Liberating the Arlberg “Viennese Manuscript”

A couple of months ago I posted about extracting Vigil Raber’s sixteenth-century Wappenbuch der Arlberg-Bruderschaft from the “click to pan and zoom” web interface in which it is hosted, but as it turns out, this is not the only armorial manuscript created by this brotherhood.

For a bit of context, the Brotherhood of St. Christopher was established in the fourteenth century to shelter and assist travelers who were crossing the Alps using the Arlberg pass between Italy and Austria. For hundreds of years, they recorded the identities of armigerous travelers (and donors to the brotherhood) by painting the arms in a series of manuscript guest books.

In addition to Vigil Raber’s manuscript (circa 1548), several other copies of these books have survived to the present, although it appears that others were lost over the centuries.

Among the survivors is the so-called Viennese Manuscript, which dates to the fourteenth century. The online version uses the same hosting service as the Vigil Raber manuscript, so I was able to use the same technique to extract the images.

You’ll need to install the ImageMagick toolkit, and grab my little Perl script, and run the below command:

perl 324

You can keep these as separate high-resolution JPEG files, but I find it convenient to combine them into a PDF for ease of browsing.

As with the other armorials I’ve processed in recent months, I am making available a lower-quality version of this PDF file (compressed down to just 49 MB rather than the full 844 MB size) for use by those who are not able to run the above script themselves.

Running an OSCAR Commentary Training Session Online

Commentary in OSCAR is a valuable and necessary part of the Society’s submission and registration process, but because it all takes place online and is done privately, it can feel slightly opaque for incoming heralds who aren’t sure how to participate or where to begin.

In my role as the East Kingdom heraldic education officer, I have run a number of online commentary sessions over the last year focused on beginner and intermediate heralds who were not yet comfortable commenting in OSCAR, with the goal of providing a bit of training and encouragement, as well helping them to make connections with other members of the community.

In hopes that a similar procedure might be of use to other kingdoms, here are some notes about the process I’ve used.

I’ve scheduled sessions for weekday evenings and on weekends during the afternoon or evening. There are inevitably some people who are interested but can’t attend on the specified day, so I’ve tried to shift around from one month to the next in hopes of giving everyone a chance to join.

I’ve usually publicized the sessions on the kingdom heralds mailing list, the kingdom heraldic education website, and the Facebook groups for Heralds of the East Kingdom and Baby Heralds of the SCA. (Of those, the Facebook posts received the most attention, but I’ve continued to post to others for the sake of non-Facebook users.)

Some people benefit from having time to plan while others need last-minute reminders, so the best results have come from posting an announcement a week in advance, and then a “happening tomorrow” reminder message the day before, and a final “see you online soon” thirty minutes or an hour before the start time.

At times I’ve also made a point of directly contacting some up-and-coming heralds that I thought would benefit from these sessions, which seemed effective — having a personal invitation from a more-senior herald can provide a vote of confidence to a newcomer that might otherwise not feel confident that they were ready to contribute to this process.

Attendance has been variable — there have been some sessions where more than a dozen people showed up, and one for which nobody joined — with a typical turnout of around six or so, which is a decent size group to work with.

Our sessions have been run on Google Meet, for which the East Kingdom has a non-profit account; other video-conferencing services would work as well. (I’ve never tried it in person, but I’m sure you could also do this face to face, with a group either all on their own laptops or gathered around a big projection screen.)

I try to ensure I’m online at least five minutes before the start time to welcome folks who show up early, and stick to small talk before starting the session five minutes after the posted time to accommodate those who wonder in a bit late.

I’ve generally allocated between sixty and ninety minutes for commentary, and have sometimes paired these sessions with thirty or forty-five minutes of discussion of some other heraldic topic, or thrown in fifteen minutes for open-ended Q&A sessions.

I encourage people to ask questions during the commentary exercise, and allow the discussion to go off on tangents — as long as people are learning about heraldry, I figure we’re on the right track.

I generally start the sessions by going around the group and having everyone introduce themselves, say what shire or barony they’re from and how much heraldic experience they have, and answer some kind of icebreaker question that I’ve come up with for the day, like explaining where their Society name is from, or the blazon for their arms, or describing a submission that they’ve recently worked on, or briefly mentioning some heraldry factoid or cool thing they’ve recently encountered.

