Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blank Lindquistringes

MS Burney 355 f.1

At Kingdom University their majesties asked for some blank Lindquistringes scrolls. I don't normally like doing blanks, but since I was specifically asked by the king and queen, I said I would. I'd hoped to complete two before seeing them the next weekend, but only got one done, and it's one that I feel is very sloppy. (You need long arms for it to pass the "arm's reach" test). But it wasn't quite bad enough to scrap and throw away. It's just mediocre. It was done on two days, Nov. 17 and Nov. 19.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pelican for Robert of Canterbury

The beautiful illumination was done by Lady Trinite Ducalon (April Koenig), based on a grant by Elizabeth I. The calligraphy was done the day of the event; it took me about 2.5 hours. I knew in advance roughly how much space I had, and had printed out a text to work from. About 1/3 of the way through, I could tell I had way more text than I had space, and so had to correspondingly reduce things. The text is based on grants of arms at, those of John Aleyn 1454, John Alfrey 1459/60, and William Gough 1481.

The scan doesn't show completely the full scroll; there is another 5cm or so of blank space below the signature, for the addition of wax seals, which the recipient has said he intends to do.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AoA for Ulrich von Vielburgen


This is the first scroll to come out of my Visconti Hours project. I'd drawn out the bordure in advance, and then when I got the scroll assignment on a Tuesday for an event the following Saturday, I spent two nights painting in the border and doing the calligraphy (it would've taken just one night had I not gotten side-tracked adding the vermillion penwork to the border). I'm really happy with how this one turned out.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

AoA for Menno Suhrbeyer zu Hamburg


The border is based on Paris Bibliotheque Nationale, Ms. lat. 10525, fol. 9v, a Parisian psalter dating to around 1270, reproduced as plate 26 of Pächt, Buchmalerei des Mittelalters. I'd picked the border thinking it was going to be relatively easy and straightforward, and then spent two and a half months pulling it out of the box, looking at it, going "augh! I don't know where to start", and putting it back. The calligraphy was done August 10; the initial drawn and painted, and the border drawn and inked on Oct. 29th, the background of the border painted on the 30th, and the vines, leaves, and whitework painted on the 31st. In the end it turned out nicely (until I dropped a splash of water on the calligraphy and it bled! Ugh!), though it only looks nice when it's not next to my exemplar, which looks much better.

I was originally going to use this initial, but when I actually sat down to do the initial, I'd forgotten that I'd picked this one out, and so did a different one, oh well.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

AoA for Aldred of Alcazar

Aldred BL Burney 320, f. 2

I finally had success with penwork!! I figured out the trick: I need to have a design I can copy almost completely, with very little modification. This page is from British Library MS Burnery 320, f.2. The letter is actually a 'Q', but I moved the tail over a bit and called it a 'G'.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

AoA for Alvar di Castilforte

Alvar Codex Admontensis 139, f.48v

A back-log AoA I calligraphed during a calligraphy workshop I was running; the initial was one of the ones that I did for a friend a few months previously. Nothing terribly flashing, but not too bad either.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

AoA for Dominyk Reinhardt von Hamburg (Dominicus Reinhardi)


Grants of arms (or diplomas of nobility) in German contexts date from the mid 14th-century. According to John M. Jeep, Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia, the earliest German grant of arms was given by Ludwig of Bavaria in 1338. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any further information about this grant.

The design is based on this image:


which according to is a grant of nobility to Seyfrieda von Rotha in 1464, from the chancellery/chancery of czar/emperor(?) Frederick III (possibly the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III). Though from a Polish context, the text appears to be written in German. Unfortunately, again I couldn't find any further info on the contents of the text.

I tried to find any source that gave a text, either in the original Latin or German or in translation into English, of a medieval German grant of arms or diploma of nobility, and failed. The text I used is based on a translation of the charter establishing the Duchy of Austria, Sept. 17, 1156, modified to be appropriate to granting arms to an individual, rather than the creation of a duchy. The text reads:

Gerhardt, by favor of right of arms King of Drachenwald, Prince of Insulae Draconis, and Lord of the Southern Reaches, and Judith, fair queen and consort: Although the right to arms may remain valid from the actual act of performing such awarding, and those things which are lawfully possessed cannot be wrested away by any act of force: it is, however, the duty of our regnal authority to provide witness to the transaction lest there be any doubt. Be it known therefore, to the present age and to future generations of our subjects, that we have, in the general court of Adamestor which was held on the Saturday after All Saints Day, in the year of the Society four-four, in the presence of members of our noble orders and by the counsel and judgment of all our subjects, made clear our intention to award unto Dominyk Reinhardt von Hamburg arms. Moroever, since by this act we wish that the honour and glory of our most beloved subject may seem in all ways to be increased, we charge the said Dominyk with designing suitable and unique arms that he shall register with the College of Arms. We decree, further, that no person, small or great, may presume upon the said Dominyk's right to bear these arms without the consent or permission of the said Dominyk. For the rest, in order that this, our imperial decree, may, for all ages, remain valid and unshaken, we have ordered the present charter to be written and to be signed with our own hands.

