Sunday, October 27, 2013

Some blanks for a new scribe

October 18. BL Royal 5 C IX f. 114

PBL MS Royal 5

October 21. BL Royal 4 B II f. 43v

PBL MS Royal 5

October 27. BL Harley 2957 f. 1

NBL Harley 2957

October 27. BL Harley 2878 f. 9

NBL Harley 2878

A new arrival in Drachenwald was looking to get started in calligraphy, so rather than send him plain perg, I said I'd send him some blanks. Given that Prothall and Cecilia will be ascending the throne in a few months, I figured some blank 'P's would be a good choice. And then I got tired of 'P' and decided to do a few puzzle initials in letters I hadn't done yet. The 'N' was done in two steps; first the red and blue, then the green and purple. It looked so nice after the red and blue was done, I almost needn't have continued on! Regarding the last one, it didn't turn out quite as nicely as the original, and I'm not sure why. I think the proportions of the extender are part of it; my page was simply too short for the height of the letter. However, I think with proper calligraphy and maybe some internal capitals, this could be spiffed up quite nicely.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, October 21, 2013

AoA for Cristina Erici


I received the assignment on 9 Oct., and given the recipient's name I decided to do a Latin scroll text. I've got only one stock one for AoAs, and it begins with "A", so the next thing to do was choose the A. My list of "A's I want to do someday" is LONG, and there are so many amazing pretty options to choose from. I was able to narrow it down to 7 pretty quickly, but then I had to let them sit and simmer. With the help of Constanza, I decided on Codex San-Florianensis III, 5, fol. 93v. That night I sketched out the initial and the lines, and inked in the initial, and began painting the base coats (orange). I was away for the next few days, and returned to the painting on 15 Oct., completing the painting on the initial. I'm so pleased with how the grotesques turned out!

The next night (16 Oct.) was devoted to calligraphy. I started with my basic Latin text with a bit of an extra, which reads:

Audite verbis Sue- nonis Iohanneque regis regineque Drachenwalden- ses. Magnas et multas attestati- onis actionum subjecti nostrorum Cristina Erici audivimus, et placet nos. Scite quod his present- ibus agnoscimus virtutem dignitatemque supradicte Cristine. Altamus et assignamus ei ord- onis domine et jus tali armis prout de- feret cum Collegio Armorum. Posthac habebit ium solum proprium que prae se ferre illi insigne in hac nos trum Societatis. Fit manibus nostris in xxvi die Octobris anno societatis xlviii, apud Gotvik. Testare cujus nos hic nostrum manum ponimus sub hic.

About half-way through, I realized I needed about 6 more lines of text than I had, so I went to Caid's site and cribbed from their Latin AoA text. That still didn't make it long enough, so the next day I searched for more images from the same MS to see if I could find some flourishes to add to decorate the text, and found this I, which could be turned into horizontal sidebars.

I completed the calligraphy the night of 17 Oct. The text reads in translation:

Pay heed to the words of Sven and Siobhan, King and Queen of Drachenwald. Great and numerous attestations of the actions of our subject Cristina Erici have we heard, and it pleases us. Know that by these presents we recognize the worth and dignity of the aforesaid Cristina. We raise her to the rank of lady and award to her all rights to such arms as she shall register with the college of arms. She shall henceforth have the sole and exclusive right to bear these arms in this our Society. Done by our hands on the 26 day of October, in the year of the society 48. In witness whereof, we here set our hand below.

I also had time to sketch out and paint my space filler. The grotesque there turned out quite nicely too! Both of them seem happier than the ones I copied. The next evening, 18 Oct., Joel gave Gwen an early bath, which gave me the time to get the gold size down on the filler, and I completed the rest early enough to let it set long enough before starting the gilding, which unfortunately did not go well, and when I asked on FB, no one really seemed to know why:


Oct. 21 I tried putting down more size, rehydrating more, and putting gold down again, and whatever I ended up with would have to do, since the scroll has to go out in the next day's mail. Luckily, the re-gilding cleaned up most things, and re-outlining things helped with the ragged edges, and the end result is something very shiny, which is definitely the work of a beginner, but is also work I'm not ashamed of.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

AoA for Haesel Berneslai


I received the assignment 08 Sep., and started thinking about designs. I like starting texts with the names of the granting nobles, which in this case would be either "D" or "E", and in my list of D's to use I found this one: Egerton 3271 f. 144v, which certainly has WOW factor. Being not entirely sure that I could do the inner border, I decided to omit it but retain the outer border. I sketched the layout and started painting the border on 13 Sep., and the since I had my paints out to do Beroharti's AoA, I painted some more on 18 Sep. The text reads:

Duncanus et Evelina, principes Insulenses, ad Hasela de Bernes lai, salutatem et gratiam. Inas much as by the ordination of the right of arms we have as cended the thrones of prince ly might, it is right that in our works we altogether rew ard those by whose gifts and deeds we are exalted. There fore we, desiring that ancient custom as well as solemn laws to remain in vigour, and endeavouring to recognise and elevate such persons as have contributed richly to our realm, as archer, as chan cellor of the exchequer, do wish to preserve to all persons what ever their rights, and do by our princely authority proclaim and affirm that the aforenamed Haesel is to be recognised as a lady, with all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges atten dant thereto, this act to be observed throughout all parts of our principality without let or hindrance from anyone, and for the recognition of which we charge the said lady Haesel to consult with our heralds and to devise suitable and unique arms. Datum apud Castellum de Caerphili, v Octoberis anno societatis xlviij.

