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An OSCAR Commentary Checklist

The SCA’s College of Arms processes around three thousand name and armory submissions per year, attempting to ensure that each is properly structured, historically plausible, and unique within the society. A distributed system of commentary allows the burden of this process to be shared among multiple heralds and minimizes the number of things that fall through the cracks.

By commenting on Letters of Intent, first at the kingdom level and then at the Society level, these other heralds help to catch problems, suggest additional resources, and highlight issues that need to be considered during the monthly decision meetings in which the senior-most heralds make the final determinations as to whether submissions will be accepted or returned. Continue reading “An OSCAR Commentary Checklist”

The Last Super-Simple Field-Only Armory

Earlier this week, I became curious about the simplest armory designs that remained available for registration in the Society — was it still possible to find two- and four-part field-only armory that didn’t use furs, field treatments, or complex lines?

I spent some time looking at all of the current field-only armory: 219 devices and badges registered over the last forty-eight years. A visual sense of the diversity of these registrations is provided by Vémundr Syvursson’s Field-Only Emblazons project from last year, in which he drew out all 202 of these that had been registered at that time.

It quickly became clear that in order to find any design spaces that remained open, I would need to take advantage of the fact that I had parsed all of the existing records from the Society’s Ordinary and Armorial into a relational database, which allowed me to run queries that would filter and group registrations to produce a summary of which combinations of lines and tinctures had been used in the past. Continue reading “The Last Super-Simple Field-Only Armory”

Family Animal Badges

Although devices (or “coats of arms”) are the most recognizable form of armorial display, their cousins the fieldless badges were equally common during the medieval period and renaissance.

We’ve recently registered a fieldless badge for each member of our family incorporating a distinctive animal and color. Continue reading “Family Animal Badges”

An Armory Conflict-Checking Checklist

[Editor’s Note: Portions of this checklist were rendered out-of-date by the new rules for considering changes to the field approved by the March 2021 Cover Letter. See the updated version of this document for a revised version of the checklist. — Mathghamhain]

SENA devotes over 10,000 words to conflict checking armory, which the below guide attempts to summarize.

It includes references to the relevant sections of SENA so you can track down more details if needed. Continue reading “An Armory Conflict-Checking Checklist”