Saturday, July 27, 2013

Noblesse Largesse 2013: The Fan!

So I was involved in another Noblesse Largesse Exchange.  I can't tell you how much I enjoy the idea of creating something for someone else's persona.  I  havent gotten my pressie yet but i am eagerly awaiting it.

Now I must preface this with the fact that this was a research swap, where documentation was required.  Having never truly researched anything with any detail before I was a little intimidated.  As I knew nothing about Italy with the exception of it's gorgeous illuminated texts, I began where a scribe always begins...with the paintings. 

I found three distinct portrait paintings or woodcuts featuring women with elaborately decorated flag fans.  And in later research (though I cannot now find where this came from) I came across this quote from Crudities.  " These fannes both men and women of the country doe carry to coole themselves withall in the time of heate, by the often fanning of their faces. Most of them are very elegant and pretty things. For whereas the fanne consisteth of a painted peece of paper and a wooden handle; the paper which is fastened into the top is on both sides most curiously adorned with excellent pictures, either of amorous things tending to dalliance, having some witty Italian verses or fine emblemes written under them; or of some notable Italian City with a briefe description thereof added there unto."

The first, and my primary inspiration was a piece called Portrait of a Lady in White , painted in Venice by Tiziano Vecellio who was also called Titian.  I wanted a portrait in which the fan was featured, merely to ease my mind to the fact that they were used in period if only for decoration.

The second piece was Giacomo Franco's Habiti delle donne venetiane (Costumes of Venetian Women, picture 2)  and is dated to 1550-1620.  This one clearly showed the paintings and detailed paintings on the surface of the fan that were refrerenced by Crudities. 

The third and final piece of inspiration, came from Hans Weigels Habitus Praecipuorum Populorum...das ist Trachtenbuch (The Trachtenbuch Illistrations, picture 3) circa 1577, Plate 118 and is entitled a Venetian Dogaressa.

The extant pieces that I could find had an astonishing variety of mediums they were created in, from a woven thread creation in the Bayerische National Museum, to intricately cut parchment and vegetable fibre that was then hardened most likely with fish glue like those in the Marselleti collection in Venice.

I decided that I would do a combination of the styles, giving me the change to illuminate 2 pieces of parchment and glue them together atop a sheet of lacecut perg to mimic the style found in the Habiti delle donne venetiane.  Now, ideally this would have been done with thread but my skills do not allow such things, so I cut the lacework instead. The illuminations themselves are from the Bible of Borso D'Este, Italy 1470 which is one of the most beautiful manuscripts i've ever had the pleasure of working from.  The wording upon the one side reads A servioso del Sogno (In service to the Dream).  This side also includes the Arms of Calontir and the Laurel wreath. Her own personal arms form the centerpoint of the other side's Illumination   This I would then glue (with modern glue because fish glue=stinky) between two carved halfdowels that I had stained and coated with sealant, finished with a beaded knob at the bottom.  In the pictures the top of the fan has a beaded knob as well.  I changed that at the last possible minute to an o screw with a pearl dangle later on when I decided I didn't like how it looked.  The O screw will allow the recipient to hang whatever it is that she wants from the top of her fan.

 The first sketch:
The In Between Stages:
The final Illuminations:  

The Finished Product: 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Purple Fret for Lorelai

So, I decided somewhat late in the game to go to Midrealm Crown Tourney as it was just across the border in Indiana and would only take me  45 minutes to drive there.  I was bored, so I sent a message to the Constellation Signet that the Midlands had a bored scribe and that she could un-bored me with a scroll assignment if she had extra.  She had extra, and unknowingly gave me Lorelai's purple fret.

Queue the girlish squeal of delight for, there is NOTHING i like better than to personalize a scroll for someone that I know and consider a friend. 

The text is as follows:  Based upon the Grant of arms to Christopher Brown, 1480

Lucien by the grace of god king of all the Midrealm, bright son of the dragon and likewise, Catarina our queen to all unto whom these letters come, peace, love and greetings.  Reason ordains men virtuous and of noble courage be rewarded for their merits by renown, and that not only their persons in this mortal life so brief and transitory but, after them those who shall issue of their bodies in posterity may be in all places of great honour perpetually shining brightly before others. But not only by common renown, also by report and witness of other nobles worthy of credence that truly advertize and certify that Lorelei Skye is a lady.  She has brought upon herself great fame with princely voice and shrewd use of word but also for a concert at our Great War aptly named "For The Dream". She has always been the voice behind the curtain, showing all her dedication to the performing arts. By virtue of the authority and power granted and attributed to the office of sovereign We devise, ordain and assign to Lorelai the rank and title of the purple fret to have and to invest for herself forever. Accompanying this rank is the right to bear the badge of the order as assigned by the royal college of heralds Or: A fret purpure. Therefore in witness of the honor she has so justly earned we the aforementioned Lucien and Catarina have signed with our hand and sealed with our seal these letters. Given on the 26th day of May in the year of grace 48.

The original was Codex Michaelburanus Folio 240 124v  a codex from the 15th ce that I found at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library.  From the same book they have a blue initial G, and it is from there that the  coloration for the B in this scroll comes, I didn't want to do the pink because my blue shading is just that much better . One day I need to work on that, but in the time I had for this scroll i decided not to practice it, for fear of messing it up.
Instead of angel victorious, Lorelai sits at her instrument, with the angelic muse merely hovering above her.