Improved Escutcheons

WARNING - EXPERIMENTAL

And possibly likely to break things, including previously working shields. Sorry about that.

Previous Escutcheons

The escutcheon is a charge shaped a bit like a shield. In previous versions of DrawShield it was treated like any other charge, you could give it a simple tincture, or a fur, treatment or division and then say charged with [some other charge]. This gave the impression that it might be a full shield but it wasn't really, just an ordinary charge that was shaped like one.

Improvements

This, experimental, extension treats the escutcheon as if it were an entire "sub-shield". So now, in addition to a tincture and a charge you can add ordinaries; position charges on the subshield, have a marshalled escutcheon (e.g. quarterly), in fact truly treat like a completely separate shield that is placed on the main shield like any other charge.

An obvious question arises, how do we know when the description of the escutcheon "sub-shield" ends? As per the usual convention, we must indicate this with a semi-colon. See the worked example below for more details. This applies even for a simple escutcheon with a plain colour, you must put a semi-colon after the colour, otherwise any following items will be placed on the escutcheon and not on the main shield.

In addition, I have added a (probably non-heraldic) additional feature in that you can also specify the shape that the escutcheon should be. These are the same shield shapes that are available for DrawShield overall, and the available shapes are: swiss, french, oval, lozenge, square english, italian, polish, spanish, german and heater (the last of these is the default shape). If you want to use a shape other than the default use, for example a french shaped escutcheon or.

The escutcheon can be placed anywhere on the main shield, rotated, re-sized etc. in exactly the same way as any other charge - the only difference being that these modifications must go after the ending semi-colon (otherwise they will apply to the last item on the escutcheon sub-shield.

Worked Example

    // a green field on the main shield
    vert                            
      // with a centrally placed escutcheon
      a polish shaped escutcheon 
        // the escucheon itself quarterly   
        quarterly      
          // as described here             
          1st and 4th               
            or on a bend gules 
              3 roundels azure 
          2nd and 3rd 
            ermine 
              with a cross purpure
      // marks the end of the escutcheon
      ;         
      // modifies the attitude of the whole escutheon         
      bendwise sinister, 
      // a secondary charge on the MAIN shield           
      a canton azure                

Notes

This extension may break earlier blazons that included escutcheons. They can however be easily fixed by putting a semi-colon after the escutcheon tincture.

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