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Re: Heraldry questions

Poster: Julien de Montfort <julien@spiaggia.org>

> <shaking my head> I'll never understand the heraldry rules :(  I've
> submitted my device twice now, and I'm still no closer to getting it
> passed.  The first was for a redraw (my unicorns weren't "heraldric"
> enough, the second was because we used a scanned computer form we
> created from the original form we had and the shields weren't the
> size and dimension (they weren't off by much, and you could still tell
> what the device was).  I understand the need for standards and
> evrything, but if there are no conflicts, the picture is readable and
> the blazon matches the picture, why not pass it?

Again, it depends on the individual situations.  SCA Heraldry is almost
obscenely complex (and it's less complex now than it was several years

>From a personal perspective, the answer to "why not pass it" is "why
*pass* it  at all, if it's not correct?"  Many of us would be quick to
frown at a person who is wearing jeans under his tunic based on his
argument that "Well, it's close enough to period for me", but fewer
would look at a heraldic device in the same manner.

I suppose a lot of that has to do with the insular fashion of heraldry
in the SCA.  To most non-heralds, the CoH is there as a registry
service, and as a way to promote clever colors and pretty flags, and
they seldom think about heraldry as a legitimate, period "art form" (I
wonder how many Laurels ever got theirs for their rigorous pursuit of
period heraldic practices...? ;->).

Most heralds, on the other hand, probably look at it from the historic
angle, and so given the choice between making sure the device is as
close to period practice and design as possible is preferable to
registering something 'just to have it on file', even if it's obviously
close enough to be legible heraldically.

That said, I'll toss in the caveat that the CoH is still far from
perfect.  We still do a lot that is not attested, or barely attested to
being period (for funs and giggles, get on the SCA-Heralds email list
and spark an argument over historical precedent for SCA Heraldic
Tradition So-and-so. ;->).

On the other hand, the CoH has come great steps forward in historical
accuracy over the last twenty or thirty years, which is why some of the
more bizarre heraldry out there that was registered back in '79, or
even '89, would be unlikely to pass today.

> I thought the pictures were to explain the blazon and nothing else.

Actually, that is what I thought as well, initially, but it seems to be
just the opposite.  Presumably, there could be a way to submit armory
with just the blazon, and no artwork, which would certainly cut through
a lot of the drawing-related concerns, but I believe the thinking is
that the number of people that can do a correct blazon is vastly
smaller than the number of people who can draw a picture.  At least the
simpler pictures, that is. ;-)

Seigneur Julien de Montfort                  De sable, seme d'hermines
"Solum Dice Nullus Sunt Suficio"             d'or, tres amphorae et un
Canton de Spiaggia Levantina                     caid palissade argent
julien@spiaggia.org                            http://www.spiaggia.org
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