Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fox for Alana Utterich

NAME

The exemplar is Codex Michaelburanus perg. 1, f.195r, my first time painting on gold. Whoo, is it fun! It took one day to sketch out the initial, paint the blue, and do the gilding. The next day I cleaned up the gilding, did the red, and the calligraphy.

The text reads:

Incipit verbis Pauli et Caterine. The fox is famed for his cunning and wit, and as such is an example for all those who defend our lands, and it is for this reason that in days past our honorable ancestors in recognition of this created the Order of the Fox to admit as companions all those whose skills with weapons are set apart from the rest so that they may be advertised and recognized throughout our lands. One such person is Lady Alana Utterich, who has won great renown with the bow, whereby we the abovenamed princes of Insulae Draconis do induct the said Alana in to the aforenamed Order. Datum apud Glen Rathlin xviii feb a.s. li.

Here's some progress pictures:

sketch

blue

gold

finished


© 2017, Sara L. Uckelman.

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.

Friday, August 5, 2016

AoA for Thomas Bainbridge of Manchester

Thomas

Thomas

The exemplar for this piece was Codex Claustroneoburgensis 389 f.74r, a 15th C German manuscript. I just love this particular pattern and combination of colors -- it's so weirdly modern. I've wanted to do it for ages, so was very happy to have the opportunity to use it here!

The text reads:

Pol and Caitriona, prince and prince of Insulae Draconis, to our servant Thomas Bainbridge of Manchester, salutations and greetings. Insofar as by the ordination of the right of arms we have ascended the thrones of princely might, it is right that in our deeds we altogether reward those by whose gifts and services we are exalted. There fore we, desiring that ancient custom as well as solemn laws to remain in vigour and prosperity, and en deavouring to recognise and elevate such persons as have con tributed richly to our realm, the likes of the above-named Tom of Manche- ster who has served us most especially through labouring as our Gauntlet Pur- suivant, maintaining and recording all manner of worthy challenges, skirmishes, and duels throughout our lands, do by our princely authority proclaim and affirm that the aforenamed Thomas is to be recognised as a lord, with all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges attendant thereto, and for the recognition of which we charge the said lord Thomas to consult with our heralds and to devise suitable and unique arms. Datum apud Castellum de Raglan, super Festo de Raglan, a.s. lj.

This was originally given out at Raglan, but the recipient sadly couldn't make it then, so it was held in secret and re-given at October crown.


© 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.