[ANSTHRLD] Marshalled/ Not Marshalled arms

tmcd@jump.net tmcd at jump.net
Thu Jan 10 14:22:52 PST 2002

"doug bell" <magnus77840 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> It is Aidan MacAlpin's submission and I am certain the
> primary charge of 3 bars that overlay the entire field
> prevents this from being marshalled arms.
> "Per pale purpure and argent ermined vert, three bars
> counterchanged in canton a winged ferret sejant erect
> argent."
> Could some of our other heralds help with a rebuttal
> to this claim of marshalled arms?

I'm warranted as a marshal, so I can reply.

It doesn't have to be "primary charges" per se that removes the
appearance of marshalling, though that happens to be the case here.
The exact cite is RfS XI.3.a:

    a.  Such fields may be used with identical charges over the entire
    field, or with complex lines of partition or charges overall that
    were not used for marshalling in period heraldry.

"Overall" here doesn't have the usual SCA meaning of one charge
partially lying over another, but is rather used loosely here to refer
to a charge that overlies the line of division.  That's what clears it
from appearance of marshalling.  (The one counter-example of an
"overall" charge are certain crosses that we know were lain over
marshalled quartering.)

Even if the three bars were not there, it would not be appearance of
marshalling.  A charged section can provoke it, but the other half of
such a design would be an ermined tincture.  The SCA considers that to
be a plain field, and a plain field doesn't provoke a claim of
marshalling -- we neither register nor protect from conflict plain
fields.  "Per pale argent and sable, in dexter an example rampant
gules" would not be appearance of marshalling: appearance of
marshalling requires "two or more separate designs", and we don't see
the sinister half ("Sable" in my example, "Argent ermined vert" in the
submission without the bars) to be a heraldic design.  To go to the

    b.  Such fields may only be used when no single portion of the
    field may appear to be an independent piece of armory.

    No section of the field may contain an ordinary that terminates at
    the edge of that section, or more than one charge unless those
    charges are part of a group over the whole field.  Charged
    sections must all contain charges of the same type to avoid the
    appearance of being different from each other.

In a hypothetical
    *Per pale purpure and argent ermined vert, in canton a winged
    ferret sejant erect argent.

- "No section of the field may contain an ordinary", much less one
  terminating at the edge.
- "No section of the field may contain ... more than one charge": the
  entire design has only one charge, so that's OK.
- "Charged sections must all contain charges of the same type to avoid
  the appearance of being different from each other."  There's only
  one charged section, so by definition all the charged sections are
  identical (if I have only one dime in my pocket, all the dimes in my
  pocket have identical dates).

If there is still disagreement (Magnus, if this is a submission in
process, perhaps you might stick a condensation of the above in
commentary?), I would ask the person to quote the exact rule that
allows a return.  I believe that they couldn't.

If it's not too late to give style notes, or if it is too late, it's
style warnings to keep other people from doing this sort of design:

In Anglo-Norman armory, the only ermined tincture is "ermine".  Any
but the four named ones (ermine, counter-ermine, erminois, and pean)
were vanishingly rare or utterly unknown in period.  A field divided
with counterchanging was quite rare, but at least he was pleasing in
avoiding the SCA cliche of an ordinary laid over its corresponding
line of division (it's not "per pale ..., a pale").  A ferret was
unusual, but it could have happened, for example in canting arms (a
pun on the last name).  "Winged" and "erect" (for a ferret) makes it
Typical SCA style and not resembling period armory at all.  There's
not much room in the design for three bars and a charge in canton at
all, much less a skinny *vertical* charge.  Insert usual comment about
the rarity of vert and purpure.

However, "N bars and in canton" is an assymetry seen from the earliest
days of Anglo-Norman armory and extremely rare in the SCA.  I wish it
was done more.  Something along the lines of "Azure, two bars and in
canton a ferret statant argent" would be a lovely idea (though I
haven't conflict-checked that particular design).

Daniel de Lincolia
Tim McDaniel is tmcd at jump.net; if that fail,
    tmcd at us.ibm.com is my work account.
"To join the Clueless Club, send a followup to this message quoting everything
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