[ANSTHRLD] arms - your thoughts

Diane Rudin serena1570 at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 22 13:10:46 PDT 2008

> Robin wrote:

> > But the essential fact is this: this is *great* modern 
> > heraldic art.  Its 
> > style is like nothing that would ever have been seen before 
> > 1600.  It could not have existed even fifty years ago.

to which Emma responded: 

> True. But neither is most web art, to be honest. 

We're not talking about "most web art", we're talking about art for
the website of an organization which purports to promote the study
pre-seventeenth-century Eurasia.  It's a question of sending mixed

A quick survey of other historical-reenactor websites was very

In the professional arena, I checked out sites ranging from
large-scale projects like Colonial Williamsburg and Plimoth
Plantation to small, local museums such as Dallas Heritage Village
and Heritage Farmstead Museum (Plano).  ALL of them used historically
correct scripts and artwork for their main titles, although some were
a bit cleaned up for modern eyes.  

In the amateur arena, I checked out the English Civil War Society,
several [U.S.] Civil War units, and a number of other re-enactor
websites.  The groups that have a good reputation among historians,
such as ECWS and [US] Civil War groups, used historically correct
scripts and artwork for their main titles, again, with some clean-up
for modern eyes.  The groups that are a laughingstock among
historians were covered with modern "reinterpretations".

[What darn near ALL of them had in common, I noticed, was that they
mostly used quality close-up photographs of their activities to
promote themselves.]

I was quite turned off by the organizations whose high-flown language
about promoting study of a given period was accompanied by artwork
(and photographs) that was quite temporally inconsistent with their
stated time of interest.  I wouldn't join those groups.  As a
counterexample, I am now burning with even more desire to visit
Colonial Williamsburg, based on what I saw on their website.

The Society College of Arms, and by extension the various kingdom
Colleges of Heralds, are pushing submitters hard to have historically
possible names and armory.  We have reams of rules and precedents all
increasing standards of accuracy over the years.  Then we take a
"whatever" approach to the artwork used to express that armory.  Is
it any wonder that the general populace takes a "what's wrong with
using this modern name/armory element" attitude with us?

Would it really take that much work to make the colors flat and the
mantling shading in a period style instead of a modern style?

> Until we run across that
> artist with the beautiful period style that can create umpteen
> copies in various sizes, 

[Working hard to resist raising my hand.  Really hard.  Doing period
style is EASIER than modern style!]

As a side question, the original achievement registration of
Ansteorra was intended to be a description of Mistress Alisandre's
achievement paintings.  (In other words, the artwork came first, and
the words were supposed to describe it.)  In hers, the lion was
guardant.  Was a conscious decision made to change the lion, or was
there a typo that left off the guardant?

--Serena, Blanc Gryffon Herald


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