East Kingdom Gazette
Covering the Eastern Realm of the SCA
Updated: 15 min 46 sec ago
A few days ago, Duchess Avelina made changes to the Awards Recommendation form to make the recommendation process more user friendly.
1) Users now have the option to print their submissions for their records. At the end of the survey, there is a link “Print Your Answers”. If the user clicks this link, a *.PDF will open. The user can then either print or save that file for their records. It was asked if we could have email notifications, but the software had some issues with that. This should give users the confirmation of submissions. It should be noted that, submission does not mean that the Royalty *will* take action. It is only confirmation that the recommendation was received.
2) In response to some loved ones of awards recipients not being notified, a field was added: “Does this candidate have a spouse/partner/other loved one that should be notified should the Royalty act on this recommendation?”
Any questions or concerns can be sent to email@example.com
Filed under: Announcements Tagged: awards
Master Philip announces the 5th Annual Unoffical Pennsic Half Marathon! Will you join us? Princess Signy Heri of Atlantia and Countess Thora Heri of The Outlands started this fun run five years ago as a way to encourage fitness in a fun and challenging way.
Their inspiration for the race? If you can run 13.1 miles before the start of war week then you will be fully prepared to have as much fun as you want the rest of the war. You will have the stamina to enjoy all pick up fights, and bouts, and battles. Dance all you need. Shop at all the places. Walk all over Pennsic for all the parties. Rune Stone Hill would not even slow you down.
What’s the course look like?
The estimated 13-mile course (it is medievally inexact!) consists of three loops around the entire Pennsic campground, plus one smaller loop around the Serengeti. Runners meet in front of the old Chirurgeon’s Point (Services Area) at 8 am on Saturday August 5th. Thanks to Mistress Genoveva von Lübeck of the Middle we also have a course map for runners to review in advance. Check it out: halfmarathonmap2
Water is available from the Services Area (old Chirurgeon’s Point)…but runners are expected to supply their own water /sports drink/snack needs. We will pass the Services Area (old Chirurgeon’s Point) three times at roughly 4.5 mile intervals.
Are there pace requirements? Not at all! If 13.1 miles sounds like too much, that’s okay! Join us for one loop. Or even two! Everyone is welcome! Walkers also!
This is a group run, not a race. No times will be kept. The goal is fitness as part of the SCAdian lifestyle. All are welcome. Wearing medieval-style tunics instead of modern running clothes is encouraged.
Last year we had over 40 people start and do some amount of activity. And we amazingly had over 20 finishers!
Is there a medal? Of course there is a medal! Pictured is the Half Finishers Medal made in the style of a pilgrim’s badge by Mistress Serafina Alamanni from the Kingdom of Meridies. She is already in the planning stages of making the one for this year.
Now is a great time to start training. Here are some things to consider:
* Try to get outside and start getting adjusted to the heat. It will be hot!
* Get used to running in the sun! Wear sunscreen and consider a hat.
* Run some hills. We will be tackling a *lot* of hills.
* Don’t rely on a treadmill. Make sure you are getting used to running on the roads. It makes a difference.
Join the fun on Social Media too. We have a Facebook group under “Unofficial Pennsic Half Marathon”. Send a request and join!
We look forward to walking or running with you soon!
Filed under: Announcements, Pennsic Tagged: Pennsic
The Society College of Heralds runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.
An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.
The results from the December 2016 Wreath and Pelican meetings can be found here.
Filed under: Announcements, Heraldry
All combatants and consorts wishing to participate in the Crown Tournament of Ioannes and Honig are reminded that letters of intent are due in two weeks, by April 1.
Details of the submission process were previously published in the Gazette as follows:
Filed under: Announcements
This year, similar to last year, I will be running a series of Pennsic Singles Rapier Champions Qualifier Tournaments. All of these will be single-pass, double-elimination, bring-your-best tournaments, to select the best rapier fighters in the East for our Champions team. The current plan is to re-fight double-kills once, and then have dead count as dead. Additionally, losses will be forgiven in the finals. These considerations may change or be elaborated upon, as the tournaments progress.
The events at which I currently plan to run these qualifiers are:
*Mudthaw (March 25)
For Mudthaw, I plan to run a singles tournament and additionally consider the results of the traditional Mudthaw cut-and-thrust tournament for Champs.
At GNE, I plan to run both a normal tournament and a Cut-and-Thrust tournament, because we will be less pressed for time.
