Preview of a painted, colored heraldic charge. Just visible is a spiral of grey-shaded feathers curling in on one another in a spiral.

This Thing is My Jambe

In the “Baby Heralds of the SCA” group over on Facebook, a member posted a question about the Bird’s Jambe Conjoined to a Wing Involved, about which I’ve posted before, but provided a new image — from “Insignia Venetorum I“, an Italian armorial dating from around 1550-1555 — it is in Munich, and is BSB Codex icon 271. The Jambe appears on folio 88r in the arms of Francisco Malipie (link:

Painted, colored image of a heraldic charge: a bird's jambe (leg) attached to a wing, which is involuted (curled around in on itself in a spiral).  The feathers are shades of grey, the leg is shades of gold, and the talons are red.

I cannot get enough of this thing, and I’m not sure why — I think it’s just wonderfully weird and overall neat. I’m very fond of this particular version for the pinfeathers (if that’s what they are) sticking out in between the big feathers.

I’ve submitted my digitized (vector) version of this to the online Book of Traceable Heraldic Art. However, I did my tracing with vector art in mind (as you can see from above), and so it’s not really suitable for being printed out and manually traced. Mathghamhain usually modifies the file so that people who are printing & tracing have an easier go at it. But if you’re a digital SCA herald and/or artist and are looking for the original complex version of it, here it is. Note that I’ve separated out the various parts of the element (wing, feathers, foot, talons) into separate groups of objects for fill, and each group may or may not have four fill sub-groups: a darkest ground, a dark color, a mid color, and a light color. (The feathers only have two fill sub-groups.)

Repeat Note: this image is for SCA heralds, for the purpose of generating heraldic art for themselves and/or clients within the context of the SCA. Non-SCA persons are welcome to use the image as well, for personal, non-money-making use only, and provided that you cite me as the source. If you are interested in using this image for commercial or charitable purposes (i.e., if you are going to use it in a context in which you will be receiving money, regardless of how that money will be used), please reach out to me to discuss at saewynn – at – jackalgirl – dot – net.

Heraldic painting of a lion' jambe (forearm and paw) erased (furry or ragged at the elbow).  It is gold-colored with dark claw against a dark background.

Although this next one isn’t quite as spectacular, I made a modification to one of the lion jambes on the Book of Traceable Heraldic art after reading some comments* in which the commenters noted that they could not tell whether the jambe in someone’s device submission was a lion’s jambe or a bird’s. The original exemplar had a very large claw that was reversed, like a thumb (or pulse), and I could see where that might lead to confusion, so I tried to make it more paw-like. It is also now up on The Book as “Lion’s Jambe Erased (2)“.

From this point on, I’ll be working on a project to trace/adapt/arrange mantling for SCA use, which means scouring online armorials to find period examples. My plan is to make them work with the default shield that’s on the SCA device registration form; however, I’ll also be (eventually) working on some other versions of mantling-and-helms. For example, there’s an Italian version from the Stemmario Trivulziana that has a jousting shield (the kind with the cutout to function as a lance rest) at a 45 degree angle, with the helm on top in profile. I’d like the library to eventually contain those styles, so artists can find things that fit the personae of their clients.