Augmentations of Arms in the Middle Kingdom

This is an article I wrote about a year ago and just updated. Since a large number of people just received Royal Augmentations of Arms I figure it is a good time to post it here. – Konrad

Augmentations of Arms in the Middle Kingdom

As this honor is a gift of the Crown the Middle College of Heralds is disinclined to charge extra fees for augmentations of arms and Kingdoms are given the freedom to set their own fees over and above what Laurel charges. Therefore the charge for registering an augmentation of arms in the Middle Kingdom is $4 to cover what Laurel charges for the submission.

You need to have a registered device to register an augmentation. You can submit them together. (The device would be at the normal fee of $8.00.)

The augmented device must follow the rules for submission with a few exceptions; they can be more complex and possibly have more layers than is normally allowed. See SENA on Augmentations of Arms: http://heraldry.sca.org/sena.html#A3A3

Whatever form the Crown may have designated is a suggestion. It is usually a suggestion the client wants to follow but as far as the College of Arms is concerned it is only a suggestion. Sometimes changes will need to be made to the suggestion in order to get it to work with the person’s device. Sometimes you just can’t fit “a rampant Yale argent” onto someone’s device as an augmentation. Or the Crown designated for a Kingdom Augmentation to bear the Kingdom ensign on a chief when the top of the arms are a metal but putting it on an escutcheon or on a point pointed moves it to a color part of the field where it has contrast.

For those not aware the Middle gives two kinds of augmentations. Royal Augmentations are more common and consist of the Crown allowing the addition of a charge to be added for augmentation, and they usually suggest a form for it to take. Kingdom Augmentations, more rare and usually for long service to the Kingdom, allow the recipient to add the Kingdom ensign to their arms. The Kingdom Ensign, “Argent, a pale gules surmounted by a dragon passant vert,” has been designated as a standard augmentation for the Kingdom with the College of Arms for this purpose.

If the augmentation is placed on a canton or on an escutcheon then the design of the canton and escutcheon must also be conflict checked as if they were independent armory. Example: The Crown states you may add a gold ring (an annulet Or) to your device. The field of the device is a metal so you want to put the gold ring on a red canton or escutcheon for it to be registered, “Gules, an annulet Or,” must also be free of conflict as well as the overall design. Note: as mentioned above for a Kingdom Augmentation, “Argent, a pale gules surmounted by a dragon passant vert,” has already been designated as a standard augmentation for the Middle so conflict is not a problem, the Kingdom has already given permission for it to be used for augmentations.

Filling out the Form. Under “Action Type” you want to check “Other” and fill in Augmentation of Arms. In the area designated “If using any restricted charges, please give Kingdom and date of eligibility for that charge” fill in Middle (or the Kingdom it was received it if from another kingdom) and the date the Augmentation was given.

Blazoning. You blazon the original devices blazon followed by “and for augmentation” then the blazon of the augmentation. For example Däg Thorgrimsson’s arms are blazoned: Tierced per pall argent, azure and sable, two dexter gauntlets clasped in chevron inverted argent and in chief a wolf’s head caboshed sable. And his augmented arms are blazoned: Tierced per pall argent, azure and sable, two dexter gauntlets clasped in chevron inverted argent and in chief a wolf’s head caboshed sable and for augmentation on an escutcheon argent, a pale gules surmounted by a dragon passant vert.

Rarely the augmentation may replace one of the charges on the base arms, especially when there are multiples of the same charge. For example: Lorissa du Griffin bears, Azure, between the front paws of a lioness [Panthera leo] a lion cub, both statant proper, on a chief argent three cats’ heads cabossed gules. Their augmentation replaces one of the cat’s head. Azure, between the front paws of a lioness (Panthera leo) a lion cub both statant proper and on a chief argent three cats’ heads cabossed gules and for augmentation, replacing the center cat’s head, a roundel azure charged with four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward argent. Note that even though one of the cat’s heads is replaced and no longer visible in the augmented arms it is still included in the blazon of the augmented arms. The first part of the augmentations blazon is always the blazon of the base arms and then you describe the changes made for the augmentation after the “and for augmentation” portion of the blazon.

The Augmented Arms do not count toward the registration limit of 6 pieces of armory. But you can only register one augmented device. If you receive multiple augmentations they will all need to be worked into that one design. You would blazon each separately as above. [Original device blazon] and for augmentation [augmentation #1] and for augmentation [augmentation #2]. For example Wen verch Ioreword’s arms are blazoned: Lozengy Or and sable, on a bend gules three owls palewise Or. She received two Royal Augmentations from different Crowns, Her Augmented Arms are blazoned: Lozengy Or and sable, on a bend gules three owls palewise Or, for augmentation in chief a unicorn rampant argent and for augmentation in base a raven’s head gules maintaining a pearl in its beak argent.