Now this was a fun assignment! I was given the 2018 Thrown Weapon Champion Scroll assignments that were awarded at Panteria that year. I was excited to have an assignment that had fewer restrictions and I could go a bit wild with. I decided that I wanted to make them in the style of the personas of the royals: King Brennan and Queen Caoilfhionn and that year they were wearing a lot of Byzantine. I asked some laurels I knew how much should I put of the royals into these scrolls and I was advised that it should not be designed like a scroll that is given to the royals but I can use aspects of them in the scroll.
So, I found this Manuscript called the T’oros Roslin Gospels (specifically Folios 5v and 6r) that was created in Armenia 1262 CE. It was perfect for the style that I was imagining, with a place to put miniatures of the king and queen and beautiful designs around the outside. I just fell in love with the manuscript.
When I created each piece, I tweaked the design to have the king in the center of one and the queen in the center of the other and crossed axes over the top (for thrown weapons) with the king or queen insignia at the cross. I tried to match the calligraphy to the original manuscript and the hand that I worked with was a lot of fun. I really like how the crosses of the e’s angle out.
Finally, the words were written by Lord Nicol in the style of a Byzantine document to match the style I was going for. I really love when a piece’s illumination, calligraphy, and words all match so seamlessly.
However, the very best part was that when the royals went to sign the scrolls, apparently they were blown away and loved the little miniatures of themselves. I heard rumors that they wanted to steal the scrolls instead of giving them out! What a compliment! Because of that, I decided to make a stepping down gift for them where I did the illumination again with a few alterations and framed the pieces for them. They seemed very grateful for the gifts.
Materials: gold gilding, gouache, bristol paper, iron gall ink (by Ian the Green)
Source: T’oros Roslin Gospels
Words by Lord Nicol mac Donnchaidh