Before commenting, I’ll remind people of the ground rules: OSCAR commentary is considered private and shouldn’t be discussed outside of that system; it’s okay to ask questions in commentary, especially at the kingdom level, and it’s okay to mention possible problems even if you’re not sure they apply to this case; and lastly to be kind to the submitter and to the other heralds, and remember that we’re all on the same team.

Then I’ll pull up the current kingdom letter and make sure that everyone in the group has a link so they can view it as well, while encouraging folks who already have OSCAR permissions to log in on their own devices so they can work independently.

For the folks who don’t already have commentary permission, I usually screen-share my OSCAR window with the group, so they can view the existing comments, but it would also work to have those people just viewing the letter in an anonymous mode, as the key point at this stage is to be able to view the submissions rather than respond to other commenters feedback.

In fact, the best time to run these sessions is immediately after a new letter comes out, so that people are working in an empty playground and can approach each item with a fresh eye — for example, it somewhat undercuts the learning experience of trying to conflict-check a piece of armory if before you even get started you see three comments from senior heralds below it saying “no conflicts,” or “this conflicts with the arms of X.”

We usually just jump into the letter and work through it sequentially from the top, but sometimes I’ll review the letter ahead of time and pick out a specific set of items that I think are interesting; a couple of times I’ve split a letter up into two sessions, one focused on names and the other on armory.

In sessions with a bunch of beginners, for each item on the letter I’ll work through the entries in my OSCAR commentary checklist, asking about each point and letting folks look at the entry and confirm whether it matches the guidelines.

In sessions with more-experienced folks, I might ask them to volunteer to take turns leading the discussion of an item, working through issues as they see them.

In groups with mixed experience levels, I’ll try to encourage the more-experienced folks to answer questions asked by the newcomers, or let them work independently, so they might skip ahead and check the documentation for the next entry while the beginners are still working through questions about an earlier one.

When folks find an issue, I encourage them to add it as a comment themselves if they have permission to do so, or I’ll aggregate the notes from multiple people and post a combined comment to OSCAR with a preface along the lines of “during a group commentary session, the following issues were raised…”

Depending on who is in the group, the complexity of the items on the letter, and how much time we spend on questions, I think we usually get through about ten or fifteen items per hour, so we usually do not have time to cover an entire letter in one session and I will typically encourage people to try to work through the remainder of the items on their own after the call.

For folks who don’t have OSCAR accounts but made it through the session and seem like they understand the basics, I’ll collect their email address and after the call I’ll cc them on an email to the kingdom submission herald suggesting that they’re ready for kingdom-level commentary permissions.

Not everyone who attends these sessions ends up being a productive commenter, but if a session gets one person started on the path of active commentary, I feel like I’ve accomplished something — and even for the folks who don’t wind up commenting, I think it’s educational to see how the commentary process works, and hopefully it will help them improve the quality of their own submissions by being able to “pre-check” their work before dropping them into the mail.

May Additions to Traceable Art

Since last month, I’ve added another ninety images to the Traceable Heraldic Art collection.

Thanks to Iago ab Adam for continuing to send attractive line art adapted from period sources, and to new contributor Zubeydah al-Badawiyyah for filling a gap in the collection of cross variations.

As with previous updates, each item listed below includes a single design unless a number is provided in parentheses, and represents a new heading unless marked as an addition.

  • Fields: Plumetty (2 additional)
  • Divisions: Barry Wavy (2 additional); Per Chevron Inverted (2 additional)
  • Ordinaries: Bordure Nebuly; Chevron Nebuly
  • Shapes & Symbols: Labyrinth (3 additional); Lozenge Pometty (2 additional); Russian Orthodox Cross
  • The World & Heavens: Cloud (1 additional); Three Crescents Fretted
  • Plants: Almond (1 additional); Cinquefoil (1 additional); Fleur de Lys (1 additional); Gillyflower (3 additional); Laurel Wreath (1 additional); Linden Tree Eradicated (1 additional)
  • Fish: Lobster (1 additional)
  • Birds: Cock (1 additional); Eagle’s Leg Erased Grasping A Fish (1 additional); Owl (1 additional); Panache of Peacock Feathers; Peacock Feather (1 additional)
  • Beasts: Ass’s Head (1 additional); Bison’s Head (1 additional); Fox Salient Ravishing a Goose; Fox’s Tail (2); Horse Passant (1 additional); Lion (1 additional); Five Otters Courant In Annulo; Stag’s Head (2 additional)
  • People: Hand Issuant from a Cloud; Maiden’s Head (2); Man Hooded and Robed; Skull (1 additional); Two Arms with Hands Clasped (2)
  • Food and Farming: Flask (1 additional)
  • Clothes and Fabric: Coif; Hair Comb (1 additional); Pearled Crown; Maunch (1 additional); Thimble (2 additional)
  • Tools: Thor’s Hammer or Mjolnir (1 additional); Block Plane (1 additional)
  • Buildings: Castle (1 additional); Chair; Tower (2 additional); Tower Issuant from a Rock; Siege Tower; Wall
  • Arts and Sciences: Athanor; Clarion (1 additional); Musical Clef (3); Musical Note (5); Retort; Urinal In A Basket
  • Military: Caltrop (1 additional); Quintain; Sword (1 additional); Broken Sword; Sword Cortana; Sword Fracted; Sword Fracted In Chevron
  • Ships & Fishing: Fishhook (2 additional); Three Fishhooks Fretted; Oar (1 additional); Rowboat
  • Assorted Objects: Banner (1 additional); French-Cut Gemstone; Water-Bouget (1 additional); Wheel (2 additional)

