Thursday, September 15, 2016

Silver Martlet for Constanza of Thamesreach

Constanza

I received the assignment for this *mumble* years ago. I had a good two months to work on it -- and then their highnesses moved up the delivery date until the next weekend, the scroll didn't get made and became a backlog and then it...mouldered. I knew what I wanted to do for the design, I could picture the idea but I knew it was one beyond my drawing skills, so I had to find the right exemplars I could trace/adapt. And this was hard, and it got older and older and older...and then I got an assignment for a scroll for her lord. I could do his as a matcher to hers and finally get this wrapped up!

So I looked for lots and lots of exemplars, because now I needed something that involved both sheep (for this) and foxes (for his). I thought I'd picked out some good images of both, from Morgan Library MS M.8, and I sat down the night of 8 Sept. to start sketching things out. I sketched a fox on one; then a sheep on the other; then moved the sheep; then sketched some geese and chickens on the other, realized they weren't right; started looking for examples of archery bosses; found an actual fox with a crossbow; then found other sheep I liked, and a woman in the same MS; so completely changed MS and started sketching out bits for both from it. That was all I got done that night!

So the final exemplar was British Library MS Additional 42130 ff. 81v and 163v:

sheep

woman

If you look closely, you'll see that the woman is spinning sheep into onomastic articles. Every single name in the scroll (and there are many) can be documented from an article that Constanza wrot.

The text reads:

The martlet is a restless bird, whose travels take it from one end of the world to another. Like the martlet, Lady Constanza of Thamesreach spans the spectrum of arts and science, talented in skills ovine and onomastic, practical and theoretical, tactile and mental. Also like the martlet, Constanza travels our lands and shares her knowledge, teaching and educating wherever she goes. Like the martlet she is, and as a martlet henceforth shall she be: By this present diploma we Duncan and Eibhlin, prince and princess of Insulae Draconis by our princely might and authority do in accord with law and ancient and honorable custom make the said Constanza a member of the most noble and illustrious Order of the Silver Martlet, with all rights, responsibilities, and privileges appertaining thereto, on the i day of the xi month of the xlviii year of the society and witnessed below.

More close-ups:

Constanza

Constanza

Constanza


© 2016, Sara L. Uckelman.

Fox for Guy de Dinan

Scroll

Guy

Exemplar

BL Stowe 17 f.244

The exemplar is BL MS Stowe 17, fol. 244. The text reads:

Oh the wily fox he is a clever fellow, he tricks his enemies into thinking he is helpless and then springs his pointed claws upon them. Like the sly fox the archer fools his enemies into complacency before his pointed arrows fall upon them. The fox is a cunning fellow, dissembling and distracting and misdirecting so that no one knows his skills. Like the fox is our beloved archer Guy de Dinan, who with such craft has risen to the rank of yeoman archer. We, Pol and Caitriona, prince and princess of Insulae Draconis, however, are more clever than the fox and his guile does not escape our notice. By the power and authority invested in us by ancient law and custom, we call the said Guy before us to be name a true fox and a member of the Order of the Fox, with all rights and responsibilities appertaining thereto. This we do at Michaelmas Feast in the Shire of Thamesreach xxiv.ix.li.

And two close-ups:

Guy

Guy


© 2016, Sara L. Uckelman.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fox for Aodhan dha Cheist

Scroll

Aodhan

Aodhan

Exemplar

fox

The original is from Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB, KA 16, Folio 72v. I chose and sketched it, painted the base coat and the black on Aug. 24. I did the whitework, blackwork, and laid down the size on Aug. 25, after which I composed the text and calligraphed it (getting a really bad case of calligrapher's hand along the way...)

The text reads:

Pól and Caitriona, by right of arms prince and princess of Insulae Draconis. For as much as you, Aodhan dha Cheist, have demonstrated not only skill but also great joy and exuberance on the archery field, rising to the rank of master archer, you have also distinguished yourself with the rapier, and thus do we the abovenamed princes do by this charter create the said Aodhan a member of the Order of the Fox. Datum apud Lough Devnaree iii septembris a.s. li.


© 2016, Sara L. Uckelman.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ffraid for Margaret de Mey

Margaret Margaret Margaret Margaret

There may indeed have been some whooping and shouting when this assignment came in. I knew immediately I wanted something small, delicate, floral, and incorporating heraldic display. A search through my saved MS links for 'heraldry' gave me BL MS Harley 7026 f. 9, which was basically exactly what I was looking for. I also wanted to make it extra special for a dear friend, and knew I wanted to use my vellum for it.

