I got the honor to do a Master of Defence scroll for Anna von Urwald and I started with trying to find a inspiration from a manuscript that seemed fitting. I did Annas scroll for the Order of the Dragon´s steel 3 years ago I tried to find a manuscript that differed from the manuscript that was used as inspiration back then. The choice feel upon some folios from “Astrologische Handschrift für König Wenzel IV. von Böhmen” from the 14th century.
This type of scroll recquires a longer text and I also wanted it to be diffrent from previous scroll. Luckily I am apprentice to Mistress Lia, who´s excellent with words! She helped me compose the text, thank you so much for the help!
To all to whom these letters come hearing or seeing, from the most dread majesties of the lands of the black dragon Drachenwald, Siridean Šah and Jahanara Bambišn send greetings. In witness before our Heirs, dukes and duchess, counts and contessas, viscounts and viscountessas, barons and baronesses, masters and mistresses, lords and ladys of our court, mindful of the wishes of our Peers, and having witnessed ourselves the prowess that Countess Anna von Urwald are having all the qualities, traits, habits and manners of a Peer. Therefore to We award, grant and bestow upon Our well beloved subject countess Anna von Urwald a companionship of the Order of defence.
She behaves, carries and comports herself in ways which are an inspiration and instruction to all our people. With her tireless dedication to the practice of fencing as well as the presentation and beauty of her fellow combatants on the field. Having already taken students and dependants we charge her to continue as she has done until now, and as a master of defence train, instruct and teach dependants in order to strengthen our kingdom and the knowledge of the fine arts of defence and so do We invest, create and endow the said Anna as a Mistress of Defence, with all privileges, liberties, honors, and appurtenances attaching thereto, and instruct that she shall bear the same as freely, tranquilly, fully, wholly, honorably, well and in peace, without impediment, revocation or obstacle whatsoever, as any Peer of the Realm. In witness where of We have set Our Hand this day in October at Autumn Crown Tournament in the Canton of Poukka in Aarnimetsää AS 52
I used steel nibs and bought ink to do the calligrapy with.
Now it was time to do the gilding. I wanted to try to make gesso for raised gildning after Cenninis “Il libro dell’arte”, the gesso ended up to be not as good as needed so I decided to do the raised gesso-experimenting another time and make flat gilding instead. For my flat gilding I use a gesso made of water, gum arabic, sugar and a tiny amount of pigment. I was taught how to do this type of gesso by Mistress Bridget Greywolf some years ago and I like it very much.
To make the illumination I used colours that I made from pigment and shellgold that I made from “left over” gold and some gold leaves (my first try on making shellgold). I will write more about the gesso and shellgold making in another post.
I decided to try and finish piece by piece and started with the D, I used two folios and combined different elements from them to get the final result on the letter and the portraits.
By doing piece by piece I could vary my work and mix layering, shadow- and white work and painting with shellgold. This way none of the phases get´s boring.
When the illumination was done I realized that I had messed up some of the gilding and when trying to fix it the gold leaves also got stuck on the shellgold. This made the shellgold really shiny so I ended up adding gold to all the shellgold details.
I ended up with being very satisfied with the scroll.
The finished scroll
I´ll end this post with a picture of the Dragon´s steel I made for Anna 3 years ago, it makes me happy to see that I made some progress. Both in my calligraphy and illumination but also with what kind if material I use for scrollmaking.