I’ve been interested in heraldry for many years. As far back as I can remember I’ve always admired arms, and their heraldic accoutrements. I find the combination of history and graphical metaphor intriguing. Over the years I’d picked up a small collection of books on the subject but never considered it anything other than a diversion—a historical hobby.
But early this year I stumbled across two online organizations that showed me that though an historical hobby, and an uncommon hobby, heraldry can still be an active hobby.
The American Heraldry Society and the International Association of Amateur Heralds each gave me the opportunity both to design arms and to see others design arms. To listen to, and occasionally participate in, debates. And to read research from those much more learned in the field than I.
To date I have designed arms for my father and I, a friend, and an online project. Here are the thumbnails of those designs. Click on the armiger’s name for a better look, and for some information on the designs.
2 thoughts on “Heraldry”
These are very nice! Do you participate in the SCA? They actively use and create hearaldry.
Thank you for your comment–sorry it took me so long to respond, you wound up in Spam and I don’t check that as often as I should.
Thank you for your compliment.
No, I don’t participate in the SCA, although over the years I have certainly had a host of hobbies that would fit in well. Over the years I’ve sometimes lived near an active guild, and sometimes had the time to participate, but never both at the same time.
Yes, the SCA does practice heraldry but it’s a
lessersimplified form form of heraldry. That’s not meant as an insult to what the SCA members do, but the formalized practice of heraldry involves not only the design, and registration of designs, but also involves extensive research to make sure that a given design had never been used or registered elsewhere. The SCA has their own rules for heraldry, and in some places the rules are more lax than others, so many SCA designs have infringed–or even stolen–ideas from other, and even from registered heraldic sources. This is all because there is no formal registration and record-keeping for SCA designs. And as the research is integral to the practice of heraldry, the worlds of real-world heraldry and SCA heraldry don’t have a lot of crossover.