande, 09/2005, A-East]
There is a significant difference (a CD), but not a substantial (X.2) difference between a winged tankard and a winged lantern. [Hawkwood, Barony of, 08/2007, R-Atlantia]

LEAF

There is a significant, but not a substantial, difference between oak leaves and maple leaves. [Natali'a Petrova Moskvina, 07/2005, R-Northshield]
There is not a CD between a grape leaf and a ivy leaf. [Ivyeinrust, Bailiwick of, 09/2005, R-East]
... a CD ... for the difference between a maple leaf and an aspen leaf. [Caerthe, Barony of, 12/2005, A-Outlands]
As a leaf is not simple enough to void, there is not a CD for changing the type of tertiary charges under RfS X.4.j.ii. [Caerthe, Barony of, 12/2005, A-Outlands]
[holly leaves vs. oak leaves] Precedent states:
[Returning Per bend azure and sable, on a bend wavy between two oak-leaves argent three holly-leaves azure.] Prior Laurel precedent (December 1993 LoAR, p. 12) does not grant a CD between oak leaves and holly leaves. As a consequence this is being returned for the use of two different but heraldically similar charges on a single device. [4/94, p.18]
[Helene Noel de Montbeliart, 05/2006, R-Calontir]
The LoI blazoned the primary charge as a Japanese cedar tree. This is not a period heraldic charge in the domain of the Society and, without evidence of its use, would be unregisterable. However, it can be reblazoned as a rose leaf and registered as such. [Takayama Yasunaka Uchiyasu, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
[a leaf vs. a card pique] ... visual conflict under RfS X.5 ... This leaf is a nice, oval leaf, which is the default for a generic leaf. As noted elsewhere in this letter (q.v.Marthe Elsbeth of Oak Hill, R-Meridies), there is a CD between an oak leaf and a card pique; however, a generic leaf is not an oak leaf (and in fact there is CD between a generic leaf and an oak leaf). A properly drawn oak leaf would be unlikely to visually conflict with a card pique. [Elaria filia Robert, 09/2006, R-Atenveldt]
While there is a CD between a card pique and an oak leaf, there is not a substantial (X.2) difference ... [Marthe Elsbeth of Oak Hill, 09/2006, R-Meridies]
Blazoned on the LoI as tea leaves, the submitter hasn't shown that tea leaves were known to period Europeans. The 1911 E. Britannica (vol.xxvi, p.476) cites the first European mention of tea as a drink in 1588; a website devoted to tea (http://www.bramahmuseum.co.uk/tea/index.htm) dates the earliest mention at 1560, in the writings of a Portuguese missionary to China, Father Jasper de Cruz. While the Portuguese knew of the drink, they "did little towards the introduction of it into Europe, and it was not till the Dutch established themselves at Bantam early in the 17th Century that these adventurers learned from the Chinese the habit of tea drinking and brought it into Europe." (1911 EB, op cit).

Another source, Seeds of Change: Six Plants that Transformed Mankind by Henry Hobhouse, p.117 et seq: "Tea, coffee and cocoa all arrived in London in the same year, 1652. The word 'tea' occurs in Shakespeare, and 'cha,' the Canton-Macao form, crops up in Lisbon from about 1550... The Portuguese were probably the earliest tea drinkers in Europe, since they brought it to Lisbon from about 1580 onward. They may also have been keen consumers of the Arab mint tea, which was a well-known infusion before the arrival of tea itself."

While tea was known in Portugal in late period, we must assume that such tea was exported in a "brewable" form, not necessarily in leaf form. If the submitter has evidence to show that tea leaves were known in pre-1600 Europe, of course, we'd welcome it.

Tea leaves, as emblazoned in this submission, have an oval shape. This matches the generic leaf and we have blazoned the leaves as generic leaves in order to register this armory. [Barbara of Arklow, 10/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]
From Wreath: Linden Trees
A submission this month raised the question of the depiction of linden leaves. Depictions in the SCA have varied over the years, with some being pointy oval-shaped leaves more usually associated with laurel trees, to the 'invected bushy' style favored by grade-schoolers.

A period depiction of linden leaves can be found in the arms of von Linden, 1605, in Siebmacher, plate 141, in the center of the top row. In this case, we are certain of the identification due to the cant. The leaves shown there are heart-shaped, and we are making this the SCA definition of linden leaves.

We have examined the items in the Ordinary which claimed to be linden trees or leaves and reblazoned those which do not have heart-shaped leaves as either laurel or generic trees. [09/2007 CL]
... the tree doesn't have the heart-shaped leaves which define the linden. We have reblazoned this as a laurel tree, since the leaves appear to be of that shape (elliptical, non-serrated, pointed at both ends). [Alinor Bellissima Montgomery, 09/2007, A-Caid]
This device is returned for conflict with the device for Alina de Montague, Azure, on a pile argent between two fleurs-de-lys Or a sprig of holly vert, fructed gules. There is a CD for changing the tincture of the pile. There is a significant difference (X.4.e) but not a substantial difference (X.2) between a thistle and Alianor's sprig of holly, which is depicted as three holly leaves in pile. Both the thistle's leaves and the holly leaves are jagged with many points. [Alianor Rowan, 11/2007, R-Artemisia]
This badge is returned for a redraw of the leaves. They are not oak leaves. The LoI suggested that they could be reblazoned as Japanese oak leaves based on depictions of mon found in the Matsuya collection; however, depictions of mon elements are generally allowed only if they can be blazoned in (European) heraldic terms. These leaves do not resemble leaves found in period heraldry, and no evidence was presented the Japanese oak was known in Europe prior to 1600. We cannot reblazon these as simply as "leaves" since, unlike most other generic charges, a leaf has a specific shape: it is oval shaped and possibly has a pointed tip. We grant a CD between a generic leaf and oak leaves (among others). [Alfgeirr skytja, 06/2008, R-Calontir]
There is a CD ... for the difference between oak leaves and linden leaves. [Alfgeirr skytja, 06/2008, R-Calontir]

LEG and JAMBE

[feet inverted] We note that inverting the feet severely impairs their identifiability. The submitter should be prepared to argue for their acceptance, should he resubmit with inverted feet. [Ulf des Vandrer, 07/2005, R-Middle]
[An eagle's leg erased á la quise sable] This badge is clear of ... A raven's foot couped... There is a CD ... for the difference between a bird's leg and foot. [Ansteorra, Kingdom of, 10/2005, A-Ansteorra]
[two bear's paws couped aversant] Woodward, p. 222, gives an example of lion's paws and states "a lion's paw is cut off at the middle joint, and is usually shown erect as in fig. 8, the coat of Usher of Featherstone: Argent, three lion's paws couped and erect sable." The paws are facing dexter as if clawing something. Parker, pp. 282-3 gives a similar definition and another example of lion's paws, this time erased. Given these examples, a bear's paw is registerable. Having the paws aversant, as in this submission, reduces their identifiability, but not fatally. [Gillian MacLachlan de Holrode, 07/2006, A-East]
Dragon's and lion's jambes are erect (with their claws to chief) by default ... [Ronan Barrett, 12/2006, A-An Tir]
... the default posture for dragon's feet is with claws to chief (as with lion's jambs, and as opposed to bird's legs with claws to base). Also, the talon is only a claw, while this shows the full foot and some of the leg. [One Thousand Eyes, Barony of, 05/2007, A-Artemisia]

LIGHTNING BOLT

A lightning flash, like a lightning bolt, does not have a default orientation. [Tav-Alandil, 05/2007, A-Atenveldt]

LINES of DIVISION - Jagged

... a chief invected should have five to eight invects ... [Stórvarr örvarsmiðr, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
[Per pale engrailed] This is returned for a redraw - thirteen engrailings is too many "cups". Drawing so many engrailings forces them to be too small to be identified from a distance. The nine engrailings on the mini-emblazon were borderline ... [Deredere of Aberdeen, 10/2005, R-Ealdormere]
... there is a CD ... for the difference between indented and wavy. [Sabine de Kerbriant, 11/2006, A-East]
From Wreath: Invected and Engrailed
A couple of recent submissions have caused us to revisit the College's definitions of field divisions invected and engrailed - particularly Per pale invected/engrailed. There has been a great deal of confusion regarding these lines, due to their inherent asymmetry.

The engrailed line is one of the earliest complex lines, dating from the 13th Century at least. The term was used interchangeably with indented, but was frequently drawn as it's commonly known today: a series of semi-circles carved into the edge of the ordinary to form little cups ("grails"). Invected (or invecked), on the other hand, is a relative latecomer: our earliest citation of it is from Tudor times, in the Book of St. Albans. It's the opposite of engrailed: a series of semi-circles forming lobes out from the ordinary, rather than notches into it.

Both invected and engrailed were originally applied to charges, not field divisions. While there are frequent period examples of divisions with symmetric complex lines (e.g., indented, wavy or embattled), there were few that were engrailed or invected. This may well have been because, being asymmetric, it was difficult to apply them to a field as opposed to a charge.

Fox-Davies' Complete Guide to Heraldry, p. 73, cites a single example, and gives the rule by which modern heralds define invected/engrailed divisions:
The only instance I can call to mind where it is so employed is the case of Baird of Ury, the arms of this family being: Per pale engrailed gules and or, a boar passant counterchanged. In this instance the points are turned towards the sinister side of the shield, which would seem to be correct, as, there being no ordinary, they must be outwards from the most important position affected, which in this case undoubtedly is the dexter side of the shield. In the same way 'per fess engrailed' would be presumably depicted with the points outward from the chief line of the shield, that is, they would point downwards; and I should imagine that in 'per bend engrailed' the points of the semicircles would again be placed inclined towards the dexter base of the shield, but I may be wrong in these two latter cases, for they are only supposition.
The Society has, of course, evolved its own rule. Probably because, in most heraldry texts, the complex lines are shown as though they were the top edge of a fess, the Society defined Per fess engrailed with the points to chief, rather than to base as described by Fox-Davies; and the other divisions were treated likewise, with the exception of Per pale. In that case, the College chose to follow the known mundane example.

This mix of Society and mundane convention has caused considerable confusion over the years. Reviewing past registrations, it turns out that the same complex Per pale line was registered variously as Per pale invected and Per pale engrailed, even though they all had their points to sinister. If we cannot remember the default for the line, it becomes almost meaningless to try to blazon it... or register it.

Period heraldic tracts are mostly silent on this point, but Bossewell's Workes of Armorie, 1572, does give some insight. Fo. 29 shows an example of Per fesse envecked, so blazoned - and the points of the line are to base, following the Society default and not the modern default. Similarly, on fo. 27 we see an example of Quarterly engrayled, which is treated like a combination of Per fess engrailed and Per pale engrailed. The points are to chief and to sinister.

It would therefore seem that, in period, heralds defined the engrailed/invected in the same manner as we do in the Society --with the same confusion. Given the difficulties in remembering exceptions to the rule, we intend to bring our perennial problem child Per pale into line with the other field divisions. We therefore confirm and expand our current definition: A field division engrailed has the points to the "honorable" part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister engrailed have the points to chief, while Per pale engrailed now has the points to dexter. A field division invected has the points to the less honorable part of the shield: Per fess, per chevron, per bend and per bend sinister invected have the points to base, and Per pale invected has the points to sinister. This will require only a handful of blazon corrections, all of Per pale fields.

And what of Quarterly, per saltire, and per pall engrailed/invected? I was afraid you'd ask... These could either be drawn as in Bossewell, as combinations of the above lines (e.g., Per fess and per pale for Quarterly), or else the line could "revolve" around the center of the shield (e.g. a Quarterly invected line would have points to sinister at top, points to chief on the dexter limb, points to dexter on the base limb, and points to base on the sinister limb). As long as the emblazon is unambiguous, we'll accept either form. [03/2007 CL]
This device is returned for redraw of the chevron. The ins-and-outs of the complex lines of the chevron are in phase (both up or both down) which means that the chevron is dancetty, not indented as blazoned on the LoI. A chevron indented would have an indent up while the indent opposite of it is down. It's not a chevron indented, by definition; as a chevron dancetty, it's drawn in a non-period style with overbroad, shallow indents. [Berewyn Connell of Blakwode, 09/2007, R-Æthelmearc]
[Per bend embattled grady Or and gules] Regarding the line of division, Albion noted "Raneke has various examples of what I would blazon a fess embattled grady bretessed, per bend embattled grady, per bend sinister embattled grady, and per fess embattled grady, all dating in the 14th-15th C." Therefore, this line of division is acceptable. We decline to rule at this time whether or not a CD should be granted between this line of division and indented. [William de Molay, 04/2008, A-Ansteorra]

LINES of DIVISION - Long

[a base rayonny] Drawn with three rayons, there needs to be at least one more rayon in the rayonny - and doubling the number would be better. [Friedrich Sybold, 09/2006, R-West]

LINES of DIVISION - Miscellaneous

[Argent, a rose within an annulet embattled on the inner edge sable] Several commenters suggested that this was equivalent to Argent, on a pellet a cogwheel argent charged with a rose sable, which would be returnable for having four layers. However, when blazoned as an annulet embattled on the inner edge the device is reproducible and avoids the style problem on four layers. It is therefore registerable. A complex line of division on the inner edge only of an annulet will be considered one step from period practice pending evidence of this treatment for anything other than ordinaries in period. ...

Some commenters argued that embattling only the inner edge of the annulet (the "inferior" edge) should not be worth a CD. The pertinent ruling was made by Da'ud Laurel:
[A bend potenty on the lower edge] "Conflict with [a plain bend]. Were the ordinary in this proposal potenty on both sides, it would be clear, but the majority of the commenters (and Laurel) did not feel that difference should be granted for this non-period treating of only one (and that the less visually important) side of an ordinary. The only period examples of treating one side of an ordinary which were noted was that of embattling the upper edge of an ordinary." (LoAR 11/90 p.15).
It was the absence of examples of ordinaries with only their lower edges treated that prompted the ruling. Examples have since been found of period ordinaries whose lower edges were treated: e.g., Siebmacher, plate 188, shows Argent, a bend raguly on the lower edge sable, in sinister chief a mullet of six points gules. With evidence that both the upper and lower edges of ordinaries could be independently treated, the ruling loses much of its force. We hereby overturn it and rule that treating either edge of an ordinary (or a charge of similar simplicity, such as an annulet) is worth a CD from the untreated charge. [Takeda Sanjuichiro Akimasa, 09/2005, A-Atlantia]
This device is returned for a redraw of the line of division. Blazoned on the LoI as fleury-counter-fleury, the line of division resembles tulips not fleurs-de-lys. No evidence was presented that such a line of division was a reasonable variant of fleury-counter-fleury.

For a period example of a fleury-counter-fleury line of division, see the arms of Jane Collyns, dated 1559, in Bedingford & Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry, p.50. [Esa Baird, 11/2005, R-Æthelmearc]
[a shamrock per pale azure and vert] The shamrock is divided down the center, with a slight curve in the per pale division as it follows the curve of the shamrock's slip. This is an acceptable variation of per pale for charges such as this. [Rose Bailie Marsh, 05/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]
[Per bend sinister azure and argent, a horse's head and a horse's head inverted reversed both issuant from the line of division counterchanged] The motif is actually one where the line of division "morphs" into the charges, but we have to blazon it as though it were two charges - and the postures of the charges must be made explicit. [Hildegard von Garmisch, 01/2007, A-Middle]
[Per bend sinister argent and sable, a demi-weasel and a demi-weasel inverted reversed both issuant from the line of division counterchanged] The motif is actually one where the line of division "morphs" into the charges, but we have to blazon it as though it were two charges - and the postures of the charges must be made explicit. [Hrodolf Gullskeggr, 01/2007, A-Outlands]
This is returned for dividing a charge into gyronny of sixteen. It has previously been ruled that "In Society heraldry, while fields may be gyronny of as many as 12, charges may be gyronny of no more than 8. (LoAR of 22 March 83) (Katrine Vanora of Maidstone, October, 1992, pg. 26)". Later precedent allows fields of gyronny of sixteen; from the June 1999 LoAR:
Padric O Mullan. Device. Gyronny of sixteen gules and Or, a Celtic cross azure. The question was raised regarding whether gyronny of sixteen is period, and whether it can be used in the SCA. Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials, cites an instance from the 12th century, and Martin Schrot's Wappenbuch, a German heraldic treatise shows a 16th century example. Additionally, the LoI mentions a 13th century example. Given this, we will register Gyronny of sixteen in simple cases, but nothing more, barring period evidence.
Barring similar evidence for charges divided gyronny of sixteen, they remain unregisterable. [Edborough Kellie, 04/2007, R-Caid]
... as Laurel has previously ruled (03/2000), a second CD for the difference between embattled and potenty. [Paul the Small, 11/07, A-Gleann Abhann]

LINES of DIVISION - Square

[a bordure denticulada azure] The submitter provided copious documentation to support the use of this bordure in Iberian armory. Commenters also supplied evidence that similar bordures can be found in Italy and in England. We believe that its use is compatible with general SCA style and blazon, just as we permit the use of Germanic motifs such as the schneke.

The documentation provided actually showed two different types of this bordure. One variant is a bordure compony that shares a tincture with the field. Another variant, as in this submission, has no line marking the edge of the bordure, giving the impression of square "teeth" that issue from the edges of the field at regular intervals. In some of the latter cases, the bordure is clearly not a bordure compony because the "teeth" actually go around the corners at the top of the field. We have elected, therefore, to maintain the Spanish denticulada as the blazon for this second variant.

Finally, the documentation provided, together with the supplementary materials noted in commentary, demonstrates that our precedents banning the use of a bordure compony that shares a tincture with the field, which date to 1987, do not accurately reflect period usage. We therefore explicitly overturn those precedents and permit the registration of bordures compony that share a tincture with the field. We have not, however, as yet seen evidence to suggest that this ruling should be applied to ordinaries other than the bordure. [Teresa de Çaragoça, 05/2005, A-Atlantia]
[Per pale embattled barry purpure and Or and gules] The very careful alignment of the bars of the dexter field to the per pale embattled line of division is unlikely to be duplicated from this blazon; however, a compentent heraldic artist will create an emblazon that matches the above blazon and is heraldically equivalent to the submited emblazon. [Giudo di Niccolo Brunelleschi, 08/2005, A-Calontir]
[Argent, a rose within an annulet embattled on the inner edge sable] Several commenters suggested that this was equivalent to Argent, on a pellet a cogwheel argent charged with a rose sable, which would be returnable for having four layers. However, when blazoned as an annulet embattled on the inner edge the device is reproducible and avoids the style problem on four layers. It is therefore registerable. A complex line of division on the inner edge only of an annulet will be considered one step from period practice pending evidence of this treatment for anything other than ordinaries in period. ...

Some commenters argued that embattling only the inner edge of the annulet (the "inferior" edge) should not be worth a CD. The pertinent ruling was made by Da'ud Laurel:
[A bend potenty on the lower edge] "Conflict with [a plain bend]. Were the ordinary in this proposal potenty on both sides, it would be clear, but the majority of the commenters (and Laurel) did not feel that difference should be granted for this non-period treating of only one (and that the less visually important) side of an ordinary. The only period examples of treating one side of an ordinary which were noted was that of embattling the upper edge of an ordinary." (LoAR 11/90 p.15).
It was the absence of examples of ordinaries with only their lower edges treated that prompted the ruling. Examples have since been found of period ordinaries whose lower edges were treated: e.g., Siebmacher, plate 188, shows Argent, a bend raguly on the lower edge sable, in sinister chief a mullet of six points gules. With evidence that both the upper and lower edges of ordinaries could be independently treated, the ruling loses much of its force. We hereby overturn it and rule that treating either edge of an ordinary (or a charge of similar simplicity, such as an annulet) is worth a CD from the untreated charge. [Takeda Sanjuichiro Akimasa, 09/2005, A-Atlantia]
There is no heraldic difference between embattled and raguly... [Aarnimetsä, Barony of, 12/2005, R-Drachenwald]
There is no difference between embattled and dovetailed when considered alone; however, a chevron embattled is embattled on the upper edge only while a chevron dovetailed is dovetailed on both the upper and lower edges. Thus there is another CD for changes to the line of division of the chevron. [Evelyn Westbrook, 11/2006, A-Northshield]
... as Laurel has previously ruled (03/2000), a second CD for the difference between embattled and potenty. [Paul the Small, 11/07, A-Gleann Abhann]

LINES of DIVISION - Wavy

This is returned for a redraw as the waves are drawn as wavy bretessed. This non-period style has long been grounds for return. [Alessandra de Piro, 08/2005, R-Calontir]
Drawing a wavy line of division as wavy bretessed has long been grounds for return, such as:
From the July 1992 LoAR, p.17: "This sort of wavy ordinary, with the waves opposed instead of parallel ('wavy bretessed' instead of 'wavy-counter-wavy'), was returned on the LoAR of Dec 91 as a non-period depiction." [Andrew Quintero, 09/99, R-Atenveldt]
However, a fess nebuly bretessed is a period form of nebuly. John Bossewell's Workes of Armorie, 1572, the second book fol. 117, gives the blazon Azure, a fesse nebule de Ermine, betweene thre Phyals Dargent and the emblazon depicts the nebules as bretessed. The Gelre armorial provides an emblazon of the arms of Gerit v. Wynsen on f. 89, p. 207, with the nebules as bretessed and the blazon in the commentary is d'or à la fasce nebulae de gu. (no. 1200 on p. 347). Countering these is the lone example in Lindsay, 1542, of the arms of Stratown of that Ilk: Vair, an escutcheon gules and on a chief azure a bar nebuly argent. In this case, the nebules on the bar are synchronized.