The text was written 29 Sept., and based loosely on the opening paragraph of the Peace of the Land Established by Frederick Barbarossa Between 1152 and 1157 A.D. 30 Sept., I began by drawing out the lines (always my least favorite), and then did the calligraphy, liberally adding phrases as I went in order to get the text sufficiently long. I then got out the paints and did a bunch more of the red detailing. 1 Oct., after supper Joel played with Gwen (thank you, Joel!) allowing me to get started on the last of the painting right away. Took about 3.5 hours to complete -- only to find out at the very end that my planned method of conveyance of the scroll to the event won't work, because Thursday is a holiday here. Grrr! I ended up finding someone in England I could mail it to, at exorbitant cost. And then the recipient wasn't at the event and it wasn't given out until four months later. :(

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

AoA for Beroharti der Rinderschink


I got my choice of initials down to 2 on Sep. 16: MS Barth. 115 (Ausst. 27) f. 1r and BL MS Harley 3971 f. 1. On Sept. 17, I opted for the latter, and started sketching the outline and the lines. I completed the lining on Sept. 18, and started in on the painting; I did all of the initial, and the first pass of the red border lines around the outside. I rather like the little spindle thingies. On Sept. 19 we had C&I night at our place, and in the first hour or so I finished the illumination, and then wrote the text, which reads:

Universis presentes litteras inspecturis, Sueno et Sivana, reges de Drachenwald, salutem in Domino. Since human memory is short and does not suffice for a crowd of things, the authority of those who preceded our age, the divine emperors 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 kingdom know, that Beroharti Rinderschink for the reason that he has gravely comported himself in all his doings, as tavern keeper, as archer, as servant to the realm, bringing good hypocras and good cheer wherever he goes, --on account of the urgent recommendations of very many nobles, we, therefore, after deliberating with many and by their common counsel, have hereby confirmed unto the said Beroharti all rights to such arms as he shall register with the College of Arms. And wishing this to remain valid for all posterity, we forbid by royal edict that any one, with rash daring, infringe our will or in any way attempt to violate it; and we further validly corroborate this our decree by the present letter drawn up by one of our loyal clerks, signed by us the abovenamed king and queen below and given on þe xxviii day of September in the year of the society xlviii. Quod fecimus hodie, homo non neget.

It's based very loosely on the Gelnhausen Charter of 1180. I completed about half of calligraphy on that night before needing to head to bed. I completed the second half of the calligraphy, adding a bit more to the text to make it as long as I needed, on 24 Sep.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dragon's Pride for Kane Ragnarsson


Normally I'm very good about backlog scrolls. But this one seemed ill-fated from the start. I started it, but didn't quite finish it before the event; and the event was three weeks before Gwen was born and I physically couldn't sit hunched over to finish it. And then she was born, and I was dealing with a newborn and no sleep and no desire to do C&I, and then we moved and I lost the nib that I'd done half the calligraphy with, and then we moved again and I found the nib but it seemed to fight me at every step, and as time went on it became less and less a thing of joy and more and more of an anchor. So I did what I've only rarely done before: I scrapped it and started over. I asked the recipient what his preferences were, and the response was "16th C German writ-style", which, thankfully, is something I enjoy doing very much. I found a beautiful 16th C German calligraphy exemplar book, and choose this initial for it. Once I had a letter, I could then write a text, which reads:

We, Lief and Morrigan, King and Queen of Drachenwald, &c., to all people to whom these presents shall come, greetings: know that we have given and granted, for us and our heirs, to our trusty and wellbelo- ved subject Lord Kane Ragnarson, of Vielburgenshire, free licence and full liberty from hereon out to style himself a member of the Order of Dragon's Pride, now and at all times for ever hereafter, with all rights and responsibilities and privileges attendant thereto. Witnesse our selves at Miltenburg Hall the 22, day of October, the forty-sixth year of our Society. Anno Dom 2011. Per ipsos reges, &c.

I don't remember which day during the week I did the planning and wrote the text, but I do know that my plans to work on it Friday evening were snaffled by a wrenched muscle in my right shoulder which thankfully was somewhat better on Saturday. So on the 14th I did the initial, which, alas, didn't turn out as well as I would've liked, because the vermillion ink I have always plays up. And I think I should've had a few different nibs than what I used. Unfortunately, the issues with ink have plagued the calligraphy too, so I quit for the evening after not too long. I returned to the calligraphy on the 16th; luckily, things looked better after a day or so away. I finished the calligraphy that evening, and though I'm not entirely happy with it, adding the flourishes helped (though I'm not entirely happy with the either), and I think I'm sufficiently satisfied with it. It was a bit dull, though, so I added this flourish.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

GoA for Dubhghall mac Ébhearáird


It is always a pleasure to scrolls for heralds. It is always a pleasure to do scrolls for friends. When the recipient is both a herald and a friend? Even better. Dubhghall has served the Drachenwald College of Heralds for many years, and I was honored to be given the assignment of his Grant of Arms. The cool part is that since it is a GoA, I can use an actual GoA text for its intended purpose, instead of having to rewrite it to fit the requirements of other SCA awards. Furthermore, medieval GoAs were issued not by royalty but by the relevant principal herald or king of arms. As it so happens, I am currently the principal herald of Drachenwald, so I was able to adjust the text accordingly (with permission from Their Majesties, of course!).