The silhouette for the coat of arms is based on the achievements found in the Bruderschaftsbuch des jülich-bergischen Hubertusordens, BSB Cod.icon. 318, dating to around 1500 (though the cute little hat comes from Anton Tirol's Wappenbuch, BSB-Hss Cod.icon. 310, dating to the end of the 15th C--1540.):

Huberts OrdenAnton Tirol

The scroll took two days to complete, Oct. 20, and 21.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

AoA for Mael Duin mac Rogellaig

Mael Duin exemplar

The image is based on Mark 15:20-24, Book of Kells (Codex Cennannensis) fol. 183, late 8th or early 9th C, reproduced in James Johnson Sweeney, Vroeg-christelijke miniaturen in ierland, Amsterdam: J.M. Meulenhoff.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Silver Guard for Paul son of Brian

Silver Guard for Pol son of Brian


This was a last-minute assignment (a week before the event), and so I whipped it out of one of the initials I already had. But I got to put in a nice Latin text, so I think it came out OK. However, I'm not sure if it got to their majesties before they left for the event, since the first notice I got that the award was granted was in January coronation, and I'm not entirely sure whether this scroll was given out for it or not (since I wasn't at the event). In any case, it's no surprise if I post it now.

Here's the text:

Paulo filio Briani, salutatem, gratiam, et benedictionem, Gerhardus et Judita rex et regina Drachenwaldenses. Agnitionis tui virtutis militiaeque, offerimus ideo tibi admissionem in nostris ordonis argenti vigilis, qui confert jus ostendere insigne ordonis, armilla argentum facta draconis cum gladio. Datum apud Eplaheimr, xvii Octobris, xliv anno societatis.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Silver Guard for Risteard Ruadh mac Leoid

Risteard MS340

The design is based on fol. 8v of Doui, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 340, dated to 1175, reproduced on p. 75 of Smeyers, Flemish Miniatures.

The grid and black lettering was done almost immediately after the design was drawn out (June 30), but then this sat in my box for a few months while I considered how to do the rest of it. Then I did the outline (Sept. 15), painted it (Sept. 17), and then did the painted text on Sept. 19 and 23. There's a couple of errors in the text, and the spacing didn't work out quite how I wanted, and my guy looks funny compared to the original guy, but it's still pretty good.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thank you cards

Some thank-you cards

Thank You

Thank You

Thank You

Three more thank-you cards, done with penwork initials over the course of Sept. 10, 15, and 19.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thank you card

Thank You

This is a thank-you card that I made to give to my supervisor upon the (hopefully) successful defense of my Ph.D., since he's been a tremendous supervisor these last four years. This was my third attempt at penwork initials; the first was a practice "T" I did before Raglan, the second was the "T" I do for Alaric's ID company of merit in arts & sciences scroll, which was done by memory of the one I'd done for practice, and then I did this one. So the "T" was copied from an actual exemplar (though different from the one I'd used for the other two), but the "Y" was completely made up. You just don't find that many capital "Y"s in medieval manuscripts.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

AoA for Bjorn fari Kvedulfson


The illumination was done by Amal binti Hamid. The text reads:

Now hear the will of Gerhardt and Judith, king and queen of Drachenwald. Many are the reports that we have heard of the good conduct and loyal service of our subject Biorn fari Kveldulfson. We therefore create the said Biorn a lord and award him such arms as he shall register with the College of Arms. Done the 22nd of August, a.s. 44, at Raglan Castle in Mynydd Gwyn.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Company of Merit for Artisans and Scholars for Alaric of Bangor


The text was done by Genevieve la flechiere. I did the initial and the flourishes.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Silver Guard for Alaric of Bangor


The illumination was done by Ylandra. The text reads:

Gerhardt et Judith, King et Queen of Drachenwald by these words we create Alaric of Bangor a member of the Order of the Silver Guard. Done the xxiith day of August anno societatis xliv in Mynydd Gwyn.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lindquistringes for Chiara de'Danielli


The illumination was done by Amal binti Hamid. The text reads:

All shall know who read or hear these words of the deeds of Chiara de'Danielli, loyal subject of the crown of Drachenwald. Long has the said Chiara served us, and so it is the will of Gerhardt and Judith, king and queen of Drachenwald that she be made a member of the Orden des Lindquistringes, with all the rights and responsibilities attendant thereto, including the right to bear the badge of the order, a ring formed of a wingless dragon or maintaining a gem gules. Done on August xxi, in the year of the society xliv.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Silver Guard for Dafydd Gwynfardd