This year, Rapier Singles Champs will be 17 fights, two of which will be cut-and-thrust. The East gets 8 of those fights, of which only four may be MoDs. Given that one of those fights goes to the King’s Champion (me) and another goes to the Queen’s Champion (Master Lottieri Malocchio), this leaves six slots, of which only three may be Masters of Defense.
This means that more than last year, winning does not necessarily guarantee a slot on the team. However, my choices for primaries and alternates will be strongly informed by the results of these tournaments. Good luck, and may the best, most courteous rapier fighters win!
His Highness, as many royals before him have done, has also asked that those who wish to be champions seek him out, in order to demonstrate to him their prowess.
Please feel free to forward this message to any local lists or other social media, in order to get the word out.
Filed under: Pennsic, Rapier
The schedule for Mudthaw had changed significantly from what was originally published in the event announcement. Due to all the wonderful things happening at Mudthaw the morning is quite hectic and, in particular, Marshal Activities will be starting earlier than is traditional for this event.
We strongly recommend Pre-registering (you have until 3/15/17 to do so) if you will be participating in either Heavy Weapons or Rapier combat, since this will allow you to process through Gate much more quickly.
If pre-registering isn’t possible for someone participating in those activities, we would then encourage them to arrive early. Gate will open at 9:30 am in order to help facilitate getting fighters and fencers to the field on time.
** Please Note: Their Majesties will be holding a half-hour Afternoon Royal Court, outside by the List Fields, sometime mid-afternoon. **
Baroness Treannah, Mudthaw Co-Autocrat
Filed under: Announcements, Events
The Gazette thanks Mistress Bronwen Rose of Greyling for this thoughtful article.
This article discusses commentary from this year’s King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championships, where twenty-seven bold A&S entrants brought their A-game to the Barony of Concordia in February. (K&Q’s Bardic Championships were held concurrently but are not discussed here.) When looking to improve any repeating event, some thoughtful post-event contemplation and information-sharing is helpful. As a part of that post-contest analysis, here is a summary of written judges’ comments that may be helpful to future K&Q’s A&S competitors and judges.
This year’s contest featured face-to-face judging using score sheets that can be found at http://www.kqchamps.org/a-s-competition/judging-as under General Rubric and Research Paper Rubric. The contest format, organization, and scoring were developed by the Kingdom Champions, Mistress Lissa Underhill and Master Magnus hvalmagi, who built on the experience of Champions, entrants, and judges from the past several K&Q’s A&S Championships.
Numerical scores averaged 17.8 of a possible 25 points, but numbers tell only a small part of the story. Some judges gave in-person verbal feedback, and organizers expect this to be standard going forward. Written comments were also given to every entrant on Feedback forms. These comments remarked on successful strategies and suggested ways to make entries more understandable, relevant, and comprehensive.
Feedback form comments give a good idea of what the judges were looking for and what future participants may expect. To keep the true flavor of the written feedback, direct quotes from the forms are reproduced below in italics although identifying info has been removed. Judges’ comments have been organized into some common themes to provide guidance for artisans not able to attend the event and those who have aspirations to enter it next year.
Delight was evident. “I wanted to sit down with a knife and fork and eat. ♦ Crazy-good project. ♦ Thank you for entering. You showed great courage to put yourself and your work out there. ♦ You did a wonderful job of thinking outside the box to come up with solutions in the process. ♦ Super fun! Huge project. Massive undertaking especially with your tools. Love it! ♦ We appreciate you traveling to us and taking the risks—it shows you care about your art and are reaching out to others with your knowledge.”
Judges were excited by excellence in technique, great workmanship, home-made tools, and elegant experiments. “Gorgeous execution. ♦ Great level of detail. ♦ You show a clear understanding of medieval aesthetic. ♦ Making and showing your tools is also great. ♦Your skills are exquisite! ♦ You made the “thing” to make the “thing”—and then you made the “thing.” We were so excited! ♦ Your enthusiasm is contagious and your knowledge of subject matter is thorough.”
Feedback frequently gave specific advice to entrants about improving their entry.
Describe as clearly as you can what would have been done in period. Also describe what you have done. Try to include images of period examples that you used for inspiration. Photos of your work during the phases of construction help people visualize what you have done to create the work before them. “Be clear about what materials were used in period and whether or not you used those materials. ♦ Include photos of the extant items you are trying to reproduce. ♦ Document process as you go—process photos. ♦ Try to recreate an extant example and include a photo of that for comparison. ♦ Pay close attention to details in your inspiration piece. ♦ Compare your creations (i.e. how did they work?). ♦ The in-process ‘failures’ are wonderful. Please keep them. Your explanation of the process is vivid and exciting and absolutely brings your project to life.”
