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unnecessary. I can only assume that the pen is being used in a completely
different way, with small amounts of ink on the tip being spread across
the paper, rather than the ink being very gradually fed by the slit to
the tip of the pen. By the first method I could only get a few letters
without redipping, whereas with slitted pens you get ten to twenty or more
words from a drop of ink loaded into the pen by a paintbrush. This seems
practical evidence that they did use pens with slits (I'm certain they
didn't write a few letters at a time) but there is also instructions for
making a slit in the pen in several medieval artists handbooks (sorry,
refs not handy, but could be acquired) and illuminations of scribes that
clearly show pens with slits in them.
The problem I had with the slit was that putting pressure on the pen for
writing would make the two sections of the tip part slightly, opening
the slit and stopping the flow of ink (it works by osmosis). Using the
pen upside down over came this but wasn't a satisfactory solution - you
don't get such nice writing (although it's still better than lots of
calligraphy fountain pens). The solution of this problem was three-fold
1. The use of a stiffer quill (see above) which doesn't open under
2. The use of a very fine blade (see above) to get a very fine and even
3. Cutting the slit shorter and the nib into a more square shape
than the shape of modern steel nibs, which also counteracts the tendency
of the sides to part.
As I mention above, having this sort of pen work requires a very
straight edge, because the ink is drawn onto the width of the tip of the
nib by osmosis when the tip is flat against the paper, so any
irregularites will disturb the flow of ink (yes you do need smooth sorts
of paper but I assume that's what you use). It can be a frustrating
buisness try to trim a nib into shape (and once you've used it a while
it needs retrimming) but the results are WONDERFUL as anyone who has
tried a good nib will know.
I hope these observations will be useful to other scribes: and I would
certainly be interested in hearing how others have fared in their
experiments with quill pens. And I would advise any calligraphers to try
it some time - there are calligraphic strokes in medieval scripts that
you just _can't do_ with a modern pen, but they flow beautifully from a
quill! I'm just sorry this medium doesn't permit me to demonstrate :-)
Caitlin de Courcy.
23 Jan 92
PTH 1:109/401.0 at FidoNet
From: henwe at sssab.se (Henric Weyde)
Organization: Scandinavian System Support AB
FREE THE SCRIBES
Greetings unto the good people on the Rialto,
My humble suggestion:
The Gutenberg printing was introduced in the 15th century. i know for
certain that by 1470 absolution letters were preprinted forms where
only the place, date, time, name and price was left out to be filled in
(What a pity this invention was made for every administration in this
world to follow without any restain).
So, make or find an appropriate original, get hold of an old type handmade
paper and use a modern type of photocopier.
If you want a paper to achieve the appearance of a parchement, oil it with
raw linessed oil and turpentine (50/50).
If you want to add a seal use a jute string and a porcelaineclay that will
harden in an oven.
My facsimile absolution letter, original from 1485 found in the Swedish
national archives is considered good enough to appear at a medieaval
exhibition at the local museum.
Depending on the occasion this might be something to consider?
/Your humble servant
Bartolomeo di Camerino
alias Henric Weyde
Date: 31 Jan 92
From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)
Organization: University of Chicago Computing Organizations
"Perhaps our scribes could improve their visibility in some way."
This suggests an interesting way of combining visibility with
appreciation. I believe that period scribes in at least some period
cultures had pen cases--things they wore that held pens, perhaps ink,
etc. I have not checked any details, but I am pretty sure I remember
a pen case as one of the charges described in "Mamluk Heraldry," and
I think there are similar things in Christian Europe. How about a
kingdom project (by the non-scribes) to research what pen cases
looked like, make a lot of recognizably similar ones, and, over time,
present one to every scribe who does award scrolls. That would both
be a thankyou and make it easier to recognize scribes who did award
31 Jan 92
From: branwen at flipper.ccc.amdahl.com (Karen Williams)
Organization: Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale CA
In article <9201301851.AA27232 at premise.prime.com.> nathan at premise.prime.COM (Nathan Kronenfeld) writes:
>Official scrolls are far from the only possible place to use one's
Before I assign scrolls to people, I need to see an example of their
calligraphy and illumination. For new people, this is difficult, since
they haven't done anything yet. I have been having them just do a scroll,
but in the few cases were the scroll isn't acceptable but they think it's
just lovely, I have a problem. So recently I've decided that for new
people, as a warrant piece I'll have them illuminate a period poem. That
way, they can take home their work, and if I can't use their first effort,
they still can.
Branwen ferch Emrys
The Mists, the West
branwen at flipper.ras.amdahl.com
Re: Scribal visibility
3 Feb 92
From: habura at vccnorthb.its.rpi.edu (Andrea Marie Habura)
Organization: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY
Cariadoc asks for information on European pen holders. Ther is one that I
became aware of through heraldry (what else? Boy, I'm in a rut. Someone talk
about embroidery, quick!).
The Worshipful Company of Scriveners of the City of London, a period guild,
have in their arms an eagle holding in the beak an object called a "penner
and inkhorn". It consists of a scabbard-shaped object with a cap, which seems
to be a pen holder, and a squat container (probably an ink bottle), connected
by two lengths of cord. Pathetic ASCII art follows. Bear with me.
****************** pen holder #*********
****************** bottle #*********
The X's are knots in the cord. The cord is run through little tubes on the
sides of the containers and knotted. The pen holder is longer than it
looks, and is pointed at the bottom.
The eagle in the Scriveners' arms holds this object by the cord, with the
two containers dangling down on either side. It appears that this object
would do nicely on a belt (with the inkhorn empty, or with a very good stopper). It has the advantage of being distinctive, easy to carry prominently, and
easy and cheap to make in its simplest form.