The bulk of the text was written Aug. 22 and reads:

To all present and to come who these present letters shall see or hear Aryanwy verch Cadvael alias Schwarzdrachen principal herald at arms of all parts of this Kingdom of Drachenwald greetings and love with humble recommendation. Equity will and right ordains that virtuous men and of noble courage be by their merits and reknown rewarded and not only their persons in this mortal life so brief and transitory but afterwards their memory and posterity likewise shall in all places have great honour and virtue before others both present and to come perpetually shining by certain and definite signs and demonstrations of honour and courtesy. To wit by blazon helmet and crest in order that they by their examples may all the sooner spur others again to force themselves perseveringly to use their days in deeds and feats of arms and virtuous and courageous works to gain the renown of that ancient courtesy in their lineage and posterity. And where that nobleness is once in the blood it may not be lost without too long continuance in sloth and vices: Also as Gaius Alammunius says That honest poverty takes away no part of nobleness, And the Doctor Bartholomew in his treatise of tokens of Arms says, If the arms be once ours they may in no wise be taken away from us. Whereby that which was most prudently devised in the beginning to stir and kindle the hearts of men to the imitation of virtue and nobleness, even so is the same continually observed to the end that such as have done commendable ser vice to their King, Prince or Baron whether in war or peace may receive due honour and reward in their lives as according to both law and custom. For this end I, the Schwarzdrachen Herald at Arms as above mentioned, have at the request, urging, and formal command by my Sovereigns Sven and Sio bhan king and queen of all the lands of Drachenwald from Frostheim in the north to Kalavirki in the West, from Adamestor in the South to Saint John of Rila in the east who having rightfully received the thrones from Thorvaldr and Tofa, who sat before them and received from Paul and Aryanhwy, who sat before them and received from Sven the fourth by that name and Siobhan the first, have not only by common renown but also by the witness and re port of noble and gentle men worthy of credence been truly informed, notified, apprised, and advised that Dougal MacEverard of the Barony of Aar nimetsä, companion of the Order of the Ring of Lindquist, gentleman who has for a long time followed feats of arms in [this] as well as in his other affairs and offices has carried himself valiantly and governed honourably, has thereby truly deserved and is worthy that henceforth perpetually he and afterwards his memory be in all places honourably admitted, renowned, accounted, numbered and received in the number and in the company of other former courteous and noble men and for this seeing as all these things also nobly and rightfully done, forthwith fulfill the earnest request and solemn entreaty of the said Sovereigns in this case, as right and reason will it, for the remembrance of this courtesy by virtue of the authority and po wer confirmed, ratified, and attributed to my office of Herald by the king and queen abovesaid truly advertise, announce, report, and declare that the aforenamed Sovereigns have ordained and assigned, and hereby grant to the said Dougal MacEvrart for him and him alone the blazon set down in the College of Arms in the following manner: To wit argent, a wolf rampant and in chief two roundels sable, as the picture in the margin shows it, to have and to hold for himself alone to invest for ever. Acting in due faith and fidelity on the will, power, and authority of my sovereigns and liege lords the most noble kings of Drachenwald aforementioned, I have drawn up the present letter by my own hand, and in witness whereof Sven and Siobhan the said king and queen have signed it with their hands. Given at Unikankare the vii of September in the year of the society xlviii, the iv month of our reign:

The text is composed from the 1492 grant of arms to Thomas Elyott and the 1480 to Christopher Brown.

The design is based on that of the grant to Thomas Barowe, 1477; I settled on this one on Aug. 24, then drew the layout, the lines, and the initial and shield. It's a A3 sheet with 5cm margins and .5cm lines (2+3).

Sun. Aug. 25 I began in earnest, starting with outlining the shield and the initial "T", in paint rather than with a pen as I often do. While working on it, I posted the following status to FB:

Working on the biggest scroll I've ever done: A3. That might not seem big to some, but my default calligraphy is "small" and so lends itself better to small scrolls. But this text has ~450 words, nearly twice the longest I've ever done, so I'll need all the space!

A few seconds later, the first person to "like" this status was the recipient, who, at that time, was still completely in the dark. Cue big grin!

Hesitant to do the gilding next, and still awaiting an emblazon of the arms from Robyn (since she is skilled with computer graphics and I do much better if I have something to trace), I then began the calligraphy during Gwen's nap. About 5 lines in, I realized I had way too little text, so I began changing duplicate to triplicate, triplicate to quadruplicate. Then Master Þorfinn from Lochac shared a link to an amazing Augmentation of Arms for Master Gwynford Lloyd that he'd done, and then very kindly sent me the text. His text was 800+ words, and I happily cribbed some nice turns of phrase from it, and decided to leave a larger gap at the bottom (maybe for a seal some day?) than planned. I did about 3.5 hours of calligraphy that day, until I reached the recipient's name and my hand cried "stop". Aug. 26, I completed the calligraphy in another 1.5 hours. There are only four egregious typos: three duplicated/misplaced words, and one that was omitted altogether. All other typos involved transpose letters, or spelling "renown" with a k ("reknown"), a misspelling which plagues me regularly. Not bad out of 713 words!

I drew and painted the arms on Aug. 27. For the arms, I ended up using one of the wolves in the Pennsic Traceable Art Project. Last was putting down the gold size and then the gold leaf. That took up (not counting the waiting time for the size to cure) about 1.5 hours, so all told, this scroll took about 7 hours to complete.

