ANST - Terrariums (was: Purple, Black, & History)

John Ruble jruble at
Mon Mar 2 06:51:01 PST 1998

Daniel stated:
> 2.  There are (at least) two models of period re-creation.
> They were tagged "the terrarium model" and "the museum [or
> pizza] model".  (The major heraldic proponents were Tadhg
> Liath and Erasimierz Waspanieski, but you probably don't
> care.)  Briefly and probably inaccurately:
> Terrarium: SCA heraldic practices as a whole should reflect
> period practices in rough proportion to medieval and
> renaissance practice.
> Museum: it's OK to use items that are documentable, even if
> they were rare or unique, and your combination of them is
> improbable.
> Most people don't even do period re-creation, preferring
> recreation.  Those that do, often do the museum model.  As
> an SCA herald, I have to enforce museum, but I try to
> counsel terrarium -- I simply *would* like to see SCA armory
> look unexceptional in a period context.
I have to concur with Daniel, and not just in heraldry.  I have caught
some flack for wearing a lot of gray or dull colors at events.  Yes, the
"vikings" had many bright colors, but unless you were some great
(t)raider or otherwise very wealthy, your day to day wear was less
impressively dyed.  And at the moment I am neither; simply a skald with
a few good songs.

So at events I usually wear "work" clothes during the day, then change
to my "court" clothes in the evening.  To me, this reflects more what
you would see if your crystal ball could focus back a thousand years.
If I went around in court clothes all the time, they'd call me

It is hard to resist overusing a really cool rarity.  In some cases, the
archeological finds from a time period or area are so few that we do not
know if the item was unique or common.  But where we do know, we really
should be opting for the "terrarium" approach rather than the "museum"
approach.  To date, I only know of one jade Buddha statue found in a
Scandinavian site.  But I'd hate to see a bunch of Viking Buddhists
running around, seeking karmic balance to enter Valhalla...

***QUE SERA SERF-Life is feudal.***

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