A place for Drachenwald's scribes to hang out, learn, discuss and critique each others work.

Monday, October 08, 2012

The elusive perfect nib?

A few weeks ago I had a free Saturday (!) and finally got out to an art store here in Tilburg that I've walked past many times (it's on the way to the train station) but had never been in (we've only lived here ~10 months...). It was way bigger than I expected, being quite deep in addition to wide. I didn't have much time to browse, but it was full of all sorts of artsy goodness, including ecoline inks, so I could replace my vermillion which had suffered one too many travel accidents and had pretty much leaked entirely away, and a selection of calligraphy nibs that differed from the selection I could get in Amsterdam. I picked up a couple that I didn't already have, and one of them looked like it could be a contender for the elusive perfect nib that I've been searching for for years.

I used it to calligraph Lord Franck vom Berg's Silver Guard which we gave out this weekend:

It was indeed very close to what I've been looking for for many years, but I found it had a strange effect on my hand. I thought I was using something close to my default pseudo-Carolingian hand, except it has turned out much rounder than normally. A few lines in, I realized that what this nib is really built for is some Italian Humanist script; I will have to try that next time, with proper line spacing, and then I think it will look really lovely. As it is, I'm not sure what I think of the finished piece, but I also don't dislike it, so I'm happy enough.

The text was cribbed liberally from some Elizabethan grants and charters, and reads:

By the Kyng and the Quene.

It has in times past been ordeyned that a company of fighters skilled with sword, lance, and bow be formed so that every subject of this realm be prevented from harm and protected from ill and that suitable new members for the further ance of the good of the realm be made of this company by speciall commission signed by their Majesties, and this certeyn company is known as the Order of the Silver Guard. And whereas the King and Quene's Majesties, being credibly enfourmed by speaches and attestations by owre counts and dukes that divers and many are the skills at arms shown by Lord Franck vom Berg, which we ourselves have this very day witnessed firsthand, do wish to make unto him our especial seal of approval by confirming, ratifying, and announcing that the Lord Frank abovenamed is from this day henceforth a member of the aforesaid Order.

Dated at Knights Crossing xi October, a.s. xlvii.

The illumination was done by Lady Lovisa af Talkotten.

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