The gilding process was rather fraught, and there was a brief period of ACK! when this happened:


Thank goodness for Ari who walked me through how to clean it up, and then cautioned me to set it aside and finish cleaning the edges the next day. Aug. 28 I spent about 20 min. cleaning it up, and erasing pencil lines, and reached a point where I'm sure someone with more facility with gold could probably do better but I'm going to stop now because otherwise I think I'd make it worse.

I am very happy with this scroll. It's certainly in my top 5 of ones that I've done, and it's coming very close to vying for #1.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Friday, August 2, 2013

AoAs for Agnes La Verte and Aodh Ó Siadhail



I'd been wanting to do some initials from Codex Admontensis 297 for some time now, so when I was given a matched set of AoAs for Raglan, I figured this was a good time. I picked an A from f.81v for Agnes's, and a V from f.85r for Aodh's, and drew out the layout and lining for both on Jul. 18. On Jul. 29, I sketched out the initials, and on Jul. 30, I painted the base colors of the initial and did the gilding. Matching the shade of green for Agnes's A I thought would be tricky, but I managed to guess the proportions and colors on the first try; it was roughly 3 parts white to 2 parts turquoise blue (both talens gouache) and 1/2 part yellow ochre (reeves gouache). Jul. 31 I did the white and gold work; the light blue; fixed up the gilding, a bit; wrote Aodh's text and calligraphed part of it.

The text for Aodh's reads:

Vitus and Isabel, prince and princess of Insula Draconis, lord and lady of Klakavirki and Thamesreach, marquises of the lands from Harple- stane in the north to the southern reaches of West Dragoningshire, together in accord with our very dear and beloved heirs, whereas our loyal subject Aodh Ó Siadhail has acted virtuously and under his own power in offices within our principality and in his homelands of Dun in Mara exercised with good skill and cheer such that we should sanction, confirm, swear to, and approve the admittance of the said Aodh into the ranks of lords of the land: we, wishing to fulfil all that is attendant upon advancement to such rank have ordered the present instrument to be brought before us that we might see and examine it, and the said charter having been examined and understood by us and by our heirs, we approve, commend, confirm, execute, and ratify it. In attestation and corrobor ation whereof, we the said princes sign our names to this our instrument given in the castle of Raglan, on the xv day of August, in the year of the society lxviii.

It is based on the Treaty between Spain and Portugal concluded at Tordesillas; June 7, 1494. Blodgy ink and a typo caused me to quit for the night after only a few lines. I finished the calligraph for Aodh's on Aug. 1, though I continued to have problems and am not very happy with it.

Aug. 2, I composed the text and calligraphed for Agnes's, which reads:

Audite et adspicite verba Viti et Isabelle, principium Insulenses, etc.: Inasmuch as, among other things in the laws and cus toms of this land regarding the preferment of vir- tuous and loyal subjects of the realm to the rank, status, and estate of lord and lady, we are bound and charged by our princely authority and power to advance those amongst us of gentle breeding, good activity, and so lemn character to the said rank, we, the abovenamed princes, wishing to discharge our said duty concerning one gentlewoman, Agnes La Verte by name, hereby on our princely faith and word fulfil and observe all of the foregoing, without artifice, deceit, or pretense set down in this our present instrument full affirmation that the said Agnes is now recognized, made and ratified as a lady. And in confirmation of this, letters which we have caused to be drawn up and signed below we give the xv day of august, anno societatis xlviii.

It was basically made up in its entirety.

I wasn't able to get a good scan or photo of the whole scroll that showed off the details on Agnes's initial, so here is a close-up of that:


© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lindquistringes for Egil Tokrake från Tyrved


I picked out the exemplar, Codex Gottwicensis 30 (2), fol.215v, the day I received the assignment, Jul. 19. My exemplar was done in silver, gold, and red, but I don't have any silver leaf or silver paint, so I decided to substitute in blue. On Jul. 28, I did everything except for the red on the main initial and the blue and gold on the secondary initials. The text was written while I calligraphed the scroll. I'll admit, it has basically no basis in period texts. It reads:

Diploma ad Egillum de Tyrved a regibus Suenone Siohannaque [1] drachenwaldensis. (Diploma to Egil of Tyrved by the kings Sven and Siobhan, drachenaldish.)

For to recognize and reward and prefer our loyal subject Egil Tokrake från Tyrved and to thank him for his longtime, continual, and perpetual service we the kings Sven and Siobhan right noble and well beloved do hereby create the said Egil a member of our ancient and honorable Order of the Ring of Lindquist which act we do while on our royal thrones in our court at Styringheim during the second week of August and in witness of which we have signed and dated below:

[1] Grrr, arg! That was supposed to be "Iohannaque", but I wrote the "S" before I realized it. Grr.

The scroll was completed Jul. 29.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Nobelesse Largesse: two recipes cards.



I recently participated in an A&S "secret swap" gift exchange, Nobelese Largesse. My recipient had a Provençal persona and was interested in cooking, so my first thought was "nougat!". Unfortunately, I didn't want to trust actual nougat to the postal service, so the next best thing was to give her the recipe, in both the original Catalan and the English translation provided in The Book of Sent Soví.