Precedent has consistently stated that, for the purposes of conflict, there is no difference between wavy and nebuly; however, this does not mean that the two are identical. Given the examples above, nebuly bretessed is a valid variant of nebuly, though the difference is not blazoned. [Johanna Dorlandt, 10/2005, A-Æthelmearc]
... there is a CD ... for the difference between indented and wavy. [Sabine de Kerbriant, 11/2006, A-East]
[a base wavy] However, Black Stag has provided period examples of armorial art in period heraldic treatises (L'héritage Symbolique des Hérauts d'Armes: Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de l'Enseignement du Blason Ancien (XIVe-XVIe siècle)) whose wavy lines of division are much shallower than the SCA standard. While a bolder wavy line is preferable, as it aids in identification, given Black Stag's examples - and the fact that the submitter has met us halfway - we're willing to register this as it stands. We still advise the submitter to draw her waves deeper. [Alianora de la Forest, 11/2006, A-Outlands]
[Per pale wavy Or and purpure, a greyhound courant contourny counterchanged] This device does conflicts with the device of Conrí Mac Eógain, Per pale Or and purpure, a wolf statant to sinister counterchanged. There is a CD for changing the line of division on the field. Generally, there is a CD (per RfS X.4.d) for changing the line of division of a charge place directly on the field. Laurel ruled in February 2007:
This badge must be returned as, at any distance, the line of division appears to be per fess rather than per chevron. Precedent states:
[A sword per chevron] "A long skinny charge may not be divided per chevron in this manner. The line of division is not identifiable, thus falling afoul of RfS VII.7.a." (5/92 p.24).
This precedent dealt with a fieldless badge. On a field divided per chevron, it is possible to tell the line of division because of the field; on a fieldless badge there is no other indication the line of division is angled rather than horizontal. A long skinny object, which includes a tree trunk, may not be divided per chevron on a fieldless badge.
There is a similar problem with this device - the greyhound is very narrow where it intersects the line of division, making it impossible to identify the line of division as wavy; it simply appears to be per pale. Thus, a second CD cannot be obtained for changing the line of division of the primary charge, and this device conflicts with Conrí's device. [Gwyneth MacDonagh, 07/2007, R-Atlantia]
Wavy crested is a post-period line of division. Many commenters thought that the emblazoned line of the bordure was wavy crested and should thus be returned. While this is a poorly drawn rayonny it is nonetheless not wavy crested and is thus acceptable. We note that a wavy crested line of division starts as an engrailed line and is then curved to one side; since the submitted line of division is not rounded on the inside edge it is not wavy crested. [Ian Edwardson, 08/2007, A-Caid]

LOZENGE

[a triskelion arrondy within a mascle vs. a quatrefoil within a mascle] The charge in the center, not the mascle, is the primary charge. There is a substantial (X.2) difference between a quatrefoil and a triskelion. [Alexandre of Kapellenberg, 07/2005, A-Atlantia]
This submission was originally blazoned on the LoI as a lozenge fesswise. As previously noted "Because lozenges could be drawn with various proportions in period, including a square set on its corner (which can be neither fesswise nor palewise), it does not make sense to distinguish different proportions of lozenge in blazon. [Cecily of Whitehaven, 02/02, A-Æthelmearc]". This is not a lozenge throughout because it touches only two sides. We were unable to derive a blazon that would reproduce this emblazon. [Joscelin d'Outremer, 09/2005, R-Atlantia]
[Sable, four lozenges in cross Or] Given this emblazon, Mari's badge could just as easily be blazoned as Sable, on a lozenge Or a saltire sable. Reluctantly, we must return this for conflict with ... Sable, on a lozenge Or a dragon couchant sable, granting a single CD for changes to the tertiary charge. [Mari Alexander, 02/2006, R-West]
[on a lozenge sable a wolf rampant argent] These are not arms of pretense under our current rules; RfS XI.4 limits consideration of arms of pretense to a single escutcheon. Laurel has previously ruled:
[on a lozenge argent a fleur-de-lys gules] As per the rules change in the cover letter to the June 2001 LoAR, the fact that the charged shape is not an escutcheon means that this is not an inescutcheon of pretense. ... While this armory is evocative of the city of Florence, whose arms are Argent, a fleur-de-lys gules, it is acceptable. [Alethea of Shrewsbury, 08/01, A-Lochac]
In the same manner, while the design of the lozenge is evocative of the arms of Dorcas Dorcadas, Sable, a three-headed hound rampant, one head reguardant, argent, langued gules, it is acceptable. [John Greywolf, 07/2006, A-Ansteorra]
[a cross of four lozenges] This device is returned for conflict with the device for Ealhswith of Evesham, ... four lozenges in cross ... We don't distinguish in blazon between a lozenge and a lozenge fesswise, since lozenges will normally be drawn to fill their available space. (For instance, though they usually have a long and short axis, they might also be drawn with equal axes, equivalent to a delf set saltirewise.) As we don't blazon a lozenge's orientation, we cannot grant difference for it, either. Thus against Ealhswith's device we have a CD, for tincture of the lozenges; but even though two of Aline's lozenges are fesswise, to allow them to form a cross, we cannot grant difference for that change. [Aline Blakwode, 11/2007, R-An Tir]
[Per saltire azure and sable, on a lozenge argent a horse passant sable] This does not conflict with ... Per fess rayonny argent and sable, in chief a horse courant sable. Precedent states:
[Argent vêtu ployé quarterly sable and gules, a cat passant guardant sable] This .... conflicts with Amber Lang, Vert, on a lozenge argent, a cat sejant guardant sable. When comparing armory using a vêtu field with armory using a lozenge, the comparison must be made in two ways: as if both pieces of armory used a vêtu field, and as if both pieces of armory used a lozenge. If we consider Isabel's armory as the equivalent blazon Quarterly sable and gules, on a lozenge ployé througout [sic] argent a cat passant guardant sable, there is one CD from Amber's armory for changing the field, but no difference by RfS X.4.j for changing only the posture of the tertiary charge. There is no difference between a lozenge and a lozenge ployé, nor is there difference between a lozenge and a lozenge throughout. [Isabel Margarita de Sotomayor y Pérez de Gerena, 11/02, R-Trimaris]
While a lozenge throughout must always be checked as though it were a vêtu field (and thus comparable to all other fields) a lozenge need only be compared to a vêtu field (not to all fields). This is similar to the way we treat chaussé fields, as noted in the precedent:
[Barry vert and Or, on a pile sable a thunderbolt Or] This does not conflict with Huldah von Jal, Per bend sinister sable and gules, a thunderbolt Or. While we consider piles to conflict with chaussé fields, a field with a pile is not reblazonable as having chaussé field, as there is an artistic distinction that we enforce (namely that the pile does not issue from the corners of the chief). Therefore, the devices are clear by X.2.

Note that had Roiberd's device been Barry vert and Or, on a pile inverted sable a thunderbolt Or it would have been in conflict with Huldah because Roiberd's device would have had the equally valid blazon Per chevron barry vert and Or and sable, a thunderbolt Or so there would have been only a single CD for the change in the field. [Roiberd Mor Barra, 11/00, A-Drachenwald]
[Caitilín inghean Fheichín, 04/2008, A-Ansteorra]
[Or vêtu, a duck purpure between in pale two gouttes de larmes] This device is returned for conflict with ... Purpure, on a lozenge ployé Or a bunch of grapes proper. There is but a single CD for changes to the tertiary charges when Mariota's device is considered as Purpure, on a lozenge Or.... On the April 2008 LoAR (v. Caitilín inghean Fheichín), it was ruled that "While a lozenge throughout must always be checked as though it were a vêtu field (and thus comparable to all other fields) a lozenge need only be compared to a vêtu field (not to all fields)." This was not a new precedent, merely a clarification of longstanding precedent.

Given that the duck and the gouttes appear to be two different groups, a fact that is acceptable on a field but not for charges on a charge, there was some question if the above conflict held. This argument is based on the June 2004 Cover Letter Discussion, "Alternate Blazons and Conflicts". Essentially the Cover Letter states that if a conflict only exists when the armory in submission is blazoned in a way that is not registerable, then the conflict doesn't exist. In that case, the issue was the presence of a quaternary charge if the armory was reblazoned. The precedent from the June 2004 Cover Letter does not apply in this case. Lozenges, and vêtu, are a special case. Vêtu is visually a lozenge. We have period examples of vêtu and lozenges throughout being used interchangeably. Therefore, vêtu must always be checked as if it were a lozenge, even if the result is something we wouldn't register for stylistic reasons. [Mariota of Kildare, 06/2008, R-East]

MASK
This is not "slot-machine heraldry" as theatrical masks - regardless of their facial expressions - are theatrical masks. Thus the mask of comedy and mask of tragedy, while blazoned in different terms so that the emblazon can accurately be reproduced, are considered to be the same type of charge. [Genevieve de Corbeil, 01/2007, A-Artemisia]


MONSTER - Antelope

[Checky gules and argent, a yale rampant sable armed Or] Unfortunately, this device must be returned for conflict with the badge for Alejandra de Miera, (Fieldless) A yale rampant sable platy. The yale in this submission is a "Bedford yale", which has straight horns and was the supporter of John, Duke of Bedford, d.1435. The "Beaufort yale", which has curved horns and often a body semy of roundels, was the supporter of John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, d.1444. Both of these variants are shown in Dennys' Heraldic Imagination, pp. 165-166. There is no difference between a "Bedford yale" and a "Beaufort yale". Just as the mullets of a pantheon and the roundels of a panther do not count for difference, neither do the roundels of a yale. This follows a precedent set in 1995:
Given that the presence of plates on yales appear to be left to the artist's discretion and not necessarily blazoned, it seems that their presence, or disappearance, is not countable in terms of difference. [Ciarán Dubh Ó Tuathail, 11/95]
The precedent was upheld June 2000, in the return of Marguerite des Baux. Thus in this submission we have a single CD for adding the field.

The type of yale need not be specified, but may be if the submitter wishes. If it is not specified, either type is an acceptable representation of any given piece of armory. We note that the Bedford yale is generally much slimmer than the yale in this submission, and that the presence (or absence) of roundels is not a distinguishing characteristic between the types. [Vukasin of Tirnewydd, 10/2007, R-Middle]
[A Beaufort yale] While we do not generally blazon the type of yale (Beaufort or Bedford), the submitter specifically requested a Beaufort yale so that it would always be depicted with large curving horns. We have thus retained the type of yale in the blazon. There is no heraldic difference between a Beaufort and a Bedford yale. [Cosmo Craven the Elder, 11/2007, A-Atenveldt]
From Wreath - On Ibexes
One of this month's submissions (Eleanor Chantrill) raised a question on the difference between an ibex and a reindeer. John Vinycomb, Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures in Art, with Special Reference to Their Use in British Heraldry, p. 215 defines the heraldic ibex as "an imaginary beast resembling the heraldic antelope in appearance, with the exception of the horns projecting from his forehead, which are serrated like a saw. Perhaps it would not be erroneous to consider it identical with the heraldic antelope." Vinycomb goes on and states the natural ibex "resembles a goat, but the horns are much larger, bent backwards, and full of knots, one of which is added every year." Other authors have similar definitions for both the heraldic antelope and heraldic ibex.

Mountain goats are frequent in European armory, blazoned in French as bouquetin and in German as Steinbock; these translate to "ibex", but they're pretty obviously natural ibexes. A heraldic ibex head is found in 1547, as the crest of Toke (Woodcock & Robinson, Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 9). It has forward-sweeping horns, is most definitely an ibex (or ebeck as it is blazoned) and looks nothing like a natural ibex.

Based on the definitions, and emblazons, of heraldic antelopes, natural antelopes, heraldic ibexes, and natural ibexes, the following is list of what is worth a CD and what isn't.
  • There is no difference between a heraldic antelope and a heraldic ibex.
  • There is no difference between a natural ibex and a goat.
  • There is a CD between a heraldic ibex and a natural antelope, stag, or deer.
  • There is a CD between a goat and a heraldic antelope or heraldic ibex.
  • There is a CD between a goat and a natural antelope, stag or deer.
  • There is a CD between a heraldic ibex and a reindeer.
  • There is a CD between a heraldic ibex and a natural ibex.
In order to ensure that the correct difference is granted between natural deer and natural ibexes (as opposed to heraldic antelopes and heraldic ibexes), we have to explicitly say natural. An examination of the registered ibexes showed that they were all natural ibexes, rather than the expected heraldic ibexes. Prior registrations of ibexes have been reblazoned as natural ibexes elsewhere in this letter. [01/2006 CL]

MONSTER - Calygreyhound

... there is at least a CD between a calygreyhound and a male griffin ... [Tristram O'Shee, 08/2006, A-An Tir]
There is an X.2 (substantial) difference between a calygreyhound and a winged lion. [Tristram O'Shee, 08/2006, A-An Tir]
... there is ... at least a CD between a calygreyhound and a lion. [Tristram O'Shee, 08/2006, A-An Tir]

MONSTER - Chimera

The Greek chimera has the body and head of a lion, a dragon's tail, and a goat's head grafted to the small of the back. The tail may end in a dragon's head, as in this case. It is distinguished from the schimäre, or German chimera, which has "the forequarters of a lion, the hindquarters of a goat, a dragon's tail (often ending in a dragon's head), and often the head and breasts of a woman." (Kevin Burnett, LoAR of 09/1992) Both of these differ enough from the standard heraldic chimera that it seemed best to give them their own terminology. [Lyonnete la Rousse and Hans von Wolfholz, 09/2005, A-Outlands]

MONSTER - Dragon and Wyvern

[a wyvern sejant vs. a dragon segreant] Precedent states "[a wyvern statant vs. a dragon segreant] There is a CD ... for the change in posture of the primary charge. [Giles fitz Alan, 04/01, A-Middle]". In like manner, there's a CD for the change in posture between a wyvern sejant and a dragon segreant: in both cases, the wyvern has both its feet -- indeed, all its feet -- on the ground, thereby distinguishing it from a segreant/rampant monster with a minimum of two feet in the air. [Alric of the Mists, 07/2005, A-Æthelmearc]
... changing the wyvern's wings from addorsed to displayed gives a ... CD. [Ragnhildr Sigtryggsdottir, 11/2005, A-Meridies]
[a dragon rampant, wings displayed] This device is returned for a redraw. At first glance this appears to be wyvern, not a dragon, as both forelegs and half the head are invisible due to their placement against the rest of the dragon. While no difference is granted between a wyvern and a dragon, they are still separate charges. On resubmission please advise the submitter that the head should not overlap the wing, nor should the forelegs lie entirely on the dragon's body. [Magdalene de Saint Benoit-sur-Loire, 12/2005, R-Outlands]
This is also returned for violating the reconstruction requirement of RfS VII.7.b. The dragon nowed is not in a blazonable posture. It closely resembles Celtic artwork, such creatures have long been unregisterable. [Máel Dúin mac Gilla Énnae, 04/2006, R-Middle]
[an Oriental dragon "rampant" coward] This device is returned for lack of blazonability of the dragon's posture. RfS VII.7.b (Reconstruction Requirement) requires that "Any element used in Society armory must be describable in standard heraldic terms so that a competent heraldic artist can reproduce the armory solely from the blazon. Elements that cannot be described in such a way that the depiction of the armory will remain consistent may not be used, even if they are identifiable design motifs that were used before 1600." While Oriental dragons may be used in Society armory, they must be depicted in European heraldic postures, not as depicted in Chinese art. [Vachir Altan, 05/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
[a legless wyvern displayed] The primary charge was blazoned as a legless dragon on the LoI. Precedent states:
There is a CD ... difference in type between a python and a dragon. While there are areas where dragons and wyverns were artistic variants of one another, and there are areas where wyverns and pythons were artistic variants of each other, there are no areas where pythons are artistic variants of four legged dragons. Because of this, and because there is a distinct visual difference between them, we can grant a significant, although not substantial difference between a dragon and a python. [Diolach Macaree, 05/01, A-Æthelmearc]
We have blazoned this as a legless wyvern, rather than a dragon, in order to more accurately describe the emblazon in order to protect the design from conflict with all the plausible charge types. We have not blazoned it as a pithon since it has a wyvern's (or dragon's) crest and a tail normally associated with a dragon. [Blase di Angelo, 07/2006, A-Caid]
Blazoned on the LoI as winged serpents, the creatures have horns and a dragon's tail, thus we have reblazoned them as legless wyverns. Winged serpents would have bird wings, not bat wings. While pithons and wyverns were artistic variations in some periods and locations, we have chosen to blazon them as wyverns to reproduce the emblazon more accurately. [Avery of the Wode, 09/2006, A-Lochac]
[a tricorporate wyvern contourny vs. three wyverns erect one and two argent] There is a single CD for the arrangement of the wyverns. [Wyvernwoode, Barony of, 09/2006, R-Trimaris]
[an Oriental dragon tergiant "glissant" bendwise sinister] This device is returned as the dragon is not in a blazonable posture. In addition, this device is returned for being two steps from period practice. Laurel has previously ruled:
[an Oriental dragon tergiant embowed-counterembowed] An Oriental dragon in this posture is a weirdness, as it combines a monster not found in period heraldry with a posture not found for similar monsters in period heraldry. Such a combination is well beyond period practice. [Richard of Wyvernwood, 04/02, A-Trimaris]
We note that an Oriental dragon embowed-counterembowed is likely to be registerable, assuming it is correctly drawn and that the dragon maintains its identifiability. [Alfonso Pontelli, 03/2007, R-East]
Amphisbaenae have feathered wings by default; the one in this submission has bat-wings, a fact that must be explicitly blazoned. [Merewyn of Ynys Taltraeth, 05/2007, A-West]
Please advise the submitter that on resubmission the dragon's wings should be roughly half the dragon. [Rakel Kyrre, 09/2007, R-Atlantia]
It had been previously ruled (Richard of Wyvernwood, April 2002) that the use of an Oriental dragon in a particularly convoluted posture is a step from period practice. We hereby take this to its logical conclusion, and rule that the use of an Oriental dragon in any posture is a step from period practice. [Law O Kervy, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
Blazoned on the LoI as segreant, the wyvern is actually erect. Two-legged creatures cannot, in general, be segreant or rampant. [Pamela of Grey Niche, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
[an eagle vs. a wyvern displayed] While there is usually a substantial difference between a wyvern and an eagle, when a wyvern is displayed - which is a posture for which we have no period evidence - much of the visual distinction is lost. Therefore, there is but a significant difference (a CD) between an eagle displayed and a wyvern displayed. [Honour du Bois, 01/2008, R-Ansteorra]
[a bat-winged horned lion-dragon] We note that a lion-dragon is wingless, therefore the presence of wings must be blazoned. [Giovanni de Moncellis, 01/2008, A-Atlantia]

MONSTER - Griffin

In July 1999 (s.n. William Geoffrey the Rogue) Laurel stated "We leave open the question as to whether a wingless griffin and a lion rampant should be considered significantly different in the future." At this time we are declaring that there is a significant difference (CD) between the two. [Ysabeau Anais Roussot du Lioncourt, 06/2006, A-Caid]
... there is at least a CD between a calygreyhound and a male griffin ... [Tristram O'Shee, 08/2006, A-An Tir]
This device must be returned for lack of identifiability. Blazoned on the LoI as a dragon with the head and forequarters of an eagle, none of the remaining dragon anatomy (except the bat-wings, which are more or less generic) allows identification as a dragon. We know of no period dragon with a tail spiked like a stegosaurus, nor with hindlegs of this shape. If the monster, or its parts, cannot be identified, it cannot be registered. If this were resubmitted with the hindquarters of a period dragon, it might be acceptable ... [Olaf mj{o,}ksiglandi, 08/2007, R-Atenveldt]
[a two-headed two-tailed griffin vs. a griffin] In neither case is there a CD for the number of heads or tails. [Albrecht von Reith, 09/2007, R-Atlantia]

