These resources relate to pre-17th-century heraldry and/or to heraldry as it is used in the Society for Creative Anachronism, with a special emphasis on practices in the Kingdom of Ansteorra.
I have a separate index for articles on names and naming practices.
Heraldry in the Manesse Codex
The Manesse Codex is a book of love songs created in Zürich at the beginning of the 14th century (with a few additions 35 years later). It's broken into chapters, each of which begins with a full-page illustration. Many of these illustrations include heraldic displays of one sort or another. I have extracted most elements of these (excepting only the surcoats) and organized them for easy access.
Heraldry in Bodleian MS 264
Bodleian MS 264 contains 3 separate works, two of which include heraldic displays. I've cataloged the arms represented on shields and presented sample emblazons from the text.
There were two basic approaches to drawing beavers in period heraldry, one quite naturalistic and one not at all. This article shows both in images from period armorials. It also offers a few prefatory comments on period depictions of beavers outside heraldry and a bit of information about the treatment of beavers in S.C.A. heraldry.
Heraldic Devices by Gutun Owain
Roughly a dozen emblazons extracted from a late-15th-century Welsh mytho-historical genealogy appear here.
Heraldic Devices from Lorenz Fries' Chronik
This article is actually hosted not here but in the Medieval Heraldry Archive. It includes all the heraldic devices pictured in a 16th-century chronicle of the bishops of Würtzburg.
(There Must Be) Fifty Ways to Use Your Arms
This is where I'm chronicling my A&S 50 Challenge. My goal is to collect information on 50 different ways that people living before 1600 used their coats of arms. I'm in the earliest stages of the process now, just gathering ideas. Later I'll try to learn as much as I can about the various applications, and upload the details to the site.
An Annotated List of Period Armorials Available Online
This isn't really an article, per se. It's my personal reference page on online armorials, designed to make it easier for me to find (or find again) solid period examples of various elements or inspiration for articles or armory for consultation clients.
Serpent-headed cauldrons are a very colorful, distinctively Spanish charge used in the latter part of the S.C.A's period.
Heraldic Uses of "Potent" and "Potenty"
"Potent" and "potenty" are among those heraldic terms that have more than one meaning. This article explains them.
Blazoning with the Names of Ordinaries
how and when to use various sorts of terms incorporating the names of ordinaries, like "a fess", "in fess", "per fess", and "fesswise"
when and to use "embattled", "counter-embattled", and "bretessed", plus what a herald means when she says, "a wall"
Avoiding the Appearance of Marshalling
Many submitters and new heralds are confused by the requirement that registered devices not appear to be marshalled. This article is intended to help answer their most common questions: "What is marshalling?", "Why does the College of Arms care if my device looks marshalled?", and "What exactly do I have to do to make sure it doesn't?".
Crosses in S.C.A. Heraldry
Over the last 40 years the sovereigns of arms of the S.C.A. have made dozens of rulings regarding crosses--which types conflict with which others, what the salient characteristics of certain types are, whether some types are compatible with period style, , how the S.C.A. uses particular descriptive terms, what types are restricted or reserved. . .the list goes on. This article is designed to make it easier for consulting heralds (or independent-minded potential registrants of armory) to answer questions like, "Can I use a cross like this?" and "What do I need to look for when I conflict-check this?"
It's easier to get potential submitters to put their ideas on paper if you give them an achievement to fill in than if you give them a blank sheet of paper. Not having to draw everything from scratch makes it easier for heralds and scribes to work up a quick sketch, too. I've put together a few different blanks, based on different period sources. Lord Garreth Silverthane has also offered one of his creation.
Assorted Displays Doodle Sheets
Consulting heralds often recommend their clients post images of the armory they're considering in prominent places, where they will frequently catch the eye, for a few days or even a few weeks before putting together a submission. I think it's a good idea, but I also think that you should consider how your device will look when it's not on an escutcheon, especially if you don't carry a shield a lot. I'm putting together some doodle sheets that will make it easy for you to place it on a banner, on a heraldic surcoat or tabard, and in other typical settings, to evaluate it more broadly.
This page was written and is maintained by Coblaith Muimnech, who holds the copyright to the text and all images not credited to someone else. Please do not reproduce any portion of it without express permission.
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