[ANSTHRLD] Royal Crowns (was Re: arms - your thoughts)

tmcd at panix.com tmcd at panix.com
Sat Aug 23 13:20:29 PDT 2008

On Fri, 22 Aug 2008, Diane Rudin <serena1570 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- Tim McDaniel <tmcd at panix.com> wrote:
> > In the context of SCA heraldry: crowns get no difference from
> > coronets; I don't yet know of an SCA precedent that differentiates
> > a royal crown from a spotted or herbaceous crown, though perhaps
> > the English definition suggested by Brooke-Little (closed crown,
> > wasn't it?) controls; the only crown/coronet details I know of are
> > that strawberry leaves imply a ducal coronet and embattling
> > implies a comital coronet (from memory).
> Aaah, but I wasn't talking about points of difference, I was talking
> about blazonry (which your own post proves uses a different word,
> coronet, for subordinate ranks, and crown only refers to sovereign
> metal),

Actually, I was talking about SCA heraldry in general, with points of
difference being only one aspect.

Also, I did not prove that "crown" are "coronet" are distinct in SCA
blazonry.  To the contrary, they are interchangeable in blazons.  The
CoA Glossary of Terms has

    Crown/Coronet               Kingdom/Principality armory;
                                Personal armory of Society
                                Royal Peers and Court

They have also been used interchangable in LoARs.  I uppercase
crown|coronet for ease in seeing them.  June 2008:

    {AE}lfra Long. Device change. Per pale argent and lozengy argent
    and purpure, three domestic cats rampant contourny sable CROWNED

        The submitter is a court baroness and thus entitled to display
        a CORONET. ...

though that has an objection that "coronetted" is not attested as a
verb, although clear enough on sight.  But the next two have "crown"
in the body of the text, in May 2007:

    Martino Michele Ven{'e}ri. Device change. Per chevron gules and
    sable, a chevron ermine between two towers argent and a tyger's
    head erased ermine incensed gules ducally CROWNED Or, a bordure

        This device is returned as it is too complex. The rule of
        thumb complexity count limit, as explained in RfS VIII.1.a, is
        eight.  This device has five tinctures (gules, sable, argent,
        Or and ermine) and five types of charge (chevron, tower,
        tyger's head, CROWN, bordure), six if you count the flames,
        for a complexity count of 10 or 11. ...

    Asa beiskalda. Name and device. Gules, on a cross argent a CROWN
    between four triskeles sable all within a bordure argent pellety.

        ... The submitter is a duchess and thus entitled to display a

That month had, even more clearly, a single ruling that used "crown"
and "coronet" interchangably in referring to the same armory

    Nemania Brigans. Name and device. Sable semy of decrescents
    argent, a torch Or enflamed gules and in chief a CORONET Or.


        There was some discussion on whether the CROWN was a
        co-primary charge or a secondary charge. Given the central
        location of the torch, and the placement of the CROWN clearly
        in chief, the CROWN is a secondary charge.

        Owen commented "I would argue, though I expect others would
        disagree, furthermore that CORONETS are a special case. It is
        a perfectly correct, period depiction of a CROWNED charge for
        the CROWN to hover above the charge. See da Bara: CROWNED
        charges are routinely emblazoned so. Under this
        interpretation, Nyfain's CORONET is not merely not co-primary,
        it is insignificant."  While this may be a period usage, it is
        not an interpretation used in the SCA. This is purely
        pragmatic - we grant a CD for secondary charges. While we
        protect mundane armory in both CROWNED and UNCROWNED forms, we
        do not wish to do so for SCA armory at this time. This
        inconsistency is an artifact of the way our rules are applied.

        The submitter is a countess and thus entitled to display a

In Evan's tenure as Wreath, November 2004:

    Darius of Jaxartes. Device change. Per pale sable and argent, a
    pale counter-compony sable and argent fimbriated, in sinister
    chief a bull's head cabossed gules CROWNED of a CORONET embattled

        His previously registered device, Per pale sable and argent, a
        pale counter-compony sable and argent fimbriated, in sinister
        chief a bull's head cabossed gules, is released.

January 2004, Zenobia's tenure as Wreath,

    Rixa Eriksdottir. Device. Quarterly gules and sable, a dragon
    segreant CROWNED between three mullets argent.

        The submitter is a court baroness and entitled to bear a
        CORONET in her device.

April 2003:

    Atlantia, Kingdom of. Device change for Consort. Per pale argent
    and azure, on a fess wavy cotised counterchanged a CROWN vallery
    Or, overall a wreath of roses proper.

        ... Questions were raised about the inclusion of a CROWN in
        this armory. Kingdom armory of any sort may use a CROWN, as
        indicated in the reserved charges portion of the Glossary of
        Terms. Many kingdoms have registered secondary armory, such as
        badges, which include a CROWN or CORONET. Having such a CROWN
        or CORONET in the consort's arms, when one can be sure that
        the reigning consort is entitled to bear a CROWN, seems
        perfectly reasonable.

In Elsbeth's tenture, December 2000:

    Heinrich Kreiner. Device change. Per saltire Or and azure, a hurst
    of oak trees proper, to sinister a pearled CORONET Or, as an
    augmentation on a canton sable a decrescent argent, a base
    indented of three points argent.

        We would have registered the addition of the CROWN, though it
        placement must be considered a "weirdness," had the
        already-registered augmentation not been present.  ...

        The submitter is a Baron of the Court.

In Jaelle's tenure, May 1999:

    Kurdun e Pilegrim. Device. Gules, atop a quadruple mount couped, a
    peregrine falcon rising, wings inverted and addorsed, maintaining
    in its dexter talon an open book argent.

        Even if there had been no conflict we would have been forced
        to return this for presumption.  The quadruple mount
        overwhelmingly resembles a CROWN, [and the submitter is not
        entitled to display one on her arms.] (Laurel had been
        inclined to allow the charge, but at the Laurel meeting where
        it was viewed, my staff, who had not seen the LoI, immediately
        started looking for evidence of her entitlement to use a
        CROWN, since they all thought it was one until the blazon was
        read. This served to change our mind.). The submitter is
        correct in stating that it is a period charge. However, that
        is not relevant in matters of presumption.

That is, "coronet" or "crown" (or "crowned of a coronet") in a
proposed blazon will be preserved by Laurel, in the same way that they
would preserve "gunstone" versus "ogress" versus "roundel sable".

> Nobles don't wear crowns, they wear coronets;

I know of no way to distinguish a coronet from a crown visually,
except that crowns may or may not have arches, and I don't know of
anything being called a "coronet" that has arches.

> Friar's *Dictionary of Heraldry*, "Coronet ... Ma[n]y crest coronets
> are erroneously described as crowns. ...
> Ibid., "Crest Coronet ... Disconcertingly, nearly all crest coronets
> are termed 'crowns' but may also be found blazoned 'coronet'.  ...

Well, Friar can have his opinion about whether it's "erroneously" or
not, but even he shows that they can be used interchangably.

Danihel Lincolnia
Tim McDaniel; Reply-To: tmcd at panix.com

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