Historical Background is vital to your judges and spectators who want to understand your work. Imagine you are telling a friend what you’ve found out about the construction and importance of your entry in its time and culture. “Give some historical context. ♦ In your documentation please include more references on what you are emulating. ♦ We would like you to describe how [this] was used, significance, the historical impact, in the time period. ♦ Provide documentation for more of the ingredients.”
Sources help your reader follow your journey to your conclusions. “Try including in-text citations to improve your documentation and/or annotated bibliography. ♦ It would be very helpful to link your “works consulted” more explicitly into the body of your documentation. ♦ Great sources!”
Go deeper. Find ways to make your work broader, more thorough, more period-focused.
Get some help from researchers, artisans, editors, scientists, and other experts around the SCA. “Society” is our first name–so ask around–there’s bound to be someone who has interests and experiences related to what you’re doing. It’s a big Kingdom and its people can be amazingly generous with their help.
Consider contest strategy.
Judges and populace simply cannot wait to see what the future of these researchers and artists will bring. “We have seen lots of growth and look forward to future projects! ♦ You are clearly passionate about your topic. ♦ Enthusiasm was plain to see. Keep going. ♦ We look forward to seeing more of your work. ♦ Rock on! ♦ Your excitement is inspiring. ♦ You have promising skill and we would love to see future work. ♦ Can’t wait to see what you show us next time.”
Entrants, spectators, royalty, and judges all seemed to have a rockin’ good time. Let’s do it again next year. Between now and then, let’s fan the fires of enthusiasm and vigorously support the artisans and researchers around our Kingdom. It’ll be exciting to see who enters the contest next year and what beautiful and fascinating knowledge they bring.
Filed under: Arts and Sciences Tagged: King and Queen's Champions
It was with much gratitude for the amazing work done by Mistress Sabina Lutrell that I assumed the office of East Kingdom MoL on Saturday at the Black Rose Ball.
I am looking forward to working with the Martial, Marshal, and MoL communities in the coming years and welcome any comments or suggestions that any of you have for making the office work for you and for the fighters and fencers of the East. You can reach me through the Kingdom MoL Email account or speak to me in person at the upcoming Coronation or Crown Tournament events.
You can now download new copies of the various authorization-related forms from the EK MoL website at your convenience. I encourage anyone with blank authorization forms in their possession to destroy them or alter them to show the new address.
All new completed forms should be sent to:
As I stepped up, I left the office of Northern Regional MoL vacant and I am actively looking for volunteers or suggestions of people to take over that position. The position of Central Region Deputy MoL is also vacant and I am actively recruiting for that position as well.
I am very pleased that THL Andreiko Eferiev has agreed to remain in his position as Deputy Kingdom Minister of Lists and am looking forward to working with him and the regional deputies, Baroness Ellesbeth Donofrey and Lady Matilda Fossoway, to continue to uphold the excellent standard of service to the East set by my predecessor.
I am very grateful for the warm welcome that I have received so far from the Martial and MoL communities.Warm Regards, Baroness Mylisant Grey, OP
East Kingdom Minister of Lists
Filed under: Announcements Tagged: MoL
From the Chancellor of the Exchequer:
The term of office for the East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer will expire in June 2017. Applications are now being accepted for this office. The initial term for this office is two years. There is the option to request an additional two terms at one year each. Please note that I am NOT going to be requesting the last additional term. Having served 3 years in this office, I now need to place my attention elsewhere.
Applicant letters of intent, resumes and questions are to be sent to these three addresses/offices.
The duties and requirements of the office include:
Additional descriptions, expectations and or detailed requirements of this office can be found in CORPORA & SCA governing documents, Society Financial Policy, EK-LAW and East Kingdom Financial Policy.
Maestra Ignacia la Ciega, East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer
Filed under: Announcements Tagged: Exchequer, kingdom officers
Our seventeenth A&S Research Paper comes to us from Mistress Sarah Davies of the Barony of Bergental, who introduces us to the surprising world of historical quilting, where we discover some familiar friends and some quite unfamiliar new ones! (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)
Early Quilting and Patchwork: A Short Introduction
The word “quilt” summons a host of images:
The popular image of the quilt is of the quilt is modern, calico, and as all-American as an apple pie. If the word “medieval” ever comes up, it’s because someone made a Game of Thrones quilt with appliqued dire wolves in the border.