MONSTER - Humanoid

A seraph is a child's head with six wings; a standing seraph is a humanoid with six wings. There is a substantial (X.2) difference between the charges. [Alys Mackyntoich and Brunissende Dragonette de Brocéliande, 11/2006, R-East]
[lamb argent haloed ... Or] There was some question as to the registerability of the halo as it is an annulet, not a solid disk. The annulet-type halo improves the recognizability of the primary charge (by avoiding argent on Or). Either form of a halo is acceptable; they are artistic variants. [Ian Kirkpatrick, 12/2006, A-Caid] [JML: Presumably applies to all haloes, not just those on lambs]
Barring evidence of angels volant as period heraldic charges, they are not registerable. By precedent, from the tenure of Baldwin of Erebor, the term volant is used only for insects and birds - the term is ambiguous for other winged creatures (q.v., BoE, 3 Aug 86, p.17). For heraldic purposes, this submission's posture cannot be blazoned: it doesn't fit the definition of volant for either birds (which would have the body horizontal, wings spread to chief and base) or insects (which would have the angel's back facing the viewer). Nor could the human part alone be blazoned if the wings were ignored: it's neither rampant, salient, nor statant. [Máría Abramsdottir, 12/2006, R-Outlands]
There was a question in the commentary about the satyr's shape. The satyr of classical mythology has the hindquarters of a goat, and the tail of a goat or a horse. However, the example of a satyr in period heraldry -- the arms of Arcos, c.1540 (Livro da Nobreza, fo. XL) -- shows it with a lion's tail, as in this submission. It must be considered a valid variant, though no difference is granted for it. [Helen Wentworth, 09/2007, R-Lochac]

MONSTER - Merfolk

This is being returned for lack of contrast of the mermaid proper with the argent pile. As prior precedent notes:
A caucasian mermaid cannot be placed on an argent field, as human (caucasian) flesh proper was somtimes [sic] depicted as argent in period sources. [Lachlann Wick of Brindle Myre, 11/99, R-Caid]

[Per bend sinister azure and argent, a mermaid in her vanity proper] Long precedent and period heraldic practice make Caucasian skin equivalent to argent. If drawn properly, the effectively argent skin of the mermaid would be largely against the argent part of the field. Even as carefully drawn, there is too much of the mermaid's skin against the argent part of the field. Therefore, this must be returned for violating RfS VIII.2, Armorial Contrast. [Ophelia Mulryan, 11/00, R-Drachenwald]
[Mary Dedwydd verch Gwallter, 01/2006, R-Caid]

MONSTER - Miscellaneous
see also MONSTER - Chimera

... a single CD, for the difference between a lion and a tyger ... [Ernst Nuss von Kitzengen, 07/2007, R-East]
This device must be returned for lack of identifiability. Blazoned on the LoI as a dragon with the head and forequarters of an eagle, none of the remaining dragon anatomy (except the bat-wings, which are more or less generic) allows identification as a dragon. We know of no period dragon with a tail spiked like a stegosaurus, nor with hindlegs of this shape. If the monster, or its parts, cannot be identified, it cannot be registered. If this were resubmitted with the hindquarters of a period dragon, it might be acceptable ... [Olaf mj{o,}ksiglandi, 08/2007, R-Atenveldt]
[a vegetable lamb eradicated vert fructed ... azure] This device is returned for conflict with ... a vegetable lamb vert. There is ... nothing for changing the tincture of the fruit (the blossoms and lambs). On resubmission, there should be fewer and larger blossoms and lambs: the lambs should be clearly identifiable from a distance. We note that the use of two different shades of blue is an artistic detail that is allowable. [Anthony Coton, 02/2008, R-Caid]
There was some discussion about whether a vegetable lamb was an acceptable heraldic charge. The vegetable lamb first appears in The Travels of Sir John Mandeville (c. 1371). These fictional travels - whether or not they were believed to be fictional in period - were popular in their time and numerous medieval manuscript copies of the book still exist. The Rules for Submission, section VII.5, notes "Monsters described in period sources or created in a manner that follow period practice will not be considered a step from period practice." Thus, while we have not yet found an example of a vegetable lamb in period armory, it is registerable and its use is not considered a step from period practice. [Anthony Coton, 02/2008, R-Caid]

MONSTER - Panther

As precedent grants a CD between a heraldic panther and a cat, we will also grant a CD between a winged (heraldic) panther and a winged cat. [Elizaveta Arievna Lebedeva, 01/2006, A-Caid]
... the posture of the panther was omitted and there is no default. [Azelina of Exanceaster, 03/2006, A-Atlantia]
From Wreath: Panthers
A submission this month raised the question of the default head posture for heraldic panthers. The question is complicated by the fact that there are two different monsters going by the name of panther - one English, one Continental - which the Society has tried to treat the same. It's further complicated by the fact that the Society has had conflicting defaults for panthers over the years.

The English-style panther is "depicted rather like the natural animal, but covered with spots of various colours and with flames issuing from its mouth and ears" (Dennys' Heraldic Imagination, p.143). Period examples can be found in Dennys, p.143; Woodcock & Robinson's Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 16, dated 1616; and Marks & Payne's British Heraldry, p.39, dated 1604. Some examples are rampant, some are passant. In almost all period cases we've found, the English panther is guardant and colorfully spotted - and the one exception, which is colorfully streaked, we're prepared to accept as an aberration.

There is more variation in the depiction of the Continental (or German) panther. Pastoureau (Traité d'Héraldique, p. 156) describes it as "a composite creature, having the body of a lion, the head and horns of a bull, the front feet of a griffin, the back feet of an ox or lion. It is rampant and belches flames from its mouth and ears (une créature composite, ayant le corps du lion, la tête et les cornes du taureau, les pattes antérieures du griffon, les pattes postérieures du b{oe}uf ou du lion. Elle est ram-pante et vomit des flames par la bouche et les oreilles)." Examples from the Zurich Roll, c.1340 (#20) and the European Armorial, c.1450 (p.37), support this description. But the panther's head is occasionally that of an eagle (Cotta Codex, 1459, plate 6), and its neck is frequently elongated. None of the period examples were spotted.

Hitherto, the Society has granted no difference between these types of panther:
[Returning Vert, a German panther rampant Or breathing flames gules, maintaining a fleur-de-lys argent] Conflict with... Per chevron rayonny erminois and sable, in base a panther rampant Or, incensed proper. There's a CD for the change to the field, but since the move ... is forced, nothing for position on the field, nor can we see granting a CD between continental and insular panthers. [3/94, p.19]
But as with the English chimera versus the German chimera, the only thing the two types of panther have in common is the name... and possibly the flaming breath. We are therefore overturning the 1994 precedent, and ruling as follows:
  • The unmodified term panther refers to the English monster: a maneless lion, incensed and colorfully spotted. Both the spots and flames are part of the definition; but the spots' tincture doesn't count for difference.
  • The term German panther or Continental panther refers to the monster as described by Pastoureau: usually horned, usually with eagle's forefeet, often long-necked, and always incensed. Its definition does not include spots.
  • The term natural panther refers to a great cat as found in nature, a maneless lion - also blazoned in period as an ounce, and in the Society as a catamount (mountain lion).
In terms of difference, we henceforth will grant a CD between a standard (i.e. English) panther and a Continental panther; and either monster will have a CD from an (unspotted, unincensed) natural panther.

As for their default postures, the Pictorial Dictionary states that a panther "is guardant by English default... [The Continental panther] faces dexter by German default; the SCA follows German practice rather than English, since the English posture can easily be blazoned explicitly." On the other hand, the Glossary of Terms (under Table 4, Defaults) states that the panther is "Guardant; body posture must be specified." Precedent states:
[a panther sejant head to dexter argent] Table 3 of the Glossary of Terms indicates that the panther (which is to say, the default "English-style" heraldic panther) is guardant by default. As a result we must explicitly state that this panther has its head to dexter. Note that the Continental panther does not have an SCA default posture.

Please note that the discussions of the panther's default posture in the Pictorial Dictionary in the SCA have been superceded [sic] by the listing in the Glossary, which has been available for some years. [Katerina McGilledoroughe, 08/03, A-Æthelmearc]
There are 200 entries in the Online Armorial with the term "panther". Of these, the majority are either blazoned as natural panthers or have the head posture explicitly blazoned. Of the remaining armory, most are not guardant. As most of the registered panthers follow the default mentioned in the Pictorial Dictionary, rather than that currently listed in the Glossary of Terms, we are restoring the default to the German practice (not guardant). This will be reflected in the next revision of Table 4 of the Glossary of Terms.

Henceforth, all heraldic panthers are not-guardant (i.e., facing to dexter or sinister, as appropriate) by default. If the panther is guardant, it must be explicitly blazoned. The body posture has no default, and must be specified.

Over the next several months, we will be checking all the emblazons of the registered panthers, reblazoning as necessary to distinguish the Continental panthers and those which are guardant. While reblazoning, the term ounce, a heraldic term for a maneless lion that dates from 1591, rather than natural panther has been used when the cat is incensed (but lacking the spots of a heraldic panther) so as to avoid possible confusion in the blazon between a panther and a natural panther. [11/2006 CL]
Blazoned on the LoI as a panther, this is not an English (or heraldic) panther: the snout and tusk prevent that, as does the lack of spots. And it's not a Continental panther: the lack of eagle's forelegs and/or horns prevents that. And the tusk means that this is not a natural panther. The most accurate blazon we could derive was a tyger incensed. [Martino Michele Venèri, 05/2007, A-Calontir]

MONSTER - Pegasus

A horse is significantly different (a CD) from a pegasus, but not substantially (X.2) different. [Freydis Orkneyska, 04/2006, R-Drachenwald]

MONSTER - Phoenix

The term rising is used primarily with birds and phoenixes. When applied to phoenixes, rising means displayed emerging from (generally flames). [04/2006 CL] [JML: See POSTURE/ORIENTATION - Animate Charges for the complete discussion.]
This device is returned for violating RfS VIII.2.b - Contrast Requirements. A phoenix color rising from flames metal, or a phoenix metal rising from flames color, is a neutral charge; however, the bird must have good contrast with the field as it is the identifying feature of a phoenix. This is similar to the requirement that the body of merfolk have good contrast with the field even if their tails do not. [Cal mac Mailcon, 07/2006, R-East]
Nor is there a CD for changing the tincture of half the phoenix's flames as this is only a quarter of the charge. [Dominica Maquerelle, 10/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
[Or, a phoenix gules rising from flames proper] This device is returned for lack of contrast: flames proper cannot be placed on Or or gules, as by definition they are half Or and half gules. In this case, only the very careful placement of the Or parts of the flame, such that they're completely surrounded by gules parts, makes for any contrast. Medieval designs should not depend on such careful placement, and the SCA has consistently returned armory that does depend on such careful placement. [Nastasiia Viktorova zhena Volkova, 07/2007, R-Caid]
Many 19th and early 20th century heraldic texts (e.g., Fox-Davies' Complete Guide to Heraldry, p. 180) describe the phoenix as a demi-eagle issuant from flames. Examples of phoenixes in period heraldry, however, show that, while the phoenix and eagle both have head crests, that was about their only similarity. The phoenix in the crest of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, 1486 (Bedingfeld & Gwynn-Jones' Heraldry, p. 91) has a pheasant-like crest; the phoenix in the 15th Century impresa medallion of Talpas (Eve's Heraldry as Art, p. 93) has a peacock-like crest, as drawn in this submission. [Falcon Hardin, 10/2007, A-Ansteorra]

MONSTER - Pithon

The charge in base was blazoned on the LoI as sea-python. There is no discernible fish tail so it is not a sea-monster and the creature has feathered wings, not batwings, so it is not a pithon. Thus this is simply a winged serpent. [Gareth Bythewere, 05/2006, A-An Tir]
[a legless wyvern displayed] The primary charge was blazoned as a legless dragon on the LoI. Precedent states:
There is a CD ... difference in type between a python and a dragon. While there are areas where dragons and wyverns were artistic variants of one another, and there are areas where wyverns and pythons were artistic variants of each other, there are no areas where pythons are artistic variants of four legged dragons. Because of this, and because there is a distinct visual difference between them, we can grant a significant, although not substantial difference between a dragon and a python. [Diolach Macaree, 05/01, A-Æthelmearc]
We have blazoned this as a legless wyvern, rather than a dragon, in order to more accurately describe the emblazon in order to protect the design from conflict with all the plausible charge types. We have not blazoned it as a pithon since it has a wyvern's (or dragon's) crest and a tail normally associated with a dragon. [Blase di Angelo, 07/2006, A-Caid]
Blazoned on the LoI as winged serpents, the creatures have horns and a dragon's tail, thus we have reblazoned them as legless wyverns. Winged serpents would have bird wings, not bat wings. While pithons and wyverns were artistic variations in some periods and locations, we have chosen to blazon them as wyverns to reproduce the emblazon more accurately. [Avery of the Wode, 09/2006, A-Lochac]
... a winged serpent has feathered wings. These monsters have bat-wings, which is the standard for pithons. [Kemreth Danil, 05/2007, A-Atenveldt]

MONSTER - Sea

There is a CD but not a substantial ... difference between a sea-horse and a natural seahorse. [Niamh ingen Maolán, 10/2005, A-Æthelmearc]
There is only a significant difference (CD), not a substantial (X.2) difference, between a sea-unicorn and a unicorn. [Bethóc ingen Mael Féchín Fynletyr, 10/2005, R-Ealdormere]
This is returned for redraw. One of the defining features of a sea-dog is its tail. This sea-dog has a tail like a normal dog, not a beaver's tail as expected. [Angus Armstrong, 10/2005, R-Trimaris]
There is no difference between a sea-serpent involved and an annulet. [Friedrich Sybold, 01/2006, R-West]
There is a CD ... for the difference between a sea-lion and a sea-bull. [Robert of Smoking Rocks, 08/2006, A-East]
There is a CD ... for the difference between sea-wolf and sea-bull. [Robert of Smoking Rocks, 08/2006, A-East]
[unicorns vs. winged sea-unicorns] ... the winged sea-unicorn is a modification (addition of wings and a fish tail) of a unicorn, so there's a significant (CD) difference between the two, but not the substantial (X.2) difference needed to bring these clear. [Sabine Dubois, 02/2008, A-Ansteorra]

MONSTER - Unicorn

There is only a significant difference (CD), not a substantial (X.2) difference, between a sea-unicorn and a unicorn. [Bethóc ingen Mael Féchín Fynletyr, 10/2005, R-Ealdormere]
[Reblazon] ... the primary charge is not a unicorn as it lacks a beard, cloven hooves, or a lion's tail. While this emblazon is grandfathered to the submitter, the blazon is not. The College has a responsibility to amend incorrect blazons that have been registered in the past. We have thus reblazoned this as a unicornate horse. [Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani, 05/2007, A-Caid]
We acknowledge that German unicorns are generally depicted with "strange" horns, but those horns - as far as we have been able to determine - extend horizontally from the unicorn's head. The horn in this device points almost straight down. In addition, because the unicorn's head is tucked up against its neck, the unicorn's beard - which is one of the identifying features of a unicorn - is not visible. As the whole unicorn is present, there are just enough identifying clues to allow this to be recognized as a unicorn and thus it is registerable. [Christoph Rickher, 08/2007, A-Middle]
[unicorns vs. winged sea-unicorns] ... the winged sea-unicorn is a modification (addition of wings and a fish tail) of a unicorn, so there's a significant (CD) difference between the two, but not the substantial (X.2) difference needed to bring these clear. [Sabine Dubois, 02/2008, A-Ansteorra]

MONSTER - Winged

As precedent grants a CD between a heraldic panther and a cat, we will also grant a CD between a winged (heraldic) panther and a winged cat. [Elizaveta Arievna Lebedeva, 01/2006, A-Caid]
There is an X.2 (substantial) difference between a calygreyhound and a winged lion. [Tristram O'Shee, 08/2006, A-An Tir]
[winged stags] This device is returned for a redraw as the stags' wings are too small. There is generally a CD between a winged creature and an unwinged creature. In this case, the wings are so small that they are barely noticeable. They would not be worth a CD. As we do grant a CD for the presence (or absence) of the wings, they must be large enough that such a CD can be granted. [Sebastian De Lasset, 04/2007, R-Atlantia]
... a winged serpent has feathered wings. These monsters have bat-wings, which is the standard for pithons. [Kemreth Danil, 05/2007, A-Atenveldt]
[unicorns vs. winged sea-unicorns] ... the winged sea-unicorn is a modification (addition of wings and a fish tail) of a unicorn, so there's a significant (CD) difference between the two, but not the substantial (X.2) difference needed to bring these clear. [Sabine Dubois, 02/2008, A-Ansteorra]

MOUNTAIN
see also BASE

... the mountain is couped, not issuant from base, which is the default for mountains. A mountain (issuant from base) is a peripheral charge and cannot be a primary charge; a mountain couped is in the center of the field and is a primary charge. [Ruthven of Rockridge, 09/2007, A-West]
[Per fess azure and argent, a mountain couped counterchanged] This badge is returned for lack of identifiability of the charge: it is not a standard heraldic mountain. Rather, as noted in commentary, this is a mountain above the line of division and something else (a ship's hull?) below. The submitters seem to be trying for a more natural depiction of an iceberg, in accord with the Order's name, but the iceberg per se is not an heraldic charge. If this were drawn genuinely as a mountain couped, it might be acceptable; but as drawn here, this is not a mountain, couped or otherwise. [Ruantallan, Barony of, 02/2008, R-East]
[Argent goutty de sang, a mountain vert] This device is returned for conflict with the badge for Caelin on Andrede, Argent goutty de sang. The mountain, despite its size, is considered a peripheral charge. Thus, there is but one CD for adding the peripheral charge.

This depiction of a mountain, which crosses the center line, is sufficient reason for return. Precedent states:
As noted in the LoAR of September 1993, p. 10, "mountains, as variants of mounts, should be emblazoned to occupy no more than the lower portion of the field". As in the emblazon here the mountain is sufficiently high so as to immediately be thought of as a per chevron field by most of the commenters and everyone at the Laurel meeting, there are multiple conflicts with "[Field], a rose Or". This needs at the very least to be redrawn so it is identifiable as a mountain rather than a field division. [Tara of Montrose, 04/94]
[Haraldr hlátr drengr, 05/2008, R-Caid]

MULLET
see also COMPASS STAR and SUN

[Per bend sinister sable and azure, a mullet of nine points voided and interlaced within a bordure argent] This device conflicts with Cynedd ap Gwen, Sable, a sun eclipsed within a bordure argent. Although the two devices may be technically clear, the voiding of Christoff's mullet and the eclipsing of Cynedd's sun, together with the shared tincture of half the field, create an overwhelming visual similarity between the two pieces of armory under RfS X.5. [Christoff of Swampkeep, 05/2005, R-Trimaris]
[(Fieldless) On a compass star azure a bear statant argent] This badge must be returned for multiple conflicts: with the badge ... Argent, on a compass star azure, a thistle couped argent, with two badges... (Fieldless) On a sun azure a hammer argent and (Fieldless) A sun azure eclipsed argent, and with ... Argent, on a mullet of six points azure, a falcon displayed argen. In each case, there is a CD for changing the field or for fieldlessness versus another piece of fieldless armory but nothing for changing the type of the primary charge or for changing the type only of the tertiary. Precedent notes that "[t]here's ...no difference between suns and multi-pointed mullets --- which includes compass stars" [Friedrich von Rabenstein, 6/93, R-Caid] and that "[t]here is no type difference between the compass stars and the mullets of six points" [Brian Sigfridsson von Niedersachsen, 7/03, R-Atenveldt]. In addition, precedent states, "There is nothing for change of type only of tertiary charge on a sun or multipointed mullet, as this shape is not simple for purposes of RfS X.4.j.ii" [Burke Kyriell MacDonald, 2/02, R-Ansteorra]. [Gabrielle von Strassburg, 06/2005, R-Gleann Abhann]
[a mullet of seven points voided and interlaced] Conflict with Leah bat Yehiel, (Fieldless) A mullet of eight interlocking mascles azure. ... The internal details and number of points are not significant enough to grant a CD between the mullets. [Andronikos Tzangares ho Philosophos, 07/2005, R-Northshield]
[a mullet of sixteen points pierced, all within a bordure engrailed argent] Originally blazoned as ... a spur rowel ..., a spur rowel is a mullet of five or six points pierced. We know of no period examples of spur rowels in heraldry with so many points. We've corrected the blazon accordingly. [Mieczyslaw Tomeknowicz, 07/2005, A-Outlands]
A mullet of eight points is simple enough to void, though mullets with more points are not. [Uilliam mac Ailéne mhic Seamuis, 10/2005, A-An Tir]
[mullets of eight points vs. mullets of six points] There is nothing for the difference in the number of points of the mullets. [Eleanor de Venoix, 10/2005, R-Caid]
There is not a CD between mullets of eight points and compass stars ... [Hallbera sneypir Vigbjarnardottir, 01/2006, R-An Tir]
Precedent grants no difference between a mullet of eight points and a sun. [Otto zu Waldeck, 01/2006, R-Ealdormere]
There is a CD for the difference between a caltrop and a compass star ... [Mylisant de Impinton, 03/2006, A-Ansteorra]
This is returned for a redraw. There is no internal detailing on the mullet; thus this cannot be blazoned as interlaced, and in fact cannot be blazoned. His previous submission was voided and interlaced. ...

