Conflict Checking Multiply-Divided Field-Only Armory

A couple of years ago, I posted about a technique I picked up from Marie de Blois that allows conflict-checking two- and four-part field-only armory with the O&A complex search form.

It entails running a search for the line type, plus each of the tinctures, and for the tinctures together in reverse order, and the codes for field-only and peripheral-only.

So, to filter the O&A for possible conflicts with “Per fess argent and sable” you could search for:

  • PFESS:pl
  • PFESS:argent
  • PFESS:~and sable
  • PFESS:sable:~and argent
  • FO — give this line a weight of 2
  • PO

Any results that appear with a score of 4 or higher are a potential conflict.

It turns out that the same approach can also be used for fields divided into more than four parts, but the coding for the tinctures requires a slightly different approach.

To filter the O&A for possible conflicts with “Barry wavy Or and gules” you could search for:

  • FIELD DIV.-BARRY:wavy
  • FIELD DIV.-BARRY:or
  • FIELD DIV.-BARRY:~and or
  • FIELD DIV.-BARRY:gules
  • FIELD DIV.-BARRY:~and gules
  • FO — give this line a weight of 2
  • PO

Any results that appear with a score of 4 or higher are a potential conflict.

The extra tincture lines are there to hand cases in which a change of one tincture causes the other to be coded differently.

Because tinctures in multiple-part divisions are always coded in alphabetical order, “barry wavy or and gules” and “barry wavy gules and or” will both be encoded in the database as “FIELD DIV.-BARRY:gules:~and or”.

However, we also want our search to find “barry wavy argent and gules”, which would be a conflict as it has only one DC for changing the tincture of half the field — and that armory would be encoded as “FIELD DIV.-BARRY:argent:~and gules”.

Therefore our search needs to include both “:gules” and “~and gules” to ensure that we’ll match the tincture in either position.

Some of these search terms will never match anything and can be excluded — because argent is the first tincture alphabetically, we’ll never have a multi-part field coded as “~and argent”, and similarly because vert is last alphabetically, we’ll never see it appear in this context as “vert” — but they do no harm and are safe to include for purposes of consistency.

A Survey Of Online Armorial Clip Art Sources

[Editor’s Note: This post draws heavily on an FAQ document produced over the course of several years by multiple users in the SCA Heraldry Unofficial Chat Facebook Group. Unfortunately this document was deleted by an unauthorized user in late 2020, but I was able to locate an archived copy from 2019 and combined portions of it with my own notes in order to produce the below post. My thanks to the many people who helped create this resource. — Mathghamhain]

The SCA College of Arms does not have a master list of all registrable charges — we add new ones all the time, and we remove others that are determined to be not something found in period heraldry — but these resources can give you a good idea what’s out there, and provide ready-to-use art for those who can draw original illustrations on their own.

You can incorporate these images directly in your armorial illustrations or use them as references when drawing new original art. Continue reading “A Survey Of Online Armorial Clip Art Sources”

A Survey of Digital Armory Illustration Tools

[Editor’s Note: This post draws heavily on an FAQ document produced over the course of several years by multiple users in the SCA Heraldry Unofficial Chat Facebook Group. Unfortunately this document was deleted by an unauthorized user in late 2020, but I was able to locate an archived copy from 2019 and combined portions of it with my own notes in order to produce the below post. My thanks to the many people who helped create this resource. — Mathghamhain]

There are a wide variety of electronic tools that can be used for illustrating armory at all stages of the process — sketching out ideas, filling out submission forms, and displaying registered designs.

Each of these programs has both strong points and limitations, and a learning curve associated with getting familiar with the user interface and feature set. There are tutorials and documentation available for each of them online, including web pages and YouTube videos. Continue reading “A Survey of Digital Armory Illustration Tools”

Armorial Catalog for Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin

During the five years in which I’ve been thinking about medieval armory,  I’ve registered four different designs with the College of Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and as I’ve started thinking about further registrations it seemed prudent to pause and take stock of my current inventory. Continue reading “Armorial Catalog for Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin”

Armorial Displays from the Album Amicorum of Jean le Clercq

As described in Wikipedia, an “album amicorum” was a sixteenth-century “book of friendship” with blank pages on which people collected signatures and messages from people they knew, much as modern students might sign each others yearbooks or fans might collect autographs of famous stars.

Many of these include armorial illustrations, some quite elaborate, giving us a glimpse of another way in which heraldic symbols were used during the Renaissance.

The Album Amicorum of Jean le Clercq, a Belgian university student, dates from the tail end of the sixteenth century, combining pages printed in 1564 containing engraved scenes and stanzas of Ovid translated into French, with other pages hand-painted two decades later showing displays of armory. Continue reading “Armorial Displays from the Album Amicorum of Jean le Clercq”

Traceable Art for December

With the end of the year approaching, I figured it was time for a summary of the hundred-plus illustrations added to the Traceable Heraldic Art collection since last month’s update.

I’m pleased to welcome first-time contributor Ajir Tsagaan, who sent in more than a dozen original illustrations, including some lovely birds and a beautiful Corinthian helm. Thanks also to Jessimond of Emerickeskepe, Vémundr Syvursson, Elspeth Farre, Elionora inghen Ui Cheallaigh, and Iago ab Adam, who all continue to create new art on an ongoing basis.

This update features a bunch of new charges found in period armorials including the yarn swift, royne, winde, chamber, and scourge. Using a rare or not-yet-registered charge like these is a great way to stand out with unique armory and simple designs facilitated by the limited number of potential conflicts! Continue reading “Traceable Art for December”

An Updated Catalog of IAP Submissions

Back in 2017, I dug through a decade’s worth of LoARs and posted a set of examples of Individually Attested Pattern submissions.

I’ve updated that listing a handful of additional times over the subsequent years, but when I was gathering additional items for this update I realized I wanted to make a few changes to the way the information was organized and figured that was a good opportunity to create a new document, which I have now posted as “A Catalog of Individually Attested Pattern Submissions.”

Memories of Hal Ravn, Former Morsulus Herald

[I recently got in touch with Hal Ravn, who first transferred the Ordinary of the Society into electronic format, and asked him about that experience. Following a few rounds of correspondence, he granted permission for me to post an excerpted version of his recollections here, for which I am extremely grateful. I have attempted to place the narrative into chronological order below, eliding mundane names and non-heraldic elements. Points where I’ve stitched material together out of the order in which it was written are marked with […] and editorial interjections are marked with square brackets. — Mathghamhain]


Continue reading “Memories of Hal Ravn, Former Morsulus Herald”

The Strange Case of the Codex Herald Advocate

In today’s College of Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism, the title of Codex Herald is given to the member of Laurel’s staff responsible for maintaining the College’s web site.

But it turns out that there was an earlier office, the “Codex Herald Advocate,” which existed for a couple of years in the late nineteen-seventies, and I found the story of its creation and abolition peculiar enough to share.

Continue reading “The Strange Case of the Codex Herald Advocate”