Information for Scribes: Black Lion's Signature

Being able to sign armigerous scrolls is a unique perk of being Principal Herald. But obtaining Black Lion's signature for a scribal project has a few general requirements:

  1. Text is needed which indicates what Black Lion Principal Herald is attesting. For example: "By my sign and seal I, Black Lion Principal Herald, attest the arms blazoned above and so depicted are the true and correct arms of...", or any of a number of suitable phrasings. If there is no formal achievement, Black Lion would be attesting just the name and blazon (not any casual image of the arms that might appear in passing). In such cases, the statement can simply refer to the blazon, and remain silent on depiction.
  2. The name on the scroll must be registered with that spelling. For example: "John" is not "Jonathan", "Jane Doe" is not "Jane Doe of London". The reason for this is that the changes between each of these provided room for someone else to register that form.
  3. The blazon in the text must be equivalent to that recorded in the Society O&A. Substituting equivalent yet unambiguous blazon typical of the time period is in keeping with the spirit of things: some kings of arms used "gold" rather than "Or", and the Song of Caerlaverock was in verse.
  4. Any display of arms beyond incidental decoration must match the blazon. Diapering, exact proportions, shading, and so forth are within normal concepts of "artistic license". Rendering charges as knotwork is not: limit knotwork to diapering.

To avoid issues at the last minute, you are greatly encouraged to work with Black Lion from the start of the project. Verification of registrations, spellings of names (including details often omitted in common use), copies of the registered artwork from the archives -- all these are resources Black Lion happily provides to help ensure your scribal project can reach its full potential.

Absolutely send Black Lion photos and text to verify before ink is applied.

On occasion, the armory may be mis-blazoned in the O&A, and the Roll of Arms is not authoritative. Consult with Black Lion first, who can verify from the archives the actual artwork that was registered. Since we register and protect the original image, this gives an opportunity to verify blazon matches image, and if not to get it corrected.

While there is certainly leeway for artistry, the artistry must not go so far as to be blazonably different from the registered arms. A rampant beast should not be salient, heads can't suddenly face a different direction, et cetera.

If the recipient of the scroll prefers to use a name other than that which is registered, the text must somehow tie the name used to the name registered. For example:

Some variations are reasonable without such aliasing, inasmuch as they don't introduce questions of someone else being able to register the name:

When in doubt, work with Black Lion to find an approach to satisfy the signing requirements.

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