The previous return, from May 2005, cited only the visual conflict; no mention was made of any potential problem with mullets of nine points voided and interlaced. We decline to rule on the general acceptability of this charge. However, given the wording of the original return, if this is resubmitted with internal detailing Christoff may register it (barring other conflicts or emblazon problems). We suggest that the mullet be drawn somewhat larger so that the voiding of the points is more obvious; the width of the line should remain about the same to avoid "thin-line heraldry". [Christoff of Swampkeep, 04/2006, R-Trimaris]
There is a significant, but not substantial (X.2), difference between mullets of six greater and six lesser points and estoiles. [Aildreda de Tamworthe, 07/2006, R-East]
There is a CD but not a substantial difference between a mullet (of five points) and a mullet of eight points. [Reyna Thorne, 08/2006, R-Northshield]
... a mullet of five greater and five lesser points is not eligible for X.4.j.ii, changing the type only of a tertiary charge is insufficient for a CD. [Ansteorra, Kingdom of, 09/2006, R-Ansteorra]
[a compass star] Unfortunately, this badge must be returned for multiple conflicts including ... a sun ..., with ... a sun of eight straight rays throughout ..., and ... an estoile of four straight and four rayonny voided rays ... In each case, there is ... nothing for changing the type of the primary charge. [Mateo de Merida, 11/2006, R-Ealdormere]
There is not a CD between a compass star and a mullet of seven points ... [Sarah the Foole, 11/2006, R-Northshield]
... we grant no difference between mullets of four and of five points. [Reyni-Hrefna, 10/2007, R-Æthelmearc]
Since a mullet of six points has six-fold radial symmetry, it's very difficult to discern any changes in its orientation from the default (point to chief). We thus grant no difference for its orientation. And when a mullet of six points is a tertiary charge on a bend, as here, its orientation isn't even considered a blazonable detail. [Lyneya de Grey, 10/2007, A-Ansteorra]
As a mullet of six points is radially symmetrical, no orientation need be specified for the mullet. Nor is that orientation worth any heraldic difference. [Angels, Barony of the, 01/2008, A-Caid]
Mullets are not suitable for purposes of X.4.j.ii by precedent: "There is one CD for fieldlessness, but as the mullets are not simple charges, there is no CD for changing the type only of the tertiary." (LoAR June 1994, p.15) This precedent was reaffirmed in May 2004. [Kathryn Monelyght of Mythomstede, 07/2008, R-Caid]
There is no CD between a mullet of five points and one of six points ... [Kathryn Monelyght of Mythomstede, 07/2008, R-Caid]

MUNDANE ARMORY
This section is a list of real-world armory that has been ruled not important enough to protect. It organized by the owner of the armory in question.

[Arthur, Prince of Wales] Five arrows tied in the middle, starwise ... and in any case, it is our opinion that Prince Arthur's badge isn't important enough to protect. [Ingilborg Sigmundardóttir, 06/2006, A-Caid]
[Kreuznach] Argent, a fess countercompony Or and azure between three crosses sableArgent, a fess countercompony Or and azure between three crosses sable ... no evidence was presented (or found) that the arms of Kreuznach are important enough to protect, that CD is sufficient to allow registration. [Margit von Kreuznach, 12/2005, A-An Tir]
[Russia] Argent, a saltire azure We are hereby stating explicitly that the Russian Naval Ensign is not protected armory. [Isabella Rossini, 09/2005, A-Lochac]

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

... we are not aware of any doumbeks that have feet. This appears to be a cross between a doumbek and zarb and needs to be clearly one or the other. If a zarb is submitted, documentation is required that it is a period form of a drum. [Achbar ibn Ali, 06/2005, R-Atlantia]
This is the defining instance of a baroque folded trumpet. An example is provided at the end of this LoAR. [JML: The referenced example can be found at http://heraldry.sca.org/loar/2005/07/05-07lar.html#baroque_folded_trumpet] [Lijss van den Kerckhove, 07/2005, A-Caid]
The primary charge was blazoned on the LoI as a viola. A viola de gamba is a period Italian term for a large viol placed between the legs. However, the term viola didn't exist as an English term until the 18th century and the SCA has consistently used the term viol for this instrument. [Aimeric de Miraval, 11/2005, A-Æthelmearc]
[mariner's whistle] Blazoned on the LoI as a flask, and on the submission form as a wine flask, the charge is actually a mariner's whistle. This charge is a period charge; it is one of the badges of the de Veres, earls of Oxford. Heraldic writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries (such as Fox-Davies, in his Heraldic Badges, pp.132-133) describe it as a bottle, and usually specify it as a wine bottle. However, in an article titled "Official Badges" by H. Stanford London (Coat of Arms, vol. IV (27), July 1956), it is shown that the charge in question -- the charge in this submission -- is a mariner's whistle. It was originally depicted fesswise (even Fox-Davies admits that), and only later was it misdrawn as palewise and thus misinterpreted as a bottle. [William Fletcher of Carbery, 12/2005, A-Calontir]
There has been some confusion in the past as to the default orientation of a hunting horn or bugle. The April 1987 LoAR says:
Frances Huntington. Name and device. Vert, three bugle horns and on a chief argent, a rose gules.

Vis-a-vis the default position for hunting horns, which Crescent feels should be bells to dexter, Woodward (p. 385) says "In Scottish Heraldry it is the invariable practice to represent the hunting-horn with the mouthpiece on the dexter side of the escucheon [sic]. In England and on the Continent, the reverse is the case." In point of fact, most standard heraldic references depict hunting horns as they are oriented here (and hence the average heraldic artist will depict the horn in this manner if no position is specified). To avoid confusion, the blazon has been modified, as have others in the past, to specify that the bell is to sinister."
The Glossary of Terms defines the default as bell to dexter, and in fact, most horns registered to date do follow this default. Bell to dexter continues to be the default orientation. There is a blazonable difference between the orientations but not a CD. [Dáire de Haya, 10/2006, A-Ansteorra]
There was some question if - and how - the ornate forepillar should be blazoned. Batonvert noted: "As I recall, there was some discussion the last time this came before us, as to whether the exact artistic form of the harp needed blazoning. The best example of this form of decorated harp is, of course, the quartering of Ireland in the arms of Great Britain. The Irish harp started to be depicted with carving (a lion's head, much simpler than this) in Elizabeth's reign; got more florid with the Restoration; acquired its angel-like forepillar under Anne and the Georges; and through it all was simply blazoned a harp. What's good enough for Great Britain is good enough for us." We agree with Batonvert and have simply blazoned the primary charge a harp. [Ólchobar Mac Óengusa, 10/2006, A-Atenveldt]
According to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed., vol. 23, pp.228-236, the usual term for this instrument is shawm or shalmey. The term hautbois or hautboy, while technically correct for any high-pitched woodwind, is in fact usually reserved for a specific family of double-reed instruments. However, Guillim, 1632, p.288, describes the use of howboies in the arms of Bourden. So while shawm might be the best term for this charge, as the hautbois is a period charge as well, we will retain the submitter's term. No difference is granted between a shawm and a hautbois. [Mór Bran, 11/2006, A-An Tir]
This device is returned for lack of documentation of the style of drum depicted; they are not the standard drums in heraldry, which also led to many commenters being unable to identify them. The drums appear to be Mambo drums. Mambo drums may - or may not - be period, but no documentation was provided so that their acceptability as a charge could be evaluated. [Karl Thorgeirsson, 12/2006, R-Ansteorra]
Crythau is the plural of the Welsh word crwth. A crwth is a Welsh sort of lyre... [Rhonwen Y Clermwnt o'r Mwntduog, 12/2006, A-East]
... a schaum is another spelling for a shawm. [Giannetto Bello, 05/2007, A-Middle]
[shawm vs. krummhorn] ... the instrument shown here has the capped reed and upward curve which are the defining characteristics (both musicologically and heraldically) of the krummhorn. While there is no heraldic difference between the two, we have chosen to reblazon this as a krummhorn so that the emblazon can accurately be recreated from the blazon. [Giannetto Bello, 05/2007, A-Middle]
Pipes. There are several types of pipe found in SCA heraldry: bagpipes, panpipes, smoking pipes (or clay pipes), and organ pipes. Given this profusion, no one type of pipe will be considered default. The unmodified term pipe should not be used: the type of pipe must be specified in the blazon. [10/2007 CL]
Commentary raised the question of whether the cowbell was documented as a period charge or artifact. As it turns out, the cowbell is found, not just on cows, but as a musical instrument: Virdung's Musica Getutscht, 1511, shows the cowbell as one of a set of rustic (i.e. folk) instruments (Jeremy Montagu, "The World of Medieval and Renaissance Musical Instruments", p. 91). [Cáelán mac Domhnaill, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
Given the tiny size of the instruments, we've reblazoned them as flageolets, a tiny recorder-like instrument with four finger holes. [Ximena Alhaja de Lorca, 10/2007, A-Outlands]
A panpipe is palewise by default, but there is not a CD (or even a blazonable difference) for whether the long pipe is on the dexter or sinister side. A check of the currently registered panpipes shows the long pipe on either side, with roughly equal frequency. [Ceara inghean uí Bhárdáin, 11/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
[(Fieldless) Two torches in saltire Or] There was considerable discussion on whether or not this submission was a technical or visual conflict with the heralds' badge, or whether it was too similar to the reserved two straight trumpets in saltire. ... There is a CD between a torch (which is always depicted as enflamed) and a straight trumpet. [Cormac Mór, 01/2008, A-Caid]
The field should show between the lyre's strings. [Stiamhna Ó Miadhaigh, 02/2008, R-Middle]
This device is returned for using a non-period form of a viol bow. Period bows had a noticeable curve, which curved outward. The innovation that had the viol bow curve inward instead of outward didn't happen until after 1600 (Montagu, The World of Medieval & Renaissance Musical Instruments). [Nonne Reerdan, 02/2008, R-Caid]
There was some discussion whether or not the use of a doumbek was also a step from period practice. As revised on the June 2007 Cover Letter, section VII.3. of the Rules for Submission states:
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 ... 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 step from period practice.
The use of musical instruments is a pattern of charges found in period armory, so the issue is whether or not the doumbek is a period artifact. Batonvert provided the following research:
Doumbeks, per se, don't seem to be period artifacts. I could find very little about the periodness of doumbeks (probably because it can be spelled so many ways), but the most authoritative source, the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (vol.25, p.564) defines the tombak or dombak thus: "Goblet drum of Iran, known since the early 19th century. It is commonly known as zarb ('beat')."

However, if one broadens one's search to all types of goblet drum in the Muslim world, collectively known as darabukka, we find an example in the Cantigas de Santa Maria by Alfonso X of Castile, late 13th Century. It shows an earthenware goblet drum, played not between the legs or by the side, but over the shoulder... which is how some play the drum in modern Turkey, evidently. The image can be seen at http://hortulus.net/jan05amoenus/sinenomine.html for those who want to compare.
Thus, this form of drum -- which, for continuity's sake, we will continue to blazon as a doumbek or dumbeg -- was definitely known to period Europeans. As a period artifact, and with the known pattern of using musical instruments as charges, the use of a doumbek is not a step from period practice.

According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (vol.25, p. 564, s.n. tombak, and vol.7, p.12, s.n. darabukka) the Arabic and Persian goblet drum -- known variously as the darabukka, darbuk, doumbec, tombak, zarb, and deblek, among others -- could be made from wood, or metal, but was most frequently made of ceramic or earthenware. Given that doumbeks could be made of wood, we will register a wooden doumbek proper; such a doumbek would be brown (as are any wooden charges proper). This overturns the precedent set during Karina's tenure as Laurel "A dumbec is a drum used in Middle Eastern music; it can be made of all kinds of materials and cannot be 'proper'." (KFW, 17 Aug 78). Note that when not explicitly blazoned, the drumhead of a "wooden doumbek proper" is argent; the drumhead cannot be brown (as in this submission) as that is not a heraldic tincture. [Karl Thorgeirsson of Wolfstar, 04/2008, R-Ansteorra]
[an hautboy] Registered in November 2006 with the blazon Per bend sinister argent and vert, a crow sable and an hautbois bendwise sinister argent, there is but a single hautboy on the device. As Clarion pointed out for another submission, "According to Merriam Webster online, the plural of hautboy is hautbois or hautboys." [Mór Bran, 06/2008, A-An Tir]
There is not a CD for reversing a harp. The non-musician, non-herald at the decision meeting said he was unable to distinguish the submitted harp from Ireland's at any distance. [Éadaoin inghen Mhuircheartaigh, 07/2008, R-Caid]

NESSELBLATT

Please advise the submitter to ... draw the nesselblatt more nessellblattlich; that is, with fewer and more pronounced serrations on the sides. The arms of the Counts von Holstein (as seen in the Armorial de Gelre, c.1395, f. 97v) are the classic example of the charge. These arms can also be seen on f. 35v in the Armorial Bellenville. [Æthan of Eppelhyrste, 05/2006, A-An Tir]
[an escutcheon vs. a nesselblatt] There are period depictions of nesselblatten that actually show them as escutcheons with added frou-frou. For example, see the arms of Holstein in Siebmacher, plate 7: the nesselblatt in the 3rd quarter is drawn as a regular escutcheon within and conjoined to three passion nails in pall and three "bird's tails" (for want of a better description) in pall inverted. Given this, we will grant significant difference (CD), but not a substantial (X.2) difference, between an escutcheon and a nesselblatt. [Christoph of Willaston, 12/2006, R-Meridies]

OBTRUSIVE MODERNITY

[on a six-fingered hand argent a butterfly sable] This is also returned for obtrusive modernity due to the combination of name and armory. A significant number of commenters immediately associated this with Count von Rugen, the six-fingered man in The Princess Bride. [Axel van Rügen, 12/2005, R-Lochac]
This badge must be returned for the use of non-period charges: the capital letters H and S are modern sans-serif letters, with lines of equal width. Medieval letters, both in calligraphy and in carving, had different widths for the different strokes; and while there are some examples of sans-serif letters from ancient times, the majority of medieval letters were serifed. The letters used here are obtrusively modern in style. [Garrick of Shadowdale, 02/2008, R-Caid]
[(Fieldless) A windmill vert maintaining through the sinister chief blade a tilting spear fesswise reversed Or] Almost everyone who saw this armory almost immediately thought of Don Quixote. However, as the story of Don Quixote and his tilting at windmills falls within our gray period, this association is not considered to be obtrusively modern and is no bar to registration. [Aleksandr the Traveller, 02/2008, A-East]

OFFENSE

[a tree blasted and eradicated, pendant from a sinister limb a noose, and to dexter a laurel wreath sable] This device is being returned for violating RfS IX -- Offensive Armory. The juxtaposition of the laurel wreath -- a symbol of the SCA -- with a hangman's noose is unacceptable. [Gallows Oake, Shire of, 02/2006, R-Trimaris]
[a sinister hand aversant inverted issuant from chief and a two-fingered dexter hand aversant issuant from base argent] The majority of those polled, both heralds and non-heralds, saw this as a display of gang signs. This is also sufficient grounds for return under section IX of the Rules for Submission ("Offensive Armory") as well as section VIII.4 ("Obtrusive Modernity"). Using two identical hands in the same posture would remove this appearance. [Tómas Halvar, 12/2007, R-Outlands]

OMBRELLINO

[an ombrellino] This is the Society's defining instance of an ombrellino. While similar to a modern parasol, the ombrellino has a cross at the top and a handle resembling a lance. In addition, the ombrellino's canopy was frequently drawn more hemispherically than in this submission.

Two issues were raised in the commentary. The first was whether the ombrellino should be a reserved charge, since it appears only in the Papal achievement and in augmentations granted by the Papacy. The second was whether the combination of the ombrellino with the byname de Borghese was presumptuous, since the Borghese were one of the families with a Papal augmentation.

Regarding the first issue, it's true that the ombrellino is found in the arms of some families whose members became Pope. It was also granted to the arms of some gonfaloniers (officers of the Italian city-states, roughly equivalent to city councilmen) and their families. Philippe Levillain, in The Papacy: An Encyclopedia (originally written in French) says:
The most frequent augmentation was that of keys and a pavilion, which could show up within the shield (on the pale or on the chief, depending on artistic taste), or on the outside as a crest. Strict rules cannot be given, nor is it possible to drawn up a list of the families that have had an ombrellino in their arms. The following categories may be proposed: families where one member has been a pope, gonfaloniers, and families of gonfaloniers. It is difficult to know why some of these families adopted the augmentation and others did not.

At the end of the 16th century the use of augmentation with keys and the ombrellino was well established among the pope's families.
However, all the examples of the ombrellino we could find in arms combined it with the crossed keys of the Papacy. Indeed, the combination had its own name, the "Basilica". This is the form of the augmentation found in "papal" families, either on the shield or as part of the achievement. Galbreath's Papal Heraldry devotes an entire chapter to the ombrellino; in none of his examples does it appear in arms without the keys.

Regarding the second issue, it's again true that one of the families bearing the Papal augmentation was the Borghese. The LoI cited text from heraldica.org:
Finally, some families who have given Popes place the ombrellino in their arms (with the keys on a chief gules, for example) or more usually as a timbre: Galbreath gives a number of examples, including the Boncompagni arms with the Basilica on a chief, Barberini, Pamphili, Chigi, Orsini, or outside the shield: Medici-Ottaiano, Aldobrandini. In 1854 the Congregazione Araldica Capitolina, pursuant to a decision by the Pope in 1853, decided on a list of families of princely and ducal Roman rank. In that list, the following: Aldobrandini, Borghese, Altieri, Barberini, Boncompagni Ludovisi, Caetani, Chigi, Colonna di Paliano, Colonna di Sciarra, Corsini, Doria Pamphili, Ludovisi Boncompagni, Odescalchi, Orsini, Ottoboni, Rospigliosi were distinguished as having given one or more popes, and to those granted the augmentation of the Basilica (the two keys and ombrellino) outside the shield.
Presumption depends on perception. If the combination of a particular surname with a particular charge is seen to be overly allusive to an actual noble house - even if the charge in question was never used in this manner by that house - that might be sufficient reason for return.

The evidence strongly suggests that the ombrellino was only used as a Papal augmentation in conjunction with the crossed keys. If that's the case, then the use of the ombrellino alone cannot be considered presumptuous, any more than the use of keys alone (with no other Papal elements) would be presumptuous. We therefore rule that the ombrellino alone is not a reserved charge, and may be registered in any Society armory that doesn't also have two keys in saltire.

