Friday, October 3, 2014

Queen's Cypher

I was offered the joy of making a Queen's Cypher (an award I don't know much about) for a lovely woman who sounds like she was a joy during the previous reign.

I went to my traditional source, not knowing what needs to be said in something of this manner, and Alys quickly whipped up some words for me (quick compared to my days of deliberation).

"Caoilfhionn Augusta et Nobilissima, Empress of the Eternal East, to all who see or hear these words, greetings and every good thing.   Whereas it is right, just, necessary and proper that those who have labored in good faith and diligence to the glory of our Imperial selves be rewarded for their faithfulness; and whereas Marguerite De Sainte Nazaire has found great favor in our eyes as our chief retainer; therefore, in acknowledgement and recognition of her travails on our behalf and for the love we bear her, we do hereby by these present letters invest and endow the said Marguerite with our Cypher, the said emblem and signacle of our favor to be borne about her person at all times to come and in perpetuity; And so that this our gift may continue firm and unimpaired in future times, we have reinforced it with the protection of our seal and sign manual and caused it to be read before witnesses.  Done upon 27 September in the forty-ninth year of the Society."

At that point it was just deciding on a 14th Century French manuscript to take inspiration from (one of my favorite time periods of manuscripts!!). Based on Les Petites Heures du Duc Jean de Berry, circa 1372-1390.

This was my first time working a portraiture as well as doing gold leafing. The gold leafing is amazing. I really enjoyed working with it, even though I had to remind myself not to breathe while doing so.

My tiniest writing yet.

Look how it shines and shimmers! The cypher is the first letter of the scroll. I've seen a lot of people do it that way before.