The problem with this familiar stereotype is thatit doesn’t begin to reflect reality. Patchwork and applique may be most associated the United States, but quilts themselves are anything but modern. Quilted carpets were prized on the steppes of Central Asia, quilted garments padded Crusader mail and protected Elizabethan fencers, quilted coverlets graced Tudor bed chambers, and quilted heraldic tapestries hung in Hungarian throne rooms. The evidence is scattered and sometimes hard to recognize, but quilting and patchwork were hardly alien to medieval Europe.
“Quilt” and “patchwork” are so strongly associated that most people think that a quilt must be patchwork, and a patchwork must be a quilt. Not only is this not true, it confuses two very different types of needlework. A more accurate description would be as follows:
Most early quilts were whole cloth (non-pieced), usually of fine linen or imported silk. The first tantalizing hints of what might be medieval patchwork date from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, with one surviving artifact that might have been both pieced and quilted. Even then, it’s not at all clear that this item was intended for a bed, as evidence suggests it was more likely intended as a cloth of honor for a royal throne room.
The first known quilted object is a quilted linen carpet dating from around the first century of the Common Era. It was found in a Siberian cave tomb, and the central motifs (primarily animals, with abstract spirals on the borders) are wool appliques stitched into place with couched cording on the raw edges, while the background is diamond quilted in a coarse running stitch.
Whether the Siberians developed quilting on their own or learned it from outsiders, its advantages in such a cold climate are obvious: warmth without bulk, strength without stiffness, and easily adapted to multiple uses. It was also unusual enough that it could be traded for luxury goods along the Silk Road and other trade routes running across Central Asia down to the Mediterranean trade ports.
This seems to be exactly what happened. The next known quilted objects were both trade goods, and were both found in archaeological digs. One, a quilted slipper that seems to have been cut down from a larger object (a bed quilt or carpet), was actually found in a rubbish tip along the Silk Road. It was likely made around the eighth or ninth centuries CE, and is a very typical “Turkish slipper” with a low vamp and tilted toe. It is of linen padded with cotton or linen tow, backed with more linen, and quilted in the backstitch with coarse linen thread. It was almost certainly intended for indoor wear, as the sole is made from the same quilted item as the rest of the slipper.
The other early quilted object, a quilted wool funeral pall dating from the fifth or sixth centuries, is more problematic. It was found in a Merovingian tomb in the 1990’s, and unlike the slipper, it seems to have been made in Europe, or at least for the European market; it is of wool, not linen, and is quilted with cotton thread and stuffed with cotton thread, both imported from Egypt. Without further examples, we can only speculate as to its origins, but the pall’s existence, and the use of expensive imported materials in its construction, suggests that there might have been a quilting industry, at least on a small scale, either somewhere in the Mediterranean Basin or perhaps in Merovingian France itself. Without further examples, we can only speculate.
Unfortunately, there is almost no evidence of quilting anywhere near the West for the next several hundred years. There are a handful of references in tax records to silk quilts being sent by the bale to local rulers, but these are exclusively Asian. There is only one written reference to a quilt in a European record and one painting showing what might be a pieced or quilted item, with no physical evidence until the early fourteenth century.
The written reference is a French poem from the 12th century, La Lai del Desire. This little chivalric romance, only a few hundred lines long, includes a description of a bridal bed covered with a “quilt of two sorts of silk cloth in a checkboard pattern, well made and rich: “Sur un bon lit s’ert apulé / La coilte fu a eschekers / De deus pailles ben fais e chers”. (Lais inédits des XIIe et XIIIe siècles, ed. Francoise Michel, Paris, 1836: 18-19.) The word coite is used so casually that it’s clear that the author simply assumed that his audience, wealthy, sophisticated, and used to the very best, would not need to be told what a coite was, or how it was made.
The painting, by the school of the Italian artist Cimabue, is more intriguing. Dating from around 1275-1300, this small, elegant panel painting shows the Madonna and Child seated on a low couch, flanked by Saints Peter and John the Baptist while two sweet-faced angels hold up a piece of fabric behind the Madonna as a sort of floating cloth of honor. The cloth of honor, which is so strikingly different from the usual brocade or cloth of gold seen in such paintings, was hailed by art historian Roberto Longhi as a “stupendous, decorative invention,” and it’s not hard to see why. Black and white gyronny patterns alternate with blocks of red in what is almost certainly an attempt at showing a patchwork cloth of alternating red brocade and black and white pinwheels. Whether this cloth was actually quilted is not clear, as the greenish highlights on the red are probably intended to depict a brocade pattern and not stitching. However, it’s very clear that something that we’d call a patchwork quilt was not out of the question in the SCA period.