If the ombrellino by itself cannot be considered a Papal augmentation, then the possible appearance of presumption - even in conjunction with a famous surname - is greatly reduced. In this case, we find that the combination of ombrellino with the surname Borghese does not evoke the immediate reaction that, say, six torteaux in annulo would with the surname Medici. We therefore find this name/charge combination to be acceptable. [Luciana Caterina de Borghese, 06/2007, A-Ansteorra]

PALE

There is no difference between bamboo stems throughout and pallets; the bamboo detailing is artistic. [Solveig Anderhalfholt, 04/2006, A-East]
... a pale cotised is the same as a pale endorsed ... [Ysoria Chaloner, 05/2006, R-Calontir]
[a pale compony Or and azure] Blazoned on the LoI as Azure, five delfs in pale Or, the delfs touch the top and bottom edges of the shield making this a pale rather than a set of delfs. A charge (other than a bordure) compony may not share a tincture with the field, thus this must be returned. [Cristobal de Corrales, 07/2006, R-An Tir]
[Per fess azure and gules, in chief a dragon couchant and in base two pallets Or] A question was raised whether the use of demi-pallets was allowed. We would blazon the arms of Zobeltitz (Siebmacher 163) as Per fess Or and gules, a demi-eagle issuant from the line of division sable and two demi-pales argent. Therefore, having two pallets in base has period support and is registerable. [Alsinda de Rochabaron, 11/2006, R-Gleann Abhann]
We wish to remind the College that endorses (and cotises) follow the line of the ordinary. Thus, a pale engrailed endorsed has both the pale and the endorses engrailed, while a pale endorsed engrailed has only the endorses engrailed. [Ysoria Chaloner, 05/2007, A-Calontir]
[Per fess azure and gules, a dragon couchant and two demi-pallets issuant from the line of division Or] In the case of Deanna della Penna (February 2007), it was ruled that paly and three pallets are interchangeable blazons, and no difference is granted between them. This was based on period examples of the same arms (e.g. Aragon) depicted both ways. However, we have no period examples of any armory with two pallets being also depicted as paly; that distinction is still made in blazon, and is still worth difference. This submission, therefore, cannot be legitimately reblazoned as Per fess azure and paly gules and Or, in chief a dragon couchant Or; and it therefore does not conflict with such armories as Dragano da Monte, Per chevron azure and gules, in base a dragon couchant Or. [Alsinda de Rochabaron, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
The chief-pale (or chéf-pal) is a Continental charge, which is usually treated as an ordinary (Woodward 120). It is found as early as 1415, in the Concilium zu Constenz, fo. clxxxi, and described in de Bara's Blason des Armoiries, 1581, p. 37. In both cases it's drawn as a chief and a pale, conjoined but with no seam where the charges meet. Certainly by the end of our period, it was considered a single charge, and we will do so as well. There is a CD between a pale and a chief-pale, and a substantial (X.2) difference between a chief-pale and any other ordinary.

If a device combines a chief and a pale of different tinctures (e.g., Azure, a pale Or and a chief argent), or with different complex lines (Azure, a pale engrailed and a chief argent), then it will not be considered a chief-pale. Like the chief, the chief-pale cannot be voided, fimbriated, or cotised. It can be charged with tertiaries, but (as the example in de Bara shows) the tertiaries must cover the entire charge, both the horizontal and vertical portions. Within those guidelines, we welcome further registrations of the charge.

We note that several prior registrations of a pale and chief exist. We are not reblazoning them at this time; however, if the owners wish them blazoned as chief-pales we will be happy to do so. [Reynier de Vriere, 05/2008, A-Atenveldt]

PALL and PALL INVERTED

This badge is returned for a redraw of the pall: the upper arms of the pall should issue from the upper corners of the shield. In commentary on this issue Crescent noted:
I suspect this was because this was originally drawn on a round emblazon shape (and will probably be used on round medallions). As such, equal 120 degree angles all around work the best. If this were drawn with a proper pall, the chiefmost angle would be approximately 90 degrees with the dexter and sinister angles approximately 135 degrees. This would ruin the radial symmetry.
While the submitted emblazon is appropriate for a display on a roundel, it is not appropriate for a square. The submitters are welcome to display this badge on a roundel (or medallion) with equal angles, but for submission purposes it must be drawn appropriately for the shape of the display: issuant from the upper corners. [Angels, Barony of the, 01/2008, R-Caid]

PAW PRINT

There is not a blazonable difference between the prints of a bear's forepaws and hind paws, although they do have somewhat different shapes. The fore paws show only the pad; the hind paws look very similar to a human's footprint showing the entire sole. For those that are interested, the difference is shown at http://www.bcadventure.com/adventure/wilderness/animals/grizzly.gif. The use of pawprints is one step from period practice. [Bj{o,)rn gullskeggr Eiríksson, 08/2005, A-West]

PEN BOX

[Arabic pen box] The submitter has provided documentation demonstrating that her depiction of an Arabic pen box, with a round "head" and three "tails", is a reasonable variant of this charge. [Mariam Albarran, 05/2005, A-Caid]

PILE and PILE INVERTED
see also FIELD DIVISION - Chapé

[Sable, on a pile azure fimbriated between two step-cut gemstones palewise a step-cut gemstone palewise pendent from a necklace of beads argent] This is returned for a redraw as the multiple problems push it past the limits of registerability. The pile is drawn too wide and too shallow, leading to the appearance of a per chevron inverted field. The argent line is too narrow to be a chevron inverted and a field division cannot be fimbriated. A properly drawn pile may be fimbriated. Whether a per chevron inverted field or a charged pile, the charges are not in the expected locations. The gemstones should not be arranged in fess; the most applicable description of their arrangement should be one and two. [Giuliana Maria di Grazia, 07/2005, R-An Tir]
[Per chevron throughout argent and sable, two ravens addorsed and a pegasus segreant counterchanged] This is returned for multiple conflicts. It conflicts with Brann Morgan Dunmore, Argent, upon a pile inverted throughout, between two ravens sable, a tower argent. This was mistakenly ruled clear when it was pended, with Wreath granting a CD for changing the orientation of half the secondaries and another for changing the type of tertiary per X.4.j.ii. However, both pieces of armory must be conflict checked as per chevron field divisions as well as piles inverted. Considering Brann's device as Per chevron throughout argent and sable, two ravens and a tower counterchanged, the conflict is more apparent - there is a CD for changing the bottommost of three charges but there is nothing for changing the orientation of only one or three charges. Had this been the only conflict, it is likely it would have been registered since the Letter of Pends and Discussions explicitly ruled it clear. However, the submitted device also conflicts with Tangwystl Tyriau Gleision, Per chevron argent and sable, two towers and a horse rampant counterchanged. A horse is significantly different (a CD) from a pegasus, but not substantially (X.2) different. Therefore RfS X.2 (complete change of primary charges) does not apply and there is only a single CD for changing the type of primary charges. [Freydis Orkneyska, 04/2006, R-Drachenwald]
[Gules ermined Or, on a pile throughout Or a fox rampant gules] This device is clear of ... Sable, a vixen [Vulpes vulpes] rampant proper and with ... Sable, a wolf rampant gules, fimbriated argent. Precedent notes:
[Barry vert and Or, on a pile sable a thunderbolt Or] This does not conflict with Huldah von Jal, Per bend sinister sable and gules, a thunderbolt Or. While we consider piles to conflict with chaussé fields, a field with a pile is not reblazonable as having chaussé field, as there is an artistic distinction that we enforce (namely that the pile does not issue from the corners of the chief). Therefore, the devices are clear by X.2. ... [Roiberd Mor Barra, 11/00, A-Drachenwald]
Therefore, Guillaume's device is clear of the cited badges by X.2, Substantially Different Charges. [Guillaume de Troyes, 08/2006, A-Ansteorra]
Per precedent there is no difference granted between piles fesswise and wolf's teeth:
... no difference between the wolf's teeth and the piles: "[piles issuant from dexter vs wolf's teeth issuant from dexter] This conflicts [with] nothing for the curved line in the wolf's teeth. Just as we would give nothing for the enarching of three bars, we give nothing for the enarching of the piles." (LoAR of December 1998, p. 12). [Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina vnuchka, 10/03, R-East]
[Ulvar van der Nederlanden, 11/2006, R-Ealdormere]
[a pile vs. a pile ployé] ... there's no difference for making the sides of the pile concave. [Alessandra Gianetta da Siena, 02/2007, R-Artemisia]
[Or chaussé azure, a chevron counterchanged] This device is returned for a redraw; the chevron cannot be counterchanged over the chaussé portion of the field. While you can blazon your way out of a style problem, this particular emblazon cannot be reblazoned as a pile because it issues from the corners of the chief. A correctly drawn field with a pile would allow the chevron to be counterchanged. [Agmund Stoltefoth, 03/2007, R-Drachenwald]
[on a pile inverted argent the I Ching symbol "jiji" gules] The submitted device does not violate the ban on using armory that consists solely of an abstract field [JML: should be charge]. For conflict purposes, a field with a pile inverted must also be treated as a per chevron field. However, it is possible to blazon your way out of a style problem, and when considered as a charged pile the I Ching symbol is a tertiary charge (not a sole primary charge). [Nakada Tadamitsu, 08/2007, R-Atenveldt]
There was some discussion in the commentary about whether this should be blazoned as a per chevron field, or whether it would be more accurately blazoned as Argent, on a pile inverted throughout azure between two sheaves of arrows sable, a stag at gaze argent. Most of the discussion centered on the width of the per chevron angle. We note that earlier period heraldry tended to draw the per chevron field more narrowly than later in period: the angle of the point more acute, and extending further to chief. (It could be considered to trisect, not bisect, the field.) Thus, for example, the arms of von Ortenburg, c. 1413 (Conzilium zu Constenz, folio clxiiii), showed a per chevron field very similar to the one in this submission. Moreover, the presence of three charges two and one on either side of the division strongly reinforces the impression of a per chevron field - and would do so, regardless of the angle of the point. A lone pile inverted was rare enough in heraldry, and when it appeared, tended to be uncharged; in other words, the lower portion of the shield would be uncharged. A chapé field division would never have the upper portions of the field charged. When the upper and lower portions are charged, then, this must (absent of other clues such as cotising) be a per chevron field. [Rorik smiðr, 10/2007, A-Atlantia]
[Argent, two axes in pile, blades outward sable between a pile and two piles inverted gules] This must be returned for redrawing and/or redesign. Properly drawn, a pile (inverted or not) should not have room for a charge between its point and the opposite edge of the shield. Moreover, the piles inverted weren't drawn palewise, but tilted to dexter and sinister to make room for the axes. More than one commenter saw this submission as Gules, a capital M throughout argent charged with two axes in pile sable, presumably a play on the submitter's given name. [Magnús h{o,}ggvandi, 10/2007, R-Gleann Abhann]
From Wreath: Drawing Piles
There have been many calls recently to return piles for not extending almost to the edge of the shield. Often cited is the precedent:
Grimfells, March of the. Change of device. Sable, on a pile within a laurel wreath Or, a spiderweb throughout sable. Unfortunately, as several commentors noted, there is longstanding precedent in the College for banning charges, including laurel wreaths, below piles on the grounds that a properly drawn period pile would not allow space for another charge to rest, in whole or in part, below the pile. [LoAR 02/1990]
Rouland Carre, Owen Herald, noted:
The notion that a period pile necessarily goes all the way to the bottom, or at least very nearly all the way, is simply not true. Early period piles did, but you can find 16th century piles that did not. This is a holdover of the old SCA prejudice against Tudor heraldry. (Like it or don't like it: either has nothing to do with whether or not it is period.) I am a little surprised to see the claim in the Laurel letter as late as 1990. This is a different question, by the way, from that of allowing a charge below the tip of a pile.
Owen cites the illustration of a pile in Legh's Accedens of Armorie, 1576, fo. 68v, drawn 3/4 the length of the shield. It is, however, the shortest of the Tudor piles we've found, and it is in a heraldic tract, not an actual use of arms. Other tracts of the period (de Bara, p. 28; Bossewell, fo. 76v) show piles which, though still not throughout, are more like 6/7 the length of the shield; and among the Tudor armory as actually used, there are ample examples of piles throughout (e.g. the arms of Jane Seymour, Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 19). Given the weight of examples, we encourage piles to extend at least 85% the length of the shield; given the single, theoretical example of Legh, we will permit piles extending as little as 75% the length of the shield, but will consider them a step from period practice. If further examples of such "shortened" piles are found, especially when used in actual arms, we will accept them without treating them as a step from period practice. We will continue to return piles with charges beneath them, pending period evidence of such use. [02/2008 CL]
[Sable, six piles inverted in point] This device is returned for conflict with ... Sable, four piles inverted in point ... The second CD must come from the piles; however, in this case there is not a difference for the number of piles. With so many piles evenly spaced across the shield, the effect is of a divided field rather than individual charges; and just as we grant no difference between bendy of six and bendy of eight, neither can we grant difference between what is essentially gyronny from chief of nine and gyronny from chief of thirteen. If the individual piles cannot be easily counted, we can grant no difference for number. [Petros Mystikos, 02/2008, R-Meridies]
[Vert semy of crescents pendant, on a pile] As noted on the February 2008 Cover Letter, piles should not be drawn with a charge beneath the point. The submitted emblazon had a crescent beneath the point of the pile, which caused some calls for the device to be returned. However, the crescent is one of a semy of charges; a single charge the size of the crescent (or just about any charge found in a semy of charges) would be returned as being too small. The placement of one charge of a semy of charges (or an ermine spot in an ermine field) below the pile is not grounds for return, though such extensions are not encouraged. [Zakalus Latizlo, 03/2008, A-East]

PLANT

There is a substantial difference between a hop vine and a trefoil ... [Ilona von Neunhoff, 08/2005, R-Atenveldt]
[a wheat stalk vs. a stalk of three cattails slipped and leaved] A single wheat stalk conflicts with a single cattail. And precedent states:
[(Fieldless) A cattail plant with two cattails argent] Conflict with ... (Fieldless) A tuft of three cattails slipped and leaved argent. There is a CD for fieldlessness. However, both these pieces of armory are effectively cattail plants. The exact number of cattails on a plant may be blazonable but is not worth difference. This also conflicts with ... Vert, three cattails slipped and leaved conjoined at the base argent. That armory also appears to be a single cattail plant, resulting in a similar analysis. [Iron Bog, Shire of, 05/02, R-East]
This means that a plant with multiple cattails conflict with a plant with a different number of (multiple) cattails. However, a single wheat stalk is a period charge, as in the arms of Trigueros, in the Libra da Nobreza, f. xxxvi °, and no evidence has been presented that a single stalk of wheat is interchangeable with cattails. Therefore, a single stalk of wheat has a CD from a plant with two or more cattails ... [Vivien of Shaftesbury, 10/2005, A-An Tir]
There is no difference between bamboo stems throughout and pallets; the bamboo detailing is artistic. [Solveig Anderhalfholt, 04/2006, A-East]
[on a chevron ... a thorn vine] The use of a thorn vine on a chevron is two steps from period practice and must therefore be returned. The Livro da Nobreza, c.1520, cites the coat of Barbalonga: Argent, a cross flory voided sable within an orle of ivy vert. The use of a vine on a chevron, rather than as an orle, is one step from period practice. The use of a thorn vine is also a step from period practice, as no evidence was presented (nor could we find any) for a thorn vine in period heraldry. [Tristram Thorne, 04/2006, R-Middle]
Concerning Japanese wisteria sprigs: Most of the examples in period mon have the large leaf in chief with the sprig of blossoms hanging to base, while the SCA default for other heraldic sprigs and branches is the opposite. ... We will continue to use the SCA standard as the default orientation for Japanese wisteria sprigs (the leaf in base when in the default orientation). [Soma no Ryoichi Masayuki, 05/2006, A-Calontir]
[Purpure, a papyrus plant and a bordure nebuly argent] This device is returned for conflict with the device for Ygraine o Gaerllion Fawr, Purpure, a bouquet of three daffodils slipped, the centermost affronty and the outermost addorsed, Or within a bordure nebuly argent. There is a CD for the tincture of the plants but, as emblazoned, not for the type of plant. [Cassandra la Schrevein, 07/2007, R-Atenveldt]
[three vines palewise] The vines were blazoned on the LoI as inverted, with the couped portion to chief and the leaves' tips pointing to base. There's no difference for inverting a vine, and very little visual difference: the inversion of the charges is well-nigh invisible. We are blazoning these simply as vines palewise, leaving the exact orientation of the foliage to the artist. [Maria Mellitiz, 10/2007, A-Meridies]
[holly sprigs vs. sprigs of holly inverted] ... nothing for the orientation. Two of the three holly leaves in each sprig are in the same position in both pieces of armory. [Ki no Kotori, 06/2008, R-Calontir]

POLYGON
see also TRIANGLE and LOZENGE

Fracting the hexagons is one step from period practice. [Furukusu Tatsujirou Masahide, 07/2005, A-Outlands]
The use of a pentagon is a step from period practice. We are only aware of four-sided polygons (e.g., delfs and lozenges) in period European heraldry; hexagons are found in Japanese mon. [Gustav Emile der Dunkele Rotvogel, 09/2006, A-Atlantia]

POSITION
see also ARRANGEMENT - Forced Move

[Sable, a fox's mask between two gores argent] This is returned for conflict. Originally blazoned as Sable, two gores, in chief a fox's mask argent, the fox's mask is correctly placed for a primary charge placed between two peripheral gores. As such this conflicts with Fandral Silverfox, Sable, a fox's mask argent, with a single CD for adding the gores. [Hróbjartr melrakki, 07/2005, R-Middle]
The dragon was blazoned as in chief on the LoI; however, it is about where it has to be, given that it has to fit in the awkward space left by the gore. We have thus removed in chief from the blazon. [Miklos Temesvari, 11/2007, A-East]

POSTURE/ORIENTATION - Animate Charges
see also BLAZON
This category contains precedents relating to animals, plants, and monsters. If a precedent applies to both animate and inanimate charges, it will be found under POSTURE/ORIENTATION - GENERAL.

... no difference in posture between courant and statant. As the LoAR of September 2003 notes, "There is no difference between statant and courant, because the evidence which has so far been obtained indicates that these postures were interchangeable in period." [Lucia Ottavia da Siena, 06/2005, R-Calontir]
[a wyvern sejant vs. a dragon segreant] Precedent states "[a wyvern statant vs. a dragon segreant] There is a CD ... for the change in posture of the primary charge. [Giles fitz Alan, 04/01, A-Middle]". In like manner, there's a CD for the change in posture between a wyvern sejant and a dragon segreant: in both cases, the wyvern has both its feet -- indeed, all its feet -- on the ground, thereby distinguishing it from a segreant/rampant monster with a minimum of two feet in the air. [Alric of the Mists, 07/2005, A-Æthelmearc]
The cat has both hind legs planted on the ground, though they are separated, and the front legs are separated. This is a valid depiction of a creature rampant or statant erect. As the submitter has chosen to blazon the posture as statant erect, and that is a valid blazon, we are acceding to the submitter's wishes. [Erich der Suchenwirth zum Schwarzenkatze, 07/2005, A-Caid]
When animals are in annulo they are not given arrangement difference from other animals which are also in annulo. Thus, in pale two crocodiles statant in annulo would thus not be considered heraldically different from in fess two crocodiles statant in annulo. Therefore, explicit blazon of the arrangement of animals in annulo is optional. Here we have elected to retain the in pale blazon provided by the submitter in order that a reconstructed emblazon will more closely match the submitted emblazon. [Giovanni Orseolo, 08/2005, A-An Tir]
The alphyn's front legs are separated; the back legs are separated but both are planted. This is an acceptable variant of rampant. In fact, Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch shows pretty much all its rampant animals with both feet on the same level or with the "away" foot only very slightly raised. [Kaios Alexandrou, 08/2005, A-Calontir]
There is no heraldic difference between a bear passant bendwise and a bear rampant. [Konrad Mailander, 08/2005, A-Middle]
The horse was blazoned on the LoI as forcene; however, precedent notes, "the term is ambiguous and should not be used. (LoAR of 06/85, p.2)." We no longer use that term as it blurs the distinction between salient and rampant. However, as the usual modern depiction (and the one in this submission) is equivalent to an accepted period rendition of rampant, we will generally reblazon a horse forcené as rampant. [Álfgeirr Agnarsson, 12/2005, A-Lochac]
There was some question as to the registerability of a crab inverted. Laurel has previously ruled:
A significant number of commenters felt that inverting a tergiant charge which is commonly found as tergiant (such as a tergiant scorpion or a frog) does not hamper the identifiability of the charge so much as to render it unidentifiable, and they felt that it should be acceptable. The frog in this submission certainly retains its identifiability very clearly in the inverted posture. As a result, inverting a tergiant charge is acceptable as long as it does not otherwise violate any basic heraldic principles, including the requirement for identifiability. Because of the lack of period evidence for tergiant inverted charges, the posture will be considered a clear step from period practice (also known informally as a "weirdness") for any charge that cannot be found in this posture in period. [George Anne, 05/02, A-Æthelmearc]
The crab in this submission certainly retains its identifiability very clearly in the inverted posture and is acceptable, though a step from period practice. [Decimus Aurelius Gracchus, 02/2006, A-Trimaris]
[statant erect vs. rampant] ... nothing for the minor change in posture ... [Draco Lengeteylle, 03/2006, R-Ealdormere]
From Wreath: On Rising
The term rising is used primarily with birds and phoenixes. When applied to phoenixes, rising means displayed emerging from (generally flames). When it comes to birds, current precedent states:
Please recall that the rising posture, according to a number of sources, needs to have the wings explicitly blazoned as either addorsed or displayed. The SCA has at times registered birds rising wings addorsed simply as rising, but this pattern has not yet been so clearly established that we wish to define it as a default at this time. [Erik von Winterthur, 10/03, A-An Tir]
This is in line with Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry, who goes to some length to discuss that "It may perhaps be as well to point out, with the exception of the two positions 'displayed' (Fig. 451) and 'close' (fig. 446), very little if any agreement at all exists amongst authorities either as to the terms to be employed or as to the position intended for the wings when a given term is used in a blazon... Until some agreement has been arrived at, I can only recommend my readers to follow the same plan which I have long adopted in blazoning arms of which the official blazon has not been available to me. That is, to use the term 'rising,' followed by the necessary description of the position of the wings (Figs. 447-450). This obviates both mistakes and uncertainty."

