Category Archives: SCA

SCA Field Only Armoury Project, Part Seven

Part Seven, devices fifty-eight through sixty six of one hundred and sixty five! Progress is taking place, and I’m actually well ahead of that in actual emblazoning as I didn’t start posting this project here until I was at these devices finally being published today, so I have some lead time in case of delays.

Sheet Seven! Click for larger, see text for details.

Today is all about variations on the theme of “per bend”. We’ve got the always-popular “per bend rayonny”, including Cathyn Fitzgerald’s striking black and red “Per bend rayonny gules and sable” device.

This was also the stretch of this project where I changed how I show ermine, on advice from several people in the Facebook Baby Heralds of the SCA group. Top left we have Abel Parnell Le Guide’s excellent “Per bend pean and erminois” (I unashamedly love this tincture combination…) and Thomas of Waverly’s “Per bend potenty vert and ermine”, featuring the excellent and under-used potenty line, both in the previous style with lots of smaller ermine spots.

Rightmost on the second line we have the first appearance of my modified ermine emblazoning, with fewer much larger ermine spots in Ginevra Maddalena di Tomaso Volpe’s “Per bend sinister argent ermined vert and purpure.” Splendid name and nice arms, although I’m not sure if the name is Italian or Spanish, to be honest.

(Skip all of the following unless you’re into deeply geeky Society-specific rules of heraldry. Nice pictures of devices will return soon!)

The bottom row also nicely illustrates one of the interesting things about field-only armoury under the SCA’s heraldic rules. Normally a device has to have two minor (Distinct Changes/DCs) or one major (Substantial Change/SC) change from an existing device to be registerable by Laurel Sovereign of Arms. A change in line of division is not normally considered an SC, just a DC.

That said, how can Peter Trevor’s “Per bend sinister bevilled azure and argent” (bottom right) have been allowed in October 2003 when Sabine Berard’s awesomely simple “Per bend sinister azure and argent” had just been registered in May 2002?

Field-primary armoury runs under slightly different rules than armoury with an actual primary charge, that’s how.

SENA A5F says, in part: F. Standards for Difference through a Single Substantial Change of Field for Field-Primary Armory: This rule applies only to field-primary armory; that is, armory which has no primary charge group, including armory with peripheral ordinaries, whether they are charged or uncharged. Field-primary armory is discussed further in Appendix I. A new field-primary submission does not conflict with a piece of protected field-primary armory if the two fields have a substantially different partition or tincture as defined below.

…and then way down at the bottom of SENA Appendix M there’s categories of different lines of partition. Bevilled is an entirely distinct category, so our two otherwise similar sets of armoury are clear and OK.

So leaving a primary charge or ordinary off your device gets you some breaks when conflict-checking that you wouldn’t ordinarily get. Ain’t that awesome?

(I’m reasonably certain that all of the preceeding discussion of SENA and the application thereof is accurate and sensible, but this is all new to me too so it might be gibberish. If it is gibberish, please do correct me below and I’ll update or remove gibberish as required!)

SCA Field Only Armoury Project, Part Six

Minor delay since Part Five due to my home computer’s hard drive starting to do itself in! I haven’t lost any files, thankfully, and I was also backing up this particular project’s files on Google Drive, but most of the recent long weekend was lost to tech support nonsense and troubleshooting. Now I just have to wait for the replacement hard drive to arrive… and then reinstall my OS on it… then transfer all my files from the old failing hard drive before it does, in fact, completely fail… computers are fun.

Anyway, on to heraldry!

Part Six! Click for full size, and see text for details.

Part six finishes up the paly fields, pauses briefly at a pair of party of six devices, then starts the long trek through the per bend devices!

My hands-down favourite in this batch is Alexandra Gangefeyr’s “Per bend flory counterflory Or and sable” in the middle of the bottom row. Black and gold is always a good colour combination and the flory counterflory line (alternating fleur-de-lise, basically) is a very elegant one.

Reta de Flintbeke’s “Per bend embowed counter-embowed Or and azure, pale two leaves issueant from the line of division counterchanged.” (rightmost in the middle row) might win a prize for the longest blazon text in this project, and it might also win a spot on my list of devices I am going to re-do because I’m still not happy with the look of the two leaves in the middle.

Sigeric of Ravenstone’s “Per bend azure and bendy sinister argent and azure” (leftmost middle row) tripped me up when I first looked at it because it’s the first device on my long list that has different field treatments on each side of the major line of division (the per bend line). Mentally adding a bit of punctuation can help decipher blazons like this: “Per bend, azure, and bendy sinister argent and azure.” is messier than it needs to be for a proper blazon but helps parse out the design – pure blue against the top edge of the shield, diagonal stripes of blue and silver (white) only below the per bend line on the lower left half.

SCA Field Only Armoury Project, Part Five

Part five of my Field Only Armorial Roll project.

Field Only Armory, Part Five. Click for full size, see text for details.

A bit more gyronny this time and then into the lozengy, including the triangular lozengy barry.

This set does contain one of the emblazons that I’m really not sure about and cannot find another version of anywhere online – Cwenhild of Cydllan Downs in the top left corner, “Gyronny raguly of four issuant from dexter chief ermine and vert.”. Raguly is the sawtooth lines of the green segments, but I’m unsure if the line difference should be on both sides of the central green section or just the top like I’ve done it.

Opinions or links to other emblazons of this device, please?

Favourites in this round would have to be Berndt Dichman’s “Paly chevronelly inverted purpure and Or” just for the striking design created by the stacked paly and chevronelly divisions, although I must confess I’m not usually a fan of purpure as a heraldic tincture for some reason. Michael de Quarmby’s “Paly dancetty vert and argent” also appeals, although I suspect I should have made the back-and-forth jagged edges of the dancetty a bit more prounounced for proper heraldic style – at a distance you could possibly mistake this for straight-up-and-down paly in the same colours.

SCA Field Only Armoury Project, Part Four

Part the fourth of many.

Field Only Armory Part Four. Click for full size, see text for details.

Today we have gyronny, much loved by those who want to be Norse-inspired in their heraldry – Norse round shields have been found with similar radial divisions on them. Gyronny arrondi (or arrondy, depending on how you Anglicize it) is the wavy-edged version.

And then there’s the Society-specific “gyronny arrondi of three”, the mega-swirly pair in the bottom row. That’s actually a Germanic field division called, in German, “Schneckendreipass”. Literally translated, that’s something like “snail trefoil”. Calling it “gyronny arrondi of three” is the SCA College of Arms’ attempt at keeping all our blazoning English-only, which is a laudable goal, but leads to weirdness like this. Actual “gyronny arrondi of three” would look more like per pall with a wavy division line, I think. Thankfully the awesome folks on the Facebook Baby Heralds of the SCA group got me sorted out on schneckendreipass and other amusements!

Favourites in this batch? Gyronny of any sort is always striking, and Cerdic Weyfare’s “Gyronny arrondy of six gules and argent” is classically simple and, being only six divisions, maybe a bit easier to read than some of the other gyronny variants. I’m also always a sucker for the heraldic fur variants, so Adelheld von Katzenellenbogen’s “Gyronny erminois and pean” appeals.