Identifying Charge Groups

The concept of “charge groups” was developed within Society heraldry to facilitate analysis of armorial designs; although that phrase isn’t used in either period or modern heraldry, it is an effective way of understanding the actual designs that appear in period armory.

The rules for charge group analysis are set forth in Appendix I of SENA. and are covered in the “Armory 102” video class at East Kingdom Herald University.

To start, find a group of one or more charges of a similar size and in a related arrangement, then consider their placement and relationship to other charges to categorize them as follows:

  • Primary Charge Group: placed directly on the field, forming the largest and most-central charge group, or for a divided field, surrounding or overlapping the line of division or forming the largest group on its side of the field.
  • Secondary Charge Groups: placed directly on the field, surrounding the primary charge, or distributed around the edge of the field.
  • Tertiary Charge Groups: placed entirely on (overlapping) primary or secondary charges.
  • Overall Charges: consist of only one charge, mostly on the field but also overlapping the primary charges, and crossing the center.

The decision flowchart below provides another way of looking at this process:

Flowchart available as a high-resolution PNG or printable PDF. Adapted from “Charge Group Theory” by Juliean Galak.

There are a few other issues to bear in mind when identifying charge groups:

  • A charge group may contain two different types of charges, but not three (the “slot machine” rule), and it may not mix ordinaries and other charges.
  • A semy of charges distributed over the field typically form a secondary charge group, but may be the primary charge group if there are no other candidates.
  • Peripheral ordinaries — the chief, bordure, orle, tressures, canton, base, tierce, gore, gusset, flaunches, and gyron — are never considered primary charges.
  • A charge that is touching another charge of similar size, such as a beast leaning against a object of comparable size, is said to be “sustaining” it, and both charges fall into the same charge group.
  • A charge that is touching a smaller charge, such as a beast carrying a object in its paws, is said to be “maintaining” it, and the smaller charge falls into a secondary charge group. (Some items are so small and customary that they may be treated as accessories that are not blazoned and do not count for difference; for example, mermaids often hold a small comb in one hand, and this might not be mentioned or counted for difference.)
  • Items in a charge group that have comparable postures must have postures which can be blazoned together (for example, if a charge group contains two quadrupeds, you can’t have one rampant and one passant).
  • If you can’t figure out whether charges are part of a group on not, that might be a clue that your design isn’t following period style.
  • Appendix J of SENA catalogues combinations of charge groups that have been observed in period armory; if your design doesn’t fit into any of those arrangements, you’ll need to find period examples to support it.

April First Submissions

Every year on the first of April, the heralds of the Society for Creative Anachronism post mock submissions of historical names and armory. You can browse an archive of these letters via the College of Heralds Imaginary.

We generally attempt to adhere to the conventions expected for normal letters of intent, including source citations and armorial rules, but our standards for documentation and style are somewhat relaxed for this humorous purpose.

Below are entries I came up with this year; some of them appeared on the Eastern and Imaginary letters. You’ll notice that a majority of them reflect the East’s theme for the year: desserts.

At the end are several entries with names italicized; in these cases, another herald provided the name and I merely added the armory.

Checky gules and argent, in pale a cup and a roundel azure charged with a crescent Or.

French Breck Fast

On a wooden plate, a gurges argent.

