Illumination and the Scribal Arts

The SCA has a tradition of the giving of illuminated manuscripts for their awards. (The Middle Kingdom - Midrealm provides a scroll with each award bestowed by the Crown.) Examples of these produced by the hand of Baroness Alianor bat Asriel (known as Lady Aliyah) and The Honorable Lady SaehildR barngodR are below:

In the Medieval period and areas the SCA covers, reading and writing was a skill learned by few. The professions with the most readers and writers were the priests and their counterparts the nuns. The next largest group was the scribes, from which the college of heralds came. Many of the nobility did have some training as it was wise for a noble to know what was written especially in treaties or contracts. The scribes and nobles got their training from the priests.

The limits on the learning to read and write were totally dependent on the free time you would have. Those who were "tithed" to the church as children, had the time to learn to read and write as it was necessary to properly learn and study the Bible, the letters and writings of the church fathers, as well as the writings of your founder and leaders of your order. This was needed by the priests to properly administer the mass and other sacraments. The nobilities' ability to read and write is evidenced by the correspondence we use as research today into the lives of the medieval time period, and by the Psalter and Book of Hours . This was a book that allowed the laymen to read the Psalm for the day and pray the appropriate prayers at the proper times of the day for meditation, penance, protection from evil, safety while traveling, blessing on their work, etc.

It is the Psalter and Book of Hours, copies of the Bible, Haggadahs and marriage contracts that give us our best examples of Illumination today. Those from the 1300s and later are what have survived today, as parchment, vellum and paper do not keep well. Only items of great personal value would be taken care of in a manner to preserve them, and these items are in that realm of importance. Marriage contracts are great examples as they reflect the period and area they were written in illumination style. There are surviving examples of these found back to 500 B.C. There are many non-sacred illuminated manuscripts dating from later time periods as these survived the ravages of time. An example I have seen is a textbook for doctors showing which herbs to use for different ailments when leeching does not work (the medieval equivalent of take two aspirin and call me in the morning.)

An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniature illustrations. In the strictest definition of the term, an illuminated manuscript only refers to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver. Most illuminations use the basic colors of heraldry - red, green, yellow/gold, blue, silver/white and black.

Calligraphy today is using traditional/contemporary alphabets or manuscripts to generate a work of letter art for an important document. Altho there are computer alphabets that replicate the traditional alphabets, these are generally done by hand. There are many books and articles online about the manuscripts for different time periods and cultures.

The tradition of using illumination and hand written documents continues today in special documents such as in the forms of wedding and event invitations, font design/ typography, original hand-lettered logo design, religious art, various announcements/ graphic design/ commissioned calligraphic art, cut stone inscriptions and memorial documents. (See http://www.saintjohnsbible.org/ for a modern illuminated hand written Bible in process.) The SCA continues this tradition in the use of illuminated manuscripts for their awards. (The Middle Kingdom - Midrealm provides a scroll with each award bestowed by the Crown. Examples of these are below organzied by award done by the hand of our resident scribes.)

For links to other illumination/scribal resources, vist our Illumination page.

The Marriage Contract of Áindle and Aliyah
The Marriage Contract of Sarah Marie and Jonathan
The Marriage Contract of Rachel and Steve
The Marriage Contract of Emily and Arik

Illuminated Award Scrolls done by Baroness Alianor bat Asriel (known as Lady Aliyah):

Baroness Alianor bat Asriel has produced over 200 scrolls. To prevent long load times, you may select a category, then click to open the scrolls she produced for that set of awards. Click on an award image for a larger image of the scroll.

