Information for Royalty

Unto the Royalty...
It is now the responsibility of either the granting royalty or award recipient to arrange for a scribe to produce a scroll. If You plan to give a scroll with an award, please do Your best to contact a Scribe as soon as possible. We understand that You may not have much lead time, but please understand that the Artisans need time to produce the quality of work You and the recipient deserve. For help finding a Scrivener and/or Limner, either use the "Contact the Company", or contact your Principality Warden.

Information for Scriveners & Limners

General Guidelines for Standard Scroll Creation...
    Definition of a Scroll
  1. A scroll is any record documenting the actions of the Crown or Coronet in bestowing an award. Traditional scrolls are typically constructed of paper/vellum/pergamenata with painting/illumination and calligraphy materials.
  2. Alternative Scrolls may be constructed "alternative" materials (i.e. stone, leather, wood, etc.) and often utilize traditional decoration methods.
  3. In some cases, scrolls may, but are not required to, also document the results of the heraldic registration process.

  4. Scroll Assignment
  5. It is the obligation of either the granting Royalty or Award Recipient to arrange for a scroll to be produced.
  6. This arrangement is between the two parties as individuals, and may include money or barter in exchange for a Scriveners and/or Limners services.

  7. Suggested Content
  8. The West Kingdom Company of Scriveners & Limners does not require content to be included in a scroll, however the Royalty signing the scroll may. Scriveners & Limners are encouraged to work with the Royalty prior to a scroll's production to ensure the Royalty will sign the finished product.
  9. As a guideline, it is useful, but not required, to include the following information:
  10. i. The names of the granting Royalty;
  11. ii. The Realm of the granting Royalty;
  12. iii. The name of the Recipient;
  13. iv. The award being given;
  14. v. The names of the granting Royalty;
  15. vi. The date of the award;
  16. vii. Space for Royal signatures;
  17. viii. Space for a Royal seal.

  18. Armigerous Awards
      Additionally, if the Recipient would like their Arms on the scroll, it may also include:
  19. a. The registered blazon and/or emblazon;
  20. b. Space for a Herald's seal and signature.

  21. If you plan to seek a Herald's signature, Scriveners & Limners are encouraged to work with the appropriate Herald to ensure the final product will be acceptable for signature.
      Principality of Oertha ~ Stellanordica Herald
      Principality of Cynagua ~ Sable Swan Herald
      Principality of the Mists ~ Seawolf Herald
      Vesper Herald ~ Kingdom of the West

Developing a Signum Manuale

The emblem, sometimes called the Signum or Signum Manuale, was the Notary's personal mark, and was intended to be distinct of every other notary. Creating your own emblem is fairly simple...
Notaries played an important role in Medieval Europe. The medieval office of the Notary grew out of the Imperial Roman office. During the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the great medieval states, the office survived largely in Italy and Spain, where Roman influence had been strongest. In northern Europe, Notaries enjoyed a brief revival under Charlemagne (and his beautiful bureaucracy) but didn't really make a comeback until the twelfth century. Throughout their usage, Notaries were appointed by either royal or apostolic courts, typically after some sort of examination to ensure they had the appropriate qualifications. More information on Notaries in England can be found in the article "Notaries Public in England in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries" by Patrick Zutshi. A Notary's attestation and emblem on a document served to proclaim the correctness and veracity of a given document.

The attestation typically followed this form:
"And I William de Somerdeby, clerk, by the authority of the Holy See, aforesaid public notary, being actually present, have written and published the aforesaid appeal and placed my accustomed sign upon it, being asked to do so." (from an Appeal to the Holy See of 1281 in the collection of Rob Schäfer.)

In the SCA, an attestation might take the following form: "And I, Cynehild Cynesigesdohtor, clerk, by the authority of the West Kingdom Company of Scriveners & Limners, have written the aforesaid Award of Arms and, knowing that it is true and correct, placed my accustomed sign upon it, being asked to do so."

The emblem, sometimes called the signum or signum manuale, was the Notary's personal mark, and was intended to be distinct of every other notary. Creating your own emblem is fairly simple.
    First ~ Review some existing emblems to determine what an emblem typically looked like.
    Second ~ As with your personal arms, consider what drawing your emblem will be like in the real world. You will want a fairly simple emblem that you can replicate with a variety of pens.
    Third ~ Draw up a few draft emblems. Some elements to consider adding include: a stepped base, a cross, a square or diamond, dots, little spiky things coming off the sides, etc. Refine the draft until it is both easy to draw and pleasing to the eye.
    Congratulations!... You've made a thing! Go forth and insert/draw your personal attestation/emblem onto your finished document-style scroll.