It turns out that I have one large piece of vellum (which I didn't want to cut in to) and one small side piece, from which I could only get a rectangle 9.3cm x 8cm. So that cut down the potential size!

I did this over the course of four evenings (~1.5-2 hours the first three, and 3 the final one). First evening was cutting down the parchment and blocking and sketching. The next I inked the design in; the third, I painted the base coats and put down the size. The last night, I did the white work and guilded, and then composed and calligraphed the text, which reads:

Per hanc chartulam Margaret de Mey fecit sociam ordonis Brigidae. Alexander et Eularia faciunt hoc, datum apud Flintheath .v. December .l. Signum princibus.

In translation it reads: "By this little charter Margaret de Mey has been made a companion of the order of Ffraid. Alexander and Eularia do this. Dated at Flintheath the 5th of December (a.s.) 50. Signed by the princes." The benefit of writing a text which uses a lot of period-style formulations is that I could find abbreviations for basically everything (except Flintheath and Eularia) in Cappelli. I am stinkin' pleased with how this came out.


© 2015, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fox for Joel Ben Stuart

Joel

The exemplar is BL MS Harley 647 f. 13. As soon as I received the assignment, I knew I wanted to do something in this style, so I set about looking for words in the same of dogs. Because what makes a fox a fox? The fact that it is colored red. I did up a complete version on Nov. 27, and at the end did what I've rarely done: Decided there were enough mistakes that I was going to scrap it and completely start over. I would have had to scrape too many words, and I realized I'd missed one altogether, and the spacing on one of the legs wasn't quite right. I could do better. The recipient deserved better. And the first version took about an hour, so I knew the second one could be done better at least as quickly. I calligraphed the second version Nov. 29, and did the painting Nov. 30. This version was much better!

The text reads:

Alexander et Eularia divina providente clementia principes Insulenses Ioelo Beno Stuarto dilecti serventi et bellatori valenti. Swift as a fox and fully as wily your renown precedes you throughout the kingdom and yet it is in our dragon isles that you provide your constant shield and support. By these words we mark you as a true fox of our lands, as brave and as bold. Done six December A.S. fifty by our hands.

The Latin opening translates: Alexandre and Eularia by divine providing clemency insular princes to Joel Ben Stuart beloved servant and valient warrior. The "divina providente clementia [title]" bit comes from a charter of Rudolf III of Burgundy dating to 1014.


© 2015, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Women's hands in medieval MSs



This tweet caught my attention, since most of the women in medieval MSs that I remember seeing (a) show their hands and (b) aren't necessarily praying. A very quick search of the Manesse Codex and the British Library turned up a number of examples of women holding swords, playing chess, dancing, being courted, holding books, hitting men, handing out tournament wreaths, etc. (in addition to a few praying). So I decided a rather more systematic account was necessary. In this post (which I will return to and edit as time allows), I'm going to give a classification of women's names in medieval manuscripts (starting with British Library ones, because they're easily accessible).

A few notes: I am omitting angels, since their gender is often difficult to determine (or absent), but I am including grotesques that have clearly identifiable female heads. I am going through the BL MSs via place of origin. I have completed indexing through "A".

So far, I have found only four cases of identifiable women whose hands are not visible. The first is BL Royal 20 A XVII f. 33v; the woman appears in a tower, and we only see her upper half. The second is BL Harley 3687 f. 112v, a portion of a genealogy of the kings of France. The kings are depicted in full figure, but only the head of the queen is shown. The third is BL Additional 14761 f. 28v, of a family at a seder table; only the hands of the head of the family are visible. The fourth is BL Additional 27210 f. 4v, where a woman stands with her hands tucked into her sleeves.

