Thursday, September 15, 2016

Silver Martlet for Constanza of Thamesreach


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:



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:




© 2016, Sara L. Uckelman.

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