The illumination was done by Amal binti Hamid. The text reads:

By these letters let all know that We, Gerhardt and Judith, king and queen of the glorious kingdom of Drachenwald had heard the testimony of many reliable men and women and have witnessed for ourselves the skill and prowess at arms and also the honour and chivalry of our loyal subject Dafydd Gwynfardd. Our kingdom is made strong and kept safe by these deeds ofthose like the said Dafydd and it is the pleasure and the privilege of the crown to reocgnize those who have served the kingdom in this fashion. And so we make Dafydd a member of our Order of the Silver Guard, with all the rights and responsibilities appertaining thereto, including the right to bear the badge of the order. Done the 21st day of August, anno societatis 44.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lindquistringes for Ursula Sturludottir

Lindquistringes for Ursula Sturludóttir


The text, done in artificial uncial, translates as:

By reason of her service to the lands of Insula Draconis we Gerhardt and Judith king and queen of Drachenwald invite Ursula Sturludottir into our Orden des Lindquistringes. Done August 22, a.s. xliv.

The calligraphy was done on Juuly 24, before I went to Pennsic, and then the border was drawn and inked on August 12 and 16. The border was way more headache than I expected. I'd picked what I thought was a relatively easy exemplar (fol. 191v of The Book of Durrow, which is reproduced in various places; I was working from plate 7 of Nordenfalk, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Painting), but spent a number of evenings trying to copy the bottom border, both by sight, with a grid, and then with a different grid method, and failing each time. I finally gave up and went with a simple dot + grid knotwork border, which I knew I could do but which I also knew didn't look as nice as the original I was trying to copy. I'd gotten the outlines of the bottom border all inked out one evening...and then it smudged. That was just the final straw, I had to put the entire thing away for a few days before I could even stomach to look at it to see if it could be fixed.

It could be, and was, fixed, but this is still nowhere near as good as I'd hoped, and definitely not one of my favorites. But I think the calligraphy turned out beautifully.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Panache for Elenore of Lyonesse

ElenorePML MS374

The design is based on fol. 135 of Pierpont Morgan Library MS 374, a missal dating to before 1431, reproduced on p. 233 of Smeyers, Flemish Miniatures.

I'd been wanting to draw one of those complicated floral borders for awhile, but most of them are very dense and detailed. When I found this image, which is bright and colorful but relatively sparse, I was excited about trying it. I drew out the lay-out on Jul. 24, inked and painted the border, did the calligraphy, and added the gold on Jul. 25, and then did the whitework on Jul. 26.

The text reads:

Due commendations and greetings to the princes, barons, and lords of Drachenwald from Prothall and Cecilia your king and queen. By these presents let all known that for her noteworthy skill and knowledge of sundry and diverse arts and sciences we create Elenore of Lyonesse a companion of our Order of the Panache with all rights and responsibilities attendant thereto including the right to bear the badge of the order, issuant to chief from a torteau charged with a bezant pierced sable three feathers gules, or, and sable.

Done the 6th day of March, a.s. 33, and in witness whereof we have set our hands.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

AoA for Nadiana Stjarnulf


This was just the calligraphy for an an AoA that was gorgeously illuminated by Racaire.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

AoAs for Walter von Are and Elysant Walters

When I got the assignment to do the AoAs for my friends Walter and Elisande, I was so excited that I sat down and started working immediately. From start to finish, this took me about 8 or 9 hours. Walter's is on the left, Elisande's on the right. I left the two together, rather than separating them into two individual pieces, because I figured it might be helpful to have them as one for framing purposes, and if not, then they can cut them.

Walter & Elisande

Since they're a couple, I wanted to do two that looked like an obvious pair. They are modelled on fols. 74v and 75 of a Book of Hours from Thérouanne, ca. 1300, reproduced on p. 133 of Smeyers, Flemish Miniatures:

p. 133

The original is 9x13cm; I tried to keep similar measurements. I had to omit some of the neater bits (like the jousting monkeys and the man with the sword) in order to have space for the signatures and seals, and since I still haven't found exactly the right nib for doing gothic hands at this scale, I had to substitute a different hand. But I really like the way the birds turned out! My first time doing animate creatures in the borders.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Panache for Beatrice de Tisbury

Panache for Beatrice de Tisbury


The initial is one of the four that I made for Elisande's book project, based on Codex Admonstensis 139.