Sine Man Bunn

Per fess argent and vert, a bear sejant erect affronty gules.

Gumme Baer

The primary charge would benefit from some more internal detailing, but we feel it the color emblazon is sufficiently recognizable to forward for review by Wreath.

Azure, a mount argent and overall a goutte tenné.

Cara Mel Sauce

Four lozenges two and two conjoined Or.

Púph Paste

Gules, a pair of golden arches.

Berry Shake

Ben Anna Foster: Sable, atop three plates in fess, a crescent Or inflamed proper.

Azure, on a bottle Or the letters “XX” sable and in chief three mullets Or in annulo.

Lemen Cello

Gules, a dozen annulets varried.

Duncan Donat

Gules, two bars and a comble argent.

Red Belvet

The comble is a variation of a chief which is narrower than usual, found in late-period French armory.

Argent, on a torteau an annulet Or.

Invert Cake

Per pale sable and gules, a pale argent.

Napoleon Sorbet

Or, two wooden bars and a wooden comble proper.

Layer Cake

A trilithon argent semy of bunches of cherries gules.

Cherry Pie

Gules, a dozen annulets varried.

Duncan Donat

On a cartouche fesswise Or a cartouch fesswise argent.

Vanilla Aye Claire

Assistance from commenters is requested for documentation to support this metal-on-metal design.

Egge Soufflé: Issuant from a cauldron sable a cloud argent.

Argent, six “two, four, and 2 4s” two, two, one and one sable.

Messy Blazon

Argent, a lion gules

For Peter Pevensey

(Peter Pevensey is a character in the Narnia novels. This entry appeared on the Imaginary letter.)

Some commenters might note an apparent conflict with the arms of the Kingdom of Leon, but C.S. Lewis is very clear about the appearance of High King Peter’s shield, and as Narnia is outside of our universe, it is likely that they function as an independent heraldic jurisdiction and are thus not subject to conflict with mundane armory.

Sable semy of garlic bulbs argent, a rat rampant Or.

For Magrat Garlick

(Magrat Garlick is a character in the Discworld novels; her mother had intended to name her Margaret but misspelled it. This entry appeared on the Imaginary letter.)

Azure, an Eastern crown Or issuant from a mount vert.


For King Tut

This entry appeared on the An Tir letter, which documented the use of King as an English surname and Tut as a toponym meaning a hill or mound.

The pattern of charges issuant from a mount or trimount vert on an azure field is well attested in Hungarian armory. Consider the arms of Barla, 1563 (Azure, a demi-bear sable pierced by a sword argent, issuant from a mount vert), or the arms of Szoldán, 1598 (Azure, a lion statant erect Or maintaining a roundel azure standing atop a trimount vert).

Traceable Art Quarantine Update

Over the last forty days or so, I’ve added another two hundred and thirty illustrations to the Traceable Heraldic Art web site.

Thanks to Iago ab Adam and Vémundr Syvursson, both of An Tir, who contributed a number of items to the collection in recent weeks. Master Iago’s adaptations from the Wappenbuch Conrads von Grünenberg are particularly striking, capturing the idiosyncratic character of the original roll while adhering to the clean line-art requirements of our submissions format.

(If you have line-art images you’re willing to share with the community in this way, get in touch! I’d love to have both brand-new charges and new versions of existing charges in different artistic styles.)

Thanks also to Bruce Draconarius of Caid, whose #NotYetRegistered posts provided leads to a number of new charges found in period armory which hadn’t yet been used within the Society.

I’ve continued to work on importing the remaining beasts from Gunnvôr silfrahárr’s collection of SVG Images For Heralds, and from period documents like the Wappenbuch der Arlberg-Bruderschaft and the Bellenville Armorial.

The unwieldy catch-all “Assorted Objects” volume has been cut down to size by separating some subsets of related charges into distinct volumes for Tools, Buildings, Arts, and Ships/Fishing. These make it much easier to discover new charges within a particular theme without having to page through six hundred miscellaneous entries.

As with previous updates, each item listed below includes a single design unless a number is provided in parentheses, and represents a new heading unless marked as an addition.

