[ANSTHRLD] talbot proper

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Mon May 31 12:19:47 PDT 2004

On Mon, 31 May 2004, Alden Drake <alden_drake at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Sorry for the double post, but I found the proper tincture list.

Other people may be interested, so it's good to point out where.

The SCA College of Arms Glossary of Terms, Table 3, Conventional
"Proper" Colorings, is a recent authoritative list.  The CoA Glossary,
along with the Rules for Submission and CoA Administrative Handbook,
can be found under <http://sca.org/heraldry/laurel/regs.html>.
Branch heralds should have it bookmarked, or better, download the
files for faster access.

There's also the Pic Dic, _A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry_, Bruce
Draconarius of Mistholme and Akagawa Yoshio.  It's not as
authoritative as the above, but I think they listed some proper
tinctures (and a lot of other useful info) that aren't in the table
above.  It's available from the SCA.  (Careful hedging: I dunno
whether it's still at Free Trumpet Press West or from the SCA stock

The most authoritative statement is in an LoAR,
<http://sca.org/heraldry/loar/>, Laurel Letter of Acceptance and
Return.  But if you've not got them downloaded, it's inconvenient to
search, and the Glossary of Terms is recent enough and complete enough
that, while there are known gaps, there aren't many.

> The reference for dog states that there is no default proper color,
> but that it must be specified.  My client is particularly looking
> for a brindle pitbull.  Is there any way that could be blazoned as
> proper?

The original October 1995 LoAR Cover Letter had text on brown animals
proper.  Because dogs in nature can be all brown, he could have "a
brown mastiff proper", but it would be solid brown.

The text for L{i'}adan Arundel's return (9/02) had evidence for period
birds being shown as proper, but those are species-specific fixed
colors ("The black and white stork with red legs and beak in the arms
of Die Dobrzinsky on f. 73 of Siebmacher (from Silesia) is depicted
very much like a European stork.").

Otherwise, there's VII.7,

    a.  Identification Requirement - Elements must be recognizable
    solely from their appearance.

    Any charge, line of partition, or field treatment used in Society
    armory must be identifiable, in and of itself, without labels or
    excessive explanation.  ...

    b.  Reconstruction Requirement - Elements must be reconstructible
    in a recognizable form from a competent blazon. ... Any element
    used in Society armory must be describable in standard heraldic
    terms so that a competent heraldic artist can reproduce the armory
    solely from the blazon.  Elements that cannot be described in such
    a way that the depiction of the armory will remain consistent may
    not be used, even if they are identifiable design motifs that were
    used before 1600.

If an artist saw "brindled", would they be able to draw what was
originally submitted, without having to dig out an obscure book?  If
someone saw a brindled dog on armory, would they be able to recognize
it consistently and blazon it as "brindled"?  My dictionary defines it
as "having obscure dark streaks or flecks on a gray or tawny ground".
I gather from this that it's not clear that anyone could see it five
feet away, much less blazon it.

> Also, would a particular breed of dog be registerable (like a
> greyhound or mastiff), or would it default to a talbot and then just
> be drawn to resemble a pitbull?

The August 2003 LoAR Cover Letter has

    **** From Wreath: Responses to Some Requests for Reblazon ****

    In some cases, a member of the College may request a systematic
    reblazon of some blazon style to help with conflict checking. It
    is (or should be!) generally understood that blazon is to some
    extent a natural language as well as a technical language, and the
    Armorial and Ordinary follows that language's accepted
    variations. Thus, one finds SCA blazons that correctly represent
    the same charge as, variously, a griffin rampant to sinister, a
    gryphon segreant and sinister facing, or a griffon contourny. One
    also finds heraldically identical charges blazoned using terms
    that span the alphabet (and thus, a section of the Ordinary),
    often due to the period practice of canting. Thus, a picture of a
    particular type of stylized dog might be blazoned as a brachet, a
    hound, or a talbot.

I don't find the word "pitbull" in the Oxford English Dictionary first
edition.  I suspect that Wreath would not register something with a
modern word, though the issue might not be raised by commenters and so
Wreath might just go ahead and do it.  Given that there are medieval
words for various types of dog, though, I suspect that, more likely
than not, it would be reblazoned a mastiff, a hound, or whatever.  (I
don't know what a pitbull resembles most closely.)  Or, if the
submitter finds that there's a period breed more closely resembling
it, it might be registered using that term instead, as with
"dachshunds" being registered due to period badger-hounds (read the
11/02 LoAR text to see why "badger-hound" led to "dachshund").  A
basset hound was deemed acceptable by silent implication in 9/99.

Dogs are dogs for type conflict questions: e.g., "There is no
difference for changing the type of canine from wolf to hound.", from
2/03.  So it's just arguing about words -- it doesn't affect conflict.

Daniel de Lincolia
Tim McDaniel (home); Reply-To: tmcd at panix.com; work is tmcd at us.ibm.com.

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