The text reads:

By these words let all know that it is the will of Gerhart and Aurelia, king and queen of Drachenwald, that our subject Beatrice of Tisbury be commended for her skills and knowledge in the arts and sciences, and so we create the said Beatrice a member of our Order of the Panache with all rights and responsibilities attendant thereto, including the right to bear the badge of the order as depicted below. Done this vi day of April, a.s. xxvi, which is ddii in the common reckoning, and in witness whereof we have set our hands.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Panache + AoA for Fleinn Ragnarsson


This was completed in three stages. It was drawn out and painted on Mar. 29, and then half of the calligraphy on Apr. 9; I had problems with the vermillion and the sepia bleeding in to each other and so I quit in frustration and it took me a good while to have the desire to try to finish it. I completed the calligraphy, fixing up some of the bleeding a little, and did the whitework on Jul. 5.

The image is based on fol 92v of Oxford Bodleian Library MS. Canon. Liturg. 251, end of the 14th C, which is reproduced on p. 201 of Maurits Smeyers, Flemish Miniatures.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

PCSs for Tonis vom Ahrgebirge and Isabeau de Brionne

This is a pair of PCS scrolls for a couple who are leaving Drachenwald for the second time. I wanted to make a set that looked like they were part of a pair, but still made sense individually.

for Tönis vom Ahrgebirgefor Isabeau de Brionne

This was my first attempt at any sort of realistic artwork (e.g., landscapes, people). The couple is moving to Meridies, so I have them each in their own boat sailing from Drachenwald on the right to Meridies on the left. Each boat has two flags, the badge of the Popular Company of Sojourners, and the individual's personal arms. On the right is the Drachenwald ensign and on the left is Meridies's flag. The people ended up being too small to do any details other than eyes on their faces. I hope they don't look too weird.

The design/composition is a mish-mash of various elements. The hand is based on a 15th C copy of Margery Kempe's autobiography, plate 7 of Kelliher & Brown, English Literary Manuscripts (the autobiography itself dates from the 14th C, and I didn't realize until after I'd done the wording that the specific copy I was looking at wasn't. Otherwise, at least all the elements would've been from the same century). The ships are based on ships found on f7r of the Le roman de Joseph d'Arimathie ou le Roman de l'Estoire du Graal, early 14th C, plate 52 of Western European Illuminated Manuscripts. The border is based on ff68v of the Taymouth Hours (c.1325-40), plate 47 of Harthan, Books of Hours.

There's always a point in working on a scroll where I look at it and think "there is no way this is going to turn out". For these, it was after I'd done the wording, the water, grass, ships, and the red and blue in the borders and the capitals. Luckily, even when I look at something half-way finished in horror, I have enough perspective to realize that once the gold, whitework, and black border lines are added, it will suddenly look much, much better. Knowing that, I took a break after reaching that stage, leaving the finishing details for another day, and then, while cleaning everything up, promptly dropped a bottle of ink whose cap was not screwed on tight and spilled about half of it. Amazingly, the mess didn't damage anything, but even so, I took it as a sign that I'd reached a good stopping point and shouldn't attempt to push my luck until another day! The scroll was done Jun. 27, 28, and Jul. 4.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Queen's Tea invitations

The Queen of Drachenwald is hosting a Queen's Tea at Pennsic 2009, for which she needed invitations to all the queens in the Known World that would be in attendance. I did 10, and Lady Genevieve did 7. When I met up with Trinite en route from the International Medieval Congress in Leeds to Störtebeker's Sons in Two Seas, she introduced me to pen work and we added flourishes to the invitations I'd done.

Queen of the Outlands
Queen of Calontir
Queen of Gleann Abhann
Queen of the Middle
Queen of the West
Queen of Northshield
Queen of the East
Queen of Lochac
Queen of Trimaris
Queen of Meridies

Since the text was the same, once I did one copy and got settled into the hand, the rest went really quickly -- by the time I reached the end, it took more time to tick and rule the guidelines than it did to do the lettering itself!

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

PCS for Margarite the Magpie

A Hiberno-Saxon style PCS. The initial was done by someone else (I don't know); Trinite had it in her pile of scroll-blanks and I saw it and said "ooh, let me!" I really enjoy the Celtic/Anglo-Saxon style illumination, and haven't had enough opportunities to do it yet. The choice of hand and the gold and black letters with red dots at the top were inspired by plate 5 of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Painting, by Carl Nordenfalk, fol. 86 of the Book of Darrow, The Beginning of the Gospel of Saint Mark.


Unfortunately, I made two lettering mistakes -- I started writing "gree..." instead of "gentles", and I spelled "kingdom", "kingdmo". I did my best to write the right letters over and then scrape out the wrong ink, but you can still tell that I screwed up (and how). Oh well. Mistakes are period.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.