Sounding off as usual,
Contacting John the Artificer (period pigments, etc.)
4 Feb 92
From: Marion.Kee at a.nl.cs.cmu.EDU
Greeting to the Rialto from Marian Greenleaf:
[Master] John the Artificer, O.L., may be contacted as:
250 Emerson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
You might want to put an "Attention: ordering pigments" line, or some
such, on the envelope. Or just call him and find out what to send him.
If you write for information, I recommend sending an SASE.
John also is a source for woad seeds, information on ferret breeding,
and a number of other interesting items both material and intellectual.
He speaks barter, although cash has a lot of appeal. If you're really
interested in learning something from him, let him know; he really
likes teaching interested people, although he can be abrupt at times.
18 May 92
From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)
Unto the good gentles of the Rialto does Lord Hossein Ali Qomi send greetings
and prayers for the blessings of Allah.
Lord Jeremy de Merstone recently posted a perceptive comment on "official"
calligraphy in the SCA:
>The main problem with award scrolls is that their period counterparts
>(when anybody bothered to set them down on a special piece of parchment/
>paper/vellum/whatever in the first place, as opposed to just recording
>them on a list in a ledger someplace during a visitation) were simply
>not very decorative. They weren't meant to be. The important part was
>*what* the thing said ("So-and-so and his progeny have the right to do
>such-and-such, signed, The King"), and not how they *looked*. [As with
>anything, there were occasional exceptions to this general statement,
>but this held pretty well true until after the SCA's period.]
Lord Jeremy is by and large quite right about the general lack of decoration
in official documents -- letters patent, charters, writs, etc. -- in the
medieval period. However, his example -- "So-and-so and his progeny have
the right to do such-and-such, signed The King" -- isn't quite so correct.
The formularies in official documents varied widely by time and place and,
indeed, a substantial branch of the paleographic science, diplomatics, is
given to the analysis of such formularies.
I have found that most calligraphers in the SCA tend toward the kinds of
book hands and illumination which were not characteristic of medieval
official documents for two reasons. First, book calligraphy and illumination
is more aesthetically pleasing to many; it's very pretty and it catches the
eye right readily. The problem is that medieval official documents weren't
designed to catch the eye. Second, book calligraphy and illumination are
far more commonly available as exemplars than medieval official document
texts -- coffeetable books of illuminated manuscripts, while expensive, are
usually available in any good bookstore; facsimiles of official documents
are generally not.
I do _only_ official document recreations. The reasons are simple. I'm
the lousiest artist in the SCA and most book hands and fancy illumination
are simply beyond my capacity. I use Latin paleography and diplomatics in
my mundane research and am familiar with the abbreviation systems and
court/secretarial hands, particularly those used in English and Imperial
chanceries. Finally, I think authenticity is more important than aesthetics --
harried clerks and scribes in royal chanceries weren't that concerned with
beauty, they had mountains of parchment-work to sort through daily.
I've had the advantage of formal training in paleography and acquaintance
with a wide range of paleographic and diplomatic studies and have collected
a bibliography of useful texts and facsimiles of official documents suitable
for exemplars for analogous SCA scrolls. I have edited the bibliography
down to things which most university libraries will probably have; there are
roughly another hundred rarer facsimile collections which one is likely to
find only in major research libraries at institutions which grant Ph.D.s
in medieval history (if anyone is _truly_ interested, I'd be happy to email
that list as well, when I shan't be needing my hands for anything after
all that typing).
The following is a lengthy, but partial, bibliography of sources for texts
and/or facsimiles of period diplomata:
_Album paleographique ou Recueil de documents importants relatifs a
l'histoire et a la litterature nationales_ (Paris, 1887).
C. Bemont, _Chartes des libertes anglaises_ (Paris, 1902).
T.A.M.Bishop and P. Chaplais, _Facsimiles of English Royal Writs to A.D.
1100)_ (Oxford, 1957).
T.A.M. Bishop, _Scriptores Regis: Facsimiles to Identify and Illustrate the
Hands of Royal Scribes in Original Carters of Henry I, Stephen, and
Henry II_ (Oxford, 1955).
A. de Bouard, _Manuel de diplomatique francaise et pontificale_ (Paris,
B. de Broussillon, _Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Saint-Aubin d'Angers_
P. Chevreux and J. Vernier, _Les Archives de Normandie et de la Seine-
Inferieure: recueil de facsimiles_ (Rouen, 1911).
H.W.C. Davies, _Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum_ (Oxford, 1913).
L.Delisle and E. Berger, _Recueil des Actes de Henry II concernant les
provinces francaises et les affaires de France_ (Paris, 1909-27).
N. Denholm-Young, _Handwriting in England and Wales_ (Cardiff, 1954).
D.C. Douglas, _Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds_
Sir G.F. Duckett, _Charters and Records Among the Archives of the
Ancient Abbey of Cluny_ (Lewes, 1888).
_Facsimiles of Ancient Charters in the British Museum_ (London, 1876-
_Facsimiles of Early Charters in Northamptonshire Collections_
E. Falconi, _L'edizione diplomatica del documento e del manoscritto_
W. Farrer, _Early Yorkshire Charters_ (Edinburgh, 1914-16).
H. Fichtenau, _Das Urkundenwesen in Oesterreich vom 8. bis zum
fruehen 13. Jahrhundert_ (Vienna, 1971).
Примеры работ, цитирующих публикации с авторством и соавторством д б н. С. А. Остроумова. These publications cited papers and books...