To see all of her scrolls in the order they were created, her blank scrolls for "battle scribing", and her additional A & S projects - visit Aliyah's Online Portfolio of the Arts & Sciences.
An example of her commissions shown on that website:

Award of the Lamb for Barony of Cynnabar

The Cova Serving Tray/Scroll
Royal University of the Midream staff
Four Walls Banner/Scroll
I Verdi Confusi Banner/Scroll
Roaring Wastrels Banner/Scroll
Donnershafen Novice Team at Golden Seamstress
Sir Denewulf Naakonson
Dame Honor VonAzinger
Order of the Royal Vanguard
Jahan Ara bint ai-Yehya amat al-Hafeeza
Ghadah Falak Noor bint Safi Abdu-llah
Viscountess Ísgerðr Gulkárr
Royal Augmentation -
Duke EikBrandr Solgyafi
Royal Augmentation - green midrealm dragon holding scroll
Madelana Tavalozza
Royal Augmentation - Top Hat

Ourf LeBrefson
Aisling the Fey
lord John of Altenberg
Einar of Cynnabar
John of Altenberg

Lord Angus Robertson
Lady Alice of Dun Traigh
Lady Ysoria Flecher
Lord Thomas Gordan
Lord Snorri of Outremer
Lady Siri Toivosdotter
Lady Sioban MacAodagain
Lord Sebastian Kunbar von Dreihugel
Lord Eadroed of Al Forde
Lady Morgan Rees of Huntingdon
Lord Johannes of Cynnabar
Lady Aurianna Kystwright
Lord Francoise le Boucher
Lady Jadwiga Krzyznowska
Lady Elisot of Vanished Woods
Lord Culin fitzSimmons of Outremer
Lord Callum Raursach MacLeoid
Lord Tyr the Hound
Lady Ulfarna Kjellen
Lord Canyden
Lord Gandalfer
Lord Jacob MacAndrew
Lord Adlar Warmheer of Start Leaf Gate
Lady Astridr Jarnhar
Lord Logan McArthur
Lord Alexander Drache
Lady Revekka bat Solomon
Armiger Maeva Jarnhar
Armiger Innocent
Lady Manon of IronWolf

Lord Galen O Conaill
Lord Josef ben Ami
Lady Keaghan the Swift
Lord Morgan End Starre
Lord Morgan End Starre Box top
Lord Morgan End Starre Box interior with Scroll
Lord Aalis De La Mer
Lord Harkin of the Moorlands
Lord Alvero de Silva
Lord Alonso del Mana Negro
Lord Thomas Throckmorton
Lord Jaun Diego de Belmonte
Lady Michaela Botticelli
Sir Osric Eisenwulf (AS 39)
Sargeant Salany bean Hillie
Sargeant Colette DeValois
Bearden Of Andelcrag
Lady Derverguillia Graham
Lord Yaacov ben haRav Elieser

Lady Alianora Gyllecatan
Lord Schwartz Wilhelm Von Eisenburg Auf Odra
Lord Bouchard de Bec
Lord Alexander Drache
Lord Aelfwine de Pyttel
Lord Ulfr Hrafnkelson
Lady Thea de Hes
Lady Amyon of Cynnabar
Lady Morgan Wynn de Bird
Lord Lughaidh Albanach
Lord Holckhart Faust
Lady Ceara Mhuirzhease Fhaolain
Lord Thibaut Pomeroy de Machaut
Lord Jean LeBref
Lady Bianca Catacouzene
Lady Yesenda of Andelcrag
Lord Kyell Smidr
Lord Flynn McDonald
Lady Tangwystyl verch Gruffydd of Ealdnordwuda
Lord Piotr Arslan Danilow
Lord Horatio Archer
Lord Geillis MacAlpin
Forester Erevon Fitzgerald
Master Maximilian der Zauberer
Lord Jao Veludo Alfonso d Albuquerque (aka Velvet)
Lady Ranvæig Orraärmr Eskilskona
Lady Ulfarna Kjella
The Honorable SaehildR barngodR
Lord Lambert de Penrith
Lord Seitz Kirbrich
Thegn Edward Aelredson
Lord Grey Oddson
Baron Óláfr Ígulbjarnarson
Lady Gwynnyd Of York
Lady Hildeborg Gunnarsdottir
laria Degli Atttauante
Sadb Dannchada, Baroness of Roaring Wastes
Louis Toffreir, Baron of Roaring Wastes
Lady Oswin Elderkin