I also made a pouch to put the recipe in; pictures of it can be seen here.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

AoA for Anjuli Longship


Ari had lots of assignments for Raglan, and I just received some beautiful blanks from Saraswati, so I said I could take on a fourth scroll for the event. The blank is from an MS from Paris, 1480, so I found another 15th C Parisian MS, BL Egerton 619 f.3, on which to base my hand. I drew the lines for the text, and composed the text, on 12 Jul. Since the illumination and the calligraphy are from the 15th C, I adapted a 15th C text, The Letters Patents of King Henry the Seventh Granted unto Iohn Cabot and his Three Sonnes. The text reads:

Vitus and Isabel, princes of Insula Draconis, lords of all the lands from Klakavirki to Harpelstane and the southern channel, to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting. Be it knowen that for her many years' comportment with all the dispositions and accoutrements of a gentilwoman, we haue giuen and awarded to our welbeloued Anjuli Longship full and free authority, power, and leaue to style herself as a lady in all parts, countreys, and seas of the east, the west, the north, the south: and likewise we haue giuen her licence to set vp banners and ensignes decorated with such arms as she shall register with the College of Arms in euery village, towns, castle, isle, or maine land whereuer she shall trauel. In witnesse whereof we haue wit- nessed this our charter giuen at Raglan, þe x day of þe vii month of our reigne.

I did about 2/3 of the calligraphy the same night; the hand doesn't look much at all like the exemplar (not surprising since it was my first attempt), but is at least internally consistent so it doesn't look too bad. I finished up the calligraphy, having had to trunctate the text some, on July 14. For the decorative capitals in the text, I remembered that Saraswati had actually done another piece in a similar style, and wrote about it in her blog, so I found the exemplar she used, and extrapolated from there.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A blank used.

Back in February I did three blanks for ID based on Manesse Codex pages. Ari recently calligraphed one of them for Klakavirki's "Revel in the Midnight Sun":


Always nice to see a blank completed.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman, Jennifer A. McGowan.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lindquistringes for Gabriele of Turmstadt


The illuminated letter, based on Codex S 318, was done by Lady Ælfwynn Leoflæde dohtor. I composed most of the text on Jun. 14, drawing on a number of texts in the Avalon Project (The Gelnhausen Charter; April 13, 1180 A.D.; Laws of Richard I (Coeur de Lion) Concerning Crusaders Who Were to Go by Sea. 1189 A.D.; Magna Carta 1215; Peace of the Land Established by Frederick Barbarossa Between 1152 and 1157 A.D.; and The Establishment of the Duchy of Austria; September 17, 1156.). It reads:

In the name of all that is worthy and just. Sven and Siobhan, by favour of right of arms, royal kings of the Drachenwalders, to the princes, dukes, earls, barons, justiciaries, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, and to all bailiffs and liege subjects, greetings. Since human memory is short and does not suffice for a crowd of things, the authority of those who preceded us has decreed that those things were to be written down which the progress of fleeting time generally re moves from the knowledge of men. Inasmuch as we ascend the thrones of the royal majesty, it is right that in our actions we altogether celebrate those by whose gifts we are exalted. Therefore we, desiring the laws of the realm to remain in vigor, and endeavouring to exalt those persons who have served us well, do wish to preserve to all persons whatever their rights. Wherefore let the generality of the present as well as the future subjects of our kingdom know that Gabriele of Turmstadt, for the reason that she has gravely and soberly served our realm and on acco unt of the common counsel of many upright men, is hereby confirmed as a member of our ancient and honorable Orden des Lindquistringes, which we do upon the 20th anniversary of the founding of our kingdom, in the year of the Society 48. We further decree that no per son, small or great, may presume to constrain the same Gabriele in the displaying of the signs of the said order without the consent or permission of herself. By our hands witnessed:

That same evening, I sketched out the lines and did the calligraphy, only to find (after about two hours), that I still needed 2 1/3 lines of text. But my fingers were beginning to hurt, so I called it a day. Jun. 15 we went to Karlsruhe to go art-store shopping, so completing the text and calligraphing the rest of it had to wait until Jun. 16.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lindquistringes for Steven Llanymynech


The illuminated letter, based on Codex S 318, was done by Lady Apollonia Grü.nenzwig. The text was composed Jun. 14. It is based on the Golden Bull of Emperor Charles IV from 1356 and reads:

Sven the Fifth and Siobhan the Second, by the right of arms king and queen of the Drachenwalders, always august, and Emperors of Frank mark; as a perpetual memorial of this matter. Inasmuch as we, through the office by which we possess the regnal dignity, are bound to put for ward and elevate those amongst our subjects who are worthy of renown: Now in our solemn court at Burg Ludwigstein, in session with our princes and barons, and amid a numerous multitude of other dukes, counts, magnates, nobles and citizens; after mature deliberation, from the fullness of our regnal power; sitting on the thrones of our regnal majesty, adorned with the regnal bands, insignia and diadem; in the year of our Society 48, on the 20th anniversary of the founding of our kingdom: We de cree by the present regnal and ever valid edict that Steven Llanymynech is now made a member of our Orden des Lindquistringes. We decree further that all princes holding fiefs from our hands who shall re fuse to give witness of this doing, shall, by the act itself, incur such pun ishment as we see fit to inflict on each person according to his rank.

Gwen, still sick, took an epic nap, so I was able to calligraph the scroll the same day, in one sitting, in about 2.5 hours.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Panache for Robyn of Rye


I received the assignment 21 May, and very quickly chose my exemplar, Harley 2748 f. 3. It reminds me of fireworks! All fired up (hah) with inspiration, I drew out the margins/framing and some of the border that same evening. May 28 I finished sketching the framework of the illumination, and inked it. May 29 I really finished sketching the illumination, and painted all the red, green, and brown, and part of the blue. May 30 I completed painting the blue, and painted the gold, black, and grey, and did all the gilding. Shiny!! And then, since Gwen has having an epic nap, I did all the whitework too.