The blazon term rising was first found right at the beginning of the 17th C: it's found in Guillim, but not in the late 16th C treatises of Legh, de Bara or Bossewell. Birds in the postures currently blazoned as rising wings addorsed and rising wings displayed are both found in period heraldry, so they are definitely period postures. However, these postures were blazoned in period with other terms. When the term rising first entered blazon, it referred solely to the posture with the wings addorsed.

A blazon search of the O&A for rising finds 439 blazons with this term. About 15% of these were birds (or other winged creatures) blazoned simply as rising. The remainder were winged creatures with their wing position explicitly blazoned or phoenixes. The earliest of these blazons is from 1973, the latest is from 2005. Of these one referred to a non-winged creature (a unicorn), and ten did not have wings addorsed. Given this, and given that (late) period practice was for rising to refer only to the posture with wings addorsed, we are now declaring that the default for rising is wings (elevated and) addorsed. These eleven items not conforming to this default have been reblazoned in the LoAR. As with other defaults, a bird in the default rising posture may still be explicitly blazoned as rising wings addorsed or rising wings elevated and addorsed, or it may simply be blazoned rising. [04/2006 CL]
... rising is not a defined heraldic posture for a unicorn or other non-winged creature. [Enyd Draenengles, 04/2006, A-Caid]
There is no difference between displayed and migrant palewise ... [Aonghus Lyndesay, 06/2006, R-Caid]
[a wolf passant and a wolf sejant contourny ululant] The use of two separate postures for a group of identical creatures is not good period heraldic style, though it is registerable. [Helga gylðir, 06/2006, A-Caid]
Stork-like birds, such as a flamingo, are often drawn with one foot raised. This is an unblazoned artistic detail. [Arelinda Poincelin, 07/2006, A-East]
Some commenters suggested blazoning the dragon as coward. Laurel has previously ruled:
The Letter of Intent blazoned this cat as coward. The exact disposition of the tail of an animal is a matter for artistic license in period, which would argue against using the term coward in blazon. However, the term is permissible if the submitter so requests, as long as the tail position is drawn correctly and identifiably. Coward may be blazoned when the tail is clearly tucked between the hind legs. This is not the case in this emblazon. Also, the submitter's original blazon did not use the term coward. Therefore, the term was deleted. [Muirgel ingen Gilla Comgaill, 09/01, A-Æthelmearc]
As the submitters did not request that the dragon be blazoned as coward, we have left the position of the dragon's tail as a matter for artistic license in accordance with the cited precedent. [Drakenmere, Shire of, 10/2006, R-Meridies]
This device is returned for a redraw as the horse is neither courant nor passant. Courant, in period, is pretty much drawn with two legs extended far forward and two legs extended far backwards. The posture as submitted is one that a running horse probably does take naturally, but it is not the standard courant, and in fact, not one of the legs is standard for courant, each is 90 degrees away (more "down" than "out"). Eadweard Muybridge, fl.1870, photographed horses in motion. He was the first to conclusively prove that, when running, all four feet left the ground - but not in the standard previous artistic depiction (with two feet forwards and two feet backwards) but rather the opposite, with all four feet almost together under the horse's belly. As that fact wasn't known until the 19th C, this depiction of a horse courant could not have been done in period. Recent precedent is clear that this is sufficient grounds for return:
This is being returned for redraw. As drawn it is not clearly courant or statant but something halfway between the two. [Renata von Hentzau , 06/1998, R-Atlantia]

The foxes are neither passant nor courant, but somewhere in between, blurring the distinction between them. Therefore the device is returned for a redraw as one or the other. [Mirabel of Foxrun, 10/1999, R-East]

The wolf is neither passant nor courant but somewhere in between, blurring the distinction between them. Therefore the device is returned for a redraw as one or the other. [Charles le Verdier, 11/2000, R-An Tir]

In addition, the posture of the wolf is not blazonable. The position, as drawn, is approximately halfway between "statant" and "courant." [Wulfgar Neumann, 01/2001, R-Outlands]
[Teleri ferch Lludd, 11/2006, R-Artemisia]
In addition, the bird is not displayed, as blazoned on the LoI: that posture is specifically defined to have the feet stick out on either side of the body, and this bird has no feet. [Syban Khal, 11/2006, R-Trimaris]
Barring evidence of angels volant as period heraldic charges, they are not registerable. By precedent, from the tenure of Baldwin of Erebor, the term volant is used only for insects and birds - the term is ambiguous for other winged creatures (q.v., BoE, 3 Aug 86, p.17). For heraldic purposes, this submission's posture cannot be blazoned: it doesn't fit the definition of volant for either birds (which would have the body horizontal, wings spread to chief and base) or insects (which would have the angel's back facing the viewer). Nor could the human part alone be blazoned if the wings were ignored: it's neither rampant, salient, nor statant. [Máría Abramsdottir, 12/2006, R-Outlands]
As defined for SCA use (in the LoAR Cover Letters of July and Aug 1986), stooping is reserved for when the raptor is "dive-bombing", falling on its prey: wings swept back, body vertical or diagonal with head down. Striking is the moment when the raptor comes out of its stoop, its feet ready to grab or punch the prey: body diagonal with head up, heraldically equivalent to rising. [Balin Kendrick, 02/2007, A-Calontir]
[a rooster] The submitted badge is also clear of ... a snowy egret rising wings displayed ..., and of ... an owl rising guardant wings displayed ... In each case there is a CD ... for the position of the wings (wings addorsed versus wings displayed). [Drueta de la Rosa, 02/2007, A-East]
Another problem is that the wolf is neither clearly in a statant nor clearly in a passant posture. The classic heraldic passant posture (as in the arms of England) has the rear legs spread but both on the ground, the front left leg forward but on the ground, and the front right leg raised. The classic heraldic statant posture (as in the crest of England) has all four legs on the ground, but none of them spread apart. This wolf is in neither posture. [Gavin O'Shannon, 04/2007, R-Calontir]
[a great auk close vs. penguin rampant] There is a CD ... for the difference in posture of the birds. [Luke Aucher, 07/2007, R-Ansteorra]
This device is also returned for having a bird striking affronty, a posture that is not allowed. We have no examples of this posture in period heraldry and it is inherently three-dimensional in nature. In this emblazon, the feet are not on either side of the body (as for displayed), but under the tail, which is spread. The body is foreshortened and the wings curved to "catch" the air. This is not displayed; it is striking affronty, and must therefore be returned for redraw. [Julianna Wilkins, 09/2007, R-Atenveldt]
[a two-headed two-tailed griffin sejant affronty vs. a griffin sejant erect affronty] While there is normally a CD between sejant and sejant erect, when the beast is affronty, there is insufficient detail visible to differentiate between these postures. [Albrecht von Reith, 09/2007, R-Atlantia]
[a dragon dormant regardant] While depictions of creatures regardant with their head entirely against the body may be registered on a case-by-case basis, identifiability must be maintained. The dragon's identifiability would be improved by drawing the head extending straight out from the body, which is the normal placement for dormant creatures. We note that the head position is a blazonable detail but does not contribute to difference between various dormant creatures. [Rakel Kyrre, 09/2007, R-Atlantia]
A dormant creature has its head in front of the body by default (i.e., couchant, but with the head lowered to the "ground"); if the head is curled around to face the tail, the fact must be blazoned. Note that the head should still be on the field; if it's tucked into the creature's body, the creature may well be returned as unidentifiable. A dormant creature should not be curled into a ball in a naturalistic depiction of the creature. A creature in a ball may warrant return for non-period style and an unblazonable position. [Isobel le Bretoun, 09/2007, A-Lochac]
[a satyr dancing] The device is returned for using an undocumented and unblazonable heraldic posture. Blazoned on the LoI as simply dancing, it matches no period dance position for which we've been given evidence. There are examples of humans dancing in period heraldry, such as the arms of Hopfer, 1605 (Siebmacher, plate 215), but their posture looks little like the posture used here. In particular, the period examples of dancing humans didn't have the arms raised overhead, as here. The closest blazon we could devise was rampant, arms raised, and that doesn't quite cover it. Unless documentation for this posture in period heraldry is provided, it is not acceptable for humans or humanoids. [Helen Wentworth, 09/2007, R-Lochac]
Blazoned on the LoI as segreant, the wyvern is actually erect. Two-legged creatures cannot, in general, be segreant or rampant. [Pamela of Grey Niche, 10/2007, A-Gleann Abhann]
While the term hovering isn't an heraldic posture, neither is stooping or striking (which we equate, for conflict purposes, with volant bendwise and rising, respectively). While we are reluctant to use SCA-unique terminology in blazon, hovering is the best term that describes that unique hummingbird posture. We note that certain period heraldic charges had special terms for postures uniquely (at least in period heraldry) associated with them, for example, stags at gaze and goats clymant. In order to ensure that the emblazon is recreated from the blazon, we are adopting the term hovering for hummingbirds. The three postures can be described as:
  • Hovering: the wings addorsed, the body sort of palewise but embowed, and the tail tucked forward under the belly. This term may only be applied to hummingbirds. It is granted no difference from rising.
  • Rising: the body bendwise, wings elevated and addorsed. In other words, the bird is "taking off" from the ground. If present, the feet are shown beneath or slightly in front of the bird. The feet are generally absent for hummingbirds, though they are almost always present for other birds.
  • Volant: the body is more or less horizontal, the wings spread on either side of the body. If the wings are addorsed this must be specified. A bird volant (wings spread) is a CD from a bird rising.
[12/2007 CL] [JML: See "From Wreath: Hummingbirds Volant, Rising, and Hovering" BIRD - Miscellaneous> for the complete dicsussion.]
[a cat herissony] Regarding the posture herissony, precedent states:
A question was raised regarding the use of herissony in our blazonry. While the term itself, to the best of our knowledge, is not period, the posture was done in period. Hierosme de Bara's Le Blason des Armoiries (1581) shows a cat in this position. [The submission was blazoned as herissony] (Rowan of Iron Mountain, 8/97 p. 10)
As a period posture for cats, cats herissony may be registered. While there is no difference granted between a cat statant or passant and a cat herissony, we will continue to use the term herissony as an aid to heraldic artists. [Antonio Patrasso, 12/2007, A-East]
[two ravens close respectant] We have previously held that birds close could be drawn with one foot raised (so-called "passant") without the fact needing blazon. [Thórbjörn Assa, 01/2008, A-Caid]
[a brown bear statant erect affronty] Registered in August 1983 with the blazon ... a brown bear displayed proper ..., the term displayed is not suitable for a quadruped. [Artos Barefoot, 02/2008, A-West]

POSTURE/ORIENTATION - General
see also BLAZON
This category contains precedents that apply to both animate and inanimate charges. Precedents relating specifically to animate charges will be found under POSTURE/ORIENTATION - ANIMATE CHARGES and those relating to inanimate charges will be found under POSTURE/ORIENTATION - INANIMATE CHARGES.

[a sword bendwise surmounted by a quill pen bendwise sinister] When two charges are in saltire, the one blazoned first is the one bendwise. The submitter had originally included a motto, translating to "the pen is mightier than the sword", with his submission. Given this we have elected to use the longer form of the blazon, explicitly blazoning the orientation of the charges rather than simply blazoning them as in saltire, to ensure the supremacy of the pen over the sword. [Nicolas de Navarre, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
The ban on inverting animate objects is hereby extended to inanimate objects that have faces, such as a moon in her plenitude and a sun in his splendour. [Ayla Volquin, 08/2005, R-Middle]
... changing the wyvern's wings from addorsed to displayed gives a ... CD. [Ragnhildr Sigtryggsdottir, 11/2005, A-Meridies]
[three drinking horns fretted in triangle] Some commenters suggested that this arrangement of charges was non-period. From Guillim's Display of Heraldrie, p.240: "He beareth, Azure, three Trouts Fretted in Triangle, Teste a la Queue, Argent, by the name of Trowtebeck. We vse these words Teste a la Queue, in Blazon, to signifie the manner of their Fretting."

Teste a la Queue translates to Head to Tail, which still isn't quite accurate. But the three fish are braced in the same way as Finnbogi's drinking horns, so the arrangement isn't inherently non-period. [Finnbogi Úlfkelsson, 03/2006, A-Middle]
The scimitars are fesswise, as expected for long charges on a chief. Concerning the default orientation of charges on ordinaries, Laurel has previously noted:
[on a chief gules three recorders palewise argent] Long thin charges such as arrows, swords and recorders default to the fesswise posture when placed on a chief or a fess. Thus, even though all these charges are palewise by default when on the field, it is also necessary to blazon them as palewise when they are on a chief.

It is an incorrect oversimplification to state that "charges on an (ordinary) are oriented (ordinary)-wise by default". A crescent or fleur-de-lys charged on a fess is in its default palewise posture, not fesswise. If a saltire were charged with a cross crosslet, the cross crosslet would be in its default palewise (or crosswise) posture, not saltirewise.

A more complicated rule of thumb, but one which recreates period practice with greater accuracy, would be:
(1) Charges on a bend are bendwise by default, and charges on a bend sinister are bendwise sinister by default.
(2) Charges on any other ordinary have the same default for such a charge on the field (which is generally palewise.) This statement has the following exceptions.
(2a) "Long thin" charges such as arrows tilt to follow the ordinary on which they lie.
(2b) When charging an ordinary such as a chevron, saltire, or pall, which has some diagonal arms, the charges may all be drawn using the same default for the charge on the field. They may also be drawn with the centermost charge in the default posture but the outermost charges tilted to follow the arms of the charge. (There is a fair amount of evidence indicating that the difference between these two forms of emblazon may be purely artistic in period. However, the SCA has so far always blazoned this distinction and given corresponding difference for changing the posture of the charges.)
Once again we are reminded that while blazon is a type of technical language, the people who developed it in the Middle Ages weren't computer programmers, and the people listening to it weren't computers, so blazon also partakes of natural language. [Gunnarr skáld Þorvaldsson, 06/02, A-Ealdormere]
[Shamir ibn Abd al-Rahman, 10/2006, A-An Tir]

POSTURE/ORIENTATION - Inanimate Charges
see also BLAZON
This category contains precedents relating to objects. If a precedent applies to both animate and inanimate charges, it will be found under POSTURE/ORIENTATION - GENERAL.

While a moon in her plenitude is considered simply a roundel for conflict checking purposes, it is the internal detailing that identifies the charge as a moon rather than as a roundel. Inverting the moon makes it unidentifiable, thus this is returned for violating RfS VII.7 (armorial identifiability).

The ban on inverting animate objects is hereby extended to inanimate objects that have faces, such as a moon in her plenitude and a sun in his splendour. [Ayla Volquin, 08/2005, R-Middle]
[(Fieldless) A triquetra inverted argent within and conjoined to an annulet argent] This badge must be returned for visual conflict under RfS X.5. It is technically clear of Dabhaidh Orcheard's badge, (Fieldless) A triquetra within and conjoined to an annulet argent, but the lack of visual clue as to proper orientation lead to a strong likelihood of visual confusion. Please note that this is a special case; inverting a charge is generally worth a CD and in most cases also prevents visual conflict. The College is reminded that conflict calls under RfS X.5 must be made on a case-by-case basis. The visual significance of the important orientation-distinguishing parts of a charge - like the three points of the triquetra, or for that matter, the hilt and point of a sword - may be obscured by conjoining them with another charge. This is particularly the case when conjoining to an encircling charge, which doesn't have any orientation clues. While conjoining a sword within an annulet doesn't diminish the visual importance of its orientation, because a sword has a very visually clear orientation, this isn't as true of a triquetra. The diminishment of the triquetra's orientation, when conjoined within an annulet, reduces it to the point where orientation doesn't really count. [Arkill MacMillan, 10/2006, R-An Tir]
There has been some confusion in the past as to the default orientation of a hunting horn or bugle. The April 1987 LoAR says:
Frances Huntington. Name and device. Vert, three bugle horns and on a chief argent, a rose gules.

Vis-a-vis the default position for hunting horns, which Crescent feels should be bells to dexter, Woodward (p. 385) says "In Scottish Heraldry it is the invariable practice to represent the hunting-horn with the mouthpiece on the dexter side of the escucheon [sic]. In England and on the Continent, the reverse is the case." In point of fact, most standard heraldic references depict hunting horns as they are oriented here (and hence the average heraldic artist will depict the horn in this manner if no position is specified). To avoid confusion, the blazon has been modified, as have others in the past, to specify that the bell is to sinister."
The Glossary of Terms defines the default as bell to dexter, and in fact, most horns registered to date do follow this default. Bell to dexter continues to be the default orientation. There is a blazonable difference between the orientations but not a CD. [Dáire de Haya, 10/2006, A-Ansteorra]

PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION
see also PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Crests and Supporters and PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Charge and Name Combination and PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Marshalling and COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK

