Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Monty Pythonesque rendition of my arms

The image here isn't the finished one; I have a photo of the finished version (which has a few more curliques), but haven't gotten it up onto the computer yet.

my arms

Not the best scan: the purple isn't so dark, and the pink isn't so orange, or so bright. This is based on two images from LF133-v of the Visconti Hours. The first time I saw these, I knew I had to do something with them. They're so Monty-Python-esque!

exemplar oneexemplar two

Here are the docs I put together; this was my first entry into an A&S competition. It took me two days to complete this, Nov. 24 and 25.

Design: The design is based on LF133v of the Visconti Hours (Italy, 15th century) [1; see figures 1 and 2]. I substituted my own arms, "Purpure, a bordure ermine", registered 01/1999 via the Middle, for the Visconti arms, and simplified the flower from which the arm issues because my drawing skills are still pretty minimal.

I was unable to find any examples of ermine spots in Italian armory, so I modeled my ermine spots on ones found in a contemporary (late 15th century) English manuscript, the Edward IV roll [2, part 2; see figure 3].

Choice of colors: According to Pastoureau [3, pp. 101-2], until the beginning of the 15th century the heraldic tincture purpure was an indistinct color between grey and brown, and only in the 15th century did it start being drawn more like what we call purple today. I tried my best to mimic a color which is somewhat between indistinct grey/brown and modern purple.

Material: The paper is Canson watercolor paper, 200g/m2. The paint is Plakkatverf gouache. Both were recommended to me by the scribes on the kingdom scribal mailing list as being suitable for beginners (which I very much am!).


[1] Meiss, Millard, The Visconti Hours, National Library, Florence (George Braziller, 1972).

[2] Blanchard, Laura, Edward IV Roll, electronic edition (WWW: Library of Philadelphia),

[2] Blanchard, Laura, Edward IV Roll, electronic edition (WWW: Library of Philadelphia),

[3] Pastoureau, Michel, Heraldry: An Introduction to a Noble Tradition (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1997).

Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3.

© 2007, Sara L. Uckelman.