Other 20 Year preparation kept me busy for awhile, until Jun. 11 when I composed the text, which is based loosely on the creation of the Duchy of Austria and reads:

Et haec sunt verba Torualdi regis et Tove regine Drachenwaldenses. Although the awarding of arms may remain valid from the actual act of performing such award, and those things which are lawfully possessed can not be wrested away by any act of force: it is, however, the duty of our regnal authority to re- affirm such stature by the enrollment of nobles in our ancient and hon- orable companies so that there can be no doubt of the transaction. Be it known, therefore, to the present age and to future generations, that we have, in the general court of Frankmark which was held on the 20th anniversary of the founding of our kingdom, in the presence of our princes and barons have advanced the name and standard of Lady Robyn of Rye, and it has been done in this way: that she henceforth be admitted into the number and company of the Order of the Panache: for the rest, in order that this our regnal decree may, for all ages, remain valid and unshaken, we have ordered the present charter to be written and have signed it with the signs of our hands.

The plan for Jun. 12 had been to draw out the lines for the calligraphy and hopefully do all of it, but instead I spent most of the day nursing a wee sick poor little baby; I got about 1/3 of the calligraphy done. Jun. 13, Gwen took a long enough nap that I was able to complete the rest. Whee!

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Menu cards for Drachenwald 20 Year

menu card

menu card

menu card

The head cook for Drachenwald's 20 Year Celebration wanted hand-made menu cards for the attending royalty. I did one in German and two in English, calligraphed over the course of a couple evenings in early June.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Friday, March 29, 2013

AoA for Aaron von Turmstadt


The text was written Mar. 20, and on Mar. 21, I settled on using Codex Claustroneoburgensis 7 as my inspiration (the first initial A; the initial D; the second initial A; the beastie at the end). Unfortunately, it had no T's, so I had to rejigger the text a bit.

The text reads:

Alle true and noble people thise pre sent lettres seing or hering know the will of Tofa and Thorvaldr quene and kinge of alle the land of Drachenwald. It is soo that many persons been moeved of noble and gentile courage to exercise virtuous condiciones by the whiche they shall come to the perfeccion of grete honour and be rewarded for their merits by renown and that they may be in all places of great honour perpetually shinyng before others by certeyn signes and shows of honour and gentility. That is to say of blazon, helmet and crest in order that by their ensaumple others may the more endea- vor perseveringly to spend their days in feats of arms and other uirtuous deeds so as to attain renown of auncient gentility in their name, line and posteri- ty. Of which persones oone in espe- cial whos name is Aaron, of the Canton of Turmstadt, who has long borne himself valiantly in all his af fairs and conducted himself honourably so that he has deserved well and is well worthy that henceforth perpetually and for ever more he and his post- erity may be in all places honour- ably admitted, renowned, counted, numbered and received among the number and in the company of other and diverse ancient gentle and noble lords. And for the remembrance of this his gentility we hereby charge the said Aaron to devise suit- able and unique signs and markings, that is to say blazon helmet and crest, the blazon of which he is to register with the College of Arms to have and to hold alone and solely hence- forth and forevermore. In witness whereof we the abovenamed quene and kyng have caused the present charter to be drawn up which we haue signed be- low with owre owne hands, and geven in the said Canton of Turmstadt, on the xx day of Aprille in the year of the society xlvij, more commonly reckoned as mmxiij.

This is basically the same text I used here.

On Mar. 21 I also screwed up my courage and did something I have never done before: gilded! The result is very shiny, and this far outweighs any infelicities in technique. Shiny, shiny, shiny.... I started the calligraphy next, and of course Titivillus struck with a really egregious word omission. I hope I can fix the formatting in the second column to accommodate. Mar. 23 I did more calligraphy. Mar. 24 I did more calligraphy. There's lots of calligraphy. I took break after awhile, and painted in the majiscules on the first column, and some of the base coats of the first capital. And then I did more calligraphy. Then Gwen woke up. Mar. 25 I did...more calligraphy! I finished it, and then treated myself to painting in the rest of the majiscules. Mar. 26 I got to gild some more! I sketched in the second two initials and the grotesque, painted in the base colors, and then gilded. (Unlike Ari, I didn't have any problem with the gold sticking to the paint.) I had to take a break for a few days to do a new assignment for Crown, but was able to finish it up on Mar. 29.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Panache for Mylla O'Reilly


It is always such a pleasure when you get an assignment not only for a friend, but for someone you recommended! (The "suggested scribe" section on the DW award recommendation certainly helps this.) I received the assignment 10 days before the event, but functionally only 5, since I'm headed to Lisbon the Tuesday before Crown. I wanted something really special, but didn't have time to do something big, so I decided -- simple initial with gold leaf (loving my new gilding skills), and do it on sheep vellum. Yum!

Mar. 27 I picked the exemplar, Codex S 1399, fol. 133v, influenced by fol. 105v, too. and chose the text, which reads:

By Torvaldr and Tofa, the king and queen right worthy and well-beloved, to all the dukes, counts, barons, lords, and gentles of Drachenwald, greetings and salutations. Let it be known that we have not only by the testi- mony of many worthy and credible gentles but also by our own witness been informed, adver- tised, and acquainted with many reports of the skills in diverse arts and sciences, most especi- ally sewing, displayed by our subject Lady Mylla O'Reilly, and by her generosity and gifts of larg- esse. In recognition of this and all her numerous and manifest virtues we the above-named king and queen make the said Mylla a mem- ber of our ancient and honourable Order of the Panache, with all the rights, responsibili- ties, and privileges appertaining thereto, in- cluding the right to bear the badge of the order. So that none may lawfully contest this our will we have signed our names below on the vith day of apr. xlvii.

