One of the first people I ever met in the SCA was given her Calon Lily this weekend for embroidery, and lucky me, I was given the privilege to not only write her scroll text, but also do the calligraphy and illumination.
Countess Elspeth has a Scots persona, and so I used a framework consisting of the brieve-charters of King David I of Scotland, who is the same time period and location as Elspeth. Quite a few were written in Latin (which is not a language I know well), but a few had been translated, so I could use the ideas as presented in them and modify them for SCA use. After all, Grants and Patents of Arms in period were legal documents granting to the recipient things ranging from arms to a peerage.
In this case, Elspeth is fantastic with her skills with thread and needle, and was granted her Calon Lily (Grant of Arms – Arts, Calontir), so sheep, wool, and a mention of a church (which is where I first met her for a shire moot eleven years ago).
King Ashir exercising the royal authority and power, with the assent and consent of Ashland the Queen, his wife, to the dukes, duchesses, earls, countesses, barons, etc., announces that he has granted in perpetuity to one such Countess Elspeth of Stonehaven her entrance into the Order of the Calon Lily, and all responsibilities, rights, and privileges of said Order. He also grants to the same Countess use of the badge of this order, to wit: Per pale purpure and Or, a fleur-de-lys within a bordure counterchanged. Also granted to the same Countess a full toft for her use in embroidering fine cloth, beside the church in the shire of Lost Moor. He orders that 1/10th of 1/10th of the tax on wool gathered in the Shire of Lost Moor shall be granted to her for the upkeep of this toft. In addition Ashir grants the ploughgate of land from the desmesne neighbouring Stonehaven with three tofts and thirty acres of moor, fifteen acres on one side of the vill and fifteen on the other, and a croft of meadow surrounded by an old ditch of which the raising of sheep may occur.
The inspiration for her scroll was a manuscript, which up until recently was thought to be English but is now thought to be Scots. I used a Carolingian minuscule on the bulk of the text, and the capitals were done in the same style. I am quite fond of the large INs that are sprinkled throughout – they give a lot of great visual difference.
On the whole, it’s a simple scroll. One illuminated capital (which keys off of her heraldry with a unicorn and a dog), and a simple rendering of her with one of her pugs. I used the tiniest amount of Holbein gold pearl (best gold gouache on the market in my opinion) for rendering her coronet and adding a bit for the background on the illuminated capital. The other capital letters are Liquitex’s Ink! in red. (you will want to clean the dickens out of your nibs after using it. It is an acrylic ink and can rust the nibs, but this transparent red is such a beautifully pigmented colour.)
I hear that she is quite pleased with her scroll, and I am so glad she is. Congrats, Elspeth!