The following links are to pages that contain images that you can use to help design your armory -- specifically for images that can be used to design your field (background).
Instructions (please read):If you want to use this for your heraldic submission, or print it for any reason, click on the 'PDF File' link -- a new browser window will open, and you can print from there.
Note that printing the GIF Files may not provide images that are the correct size for the heraldic submission forms.
Descriptions:The descriptions of the charges below are taken from A Dictionary of Heraldry1 or The Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry ...2, and some descriptions are just simply Hirsch making a note if nothing could be found in those two sources. Some further notations by Owen ap Morgan have been added as well, in an attempt to clarify some of the items in the "Field Treatments, Furs and Semés" section ... Most of the text from the two books noted are footnoted here. Note that not all of the detail in these books has been included in the text given ...
Field Divisions or Field PartitionsMany of these field divisions (partitions) can be altered by using the various line patterns called Lines of Partition. Per Pale is shown on this section of the website to give the longest line for any field division (you can trace over any line using this), and Per Chevron is shown with all of them because it's hard to draw the top corner of the chevron line properly for most of these lines ... To see lines of partition, click on the link here:
Lines of Partition
Also note that some of these field divisions or field partitions (different terms for the same thing) do not use the lines of partition, or in some cases have specific options that others don't have.
Note that there are two images available for most of the following -- the first is just to show what the field division looks like (for the purpose of just perusing options). The second image ("Traceable Image") is an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file, that can be printed to give an image close to the correct size for the West Kingdom Submission Forms, with the idea being that you can trace over the lines onto your forms as needed. To see/print the PDF Files you need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed (free software).
|Barry||Multiple per fess divisions (6). Barry denotes that the field is horizontally dividied into a certain even number of equal parts. If the number of divisions were odd the same tincture would appear in chief and in base, and the pieces of the other tincture would be so many bars or barrulets. 1|
|Barry gules and argent||PDF File|
|Bendy||Multiple per bend divisions (6). Said of a field or charge divided bendwise into an even number of equal parts; or, as it may be otherwise described, as a field bearing a series of diagonal stripes of alternate tinctures (and liable to the same variations of the edges as the bend), but so that there is an equal number of each. 1|
|Bendy gules and argent||PDF File|
|Bendy Sinister||Multiple per bend sinister divisions (6). See bend for a definition.|
|Bendy sinister gules and argent||PDF File|
Chapé (French for "mantled") is a Continental partition of the field,
formed by two lines drawn from the center chief to the sides of the shield. The
partition thus strongly resembles a pile inverted, or a field party
and it will conflict with either, all other things being the same. But
chapé differs from these others in one respect: In normal usage, only
the central part of the field is charged; the mantled portion of the
field remains uncharged.|
The standard chapé uses straight lines; there is a variant, chapé ployé, with arched lines.
|Argent chapé gules||PDF File|
|Argent chapé ployé gules||PDF File|
Chaussé (French for "shod") is a Continental partition of the field,
formed by two lines drawn from the corners of the chief to the base point.
The partition thus strongly resembles a pile, or a field party per chevron
inverted; and it will conflict with either, all other things being the
same. But chaussé differs from others in one respect: In normal
usage, only the central part of the field is charged; the shod portion
of the field remains uncharged.|
The standard chaussé uses straight lines; there is a varient, chaussé ployé, with arched lines.
|Argent chaussé gules||PDF File|
|Argent chaussé ployé gules||PDF File|
Term[s] applied to a field or charge divided by perpendicular
and horizontal lines, into small squares of metal and colour
alternately. ... There should be
at least 20 squares in the shield. 1
[I am not sure if the SCA's College of Arms has any preference on this.]
|Checky gules and argent||PDF File|
|Chevronelly (Chevronny)||Chevronny is used when the field is divided into an even number of equal portions chevronwise. 1|
|Chevronny gules and argent||PDF File|
|Gyronny||The field divided into eight alternating wedges, as if per saltire and quarterly were used on the field. When using a Gyronny of 6, you must specify the blazon more carefully. Per saltire and per fess looks very different from per saltire and per pale. These are always two tinctures alternating, the first section in the upper left is what is started with in the blazon (i.e., gyronny argent and azure).|
|Gyronny (of eight) gules and argent||PDF File|
|(Gyronny of Six) Per Fess and Per Saltire gules and argent||PDF File|
|(Gyronny of Six) Per Pale and Per Saltire gules and argent||PDF File|
|Lozengy||... entirely covered with lozenges of alternating tinctures. The lines are variously drawn, but as a rule they should produce lozenges narrower in breadth in proportion to their length ... 1|
|Lozengy gules and argent||PDF File|
|Paly||... when the field is divided by perpendicular lines into an event number of equal parts ... An uneven number would be blazoned as so many pales. 1|
|Paly gules and argent||PDF File|
|Per Bend||Diagonal, upper left to lower right, divides the field in two parts.|
|Per bend gules and argent||PDF File|
|Per Bend Sinister||Diagonal, upper right to lower left, divides the field in two parts.|
|Per bend sinister gules and argent||PDF File|
|Per Chevron||Angled division like a chevron, divides the field in two parts.|
|Per chevron gules and argent||PDF File|
|Per Chevron Inverted||Inverted per chevron.|
|Per chevron inverted gules and argent||PDF File|
|Per Fess||Horizontal division, divides the field in two parts.|
|Per fess gules and argent||PDF File|
|Per Pale||Vertical division, divides the field in two parts.|
|Per pale gules and argent||PDF File|
|Per Pall||Divides the field into three parts in a 'Y' shape.|
|Per pall gules, argent and azure.||PDF File|
|Per Pall Inverted||As per pall but upside down.|
|Per pall inverted gules, azure and argent||PDF File|
|Per Saltire||Divides the field in four parts in an 'X' shape. You could think of it as per bend and per bend sinister.|
|Per saltire gules and argent||PDF File|
... a division of the field into a certain even number of parts
by piles placed perpendicularly and counterposed. The number
of traits, i.e. pieces, should be mentioned, and
both the pile and the interval are reckoned in the counting.|
In pily the piles are ordinarily drawn throughout, unless blazoned otherwise ... 1
|Pily gules and argent||PDF File|
|Quarterly||Divides the field in four parts in a cross shape.|
|Quarterly gules and argent||PDF File|
Vétu (French for "vested") is a Continental partition of the field,
formed by two lines from center chief and two lines from the base point,
connecting at the sides of the shield. The partition thus strongly resembles
a lozenge throughout; and it will conflict with a lozenge, all other
things being the same. But vétu differs from this in one respect;
In normal usage, only the central part of the field is charged,
the vested portions of the field remain uncharged.
