Every once in a while a scribe gets randomly assigned to do a scroll for a dear friend. This was the case when I was assigned Philipp’s Bronze Ring Scroll about a year ago when I lived in the Middle Kingdom. With the addition of the Masters of Defence, The Bronze Ring is now the Mid-Level rapier award in the Middle Kingdom. At the time it was the highest rapier award. I was given the assignment. Being a friend of mine I set out learn if Philipp was going to be at the event it was originally assigned for. He was not. So, I let the Kingdom Signet know and what event he would be at. That moved up the completion due date a lot.
Court documents are not done the same in every kingdom in the SCA. So we should have a quick discussion of Inter-Kingdom Anthropology focusing on the Midrealm court scroll requirements.
In the Middle Kingdom all scroll are original pieces made from scratch by the scribe. This allows the scribe a lot of leeway for design and for the “legal” wording on the scroll. In the Middle Kingdom using the exact same wording every time is not required as there are many ways to say the same thing. According to the Middle Kingdom Scribal Handbook in Chapter 4 the required things (and examples) are:
“1) Address (Opening) (Be it known that…)
2) Intitulation (who it is from) (. . .we, (name), King of the Middle Kingdom and(name) our Queen…)
3) Notification and Exposition (Why it is being given) (…having heard much praise of (name), especially in..)
4) Disposition (What we are giving to whom) (…are pleased to bestow…)
5) Corroboration and date (When and where) (Done by our hand…)”
The reasoning for this is laid out in the two paragraphs preceding the five things a scroll needs to cover:
“Most scrolls are composed of the same set of key phrases arranged in different ways. Each of the phrases has a variety of equivalent versions. Many of these are listed in this section. Phrases may be interchanged
to suit your style, your favorite capital letter, the recipient’s persona, or the amount of space required.
Medieval scrolls also followed a set pattern. They were composed of several parts which varied in content and degree of usage according to the rank of the grantor, the chancery in which they were produced, and
the time period. Many of these parts are present in the typical Midrealm scroll.”
This kind of leeway really let me as the scribe to create a one of kind scroll tailored to the recipient, in this case a very good friend of mine.
First I worked out wording and the design. Then I got out a practice sheet and for the final piece I used blank sheet of 11″ X 14″ (27.94 cm X 35.56 cm) Bristol board with a “vellum” finish. I determined I was going to leave the lines in as was common in most SCA period documents.
I wanted to keep it to a minimalist design but still be really cool. So I hit upon the idea of using a graphic from a German sword fighting manual. I found the image printed it out and traced it onto the scroll using a lead/tin pencil/stylus.
The lead/tin stylus is a completely period tool for scribes and craftsman. We see in “Il Libro dell’Arte” by Cennino D’Andrea Cennini translated by D.V. Thompson in chapter IX
“How You May Draw with a Leaden Style
You may also draw, without any bone, on this parchment with a style of lead; that is, a style made of two parts lead and one part tin, well beaten with a hammer. “
After tracing in the image I drew in the lines for the scroll as well. I decided to use the Batarde script as it would compliment the time period and design I intended. I used Iron Gall Ink and for the rubricated words I used brazilwood red ink. I made both inks.
Wording used including the five required areas:
Pay heed and do listen! Know that we Cadogan and AnnMarie King and Queen of the Midrealm, right mindful of the superior skill, leadership, and exemplary service rendered unto the Rapier Legions of Our kingdom by our subject Philipp Reimer von Wolfenbüttel do herewith recognize him as a Companion of our Company of the Bronze Ring. We grant unto him all rights and responsibilities attendant upon this rank, and the right to bear the badge of the award: Gules, two rapiers in saltire argent within an annulet Or; without let or hindrance from any person. Given by our hands this 22 day of November A.S. 49 in our Shire of Wurmwald at our Royal University of the Midrealm.
Philip is a really great guy and a dedicated fencer. I’m not the only one to think so. In the Middle Kingdom there is a favor that is given out by vote by the fencers for the fencer that most epitomizes what it means to be a fencer known as Thorbjorn’s Favor. A full description of the favor can be found here.
It is always a pleasure and an honor to do work for the Crown. Even more so when you know and respect the person who will be receiving it from the Crown. I look forward to doing scribal work in Ansteorra where I have recently moved to. I am almost to the point where I feel I would be able to do the work to the proper level of focus and skill.