A Revised Armory Conflict-Checking Checklist

[Editor’s Note: This is a revised version of a checklist I assembled in 2019, which was rendered out-of-date by the new rules for considering changes to the field approved by the March 2021 Cover Letter. This updated version of the document reflects those changes. — Mathghamhain]

SENA devotes over 10,000 words to conflict checking armory, which the below guide attempts to summarize in one-twentieth of the space.

Many details have been omitted, so references are included to the relevant sections of SENA to facilitate additional research as needed. Continue reading “A Revised Armory Conflict-Checking Checklist”

The Refrigerator Test

At the conclusion of an armorial design process, whether self-guided or in consultation with a herald, when you’ve found a device that appears to follow all of the rules and is free of conflicts, there can be an urge to rush it off to your kingdom’s submissions herald ASAP — after all, it’s perfect — and registration takes so long, you better get started now — and worst of all, what if someone else registers it first?

At this point, savvy practitioners will urge you to pause for a moment and catch your breath.

Continue reading “The Refrigerator Test”

Stodart’s Survey of Scottish Arms

Tanczos Istvan drew my attention to a book of arms I hadn’t previously encountered, “Scottish Arms: Being a Collection of Armorial Bearings, A.D. 1370-1678, Reproduced in Facsimile from Contemporary Manuscripts, With Heraldic and Genealogical Notes” published by Robert Riddle Stodart in  1881.

It contains a selection of Scottish armory excerpted from over a dozen different period sources, organized into two volumes; the first contains plates reproduced from period sources, while the second contains heraldic and biographical data about each of the individuals whose arms are shown. Continue reading “Stodart’s Survey of Scottish Arms”

Armory Submissions from Virtual Heralds Point

During the month of February, the College of Arms organized a online Virtual Heralds Point during which people could sign up for consultation with heralds who would guide them through the submission process for names and armory.

Below is a collage of armory I worked on as part of this event. (The rowan berries in the bottom left are a badge I did for myself during VHP but submitted directly.) Continue reading “Armory Submissions from Virtual Heralds Point”

An Introduction to the Tinctures

One of the first questions commonly asked by newcomers to the world of armory is “what colors can I use?”

This seemingly-simple question has multiple answers, depending on how deeply you want to dig in, and it does involve learning some basic heraldic jargon, but the it’s worth mastering these foundations. Continue reading “An Introduction to the Tinctures”

A Badge for Heraldic Artists

Most people who’ve had any contact with the Society’s College of Arms would recognize the badge of the Heralds — “vert, two straight trumpets in saltire Or” — which may generally be displayed by anyone working for or associated with the College.

But there wasn’t a distinctive badge reserved specifically for the artists who assisted the College by illustrating armory, a role that in period was referred to as a “herald painter.” (For more on the history of herald painters, see this essay by Robert Parsons, who held that role for the British College of Arms.) Continue reading “A Badge for Heraldic Artists”

A Technique For Internal Detailing On Sable Clip-Art Charges

A recurring challenge when illustrating armory that contains complex sable charges is how to handle the internal detailing that is often provided by fine black lines within a charge of any other color, but which disappears when the charge itself is black.

For example, consider the clip art pomegranate shown below. If we color it entirely black, as shown in image 2, the internal detailing disappears and it’s difficult to identify — is this a roundel wearing a crown? One viable approach is to use a dark gray color for the fill, as in image 3, which allows us to still see some details, but sometimes that’s not enough contrast, and there are contexts in which using shades of gray like this isn’t a viable approach. Continue reading “A Technique For Internal Detailing On Sable Clip-Art Charges”

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. Continue reading “Conflict Checking Multiply-Divided Field-Only Armory”

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.”