The standard vétu uses straight lines; there is also a variant, vétu ployé, with arched lines.
|Argent vétu gules||PDF File|
|Argent vétu ployé gules||PDF File|
Field Treatments, Furs and SemésThis category is a bit blurry as to what is what sometimes ...
When discussing charges and charge groups: "Strewn charges of all sorts are charge groups on the field." -- Owen ap Morgan
Artistic note: There are several ways semé can be drawn -- the drawings here are relatively standard, in that they are actually in a pattern -- this is common. You may wish to place them more randomly, but this is less commonly done in mundane and SCA armory. The other thing to note is that the drawings here show charges trunctated at the edges of the shield -- some artists do this, some leave out the parts that are truncated -- this is very much a style issue, and neither is wrong.
|Annuletty||Semé of annulets|
|Billety||Semé of billets|
|Crusily||Semé of cross crosslets|
|Ermine|| Fur -- An ermine spot is a highly stylized charge, meant
to represent the tail of the ermine beast and the pin(s) used to
attach the tail to the fur; it is also sometimes blazoned a muskatour
Ermine comes in several different tincture combinations:
Alternate Ermine Spot Styles: The SCA tends to use the ermine field as
shown above as the default. However, any text
on heraldry is likely to show that there are many ermine spot styles.
The caveat is that when drawing your armory you should always use a single
style within one coat of arms or badge -- combining ermine spot styles is
not correct, and is likely to get a submission rejected by the College of Arms.
The alternate spots shown below are a direct scan from
|Alternate Ermine Spots 3||PDF File|
|Estoily||Semé of estoiles|
|Estencelé||Semé of sparks|
Semé of fleur-de-lys -- also called semi-de-lis
or semi-de-lys. Note that the style of fleur-de-lys used
here is one of several different styles.
It appears that SCA usage is such that the term fleuretty is not used for a semi-de-lys field, instead the term that is used is semi-de-lys. Do not use fleuretty to describe this field.
Semé of gouttes (drops). There are specific terms that
may be used for different tinctures of gouttes:
|Masoned||Field treatment -- like bricks and mortar|
|Mullety||Semé of mullets (stars) -- default is five-pointed stars, if you desire more points, then the blazon must specify that, as in: a semé of mullets of six points.|
May be a Field Division or a Field Treatment -- like feathers.
"The one shown below (suggesting feathers in alternating tinctures) is a field division, blazoned 'plumetty X and Y'. The other has feathers all one tincture outlined in the other (very similar in appearance to scaly) and is blazoned 'X plumetty Y' where X is the feather tincture and Y the outlining." -- Owen ap Morgan
|Potenty||Fur -- This is a squared off version of the vair-bell pattern (see vair below). By default potent is blue (azure) and white (argent) -- if you use potent in a different color combination you must specify both tinctures (i.e., potenty gules and Or)|
|Potent Field||PDF File|
|Potent en Pointe||PDF File|
|Scaly||Field treatment -- like scales. Note that there are two versions of this shown, the first is sometimes called Papelloné, the second is Scaly.|
|Semé of Roundels||
Semé of roundels. There are specific terms for different
tinctures of these:
|Vairy||Fur -- a geometric pattern based on squirrel fur. The pattern created with vair is based on alternating the backs of grey (blue/azure) squirrels with their bellies (white/argent), creating a pattern similar to that used in the heraldic vair bell pattern. By default vair is blue (azure) and white (argent) -- if you use vair in a different color combination you must specify both tinctures (i.e., vairy gules and Or)|
|Vair en Pointe||PDF File|
|Vair in Pale||PDF File|
1 A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, James Parker, Tuttle, 1970, ISBN: 0-8048-0715-9
2 The Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry as Used in the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., 2nd Edition, Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme and Akagawa Yoshio, 1992, self-published.
3 A Dictionary of Heraldry, Stephen Friar, Harmony Books, 1987, ISBN: 0-517-56665-6
Some of the text is from Hirsch von Henford, just to fill in the blanks ... a few notes added from Owen ap Morgan to clarify some of the items on this page.
|Disclaimer: All of these drawings are intended for use in the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., specifically for heraldic purposes. However, these pages do not delineate SCA College of Arms or West Kingdom College of Heralds policy. All attempts are made when describing or portraying the elements of armory used in these pages to be as accurate to both medieval and SCA usage as possible, but if you are not sure, you should check with the College of Arms or the College of Heralds. You may use these drawings "as is" for the purpose of designing heraldry for use within the SCA with this understanding. All decisions by the West Kingdom College of Heraldry and/or the SCA's College of Arms regarding the depictions used on your submission forms supercedes anything found here.|
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