  • Fields: Goutty, Mullety
  • Divisions: Lozengy Barry (1 additional), Per Chevron Indented, Per Fess With Two Embattlements
  • Ordinaries: Bend Fimbriated and Engouled by Wolves, Bend Fusilly (1 additional), Bordure Semy (2 additional), Chevron Fracted and Inverted, Cross Potent Voided, Cross Quarter-Pierced (1 additional), Fess Conjoined In Chief With a Demi-Pale, Fess Embattled (1 additional)
  • Shapes & Symbols: Demi-Roundel, Doubled Cross, Hexagon Voided, Mullet Voided and Interlaced (2 additional), Pentagon Voided, Rogacina Double-Pointed, Solomon’s Knot, Lozenges Conjoined In Pall, Mascles Braced In Pale (2 images), Triangles Conjoined (2 images)
  • The World & Heavens: Demi-Sun, Four Crescents Conjoined In Cross At The Points, Goutte (1 additional), Rainbow (1 additional), Stone (1 additional), Three Crescents Conjoined In Pall At The Points, Trimount Couped (1 additional)
  • Plants: Almond, Cabbage (1 additional), Cherry Blossom, Lemon Slipped and Leaved, Lily (2 additional), Linden Tree Eradicated (1 additional), Marigold, Oak Leaf (1 additional), Oak Sprig, Per Bend Three Flowers Issuant From The Line, Ragged Staff (1 additional), Rose (1 additional), Seeblatt (1 additional), Tree Stump Eradicated (1 additional)
  • Insect: Grasshopper
  • Fish: Chabot (1 additional), Demi-Sea-Dog, Lobster’s Claw, Lucy (2 additional), Sea-Bear Naiant, Sea-Otter, Sea-Wolf (1 additional), Stockfish, Whelk (1 additional)
  • Reptiles: Cockatrice Rising Wings Displayed, Frog (1 additional), Rod of Asclepius (2 additional), Tortise Rampant
  • Birds: Bat (1 additional), Bird Volant (1 additional), Eagle Rising (1 additional), Goose Regardant, Owl (4 additional), Phoenix (1 additional), Raven’s Head, Stork, Swan Close (1 additional)
  • Beasts: Antelope Rampant (1 additional), Bear Passant (2 additional), Bear Rampant (3 additional), Bear Statant (1 additional), Bear Statant Erect (1 additional), Bear’s Head (2 additional), Beaver Passant, Buffalo’s Massacre, Bull’s Head Couped, Camel Couchant (1 additional), Camel Statant (1 additional), Chimera, Demi-Unicorn, Dog Passant (1 additional), Dog Statant (1 additional), Dog’s Head (3 additional), Domestic Cat Passant (2 additional), Domestic Cat’s Head Cabossed, Elephant (1 additional), Elephant Head Couped (1 additional), Elephant’s Tusk, Fang, Fox’s Mask (1 additional), Goat Statant, Goat’s Head Erased (1 additional), Griffin Passant (1 additional), Hedgehog Statant (1 additional), Lion (1 additional), Lion Passant (2 additional), Lion Queue Forchy (1 additional), Monkey Rampant, Otter Sejant Erect Guardant Maintaining a Fish, Ounce (1 additional), Ounce Passant, Pawprint (1 additional), Pegasus Statant, Polar Bear Statant, Rabbit (1 additional), Rabbit Couchant (1 additional), Rabbit Dormant, Rabbit Salient (1 additional), Rabbit Sejant Erect, Squirrel Maintaining A Nut (1 additional), Stag Rampant (1 additional), Stag Springing (1 additional), Stag Trippant (2 additional), Stag’s Attire (1 additional), Stag’s Head Cabossed (1 additional), Stag’s Massacre (1 additional), Tyger’s Head Couped, Unicorn (2 additional), Unicorn Courant, Unicorn Passant (1 additional), Unicorn’s Head Erased (1 additional), Winged Boar Courant (1 additional), Winged Unicorn (1 additional), Wolf’s Head Cabossed
  • People: Eye (1 additional), Gorgon’s Head Cabossed, Jawbone, Looped Tress of Hair, Man’s Head Maintaining a Hat, Moor’s Head (1 additional), Rib Bones, Viking
  • Food and Farming: Beehive Beset By Bees, Brewer’s Scoop, Bucket (1 additional), Carriage Frame (1 additional), Cup (1 additional), Double Cup (1 additional), Dovecote, Gate (1 additional), Ham, Hay House, Mash Rake, Pitchfork, Rake (1 additional), Scoop, Shovel, Spouted Pot (1 additional), Trivet (1 additional), Tub
  • Clothes and Fabric: Bone Lucet, Buckle (1 additional), Crown of Three Points, Embattled Crown (1 additional), Gemmed Ring (1 additional), Maunch (1 additional), Mitten (2 additional), Niddy-Noddy (1 additional), Peruke, Wool Card
  • Tools: Balance Weight, Grozing Iron (1 additional), Jacob’s Staff, Pickaxe, Water Level
  • Buildings: City (2 images), Column (1 additional), Covered Well, Door Bolt, Keystone (3 images), Lock Plate, Pair of Arches, Portcullis Throughout, Quoin, Tower (1 additional), Tower Triple-Towered
  • Arts: Artist’s Palette Marked With Paint, Backgammon Board, Chess Board, Chess Rook (1 additional), Closed Scroll, Escroll Fesswise Transfixed by a Feather, Open Scroll (2 additional)
  • Military: Crescent-Shaped Arrowhead, Cronel (2 images), Cutlass, Elbow Guard, Gauntlet, Scimitar (1 additional), Sword (1 additional)
  • Ships & Fishing: Mariner’s Whistle, Oar (1 additional), Trident (1 additional), Trireme
  • Assorted Objects: Banner (1 additional), Candlestick (1 additional), Gonfalon (1 additional), Issuant From A Vase Two Flowers Slipped and Leaved, Lawn Bowling Pin, Pennon (1 additional), Spring Hook, Strongbox, Tent Hook, Torch (1 additional), Wheel (1 additional)

