This was a super secret project for my own cadet Lucien. I received the news of his elevation 3 months before it was going to happen so I had plenty of time to paint to my heart's content and do it up something nice. And it was done early so that it could go to the royals for the special signature in white ink. This is the piece of artwork that I kept track of in my "So how long does an artistic piece really take?" which came to 16 hours. My cadet was worth it.
So I worked on the words first which I based on the Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh: 1584 which you can find here. The Avalon project is really great for actual documents during the historical period that I am studying. I adjusted it for the needed content, kept the period spelling and viola.
Edward, and Thyra by the good Grace of the East, defenders of the realm, to all people to whome these presents shall come, greeting:
Knowe yee that of our especial grace, certaine science, and meere motion, we haue given, and by these presents for us, our heires and successors, for great skill and willingness to defend our selues from harm, we giue to our trustie and welbeloued seruant as our will and pleasure is, and wee do hereby declare that Lucien de Wyntere, be inducted into the Order of the Golden Rapier. In witness whereof, we haue caused these our letters to be made and Witnesse our selues, at Birka, the 24th. day of January, in the nine and fortieth yeere of our Society.
I did the words, the calligraphy and the illumination. The calligraphy is getting easier, and the white ink is not fighting me as much. I also used several practice sheets of the black paper to make sure that the flow was right.
I chose for the illumination the Sforza Black Hours, by Master of Anthony of Burgundy, 15th Century, illumination on parchment. You can find it here and here. I also have several of my own books with sample pages of the Black Hours, so I used several elements.
So I start with the finished product.