One of the things that I am allowed to do, as both a member of the College of Arms and specifically as a Principal Herald is that I have an opportunity to promote heralds to a rank within the College of Arms called the Herald Extraordinary. This, per the July 1981 LoAR, found here, states the following about this august rank.
“The rank that I have decided to add is that of Herald Extraordinary. This is a rank in use in England today, whenever they create a Herald’s post for some occasion that is not to become a permanent position on the-College of Arms’ roster. The rank of Herald Extraordinary shall be permanent so long as the holder continues to remain active in SCA heraldry. It shall fall in rank below a full Herald but above a Pursuivant. Each Herald Extraordinary shall have a title that is his/her own personal title that s/he shall hold so long as s/he remains active. If s/he should retire from the SCA, the title shall retire with her/him and shall not be used again by anyone else. Such titles must still clear my office. Kingdom Principal Heralds are responsible for elevating heralds in their kingdom to this rank, as they are responsible for all other ranks within their kingdom. This rank is reserved for those heralds who have greatly served the College of Heralds and/or the College of Arms and have achieved the highest level of competence in heraldry. Such a rank shall have no fixed duties, unless such shall be agreed upon by the holder and the Kingdom Principal Herald, but instead the holder of the rank shall be a senior member of the College who shall lend heraldic expertise as s/he sees fit.”
While some of the other rankings, like Pursuivant and Herald have become passé in some kingdoms, like my own Calontir, others, like the Herald Extraordinary, have not. This rank entitles a herald to have a personal title, and shows they are an exemplar of spectacular heraldic service to the College of Heralds or the College of Arms.
Over the weekend, I planned on making one of Calontir’s heralds a Herald Extraordinary for her exemplary work in her barony, her region, and for the work she has done for the Calontir College of Heralds for over 30 years.
Below is the scroll I painted and calligraphed for Her Excellency Marie Chantal Delaire, with a scroll text written by my emergency deputy, Saito Takauji-san. Her Excellency has a French persona from about the 1400s. Uji and I worked together, with him writing a scroll text partially based on the Book of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan, who would have been a contemporary of Her Excellency’s persona. I went with a style that was en vogue for French illuminated manuscripts from the 1450s to about the 1500s with acanthus leaves, vinework, and plenty of decorated capitals. It is the smallest scroll I’ve done, as it is slightly larger than a postcard.
As a left-handed person, I did find difficulty in doing the calligraphy. In fact, this was the final scroll out of four attempts, as I had issues with the scale and then the use of nibs and loose ink. On the other hand, once I figured out what the issues were, and reduced the scale (and the nib to a Crow quill) down, I actually ended up with a scroll that I liked and felt that I could actually be okay with someone putting it on their wall.
“Summer is the rose of the calendar, as Vatavia is the rose of Calontir. The blush of that rose is service, like that given by Marie Chantal Delaire. Who can detail the good she has brought to these lands through her work? She provided them with wisdom and art. Konstantia Gold Falcon asks what can be more worthy? To her we owe the symbols of their armor and the profession of their arms. So on this day is she made a Herald Extraordinary, by all right and true forms. Done this 30th day of August, 2014, within those lands that burn that she has so served.”
Congratulations, Your Excellency! Please enjoy your new rank and title!