On that day I also started sketching the layout. Mar. 28 I drew in the rest of the lines and pencilled in the border, and did half the calligraphy. I completed the calligraphy Mar. 29, did the painted capitals and details in the text. Then Gwen went down for her afternoon nap, and I started in the rest: ALL the gilding; the base colors in the initial; then the decision to do the rest of the bordure with pen and ink, since I don't think I could get the gold paint to look right; and then the whitework, and about 1 minute after I finished the whitework, and about two hours after she went to sleep, I heard little noises from the bedroom. Perfect timing!

I'm very happy with this one, thrilled that in two days I was able to do justice to my exemplar and do such a neat little scroll for a friend.

For fun, compare with the Queen's Order of Courtesy I did for Saraswati, from the same MS.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

AoA for Rayne Archer of Annan


The scroll was done over the course of a week. On Mar. 5, I chose the exemplar, Codex Admontensis 58, fol. 87, and made all the changes to the Latin that I needed to personalize this for the submitter. I'm getting pretty good at Latin blazons, thanks to Introductio Ad Latinam Blasoniam, which Ursula pointed me to last week. I also sketched out the layout and the lines. On Mar. 6, I painted the initial. I knew there was no way I could recreate that pale yellow, so I decided not to try and substituted a pale green instead. I think the result still works. On Mar. 7, I started the calligraphy, getting through the end of the second sentence; unfortunately, I'd planned to curve the text around the D as it was in the exemplar, but since I didn't draw my lines that way, I forgot when I started the calligraphy, so they lines line up straight. It's time consuming having to look up the abbreviations to confirm my memory, but the result just looks so much better. Unabbreviated Latin just looks wrong. After I completed that day's calligraphy, I realized I had way more text than space, and so decided to fix this by putting the arms front and center, maybe adding another initial, and putting a gloss of the Latin text in in English. So Mar. 8, I sketched in the blank shield as a space saver, and then completed the Latin calligraphy (with impeccable line filling, if I say so myself). Since I then needed a second "D" from the same MS, I picked this one from fol. 6r, and then calligraphed the English. Mar. 10, I painted the arms, the crown, the final initial, and put dots around the capitals to match parts of the MS, and the results I'm quite happy with. I had expected this one to be rather plain, per my initial conception, but instead it's got lots of neat little bits.

The text is the standard Latin AoA scroll text for Caid, modified to correct the grammar ("Societas" is not a 1st declension feminine, people!) and reads:

Declara omnibus generosibus et nobilibus: Nos Sueno et Kolfinna, Rex et Regina Caidis salutamus. Optime placebamur per officia quae nostra civis nominatur Regina Sagittaria de Annan praestabat nostro regno donamus ei donum insignium armigerorum. Posthac habebit ium solum propriumque prae se ferre super scutum argentum, ii sagittae virides inversae in saltatario, inter iiij guttams azureas, in hac nostra Societate. Pro symbolo hujusque doni potest exhibare coronam auri cum spiculis iiij super scuto, ad diem xvii januarii Anno Domini ccix qui est xliii Anno Societatis Testare cujus Nos hic nostrum manum et signum ponimus.

I used abbreviations every single place I could, taking them primarily from Cappelli, though I paid no attention whatsoever to temporal consistency and blithely mixed centuries.

And here's the English gloss:

Declare to all nobles: We, Sven and Kolfinna, King and Queen of Caid, give you gree ting. Well pleased by the ser vice that Our subject, Rayne Archer of Annan by name, hath rendered unto Our Realm, We bestow upon her an Award of Arms. She shall henceforth have the sole right to bear the arms depicted above in this Our Society. As token of this award, she may display a gold crown above her shield, as of this xviii day of January, a.s. xlii.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, March 4, 2013

AoA for Ysabel d'Outre-mer

I learned recently that Caid has a huge scroll back-log, so I volunteered to help out. Unlike when I was working on the Drachenwald backlog, though, I'm going to limit my angst about re-using text, and instead focus on simple, elegant designs with a practiced text that I know roughly how much space it takes. No one will hold it against me if I repeat my wordings.

mellicensis 353Ysabel

The exemplar is Codex Mellicensis 353 (977), fol. 339. The text reads:

Gerhardt and Una, King and Queen of Caid, to the dukes, counts, earls, barons, and nobles of the realm: Greetings. By these presents let all know that following the will of our people and by our own wish and desire, and further more in recognition of the deeds she has done and the service she has rendered unto us, we are minded to elevate Ysabel d'Outre-mer to the rank of lady and award to her the sole and unique right to bear the arms Or, a cross fleury gules and on a chief vert, a crescent argent, which is depicted more plainly below, for her and her alone to bear in perpetuity. Done the xxv day of May, anno societatis xxxviii. in witness whereof we have signed our names below.

