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Lineage Book

**Still Under Construction as of 10/06/2005  I haven't done any work on this project for quite some timr but plan to take it up again after I'm finished with Sir Ranthulfr's KSCA**

    One of my current projects is a lineage book.  It records the elevation of my Laurel to the Peerage, her dependants and hopefully their future elevations and dependants.

       I started this project in May 2003 but the concept for the lineage book came to me years ago, in the form of the Founders and Benefactors book of Tewkesbury Abbey.   I wasn't quite sure how to go about producing it.   I needed a group of people with heraldic devices and a "story" of the birth of the group, however I didn't want the project to be an unmanageable size.  When I became apprenticed to Meisterin Katarina Helen I found her house to be a perfect fit for the project.

 Book Structure

      I chose a white Canson Ingres laid paper as my foundation.   This is my favorite book paper to work on because it holds both ink and paint beautifully and the Canson paper factory has been operating in France since the 14th century.

     Each folio measures 7.75" wide  x 6" high, the signatures of 4 are then folded in half making each page measure just under  4" x 6" with the text area measuring  about 2" x 3".  There are 10 signatures which create the book block of this piece, though not all will have text on them to begin with.  A significant amount of room will be left blank so that there is room for future records.

     The book block will be sewn with linen thread onto hemp cords and attached to oak board, then covered with leather.


Signatures and cover boards.


 Example of text on an unbound signature.



     Though the Tewkesbury Abbey Manuscript was done in the first quarter of the 16th century the illumination seems rather rough and crude.  The figures appear "flat" and have been rendered in a style more commonly used in early periods.  The heraldic devices seen throughout the book also seem to be rough and on slightly mis-shaped escutcheons.  The was done by more than one hand and in many places simply looks sloppy.  I find the Tewkesbury to be an excellent example of mediocre scribes who worked in period, rather than the perfection of the "Masters" which many SCAdian scribes hold themselves in comparison to.

      It is my opinion (with admittedly no in depth research into the facts of the Tewkesbury book yet) that it was done by the scribes at the Abbey as a commemorative piece.  The talent of the Abbey scribes was meager, so the resulting appearance of the book is slightly crude to our modern eye.  In applying this theory to my lineage book project I needed to take into account what the book was about, and who in period would have been doing it.  Since the book chronicles the elevation to Peerage of a C&I Laurel and the members of her workshop, an apprentice in the workshop would have most likely created the piece (as is really happening), being a C&I workshop, the skill level of the scribes would be higher than that of the Tewkesbury.  It's my goal to recreate the idea of the Tewkesbury piece, but apply the skills of a more talented scribe in a way that will capture the spirit of the Lineage Book's circumstances.

      As I currently have the manuscript rough laid out there 35 pages of text.  The number of pages finished with C&I that will ultimately be used depends on how carried away I get with the illuminations.   The calligraphy is in my own hand which falls somewhere between a batarde and a fanktur.  It's being done with a #5 Mitchell nib using Blott's Iron Gall and Stuart Houghton Red Ink.

      I've been working on the lineage book on and off throughout the summer of 2003.  Currently there are 13 folios recto and verso which have the calligraphy completed, some of the versals have been painted in, and some filigree work has been done.   Below are just a couple of images from the manuscript.






 More information about the Lineage Book will be presented as the project continues. Stay tuned!


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