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 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.
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.
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.
If I do only the 165 Society devices (not the badges or real-world protected devices) there’s going to be eighteen or nineteen of these posts yet to come. I’m currently about seventy or eighty devices down the list so I’ll be staging these posts so I don’t run out of devices to show you.
We’re into the bendy, checky, and chevronelly this time, still going in alphabetical order by blazon. I’m genuinely surprised to see just the single checky device in this list, given what a striking (and easily reproduced!) pattern it is. I guess a lot of the checky armory in the Society is “checky plus things on top of it”.
Scaly shows up for the first time, as does the now-disallowed maily. Fesses, pales, and crosses formed of linked annulets (rings) have been found in historical armory, but an overall field treatment of mail rings was ruled out of order by the Society’s Laurel Sovereign of Arms at some point.
If any of these inspire you toward creating your own Society-legal device, it looks like there’s lots of design space around checky and chevronelly (regular or inverted) to explore!
My favourite of this set? Either Lancelot of Windhaven’s colourful “Chevronelly erminois and pean” (always a solid colour choice!) or Sybille la Chatte’s “Checky sable and ermine”. I would like to re-blazon Khalil ibn Abd’l-Wahid al-Katib’s “Bendy wavy argent and sable” at some point, as I don’t like how uneven the argent/sable divisions look in the current version. The sable wavy stripes should be slightly wider so the whole device is more evenly divided between argent and sable.
More soon, and as always, corrections and comments can be left below. Comments are moderated so they might not show up right away.