On the first day, Mar 2, I composed the text, chose the exemplar, sketched it out, lined the scroll, and sketched the arms. On the second day, Mar 3, I painted the base colors on the initial and the arms, and did the gold and white work on the initial. While I was mixing the brown for the initial, I complained to Ari about how difficult mixing brown is, and she pointed out that the original was probably entirely gold, and the dots tooling. Oh. In that case, I won't worry so much about mixing the brown to match the shade exactly. Oh well! I still think this looks cool as orange-blue-brown, though I'm sure orange-blue-gold would've been sharp. I did the calligraphy on Mar 4. Unfortunately, as I sat down to get started, I found that my favorite nib had bent, so I had to use a different one, and I struggled to get even flow the entire text. And then I smudged the gold paint on the crown, grrr. But then: then I did the detail work on the orange part of the G, and I am so, so happy with it. If you had told me three years ago, even a year or two ago, that I'd be able to paint something that has this leafy, three-D, shaded effect, I wouldn't have believed you. I'm still not sure I believe me. Go and check the exemplar and compare! So in the end, I'm pretty happy with this one!

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Three blanks for Caid

My original idea for a contribution to Drachenwald's gift basket to Caid at Gulf Wars didn't materialize, but I wanted to send something, so I decided that blanks are always welcome -- especially to a kingdom that does almost all of their scrolls on commission because they have such a backlog.

The first was based on BL MS Harley 3769, fol. 2. Unfortunately, the original was much neater than my rendition, though I'm not entirely sure where the blame is to lie.

blank   Harley 3769

I picked the initial, sketched the outline, and painted the skeleton (blue and red) on 26 Feb, and did all the flourishes Feb. 27.

The second was based on BL MS Harley 4903, fol. 153v.

blank   Harley 4903

I picked the initial, sketched it, and painted the blue and the pink and orange inside the O on Feb. 27. The gold, white work, and black work were done 28 Feb. I like this one. As I did it, I was thinking that I'd like to do it again on a much smaller scale, about half the size, and maybe with real gold, instead of paint. Well, the real gold will have to wait until it is acquired, but I had some more free time Thursday night and so decided to do a smaller-scale version of a similar initial, from fol. 93:

blank   Harley 4903

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hospitallers of Albion for Haldan Skjoldklifr

Haldan Harley 2621

The exemplar is BL MS Harley 2621 f. 1. The text reads:

Hearken now how we, Thorvaldr and Tofa, send halsings (1) to the most Honourable Haldan, hewer of shields, most handy and helpful is he, for we have been happily housed within his homelike and habitable herbergerie (2) and hospitality. His horn of plenty hath made our sojourn neither half-holiday nor hardship, his hearth is always hot, he has in all happenings kept us neither hamed (3) nor harmed nor hamperned. A hearty haven has he provided handling all our health, habitually and hendly (4), and before we hie ourselves homeward, with high happiness we hallow him with the honor of the Hospitalers of Albion such that henceforth and hereafterwards he shall always be hight a high-standing member of their company. Here we mark the date: xv.iii.xlvii. Here we set our hands:

124 words, of which 52 begin with "H". Unfortunately, I chose both the wrong nib and the wrong line-spacing, and thus the calligraphy is nothing to write home about. However, I'm relatively happy with the overall result. The color of the scan is also rather wonky, but I haven't figured out how to correct for this yet.


  1. MED s.v. halsing(e): (2) 'greeting, salutation'.
  2. MED s.v. herbergerie: (a) 'A temporary lodging place; also, the tents or camp of an army in the field'’.
  3. MED s.v. hamed: 'restrained, hampered'.
  4. MED s.v. hendeli: (2)(a) 'humbly, meekly'; (b) 'beautifully, pleasantly'; (c) 'quickly, sharply'

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Three blanks for Aarnimetsa

Next group of three to be finished in my blanks for regions project are three penwork initials for Aarnimetsä:

Blank 1Blank 2Blank 3
Arundel 325Burney 212Harley 666
BL MS Arundel 325 fol. 36BL MS Burney 212, fol. 14BL MS Harley 666, fol. 30

All three took about 1 hour a piece, and they were done Feb. 19, 20, and 21. I'm happiest with the first; the second has foliate fill which I'm bad at, but think turned out OK; the third I was actually quite unhappy with midway through but I think in the end it turned out OK, despite the, again, foliate fill that I don't like.

I picked the exemplars by flipping through my collection of printouts of puzzle initials from the BL, and found that I hadn't noted the citation for the "C". This isn't the only printout I have where I don't have a citation, so I decided once and for all to fix this, by going through all the hits in the BL simple search for "puzzle initial" and then indexing them. The index is available here: An Index of Puzzle Initials in the British Library Online.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Three scroll blanks for ID

After I completed my 30 day challenge, I had an idea for my next one, but there was something I wanted to do in between.

Over the last 2.5 years as signet and then as Queen, I have benefited tremendously from the generous and amazing scribes of this kingdom, particularly in the supply of blanks, since I have always been a better calligrapher than illuminator, with the result that I have used far more blanks than I have produced -- especially in the last 6 months when Paul and I were laggardly in arranging our court lists!

So in return and as thanks and some small recompense, I decided to produce a set of three blanks each for the signets of Drachenwald, ID, Nordmark, Aarnimetsä, and also for my new home, Knights Crossing. They won't be flashy, they won't be fancy, but I hope they will be pretty and I hope they will be useful. The plan is to do each set of three in a matching style, but hopefully pick very different styles for each of the five.

For ID, I picked borders from the Manesse Codex. Here are the three:

Based on 13rBased on 158rBased on 120v

I used a different shade of blue in each one in an attempt to match the one in the MS. The final choice I think was the best.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.