[Sable, a bear sejant erect within an orle within an orle of mullets argent] Several commenters suggested that this device could be blazoned Argent, on an escutcheon sable a bear sejant erect argent and a bordure sable mullety argent and, as such, would violate RfS XI.4, which forbids the use of a charged inescutcheon. However, as has been noted many times in precedent, it is possible to blazon your way out of a style problem, and the blazon presented on the Letter of Intent is a legitimate one. In a similar situation, returning Argent, an eagle displayed within an orle within an orle of lozenges orlewise sable, Laurel wrote, "As this could equally well be blazoned (as Papworth has done with similar designs), Sable an inescutcheon argent charged with an eagle sable all within a bordure argent semy of lozenges sable, it conflicts with Fylkyn (Papworth, p. 687), Sable an escutcheon argent within a bordure of the last charged with billets of the first" [Brian the Blackhawk, 01/94, R-East]. In that case, the device was returned because you cannot blazon your way out of a conflict, but no mention was made of problems with presumption under RfS XI.4. Since no conflicts were found for this device, we feel that it is registerable using the submitted blazon. [Margarita de la Carrera, 06/2005, A-Lochac]
[(Fieldless) A heart per pale azure and gules] The fact that this fieldless armory appears to be a independent display of a different piece of armory (because the heart is a shield shape), is in itself a reason for return. This has ruling has been upheld as recently as February 2004: "Per the LoAR of April 2002 (which upheld a significant number of prior precedents), "Note ... our long-standing policy about such 'shield shape' charges used in fieldless badges if the tincture is not plain (thus, divided or with a field treatment), or if the charge is itself charged. Such armory will continue to be returned for the appearance of an independent form of armorial display." [Geoffrey Scott, 02/04, R-West]". [Keran Roslin, 11/2005, R-Æthelmearc]
The October 2001 Cover Letter noted "if a real-world coat of arms is not considered important enough to protect in the SCA, a CD will certainly suffice to remove any problem of presumption due to the combination of name and armory." The issue of presumption was raised based on the combination of the byname von Kreuznach and the arms of Kreuznach, Argent, a fess countercompony Or and azure between three crosses sable. There is a single CD for changing the bottom most cross to a lozenge; however, as no evidence was presented (or found) that the arms of Kreuznach are important enough to protect, that CD is sufficient to allow registration. [Margit von Kreuznach, 12/2005, A-An Tir]
This submission raised the issue of when the Red Hand of Ulster is protected. We need to distinguish between conflict and presumption here: The use of Argent, a sinister hand appaumy gules is presumptuous (and disallowed) when displayed in a manner that makes it appear to be an augmentation. However, the independent armory, Argent, a sinister hand appaumy gules, is protected from conflict as belonging to Great Britain. [Johnathan Crusadene Whitewolf the Younger, 03/2006, A-Atenveldt]
[on a lozenge sable a wolf rampant argent] These are not arms of pretense under our current rules; RfS XI.4 limits consideration of arms of pretense to a single escutcheon. Laurel has previously ruled:
[on a lozenge argent a fleur-de-lys gules] As per the rules change in the cover letter to the June 2001 LoAR, the fact that the charged shape is not an escutcheon means that this is not an inescutcheon of pretense. ... While this armory is evocative of the city of Florence, whose arms are Argent, a fleur-de-lys gules, it is acceptable. [Alethea of Shrewsbury, 08/01, A-Lochac]
In the same manner, while the design of the lozenge is evocative of the arms of Dorcas Dorcadas, Sable, a three-headed hound rampant, one head reguardant, argent, langued gules, it is acceptable. [John Greywolf, 07/2006, A-Ansteorra]
A correctly drawn Stafford knot, even of chain, does not infringe on a knight's chain. [Antonio Alexandre Dias de Navarra, 10/2006, A-Meridies]
[Per chevron sable and vert, a tree blasted and eradicated within seven mullets of eight points in annulo argent] While this is highly evocative of the arms for the Heirs of Elendil, it is two CDs from any interpretation of Tolkien's description of the arms. The arms worn by the Citadel guards in the recent movies - and by Aragorn himself - lack the crown that is an essential part of the arms in the books; this device is still not identical to those arms. We reluctantly register it. [ffolan O Banan, 01/2007, A-An Tir]
[on a chief azure a saltire argent] While the use of a chief of Scotland's flag caused concern among some comments, its use is allowed under our current rules. [Fiona Heather the Fortunate, 03/2007, R-Ealdormere]
There was some discussion if the use of the phrase "Je me souvienes" ("I remember") was presumptuous as this is the official motto of Quebec. Unlike many official mottos, this is widely used and appears on many items, including Quebec license plates. At this time we decline to rule on the issue. If this is resubmitted with the phrase "Je me souviens", the submitter should be prepared to argue why it should not be considered presumptuous. [Armand de Crecy, 03/2007, R-East]
[Per fess dovetailed azure and argent, in pale two greyhounds courant argent collared Or and a portcullis sable] We wish to thank the submitter for informing us that he has arms registered through the Imperial Ethiopian College of Heralds which are blazoned Per Fess embattled, in first Azure two greyhounds courant Argent collared Or in pale; in second Argent a portcullis Sable; in the Crest, issuant from a torse wreath Azure and Argent, a greyhound's head couped Argent collared Or; for the Motto, Virtute & Valare. The Administrative Handbook in section III.B.6 states:
Armory Used by the Submitter Outside the Society - No armory will be registered to a submitter if it is identical to an insignia used by the submitter for purposes of identification outside of a Society context. This includes armory, trademarks and other items registered with mundane authorities that serve to identify an individual or group. This restriction is intended to help preserve a distinction between a submitter's identity within the Society and his or her identity outside of the Society. Any change that causes a blazonable difference between mundane and Society arms is sufficient to allow registration by Laurel. Further, submitters may register either a name or armory which is a close variant of a name or insignia they use outside the Society, but not both.
When considering whether or not there is sufficient difference between a submitter's real world arms and his SCA armory, the details of any crest, motto, and/or supporters are ignored as these are not registered by the SCA. In this case, the only remaining difference is the line of division. There is a blazonable difference, though not a CD, between an embattled line and a dovetailed line. This blazonable difference is the minimum required by the Administrative Handbook, and as the submitter's SCA name is very different from his legal name, this device is registerable. [Connor M'Eleam, 04/2007, A-Æthelmearc]
[(Fieldless) A fountain charged with a heart gules] Robert's badge appears to be a display of Barry wavy argent and azure, a heart gules ... This would have been returned even without the conflict as it appears to be an independent form of armorial display. [Robert MacAlister of Leslie, 07/2007, R-Atenveldt]
From Wreath: Charged Sails
Please note the following discussion which appears under Æthelmearc for the registration of Marianna Molin di Salerno's device, Azure goutty d'Or, six lymphads sailing to sinister Or, each sail charged with a martlet volant to sinister gules, a base Or:
As noted on the LoI, a charged sail is not an inescutcheon of pretense under RfS XI.4; but as a display of armory, it must still be checked for conflict. In this case, Or, a martlet volant to sinister gules is clear of conflict. An anomaly of our rules is that, under these circumstances, conflict is not reciprocal. Thus the registration of Azure goutty d'Or, six lymphads sailing to sinister Or, each sail charged with a martlet volant to sinister gules, a base Or does not protect Or, a marlet volant to sinister gules. A charged sail must be clear of conflict at the time it is registered, but a different person could later register armory that conflicts with that sail.
[10/2007 CL]
[Sable, on a bezant an ounce's head erased sable within an orle embattled at the outer edges Or] There were some calls to return this for the use of an escutcheon of pretense. The submitter did not blazon this as an inescutcheon; the fact that it even resembles an inescutcheon of pretense is an artifact of the submission form. We must ask ourselves: If this had been submitted as a badge, would the issue of pretense have even been raised? No, because then the orle would have been shaped as a square, not an inescutcheon. If we would register this as a badge (square form), should we penalize the submitter for submitting it as a device (escutcheon form)? We do not believe so. This is in keeping with past precedent:
[Argent, on a roundel azure a wolf sejant ululant argent] Because this was submitted on the required badge form, some thought that it should be reblazoned as Azure, a wolf sejant and a bordure argent. Elsbeth Laurel ruled:
[Azure, a sun within an orle argent] The device is clear of ... Azure, an estoile of eight rays within an annulet and a bordure all argent. Even though an orle looks like an annulet on a round field, they are nonetheless separate charges: if this were drawn on the standard shield shape the difference would be given automatically and it is unfair to penalize the drawing when it is forced to be circular by administrative requirements. [Taliesin de Morlet, 03/01, R-Caid]
In the same manner Argent, a roundel azure and Azure, a bordure argent are not interchangeable, though they give that appearance when displayed on a round field. We decline to penalize the submitter for using the circular shape specified by our administrative requirements. [Rotheric Kynith, 07/05, A-Caid]
We decline to penalize the submitter for submitting a device rather than a badge and are registering the submitted device. [Robyn FitzOsbern, 10/2007, A-Caid]
As the Ark of the Covenant appears only in the attributed arms the Tribe of Levi, the question was raised whether or not its use was presumptuous. The use of the Ark of the Covenant is not in and of itself presumptuous as we do not consider a claim to be a member of the Tribe of Levi presumptuous. [Henil von Berg, 02/2008, A-Caid]

PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Charge and Name Combination
see also PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION

[on a plate a stag's head cabossed sable, on a chief embattled argent a roundel between an increscent and decrescent] Submitted under the name William MacLeod the Moonstag, this device would have been returned for presumption under RfS XI.2 - Charge and Name Combination. The byname "the Moonstag" combined with increscent-roundel-decrescent combination, which is widely used by Wiccans and neo-pagans, and the stag's head creates too strong an association with the Lord of the Forest. However, as the problematic name element ("the Moonstag") is not registerable, this device may be registered under a holding name. [William of Mons Tonitrus, 01/2006, A-Atenveldt]
[Gyronny sable and Or, on a lozenge gules a wolf sejant ululant Or] This device is evocative of Campbell, Duke of Argyll (important non-SCA arms), Gyronny Or and sable; however, as it has two CDs from the Campbell arms there is not an issue of pretense. This is an extension of the precedent set in the October 2001 Cover Letter, which stated in part "Note that if a real-world coat of arms is not considered important enough to protect in the SCA, a CD will certainly suffice to remove any problem of presumption due to the combination of name and armory." Laurel has previously ruled on the combination of the Campbell name and arms, in registering Gyronny Or and sable, a wolf's head cabossed argent, on a chief gules three crescents Or to Alasdair Iain Caimbeul in November 1990, stating "Several commenters expressed some qualms about the combination of the surname Campbell (in any form) and the gyronny arms of the Campbells. Given that the only allusion to the Campbells in the arms here is the gyronny field and that this proposal has three Clear Visual Differences from the Campbell arms, we felt that the allusion was not excessive." [Fáelán Caimbeul, 04/2006, A-Caid]
[an apothecary jar] The issue was raised of possible pretense due to the combination of the name and armory as Mary Magdalene was indicated in medieval religious art with an ointment jar or apothecary jar. A single reference to a saint or deity is not presumptuous. As an example, we routinely register Catherine's wheels to submitters named Catherine. [Magdalena Gdanska, 10/2006, A-East]
The combination of the name Arion with a dolphin is not presumptuous. A single reference to a god or saint has not been considered presumptuous since August 1992. We see no reason why a single allusion to a legendary hero should be treated any differently than a single allusion to a god or saint. [Arion the Wanderer, 02/2007, R-An Tir]
... we find that the combination of ombrellino with the surname Borghese does not evoke the immediate reaction that, say, six torteaux in annulo would with the surname Medici. [Luciana Caterina de Borghese, 06/2007, A-Ansteorra] [JML: see OMBRELLINO for the complete discussion]
[Per fess azure and vert, a fess and in chief three mullets one and two argent] After consultation with Laurel, we've concluded that this must be returned for presumption, in violation of RfS XI.4. Specifically, the name and the device together give the appearance of an augmentation of arms that had been granted by the Crown of Meridies.

In March 1996, the Kingdom of Meridies registered (Fieldless) Three mullets one and two argent as the standard form of that kingdom's augmentations. Since then, several registrations - the Barony of Bryn Madoc, Francois duVent, the Barony of the Osprey, Rondallyn of Golgotha - have incorporated this pre-registered design into their own augmented armory. None of these were on a charged canton or inescutcheon, but were placed on the field just as the mullets in this submission were placed.

This, by itself, would not be sufficient reason to return any design with three mullets one and two argent. One might easily have, say, Sable, a chevron inverted between three mullets one and two argent, and it wouldn't necessarily be perceived as bearing a Meridian augmentation. But in this case, the armory was combined with a name that included one of the above list - the Barony of the Osprey - which had received the right to an augmentation from the Crown of Meridies and who had used the three mullets as its form. There was thus a combined allusion, by name and design, to Osprey's own augmentation.

Presumption depends on perception. In this case, we felt that the allusion here to Osprey's augmentation sufficiently strong that an unbiased observer would assume a connection - including that the submitter's arms were themselves augmented.

If the submitter wishes to resubmit this design, she should change her name to remove the allusion to the Barony of the Osprey (or other Meridian territory). Otherwise, we are forced to return the combination as presumptuous. [Desiderata of the Osprey, 07/2007, R-Atenveldt]
[Purpure, a chi-rho and a chief Or] Commentary raised the issue of whether the use of the chi-rho and the color purpure was presumptuous in combination with the name Konstantinos. The issue arises because the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (approximately 280-337) ordered the adoption of the chi-rho as part of his standard (known as the labarum), the standards of his legions, various shields and helmets in use in the army, and on coinage of the Empire, based on a vision he experienced on the eve of the battle of Milvian Bridge (October 312 AD). This adoption of what the Catholic Encyclopedia identifies as a previously existing Christian symbol led to it becoming both well known and associated with Constantine himself. However, the pre-existing use of the chi-rho as a Christian symbol, the widespread and non-personal use of it during Constantine's reign, and the wide popularity it enjoyed in the centuries following Constantine, cause the association of the symbol, color, and name to fall short of creating a presumptuous claim in this case. [Konstantinos of Rath an Oir, 09/2007, A-An Tir]
The question was raised in commentary as to whether the badge, with two allusions to Santiago or St. James (the escallop was a pilgrim's badge of Santiago de Compostela, and the cross of Santiago of course was the badge of the Order of Santiago) might be excessive when combined with the surname Diaz ("son of Diego" or "son of James"). While the allusion is there, we did not find it so excessive as to warrant return in this case. [Domingo Diaz de la Vega y Martin, 10/2007, A-Outlands]
Commentary raised the question of presumption: the name means "Gamli [the] dwarf", and the emblazon showed a stocky human figure that resembles the usual RPG depiction of dwarves. However, to be presumptuous, this would have to be a clear association to a specific dwarf, the Tolkien character Gimli the Dwarf. The names are sufficiently different to not create allusion, and Gimli was noted for wielding axes, not maces. The charge here is drawn well within the limits for human figures, with no overt dwarfish characteristics (apart from a slight stockiness). We do not find any issue with presumption. [Gamli tottr, 02/2008, R-East]
[three Latin crosses crosslet ... and a chalice] The combination of this surname and group of charges is not excessive religious symbolism. [Amos the Pious, 05/2008, R-Caid]

PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Crests and Supporters
see also PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION

[(Fieldless) A helm sable torsed mantled and maintaining as a crest a crescent Or] This badge was returned in kingdom on the grounds that it resembles a crest and precedent has indicated many times that the SCA does not register crests. However, a variety of period evidence located by the College of Arms and by Wreath staff suggests that a helm with mantling and a crest is not at all unreasonable as an heraldic charge.

Certainly, plain helms are found as charges in period heraldry. They can, for example, be found in the arms of Daubeney (St. George's Roll 1285), Compton and Hamby (Collins' Roll 1295), Helmshoven (Zurich Roll 1340), von Widlungen (Siebmacher 1605), and Robertoun (Pont's Manuscript 1624). In addition, Parker (p. 317 s.n. Helmet) mentions that helmets used as heraldic charges are sometimes found with plumes of feathers, a fact borne out by Papworth's blazon of the arms of Mynyot from Philipot's Ordinary (1406), Arg. three helmets with open visors adorned with plumes of feathers az, and by the arms of von Frese (Siebmacher p. 204), Azure, a helm affronty proper crested of three ostrich plumes argent. Period examples of helms crested of items other than feathers can be found in multiple examples from Siebmacher: von Helme (p. 205), Argent, a helm proper crested of five banners sable, die Schaden (p. 208), Azure, a helm affronty proper mantled Or and crested of three pennons gules, argent and Or, Kircheim (p. 243), Gules, a helm affronty proper mantled Or and crested of a pair of horns argent, Kirttorf (p. 243), Gules, a helm affronty proper mantled azure and crested of a pair of horns argent, and Niedenstein (p.244), Or, a helm affronty proper crested of a lion rampant gules between a pair of bull's horns sable. These examples, several of which include both crest and mantling, lead us to conclude that the submitted badge, despite the unattested addition of the torse, is acceptable style. [Klaus Rother von Schweinichen and Thaddeus von Orlamünde, 06/2005, A-East]
[(Fieldless) A wolf passant argent, collared and sustaining a flagstaff sable flying a banner of Gules, three trilliums argent barbed and seeded vert] This was pended from the LoAR of November 2004 to allow discussion by the College of Arms. As noted at the time, the badge has the appearance of being a supporter. The College of Arms neither protects nor regulates the use of crests or supporters, and therefore will not register any submission that appears to be one.

Argent Snail has argued that this does not, in fact, appear to be a supporter: "We support registering this, as we can find no use of passant/statant/four legs on the ground beasts/monsters being used in supporters? We looked at about 30 different heraldry books that we thought possibly might have pictures of period supporters in them. Most of them did not have any pictures of supporters. Of the ones I found, with *one* full exception and 3 other strange cases, the supporting animals/humans/angels/monsters were upright/erect/rampant/salient/etc."

Further reseach has shown that in some areas, such as Italy, sejant supporters are relatively common. In addition, the occasional passant/couchant supporter has been found. Black Stag found two examples from Renaissance Florence, cited from Francesca Fumi Cambi Gado's book Stemmi: "One supporter that is somewhere between passant and couchant is in figure 122 (Corrado di Salimbeni Terlatini da Citta di Castello, 1487). A couchant guardant lion supporter is in figure 138 (Ugolino Fondi da Cittaducale, 1506)." Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme notes:
However, there are examples of supporters in period art that are not upright: as with any other heraldic charge, it's a matter of the supporters being drawn to fill the space available to them. St. John-Hope ("Heraldry for Craftsmen and Designers", 1929, p.193) shows how supporters originated on heraldic seals, where the gap between the circular edge of the seal and the triangular shield was often filled with heraldic charges. These charges evolved into supporters; they were upright because of the vertical space they were filling.

On the other hand, when the space for the supporters wasn't vertical, there was no requirement that the supporters be upright. Thus, Hope (op.cit., fig.156) shows the royal tomb of Henry VII: the shield supported by two angels reclining instead of upright. G.W. Eve ("Heraldry as Art", 1907, fig.175) shows a Limoges enamel by Penicaud, early 16th C., where the supporters are horizontal (angels volant, in essence), to fill their space.
Supporters aren't defined by posture, but by function. If a figure is holding up a display of armory then that figure is a supporter. To claim that a passant beast is supporting an armorial display but is somehow not a supporter of that display would twist the meaning of "supporter" beyond reason. By this definition, the badge submitted here shows a supporter and thus must be returned. This is a valid method of armorial display and may be used as such. It just can't be registered.

We note that the Paschal lamb, a lamb passant maintaining a banner argent charged with a cross gules, is a special case. The banner is almost invariably drawn much smaller than the lamb -- and, indeed, the banner could be considered part of the definition of the charge. Its only contribution to our discussion is as evidence that there's nothing inherently impossible about passant beasts holding up banners. Given this, we will register passant creatures maintaining or sustaining a banner that is not -- and cannot -- be protected armory. This means a banner of a single tincture other than Ermine (the protected arms of Brittany) or Vert (the protected flag of Libya). [Ealdormere, Kingdom of, 07/2005, R-Ealdormere]

PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION - Marshalling
see also PRETENSE or PRESUMPTION

[Quarterly gules and sable, a cross fleury throughout between in bend sinister two lions combattant Or] This device does not give the appearance of marshalling under our rules. While, by precedent, the use of a cross throughout, even one with complex ends, does not remove the appearance of marshalling, RfS XI.3.b states, "Charged sections must all contain charges of the same type to avoid the appearance of being different from each other." The two lions on Ricciardo's device, while differing in orientation, are still charges of the same type and thus do not violate this rule. This interpretation is particularly applicable to orientation since, in period rolls of arms, it is not unusual to find beasts in varying orientations on different depictions of the same heraldry. Some rolls of arms, for example, turn the beasts on one page to face those on the next. [Ricciardo da Nicolosi, 05/2005, A-Ansteorra]
[Per pale argent and sable, a dragon and a wolf combattant, in chief a crescent, all counterchanged gules and argent] The device raised questions about marshalling. RfS XI.3 states: "Armory that appears to marshall independent arms is considered presumptuous." Without the crescent, this would be returned for the appearance of impalement, which is the display of two coats, side by side, on a single shield to show marital affiliation or tenure in an office.

Armory can avoid the appearance of marshalling by adding "charges overall that were not used for marshalling in period heraldry" (RfS XI.3.a). In period, a crescent may be added to some kinds of marshalled coats of arms as a mark of cadency: an individual who bore quartered arms as his personal arms might have a child who bore the quartered arms with a crescent. The child's arms would still be marshalled. Thus, adding a standard mark of cadency will not remove the appearance of marshalling from quartered arms.

However, impaled arms show marriage or tenure in an office. In period, a second generation would not generally inherit the impaled arms in that form. The component arms of two married people might be inherited in a quartered form by a child, but would not be inherited in an impaled form. In most cases, adding a standard mark of cadency to impaled arms will remove the appearance of marshalling, as the crescent does in this instance.

