[ANSTHRLD] Blazon and Confict Question

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Wed May 16 13:45:42 PDT 2007

On Wed, 16 May 2007, Brian O'hUilliam <brianoftheloch at gmail.com> wrote:
>   I am working on a badge for my Barony and I am unsure of the correct
> blazon.

"Difficulty in blazon can be an indication of non-period style>"
Or of ignorance of the particular blazon terms, of course, but this
doesn't look period to me, even setting aside the Loch's peculiar

> The image can be seen here:
> http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=16473120&uid=8930894.
> My proposed blazon is "(Fieldless) Upon and entwined about an anchor
> argent, a sea serpent in annulo head to chief and vorant of its own
> tail vert."  Any suggestions?

<http://www.sca.org/heraldry/loar/2001/12/01-12lar.html> says

     Evelyn atte Holye. Badge change. (Fieldless) A holly branch
     bendwise sinister inverted vert fructed gules enfiling a mullet
     voided Or.

         The design of a charge enfiling a voided mullet is a
         weirdness, but it is not in itself sufficient reason for
         return. It is a weirdness because of the cumulative effects of
         the unusual voided charge (the voided mullet), the unusual
         action of enfiling, and the fact that the overlap implicit in
         the act of enfiling reduces the identifiability of both
         charges involved. Charges which in their standard period
         depiction include a large central hole (such as laurel
         wreaths, annulets, and mascles) are not considered a weirdness
         when enfiled. Charges with small central holes (such as spur
         rowels and rustres), and voided charges where the usual form
         of the charge is not voided (mullets) will be considered a
         weirdness when enfiled.

         The question of which charge in the heraldic ring-toss is
         "enfiled" is one of the great heraldic cocktail party
         discussion topics. The SCA has a precedent on the topic which
         is being followed in this blazon:

             [An arrow argent enfiling a serpent involved] The
             definition of the term enfile has changed over the
             years. Boutell (English Heraldry, 1902) equates it with
             "pierce": a sword passing through a crown would enfile the
             crown. Brooke-Little (An Heraldic Alphabet 1975) equates
             it with "encircle": a sword passing through a crown would
             be enfiled by the crown. The confusion is sufficient
             reason to avoid the use of the term, but sometimes (as
             with this submission) it's hard to avoid. Friar
             (Dictionary of Heraldry, 1987, p.137) agrees with
             Boutell's definition; and that definition does follow more
             naturally from the etymology of the word (from French fil,
             "thread": beads are threaded on a string, crowns are
             enfiled on [by] a sword). That is the definition used

         The submitter's badge, (Fieldless) Three holly leaves conjoined in
         annulo fructed proper, is released.

A later ruling says "Remember, enfiling is equivalent to threading (as
in threading a needle).".

So I'd say it's an anchor enfiling a serpent &c&c.

Daniel Lindum Colonia
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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