Woman not otherwise categorized

DateLocationMSNotes
2 or 3q11thCAugsburgHarley 2908 f. 15v
2 or 3q11thCAugsburgHarley 2908 f. 64v
c1172ArnsteinHarley 2799 f. 57vWisdom, Prudence, Justice, and Fortitude
3q12thCAngersHarley 2833 f. 131vRuth
c1260ArrasYates Thompson 22 f. 149v
1310ArrasAdditional 38117 f. 161v
1q14thCAmiensSloane 1977 f. 50(1st, right; 3rd, left; 4th, mid)
1q14thCArrasRoyal 20 D IV f. 102v
1q14thCArrasRoyal 20 D IV f. 207
1q14thCArrasRoyal 20 D IV f. 237v
1q14thCArrasRoyal 20 D IV f. 260(right)
2q14thCBarcelona?Additional 27210 f. 2vEve (upper left); Noah's wife (lower left)
2q14thCBarcelona?Additional 27210 f. 3(lower left)
2q14thCBarcelona?Additional 27210 f. 4v(upper right)
2q14thCBarcelona?Additional 27210 f. 9
2 or 3q14thCBarcelonaOriental 2884 f. 2v
2 or 3q14thCBarcelonaOriental 2884 f. 4v
2 or 3q14thCBarcelonaOriental 2884 f. 11v
2 or 3q14thCBarcelonaOriental 2884 f. 12v
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 3v(left)
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 4
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 4v
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 6
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 7
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 7v
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 26
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 29
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 32v
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 33v
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 83
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 86
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 86v
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 119
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 120v
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 121
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 168
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 170v
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 171
c1390xc1400AvignonHarley 2979 f. 11
1409x1420Alzey/AltzeyArundel 117 f. 138v(right-hand)
c1430SalzburgEgerton 1121 f. 38
c1450AngersHarley 5370 f. 161v
1455BarcelonaEgerton 1150 f. 21vLot's wife (upper right)
2h15thCGermany or AustriaSloane 2560 f. 5
3q15thCAmiens or Hesdin or S. NLRoyal 17 F IV f. 65v(blue dress)

Woman praying

DateLocationMSNotes
1229x1244Jerusalem/Acre?Egerton 2902 f. 14vMary
1q14thCAmiensSloane 1977 f. 9v(upper mid, right)
1q14thCArrasRoyal 20 D IV f. 168v
1q14thCArrasRoyal 20 D IV f. 187
1q14thCArrasRoyal 20 D IV f. 260(left)
c1390xc1400AvignonHarley 2979 f. 87v
c1450AmiensHarley 4418 f. 43v
c1450AmiensHarley 4418 f. 214v
c1450AngersHarley 5370 f. 68Mary at nativity
c1450AngersHarley 5370 f. 167
3q15thCAmiens or Hesdin or S. NLRoyal 17 F IV f. 232(uncertain)
c1500Angoulême or CognacKing's 7 f. 7Mary
c1500Angoulême or CognacKing's 7 f. 26

The annunciation (Mary)

DateLocationMSNotes
1q14thCAmiensSloane 1977 f. 2
c1450AngersHarley 5370 f. 33

The visitation (Mary & Elizabeth)

DateLocationMSNotes
1q14thCAmiensSloane 1977 f. 2

Woman at Crucifixion (not praying)

DateLocationMSNotes
4q12thCAustria or GermanyHirsch III.934 f. 40v
3q13thCAcre or FranceEgerton 3153 f. 83
c1390xc1400AvignonHarley 2979 f. 83v

Woman carrying linens/cloth

DateLocationMSNotes
1q14thCAmiensSloane 1977 f. 7v

Woman at Jesus's tomb

DateLocationMSNotes
2 or 3q11thCAugsburgHarley 2908 f. 53v
1q14thCAmiensSloane 1977 f. 8

Mary's assumption/coronation

DateLocationMSNotes
2 or 3q11thCAugsburgHarley 2908 f. 123v
1q14thCAmiensSloane 1977 f. 9v(upper mid)

Woman serving/holding dish

DateLocationMSNotes
c1390xc1400AvignonHarley 2979 f. 13
1409x1420Alzey/AltzeyArundel 117 f. 138v(left-hand)
c1468xc1480Amiens or Hesdin or BrugesRoyal 15 D IV f. 112grotesque

Woman eating

DateLocationMSNotes
1q14thCArrasRoyal 20 D IV f. 1

Woman getting married/embracing a man

DateLocationMSNotes
c1450AmiensHarley 4418 f. 36
2h15thCGermany or AustriaSloane 2560 f. 6
2h15thCGermany or AustriaSloane 2560 f. 7
3q15thCAmiens or Hesdin or S. NLRoyal 17 F IV f. 65v(red dress)

Woman carrying child

DateLocationMSNotes
c1172ArnsteinHarley 2799 f. 40Mary with Jesus
2 or 3q14thCBarcelonaOriental 2884 f. 16
c1390xc1400AvignonHarley 2979 f. 51Mary with Jesus
c1390xc1400AvignonHarley 2979 f. 54Mary with Jesus
c1390xc1400AvignonHarley 2979 f. 176vMary with Jesus
c1450AngersHarley 5370 f. 104vMary with Jesus
c1500Angoulême or CognacKing's 7 f. 34Mary with Jesus
1516Antwerp?Royal 11 E XI f. 10vMary with Jesus

Woman holding clothing

DateLocationMSNotes
1310ArrasAdditional 38117 f. 224

Woman holding a book

DateLocationMSNotes
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 5v

Woman holding a staff or sceptre (including pilgrims)

DateLocationMSNotes
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 5
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 100
2h15thCGermany or AustriaSloane 2560 f. 14