Please note that this ruling, concerning a crescent, does not affect previous precedents on the special case of bordures, such as Pegge Leg the Merchant, 03/02, A-An Tir. [Lucian le Wolfe, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
[Quarterly azure and argent, a cross invected counterchanged between in bend two sheaves of arrows Or and in bend sinister two fleurs-de-lys gules] Under the current interpretation of the rules, this particular cross does not remove the appearance of marshalling, which would normally be grounds for return. However, RfS VII.8, known as the "grandfather clause", states "Once an armorial element has been registered to an individual or group, the College of Arms may permit that particular individual or group to register that element again, even if it is no longer permissible under the rules in effect at the time the later submission is made." This field and arrangement of charges is grandfathered to the submitter, as the only difference between her currently registered device and this one is the replacement of cherub's faces with sheaves of arrows. [Silvia la Cherubica di Viso, 07/2005, A-Atenveldt]
[Quarterly checky gules and argent and sable, in bend sinister two sets of six lozenges in annulo, points to center, argent] This device must be returned as it appears to be marshalling. The Rules for Submission (RfS XI.3) state "Armory that appears to marshall independent arms is considered presumptuous....". The explanatory text of RfS XI.3.b states "No section of the field may contain an ordinary that terminates at the edge of that section or more than one charge unless those charges are part of a group over the whole field." Laurel has previously ruled:
After much soul-searching, I must agree with the commenters who saw an appearance of marshalling in the device. Rule XI.3.b states that quarterly may be used only "when no single portion of the field [appears] to be an independent piece of armory." In general, complexity in any of the quarters makes it look like independent armory; for example, XI.3.b explicitly cites the use of multiple charges in a quarter as unacceptable. The motif Quarterly X and Y, in bend two [charges] is allowable when the uncharged quarters are plain tinctures; we don't protect plain tinctures. But when the uncharged quarters are complex fields, we lose that rationale; and the complexity then begins to make it look like an independent coat. This, beneath all the subtext, is exactly what XI.3.b is meant to prevent. (Aric Thomas Percy Raven, October, 1992, pg. 30)
In this case, using a checky field in the uncharged quarters means that this submission must be considered marshalled arms. Uncharged quarters may only consist of plain tinctures and those must not be tinctures of protected important non-SCA arms (v. Murdoch Bayn, 08/2002).[Elena de Toledo, 05/2007, R-Meridies]
[Quarterly azure and argent, four frets counterchanged] This device is returned for presumption. ... After much consideration we must agree with those commenters and members of Wreath's staff that saw this device as marshalling Azure, a fret argent and Argent, a fret azure. A charge which is depicted as throughout, when placed in each quarter of a quarterly field, still appears to be throughout that portion of the field. As such, it has the appearance of an independent piece of armory and must be treated as marshalled arms. [Raghnailt inghean Toirdhealbhaich, 07/2007, R-Ansteorra] [JML: see FRET and FRETTY for the conplete discussion]
[Quarterly argent and sable, a cross azure between in bend two Latin Maltese crosses sable and in bend sinister a dog sejant and a dog sejant contourny argent] This device is returned for marshalling as different charges are used in the argent and sable quarters. As crosses were used in period as overall charges on marshalled coats of arms, adding the cross does not remove the appearance of marshalling. [Þorfinnr brimill, 08/2007, R-Caid]
[Quarterly vert and sable, a bear and a lion combatant argent] In August 1998 Laurel returned Quarterly sable and gules, in fess a sword inverted and a drinking horn argent for marshalling:
This is being returned for breaking RfS XI.3., which states that "Armory that appears to marshall independent arms is considered presumptuous." The rule goes on to note that such marshalled fields "may be used with identical charges over the entire field, or with complex lines of partition or charges overall that were not used for marshalling in period heraldry." Additionally, "Charged sections must all contain charges of the same type to avoid the appearance of being different from each other." Since two different charges are used on the two sides of the palar line, this looks like the marshalled arms of Per fess sable and gules a sword inverted argent, impaled with Per fess gules and sable a drinking horn argent.
The precedent set in that return is hereby overturned: a quarterly field is not equivalent to the impalement of two per fess fields and is not, in and of itself, marshalling.

We all agree that Per pale X and Y, a bear and a lion would be considered marshalling: there are simply too many examples, and too many precedents. Sable, a bear and a lion combatant argent is not considered marshalling, despite the fact that it could be interpreted as Sable, a bear contourny argent impaled with Sable, a lion argent. The visual impression is not of impalement, because there is no per pale division. One would have to deliberately seek to see presumption here.

Likewise, Gyronny X and Y, a bear and a lion is not considered marshalling. Even though there's a per pale line running down the center of the shield, there is no appearance of impaled arms: partly because the gyronny field division is so familiar, and partly because each half of the field would be very difficult to interpret as a whole field.

Quarterly X and Y, a bear and a lion falls into the same category as gyronny: a very familiar field division that happens to incorporate a per pale line. If there'd been three tinctures, we might be able to argue for the appearance of two independent armories, but the very fact that the field repeats tinctures suggests a unified design. Thus Quarterly X and Y will not be treated as the impalement of Per fess X and Y and Per fess Y and X.

Commentary raised the hypothetical issue of whether one of the presumptively impaled devices having been previously registered would cause the new device to be presumptuous. We reserve decision on this issue until such time as it is not hypothetical. [Arthur Greenwood, 08/2007, A-West]
[Quarterly argent and azure, six escallops, three and three, argent within a bordure all counterchanged] This device is returned for violating RfS XI.3, which prohibits the appearanc e of marshalling. Having three escallops in two quarters gives the strong appearance of those quarters being independent armory, exactly what XI.3.b is intended to prevent. While the addition of overall charges is often enough to remove the appearance of marshalling, adding a bordure has long been ruled to be an exception to this:
The appearance of marshalled arms here is overwhelming, even with the bordure as a cadency charge. The intent of the 'overall charge' requirement of XI.3.a is one of a charge lying in the center of the field, not a peripheral charge such as a chief or bordure (which were often used as cadency charges). [10/90, p.16]

Adding a bordure will not remove the appearance of marshalling from quartered arms. [Pegge Legge the Merchant, 3/02]
[Elspeth Forsythe, 10/2007, R-Meridies]
From Wreath: Maintained Charges and Marshalled Armory
In commentary this month (Giles Green, Atlantia), Albion cited the precedent:
Anne Gyldensleve. Device Quarterly azure and sable, in bend two arms embowed fesswise reversed Or gloved argent each maintaining a falcon close Or. As noted by al-Jamal, "RfS XI.3.b [Marshalling] notes that 'No section of the field may contain an ordinary that terminates at the edge of that section, or more than one charge unless those charges are part of a group over the whole field.' The charged sections here contain multiple, though conjoined, charges which are not part of a group over the whole field." [LoAR 03/2004]
The paragraph from the Rules for Submission quoted in the above precedent concludes: "Charged sections must all contain charges of the same type to avoid the appearance of being different from each other." It's true that maintained charges contribute to the complexity of a submission; on the other hand, they don't contribute to heraldic difference. The question is whether they contribute to the appearance of independent coats, which is what RfS XI.3.b is intended to prevent.

The deciding point for us is the fact that many heraldic charges include a maintained charge, if not as part of the definition, then as part of the default method of display. Squirrels are shown maintaining nuts, and may do so even if the fact is not explicitly blazoned. Cranes in their vigilance must maintain a stone. Ostriches are almost always shown with a bit of iron (e.g., a horseshoe) in their mouths. And so on. These are the expected, and period, depictions of these charges; it would make no sense to penalize a submitter for using them in a per pale or quarterly design, merely because they include a maintained charge. Therefore the maintained charge, of itself, cannot create the appearance of marshalling.

We hereby partially overturn the 2004 precedent, to this extent: if a divided field contains the same type of charge in each portion, and those charges maintain the same of charge, then the maintained charges do not contribute to the appearance of marshalling. To take a concrete example, Quarterly sable and argent, in bend two lions Or each maintaining a sword argent will no longer be considered marshalled arms: each charged quarter has the same type of charge (lion), and their maintained charges (swords) are also the same. The maintained charges are not, in this case, considered significant enough to cause the two quarters to appear to be independent armories.

Note, however, that Quarterly sable and argent, in bend a lion Or maintaining a sword argent and a lion Or maintaining a halberd argent would be returned for the appearance of marshalling. The different maintained charges aren't worth a CD, but they're enough to establish non-identity (just as they would in cases requiring a letter of permission to conflict); and since the two quarters aren't identical, they appear to be separate - and hence quartered - coats. Also note that using sustained charges instead of maintained charges - held charges large enough to be worth heraldic difference - will definitely cause the appearance of marshalling, identical or not. [12/2007 CL]
[Quarterly argent and vert, a sinister hand aversant inverted issuant from chief and a two-fingered dexter hand aversant issuant from base argent] This does not create the appearance of marshalled armory under Society rules as both charges are the same charge (a hand). This is no different than allowing something like two lions combatant, which can also be blazoned as a lion rampant to sinister and a lion rampant. [Tómas Halvar, 12/2007, R-Outlands]
[Per pale argent and sable, two piles palewise each charged with a roundel counterchanged] This device is returned for presumption: under our rules, this is marshalled armory. The Rules for Submissions section XI.3 states "No section of the field may contain an ordinary that terminates at the edge of that section, or more than one charge unless those charges are part of a group over the whole field." A pile is an ordinary, therefore this is considered to impale the arms Argent, on a pile sable a roundel argent and Sable, on a pile argent a roundel sable. [Tobias le Blunt, 12/2007, R-An Tir]
There was some question of whether or not the addition of the chief removed the appearance of marshalling for armory with a per pale line of division. In 1992 Laurel ruled:
[Per pale, a harp and a cross of four lozenges, a chief embattled] The chief was a mark of primary cadency in period (Gayre's Heraldic Cadency, p.153), and it became part of the Stodart system of cadency used today in Scotland. Thus, the addition of a chief to quartered armory would not remove the appearance of marshalling. However, the chief's use as a brisure was never as widespread as the bordure's; where the bordure would be used to cadence all forms of marshalling, the chief would only be used to cadence quartering. In the case of impalement --- which implies a marital coat, not an inherited one --- the addition of the chief is sufficient to remove the appearance of marshalling. (Æthelstan von Ransbergen, September, 1992, pg. 1)
A 2002 precedent dealing with bordures states:
[Per pale argent and sable, a human footprint sable and two roundels in pale argent within a bordure vert] The device raised questions about marshalling. RfS XI.3 states: "Armory that appears to marshall independent arms is considered presumptuous." Without the bordure, this would be returned for the appearance of impalement, which is the display of two coats, side by side, to show marital affiliation or tenure in an office.

Armory can avoid the appearance of marshalling by adding "charges overall that were not used for marshalling in period heraldry" (RfS XI.3.a). In late period, a bordure may be added to some kinds of marshalled coats of arms as a mark of cadency: an individual who bore quartered arms as his personal arms might have a child who bore the quartered arms within a bordure. The child's arms would still be marshalled. Thus, adding a bordure will not remove the appearance of marshalling from quartered arms.

However, impaled arms show marriage or tenure in an office. In period, a second generation would not generally inherit the impaled arms in that form. The component arms of two married people might be inherited in a quartered form by a child, but would not be inherited in an impaled form.

Bordures in impaled arms traditionally cut off at the line of division. If one impaled the hypothetical arms Argent, a cross fleury within a bordure gules and Gules, a lion within a bordure argent, the resultant impaled armory would appear to be Per pale argent and gules, a cross fleury and a lion within a bordure counterchanged. As a result, armory using a per pale line of division, a bordure, and different types of charges on each side of the line of division will look like marshalled arms if the bordure changes tincture at the line of division. It may also look like marshalled armory if the bordure is a solid tincture but has good contrast with both halves of the field. The hypothetical arms Argent, a sword within a bordure sable and Or, an eagle within a bordure sable would combine when impaled to armory which would appear to be Per pale argent and Or, a sword and an eagle within a bordure sable. Thus, the only case in which a bordure may remove the appearance of impalement from armory which would otherwise appear to be impaled is if the bordure is a solid tincture and if it has poor contrast with one half of the field. That is the case with this device. [Pegge Leg the Merchant, 03/02, A-An Tir]
At issue is whether or not the 2002 precedent should apply to chiefs as well as to bordures. No evidence has been presented to counter the 1992 precedent that "the chief would only be used to cadence quartering". We grant the submitter the benefit of the doubt and will register this device. Pending proof that chiefs were commonly used to cadence impaled arms, we will continue to uphold the 1992 precedent and hold that the 2002 precedent applies only to bordures, not to chiefs. [Antonia Stefani, 01/2008, A-Calontir]
[Per pale argent and azure, a saltorel gules and a leopard's head cabossed argent, on a point pointed per pale gules and argent a rose per pale argent and azure] Commentary raised the issue of whether this could be considered marshalled armory under our rules. It can not be considered impaled arms, since each half of the shield cannot be treated as an independent coat: each would have to have a "sinister base point" or "dexter base point", respectively. Nor can this be considered dimidiated arms, since the addition of a charge overall - especially when charged with a tertiary - generally removes the appearance of dimidiation. Just as this would not be returned for marshalling if it had a charged chief, neither can it be returned since it has a charged base. That said, the device has a disjointed appearance that has little in common with period armory, and cannot be considered good heraldic style. [Chyldeluve de Norfolk, 02/2008, A-East]
[Quarterly argent and sable, a saltire counterchanged] Unsurprisingly, commentary raised the issue of marshalling: the submission could be construed as quartering Argent, a bend sable with Sable, a bend sinister argent. The return of Raghnailt inghean Toirdhealbhaich, LoAR of July 2007, was cited:
[Quarterly azure and argent, four frets counterchanged] If this were four frets couped, it would clearly be registerable in accordance with RfS XI.3.a "Such fields may be used with identical charges over the entire field or with complex lines of partition or charges overall that were not used for marshalling in period heraldry." If it were fretty, it would also be registerable in accordance with RfS XI.3.a. However, in the submitted device the frets are throughout - or would be if each quarter were considered separately.

... A fret isn't an ordinary; however, frets meet the requirements above [for why ordinaries indicate an independent coat]: they're fairly common; they're throughout by default; their usual period use is one per coat; and we don't usually see them on either side of a divided field. A fret is also one of the few non-ordinaries that is routinely depicted as throughout and it is composed (in part) of ordinaries - a bend and a bend sinister fretted with a mascle.
However, that case isn't parallel to this one. In that case, the four frets were distinct charges, one on each quarter of the field, and were not interpretable as being a single overall charge. (Indeed, it was noted that, had the device used fretty overall, it would have been acceptable.) Here, while the saltire could be broken down into four segments, it's also plainly recognizable as a saltire: a single charge overlying the division of the field. This should not be considered marshalled arms. [Myles du Soleil, 02/2008, A-Northshield]

PROPER
This section contains only that portion of precedent defining proper; a more extensive discussion - including documentation - may be found under the individual charge.

[a fox's tail proper] ... gules with an argent tip. [Bronwen Selwyn, 06/2005, R-Ansteorra]
[a fox] ... Red with black "socks" and white at tip of tail. [Eleanora de Montgomeri, 06/2005, A-Atlantia]
... there is no proper defined for an otter ... [Uilliam Ó Cléirigh, 07/2005, P-Atenveldt]
A killer whale, or orca, may be blazoned as proper when it is sable, marked argent, but need not be. [Tymoteusz Konikokrad, 10/2005, A-Atlantia]
... Caucasian proper is defined as light pink/white ... [Alianora de la Forest, 12/2005, R-Outlands]
... there is no proper tincture defined for a camelopard. [Maud Dee Bywater, 01/2006, A-Gleann Abhann]
Proper for a turnip is the top half of the turnip purpure and the bottom half argent (with a somewhat wavy line of division) with vert leaves; neither the purpure nor the argent should predominate. ... The turnip leaves should be about a quater to a half of the total charge. Due to the variability in size of the leaves, the tincture of the leaves does not contribute to tincture difference. This is similar to our treatment of a rose's slip and leaves. [Ysabelot Clarisse, 02/2006, A-An Tir]
When a besom is blazoned as hafted proper, it means that the handle is wooden and is colored brown. [Herriðr Freyugyðja Ögvaldsdóttir, 02/2006, A-Atlantia]
... a ship proper is made of brown wood. There is no proper tincture for sails. [Alf of the High Mountain, 03/2006, R-Middle] [JML: sails proper were ruled to be argent in 04/2008]
Lace bobbins are wooden and thus are brown when blazoned proper. [Kassandra of Dragon's Laire, 04/2006, A-An Tir]
There is no proper for a drawknife... [Peter Sebastian Wyrhta, 10/2006, A-Atenveldt]
[A robin proper] No difference is granted between an American or English/European robin. Both types of robin are brown with red breast; the underbelly is white for an English/European robin and red for an American robin. A robin may be blazoned as proper no matter where it is from - the tincture of the underbelly is artistic license. [Robin of Thornwood, 12/2006, A-An Tir]
A dun cow proper is brown. [Debora of Durham, 12/2006, A-Ansteorra]
[a pink flamingo proper] ... is dark pink while the tincture of its beak and legs are treated as artistic license. Its tincture is a color, not a metal. [Marion Baggeputz, 02/2007, R-Calontir]
... there is no proper defined for a columbine ... [Amelia Van Hemessen, 02/2007, R-Gleann Abhann]
This device is returned due to the improper coloring of a brown hare proper. The October 1995 Cover Letter stated:
PRECEDENT: Henceforward, and more in line with period heraldic practice, animals which are normally brown may be registered simply as an {X} proper (e.g., boar proper, hare proper). Animals which are frequently found as brown but also commonly appear in other tinctures in the natural world may be registered as a brown {X} proper (e.g., brown hound proper, brown horse proper).

This precedent does not, however, loosen the ban on "Linnaean proper" (Cover Letter, May 13, 1991); proper tinctures for flora and fauna which require the Linnaean genus and species to know how to color them. For example, a falcon proper will be considered to be all brown, not brown head, wings and back, buff breast with darker spots, and a tail striped with black; a hare proper will be considered to be all brown, not brown with white underbelly and tail and pink ears. This also appears to be more in keeping with period heraldic practice.
The inner part of a brown hare proper's ears should not be argent, nor should its tail. [Marie Helena von Bremen, 05/2007, R-An Tir]
A daisy proper is argent, seeded Or. [Michelle of Arenal, 05/2007, A-Meridies]
... a sunflower proper may have either brown or sable seeds. For purposes of conflict checking, the tincture of a sunflower's seeds is not worth a difference. The presence of these seeds does not count as a tertiary charge. [07/2007 CL] [JML: Note that the fact that the petals are Or was not included in the CL discussion.]
As noted in the March 2002 Cover Letter, a boar proper is brown. [Oddmarr berserkr, 09/2007, A-Calontir]
Drop spindles, with no other qualifiers, have no proper tincture. [Vivian of Silverlake, 11/2007, A-Caid]
[a firebrand bendwise proper enflamed] It should be drawn as a ragged staff with the top end enflamed. When proper, the ragged staff is brown. [Nikolaus Hildebrand, 10/2007, A-Meridies]
A chili pepper proper is gules with a vert cap. [Mariana Cristina Tirado de Aragon, 12/2007, R-Meridies]
In the Society, both grenades and fireballs proper are hereby defined to be sable, enflamed proper, that is, sable with alternating gules and Or tongues of flame. [02/2008 CL]
... a strawberry proper is gules capped vert; the seeds, if present, are generally sable or Or but they count for naught. The seeds are an artistic detail; their presence (or absence) need not be blazoned. [03/2008 CL]
The proper tincture for sails is argent... [Hannibal Beman, 04/2008, R-Ansteorra]
Note that when not explicitly blazoned, the drumhead of a "wooden doumbek proper" is argent; the drumhead cannot be brown (as in this submission) as that is not a heraldic tincture. [Karl Thorgeirsson of Wolfstar, 04/2008, R-Ansteorra]
The LoI noted "While we believe that the flowers could just as well be blazoned as proper, since the sable seeding appears important to the submitter, we felt it advisable to blazon it explicitly since sunflowers proper could just as easily have brown seeds." When the term proper is used as a shorthand for heraldic tinctures (as a rose proper is a concise way of saying rose gules, barbed vert, seeded Or), either the shorthand form or the expanded form are equally accurate; if the submitter states a preference, we will abide by it. In this case, if the submitter later decides that her sunflowers should be simply blazoned sunflowers proper, she may request a reblazon as an administrative action. [Giovanna Rossellini da Firenze, 06/2008, A-Atlantia]

PROTECTED and PROTECTABLE ITEMS

This submission raised the issue of when the Red Hand of Ulster is protected. We need to distinguish between conflict and presumption here: The use of Argent, a sinister hand appaumy gules is presumptuous (and disallowed) when displayed in a manner that makes it appear to be an augmentation. However, the independent armory, Argent, a sinister hand appaumy gules, is protected from conflict as belonging to Great Britain. [Johnathan Crusadene Whitewolf the Younger, 03/2006, A-Atenveldt]
As Nebuly noted "... we have two strong reasons to protect the arms of the Counts of Gelre. First, there is the historical importance of these arms as the inspiration for the national arms of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a set of national arms that we already protect. Second, the arms are well-known in heraldic circles because they have been reproduced often in books on heraldry." [Gelre, 04/2006, A-Laurel]
[(Fieldless) A sheaf of a sword inverted between four arrows argent bound with a garter sable] The LoI stated "This design is undeniably period, despite the somewhat cumbersome blazon. We note that 'Fettered Cock Pewterers' sells a charm nearly identical to this design, which they call 'Battle Archers'. ... The website states the charm is based upon the badge of Prince Arthur (brother of Henry VIII). Souvenirs and Secular Badges (by Brian Spencer, Museum of London, copyright 1998) says on p.298 while describing a very similar badge without the central sword (#293), 'Five arrows tied at the middle was a badge of Arthur, Prince of Wales (1486-1502).' Prince Arthur is an important enough person to protect his armory, but we don't have a specific blazon to cite. Therefore, we feel the best course of action is to forward this badge for the College's consideration."

Fox-Davies's Heraldic Badges, p. 153 (s.n., Wales, Prince of) provides the blazon requested in the LoI: Five arrows tied in the middle, starwise. The submission, and the Fettered Cock Pewterers' ch