Using DrawShield for Emblazons

DrawShield is a web service that allows rapid generation of armorial images by either entering a blazon or choosing elements in a point-and-click interface.

It’s an automated system, so the results often aren’t as polished as you can produce by assembling elements yourself, or as unique as the custom work of a talented heraldic artist, but it’s fast and easy, and doesn’t require any tools other than a web browser, so it’s a great option for casual users to try out different possibilities and quickly mock up options for discussion.

Hundreds of charges from the Book of Traceable Heraldic Art have been converted to DrawShield elements, so users of the Traceable collection may recognize some images they encounter there, and DrawShield users can find additional variations of charges here if they wish to further embellish a design they started in that system.

Using GIMP for Emblazons

Jehanette de Provins, Her Majesty the Queen of Northshield, teaches classes on how to create armorial images using GIMP and images from the Book of Traceable Heraldic Art, and recently recorded a session for viewers at home.

GIMP is an open-source software package for pixel-based illustration, in the same vein as Paint and Photoshop. As a Mac user, I find the interface to be a bit clunky, but it’s free, it includes a lot of features, and it runs on a wide variety of operating systems, which makes it a useful tool.

Make sure to turn your volume up to follow the presentation!

Liberating the Livro do Armeiro-Mor

The Livro do Armeiro-Mor (Book of Great Armigers) was painted in Portugal 1506-09 by Jean Du Cros.

As with a number of other period armorials, it has been photographically digitized at high resolution, but the only publicly-available source for these scans is a “click to pan and zoom” web interface operated by the Portuguese Archives Network, which is hard to flip through rapidly, and can’t be accessed when offline at an event.

Gunnvôr silfrahárr has a PDF version posted which has a very helpful name index, but the images have been compressed, so the quality is significantly lower than the original scans. Some of the pages are available at the Wikimedia Commons, but the resolution isn’t as high, and the collection is incomplete.

So, I downloaded each of the full scanned images and combined them into PDF file. There wasn’t any technical wizardry involved — just clicking the download link 277 times.

As with the previous rounds, I’m posting a compressed PDF here (13 MB) and will share the full size PDF or JPEGs (210 MB) by request.

#HeraldicLove 2020

Did you know that people in the medieval and renaissance periods sometimes displayed their arms on a heart shape?

For the month of February, the SCA’s #HeraldicLove campaign encouraged people to display their device or populace badge on a heart-shaped field.

In support of this effort, I joined a number of other heraldic artists in creating these images for people both locally and across the Society.

This experience was a good reminder that the traditional shield shape is not the only way to display armory — indeed, in period we often find arms shown on banners, furniture, clothing, and a dozen other settings, and in nearly every case the layout is adjusted to fill the available space rather than being confined to a painted escutcheon.

To facilitate similar depictions in the future, I’ve added a number of heart-shaped field divisions and ordinaries to the Traceable Heraldic Art collection, in the usual suite of high-resolution PNG, vector SVG, and printable PDF formats.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s #HeraldicLove campaign!