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Cassandra's Manuscript   

This page is quite graphically intense but I believe well worth the wait.  Please be patient while the images of Lady Cassandra Elenora di Milano's Order of the Silver Oak book are loading.  Cassandra was granted her entrance to the Order for her skills in Book binding and her willingness to share the art with all.  To honor her I decided to do her scroll in the form of a manuscript.


The book begins with Cassandra's Arms being supported by a Silver Oak Tree done in the style of the Order's badge.  This illumination is of a later period than the rest of them in the book, but I liked it, so it's there. :-)  I used Windsor and Newton Designer's Gouache for all the illumination.


The manuscript was written on a beautiful French laid paper by Canson.  The Canson paper mill has been in operation since the 15th Century.  I love working on this paper as it holds both paint and ink without feathering or the page buckling.  For the text I used Blott's iron gall ink, with a size 5 Mitchell nib.  This is highlighted occasionally by a modern red ink, and a modern India blue ink.   The pages are 3" x 4".


Opposite the text announcing the great skills of Lady Cassandra is a miniature of her standing with a book in hand on a diapered background.  The dress she wears is in her heraldic colors. I was particularly happy with the shaded draping of her gown in this picture.


 Along with the three miniatures, Cassandra's book also is host to an array of versals decorated with fine filigree pen work.  Set into the delicate swirls of ink you'll find several floral motifs, including flowers leaves and tiny insects wandering the pages.  A detail shot of the above "C" can be found at the bottom of this page.


Since the event that the award was given at would be the Coronation of Pieter and Nan Astrid, I commemorated the event with this miniature of a man being crowned.  In the upper right hand corner you can see the MidRealm Arms.  Continuing with the garden themed filigree,  the "G" is filled with flowers and tiny spiders crawling on their webs.


Room was left on these pages for the Royal signatures and seal.


After the royal signatures and seal the book continues with a warning and curse to any who may try and claim the book other than the Lady Cassandra.  Then the text goes on with my signature and a date that I completed the book.


I left blank "spades" within the filigree of this versal as a nod to Cassandra's Arms.






The signature was sewn to thin sisal rope in a period manner by my husband Brother Conchobar mac Gabhann while he was working a demo and earned him about a second of fame on the 7 o'clock news.  Conchobar is also a member of the order of the Silver Oak for his book binding.


  As emergencies popped up at home, I had to figure out on my own how to attach the book block to the cover boards.  Paste board was common in period, but to save time I used modern davey board.   Luckily I had paid attention to my husband while he was working on his last project and had no problems drilling the holes for the sisal and threading it through the board.


Next I covered the boards with a red marbled paper, and finished the spine with a splash of black leather.  As another personal touch after these pictures were taken,  bright yellow endpapers were added to give the project a more finished look, completing the heraldic overtones for Cassandra in red, yellow and Black.

The finished manuscript.


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Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Kristen Kirk VanTassle.  This is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. or of the  Middle Kingdom, and does not delineate SCA policies.  All original contributing artists and authors retain the copyright of certain portions of this site.   For information on using photographs, articles, or artwork from this website, please contact the Lady of the Manor. For technical issues, please contact the local monk. Please respect the legal rights of our contributors, Thank you.