Lady Chayah Simcha bat Yonch
Lord Jean LeBref
Lord Ottar Finsson
Lord Ragimond Heimvale
Lady Miriam bat Pessah
Lady Shoshanna MacKilbaine
Lord Thorfin Solvarson
Lord Ivarr of Altenberg
Baroness Sadb Ingen Niell
Lady Soffeke Stoterogghem
Lady Siri Toivosdotter
Lady Merlyn Dreu Brynzwn
Baroness Una Uilebaine
Lady Damiana Isabel Cardona
Lady Aeffe
Lord Aaron Drummond
Lady Katerin ferch Gwenllian
Lady Helena Falkenstein
Lady Damiana Isabel Cardona (Replacement)
Lady Cassandra of Cynnabar
Order of the Willow
Baron Ivar Volfrkr
Lady Kathryn de Waytar

Baroness Briana Morgan of the Valley
Baroness Camilla de la Reynarde
The Honorable Lord Jack Black
Warder Azriel la Fey
Warder Josef Ben Ami
The Honorable Lady Merraede of Brightmore
The Honorable Lady Angélique de La Rochelle
The Honorable Lord Ragimond Heimuale
The Honorable Lady Jorum Aragunnrsdottir
Mistriss Jervisa Wainwright (AS 35)
Forester Kestral Altara Von Barton
Forester Isak Darkcraft
Forester Edward Aelredson of Denby

The Honorable Lady Antonia Lavinia Maria di Toscano
The Honorable Lady Ceara inghean Muirgheasa Fhaolain
Baroness Grazia Geralda Louisa de Navarra
The Honorable Lady Ursula Mortimer
The Honorable Lady Kair Of Auburn
The Honorable Lady Kestral Altra von Barton
The Honorable Lady Sara Hasenkamp
The Honorable The Honorable Lady Odelia of White Waters
Asslah Al-Hina
Ragna Ulfsdottir

Baroness Felicie Debbage
Baroness Elena McPherson
Baron Gilchrist MacPherson
Baron Nigellus le Haie
Mistress Grazia Geralds Louisa Navarra
Baroness Mirabai Sitt a-Sirr
Baroness Gedryn of Ironwolf
Baroness Gunhilda eir Filippini
Baroness Thonasette de Harfluer
Baroness Marina of Donnershafen
Baroness Meg McLachlan
Baron Marcus Von Westphal
Baroness Sabra of Darkyard
Baron Óláfr Ígulbjarnarson

Master Midair MacCormaic
Dame Gwenllyen the Minstrel
Click on image to see whole Music Box
Close up of front - It is written by the Hand of Ullr and AnneLyse Jahan Ara bint al-Yehya amat al-Hafeeza made Pelican May 7, AS 57
Jahan Ara bint al-Yehya amat al-Hafeeza al-Shyka
Orn Askelsson

Done by The Honorable Lady SaehildR barngodR

Lord Pidge of Rimsholt
Award of Arms
Lord Tamsin
Award of Arms
Lady Gredechen Lopsengen
Award of Arms
Lord Rayvarg
Award of Arms
Lady Endlin
Award of the Purple Fret
Award of the Baton
The Honorable Lady Aine OConnill
Order of the Dragon's Heart (Calligraphy by Aliyah)
Anna De Canal Silver Acorn
Beth of Cynnabar Purple Fret
Leonardo Voltara Dragon's Treasure
Bella Roisin OCoilleain Silver Oak
Thorbjorn Thomason Award of Arms
Purple Elephant's Daughter
Learner Page School
(Calligraphy by Aliyah)
Paxino Voltara
Intermediate Page School
(Calligraphy by Aliyah)
Leonardo Voltara
Journeyman Page School
(Calligraphy by Aliyah)