Woman holding a mirror

DateLocationMSNotes
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 104v

Woman holding a chaplet/wreath

DateLocationMSNotes
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 104v

Woman holding a wheel

DateLocationMSNotes
1q15thCAvignonRoyal 20 C VIII f. 2v

Woman holding a shield/coat of arms

DateLocationMSNotes
1h16thCAugsburgHarley 2953 f. 21

Woman holding weapon

DateLocationMSNotes
3q15thCAmiens or Hesdin or S. NLRoyal 17 F IV f. 211

Woman holding unidentified objects

DateLocationMSNotes
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 3v(right)

Woman playing musical instrument

DateLocationMSNotes
c1468xc1480Amiens or Hesdin or BrugesRoyal 15 D IV f. 50cithara

Woman dancing

DateLocationMSNotes
2 or 3q14thCBarcelonaOriental 2884 f. 16v
c1340Artois or PicardyRoyal 20 A XVII f. 9

Woman bathing

DateLocationMSNotes
2q14thCBarcelona?Additional 27210 f. 9
3q15thCAmiens or Hesdin or S. NLRoyal 17 F IV f. 297
c1500Angoulême or CognacKing's 7 f. 54Bathsheba

Woman lying in bed

DateLocationMSNotes
3q12thCAngersHarley 2833 f. 131vRuth

Woman visiting the doctor

DateLocationMSNotes
1q14thCAmiensSloane 1977 f. 7v
1q14thCAmiensSloane 1977 f. 51v(3rd, right)

© 2015, Sara L. Uckelman. Last updated 01Dec15.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Laurel scroll text for Wencenedl of Rokesburg

Early fall I learned that a good friend was going to be laureled for her 12th C research, and I was honored to be asked by her laurel to contribute to the ceremony. Knowing I couldn't make it to the event, I volunteered my assistance coming up with a 12th C text. I took my primary inspiration from the Gelnhausen charter of 1180, a favorite of mine, though the opening and closing were heavily informed by the huge amounts of 12th C charters from all over Europe I've been working through lately. It reads:

In the presence of all gathered here as witnesses. Quilliam and Domhnail, by favour of might and inspiration, noble rules of the Ealdormereans. Since human memory is short and does not suffice for a crowd of things, the authority of those who preceded our age, noble princes and kings, has decreed that those things were to be written down which the progress of fleeting time generally removes from the knowledge of men.

Wherefore let the generality of the present as well as the future subjects of our empire know, that We by the common counsel of upright men do in accordance with all ancient, honorable, and noble laws and customs and regulations of our realm as established by our progenitors, on account of the urgent entreaties and desires of the peers and of very many others nobles, hereby call into our presence Baroness Wencenedl of Rokesburg who has by many marks and deeds set herself apart from others in our lands by distinction of her learned skill and knowledge the reports of which we have received from many witnesses of worthy report. We, therefore, after deliberating with the peers and by their common counsel, and through consideration of the merits through which our beloved Baroness Wencenedl has deserved the privilege of admittance into the rank of the peers of the real by promoting and upholding the honour of the crown, fearing neither expense nor personal danger, have lawfully conferred on her the right and rank of membership in the ancient and honorable Order of the Laurel and with that every right and responsibility, that pertain to said status. Having asked an opinion from the peers as to whether this should be done, when an affirmative one was been given and approved by the common consent of the whole court, we did solemnly invest, through royal custom and standard, the aforesaid Baroness Wencendel with all appurtenances appropriate thereto.

We do confirm, therefore, this lawful act and investiture of our noble cousin to the Order of the Laurel before all present and to all their successors. And wishing this to remain valid unto all posterity, we forbid by royal edict that any one, with rash daring, infringe it or in any way attempt to violate the said Wencendel's new status and rank; and we validly corroborate this our decree by the present patent. Facta est ergo XIV Novembris anno quinquaginta Quillelmo et Douenalla regibus regnantibus in Ealdormere. Signum [] rege. Signum [] regina. Signum [] principe. Signum [] principissa. Signum [] barone. Signum [] barone. Signum [] baronissa. Signum [] cellaria.

I really hoped the king and queen would be willing to have other witnesses beyond themselves to sign, and provided a text that would allow for not only them but also the prince and princess, Wencenedl's husband, who is a baron, the baron and baroness of the group hosting the event, as well as the event steward. (I also planned to have Wencenedl's laurel sign it...except that she already would have been in her guise as princess!

The scroll was calligraphed and illuminated by Dame Asa Gormsdottir, and she has given me permission to share these images:

Wencenedl Wencenedl


© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.