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.