Ten Commandments for Scriveners

Calligraphers...
    On the Making of Good Scrolls unto Thyself
      I. Thou shalt not bear false witness
      Work from period sources, not Walt Disney or Warner Brothers. Use medieval scripts – study them to understand the idiosyncrasies of the script, such as letter, word and line spacing, slant, pen angle, etc. Your personality will still show through (it IS your handwriting, after all!) but the goal should be a recreation of a medieval style. The hunt is half the fun, so take the time to do some research and try to achieve an authentic medieval look.
      II. Thou shalt use quality materials.
      Your aim should be for your work to last as long as the sources by which you’re inspired. This means using acid free paper, light fast ink, and quality paints.
      III. Thou shalt honor the Crown and Coronet.
      Keep in mind the purpose of the scroll: you are documenting the words of the Crown or Coronet. Be sure to leave room (and a prominent place) for what makes the work an official document: royalty signatures, royal and heraldic seals, and the official emblazon, if included in the award. That said, while you need to honor the tradition and meaning of the award, you may (with the Chancellor's permission) make slight modifications to the text - a great chance to personalize a scroll in a creative way!
      IV. Thou shalt honor thy illuminator’s style.
      Where possible, consult with the illuminator to match the font with the art in culture and time period. If it is not possible to do so, then use a simple textura quadrata, the “little black dress” of medieval calligraphy – it can be dressed up or down by the illuminator.
      V. Thou shalt not covet thy illuminator’s space.
      Leave lots of room for illumination and a wide matting border. And don’t crowd lines or letters together such that it makes the text a dense area; There should be a balance between the white space in the text and the white space in the rest of the page.VI. Thou shalt not steal the show.
      The purpose of the scroll is to communicate a message about the recipient, not show off the calligraphy. It’s a stage prop, not the play itself, so keep it readable by avoiding an overabundance of decoration. Flourishes, cadels, rubrication and other embellishments are beautiful, but should always fit the overall style of the finished piece – refer to Commandments I and IV.
      VII. Thou shalt not split words or important phrases.
      Yes, splitting words was quite period, but so was debtor’s prison. Text s
      imply doesn’t read as w
      ell when you split w
      ords.
      Think “certificate” when planning, and spend some time playing with the layout and spacing – it’s ok to leave a whole line for the name and/or blazon, if that makes a difference.
      VIII. Thou shalt proofread thy work.
      Everyone makes mistakes – wouldn’t you rather find yours before someone else spends hours illuminating it? AND before the recipient points it out?
      IX. Thou shalt not make an unclean image. Make sure to clean up your work – touch up rough edges and erase pencil marks, if they are not actually part of the medieval design. If you’re working on material that can be scraped, remove errors where possible.
      X. Thou shalt honor thy commitments.
      Or reworded, don’t make commitments you can’t honor. It’s ok to say “no” to too many assignments, and you’ll be happier if your workload isn’t breaking your back. Don’t be afraid to return an assignment that’s been hanging in your personal backlog for too long: there will always be another scroll to do, once you’ve finished what’s on your plate!

Ten Commandments For Limners

Illuminators...
    On the Making of Good Scrolls unto Thyself
    I. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

    Work from period sources, not Walt Disney or Warner Brothers. Use medieval artistic styles – study them to understand the idiosyncrasies of the colors, compositions, drawing techniques, etc. Your personality will still show through (it IS your art, after all!) but the goal should be a recreation of a medieval style. The hunt is half the fun, so take the time to do some research and try to achieve an authentic medieval look.
    II. Thou shalt use quality materials.
    Your aim should be for your work to last as long as the sources by which you’re inspired. This means using acid free paper, light fast ink, and quality paints.
    III. Thou shalt honor the Crown and Coronet.
    Keep in mind the purpose of the scroll: you are documenting the words of the Crown or Coronet. Be sure to leave room (and a prominent place) for what makes the work an official document: royalty signatures, royal and heraldic seals, and the official emblazon, if included in the award.
    IV. Thou shalt honor thy calligrapher’s contribution.
    Where possible, consult with the calligrapher to make sure their script matches with your art in culture and time period. This will also help ensure that the calligraphy matches your expectations, as well: if you need the text contained to a certain area, or spaces left for painted capitals, be explicit!
    V. Thou shalt not burden thy recipient’s purse.
    Work with a size and format that includes a generous matting border but still lends itself to framing “off the shelf”, unless you’ve consulted with the recipient first. The more reasonable the framing costs, the less likely your art will live forever in a cardboard sleeve instead of proudly gracing the wall of someone’s home.
    VI. Thou shalt not steal the show.
    The purpose of the scroll is to communicate a message about the recipient, not show off the art. Make sure the name and device are central features, not hidden away. A good rule of thumb: the painted device should be at least as wide as the Royal seal (2½ - 3 inches).
    VII. Thou shalt not lick thy brush.
    Neither place it in thy mouth. And make sure you have sufficient ventilation in your work area as well. Many paints contain components that are toxic when ingested or inhaled. Look for signal words on the label: Caution, Warning, Danger, and Poison. These signal words indicate the level of hazard (caution is the least hazardous compared to poison which is highly toxic). Remember to store paints out of reach of children and pets.
    VIII. Thou shalt proofread thy calligrapher’s work.
    Everyone makes mistakes – wouldn’t you rather find yours before someone else does? Make sure the emblazon (picture) matches the blazon (words): if necessary, consult a herald before painting – the herald will be checking your work anyway, and wouldn’t you rather know about a mistake before you’ve finished everything else?
    IX. Thou shalt not make an unclean image.
    Make sure to clean up your work – touch up rough edges and erase pencil marks, if they are not actually part of the medieval design. If you’re working on material that can be scraped, remove errors where possible.
    X. Thou shalt honor thy commitments.
    Or reworded, don’t make commitments you can’t honor. It’s ok to say “no” to too many assignments, and you’ll be happier if your workload isn’t breaking your back. Don’t be afraid to return an assignment that’s been hanging in your personal backlog for too long: there will always be another scroll to do, once you’ve finished what’s on your plate!


© 2018 West Kingdom Company of Scrivners & Limners.