As tempting as it is to conclude that the little Cimabue painting indicates a thriving patchwork and/or quilting industry in the late thirteenth century, however, there is still no definitive evidence for this. Spanish silk weavers, steeped in the Moorish decorative tradition of geometric patterns, produced magnificent brocades that bear such a strong resemblance to patchwork that least one quilt historian assumed that a brocade cope from the 1200’s was patchwork. The same may well apply to a mid-fourteenth century fresco by Florentine artist Taddeo Gaddi of The Marriage of the Virgin. This homely scene, which includes a groomsman giving St. Joseph a congratulatory slap on the back, shows a geometric textile of red, green, orange and white hanging from a roof…and though it certainly looks like a quilt, and could easily be a quilt, it could just as easily be a piece of Spanish brocade.
Fortunately for historians and SCAdians alike, more definite evidence for both quilting and patchwork begins to appear around the year 1300. Professional armors specializing in quilted gambesons and other forms of padded armor begin to crop up in court records. The French court had a “courtepointier,” or quiltmaker, while a few decades later someone known only as “Niccolo de la Coltra” worked in Padua as ‘the master of quilts.” These professional quiltmakers were far from unique; professional quilt and quilted armor guilds were active in Bologna, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Genoa by the fourteenth century, often in association with cotton guilds. Southern France was another center of the European quilting industry, particularly whole cloth white quilts.
The primary product of these quilted armorers were closely fitted padded armor intended to be worn on the upper body, either over or in place of steel armor. They were known as jacks, arming doublets, coat armor, jupons, aketons, or haketons depending on area and period, and their construction was strictly regulated. One Italian guild required that jupons be padded with linen or cotton tow to the depth of three fingers’ breadths on the shoulders and two fingers’ breadths upon the torso for maximum protection. Aristocratic versions were often made of rich fabrics such as heavy velvets or silk brocades, then padded so heavily in the chest that their wearers were compared to greyhounds. Less exalted versions, made of linen padded with cotton or wool, were lighter, cheaper alternatives to metal armor, so they became a popular option for foot soldiers, sappers, or archers. There were even jacks where small steel plates were sewn inside the padding, then layered with more cushioning for extra protection.
Several such pieces have survived, most in surprisingly good condition. The most famous include the “Black Prince’s jupon” in Canterbury Cathedral, the coat armor of Charles VI in Chartres, the doublet of Charles de Blois in Lyon, and a curious German tunic that layers linen, padding, and small steel rings for extra protection. Less famous but arguably more interesting is the Rothwell Jack, a rare piece of armor worn by a common foot soldier or archer. Unlike its aristocratic kin, the Rothwell Jack is so crudely made that it was probably thrown together on short notice, either by a sailmaker or possibly its original owner. Its materials, over twenty layers of raw wool and coarse linen stitched together heavy linen thread, are equally humble, and again indicate that it was made by a non-professional. Although local historians long claimed that the Jack belonged to John of Gaunt, it almost certainly belonged to one of his archers, as the right armscye is all but worn away while the left is largely intact.
Quilted armor disappeared late in the SCA period thanks to the invention of firearms, as quilted armor was useless against a bullet or other small projectile. However, protective garments of quilted linen were still popular among court tennis players, as in a 16th century painting by Francesco Becaruzzi, while quilted doublets of leather lined with silk were used as fencing jackets by the wealthy.
There is also an abundance of artistic evidence for quilted clothing and armor during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The best known is Hans Memling’s The Chasse of St. Ursula, but there are several funerary sculptures, particularly in Germany and Switzerland, showing knights wearing quilted gambesons or jacks. There is also a tiny Italian ivory of The Flight into Egypt showing St. Joseph wearing a quilted tunic that might have begun as coat armor, although it equally could show a peasant tunic quilted for warmth.
There is less somewhat less physical evidence for domestic quilting during the early Middle Ages, while aside from La Lai del Desir, there is nothing in writing about patchwork until a French memoir of 1507. However, there are a handful of extant quilts and two pieces of patchwork that hint at a much richer tradition that has been lost to war, wear, and time.
The oldest known actual whole cloth European quilts are three trapunto, or stuffed quilts from Italy. Two, the so-called Guicciardini quilts, were probably made for a Florentine wedding in the 1390’s (and may have originally been a wallhanging), while a third seems to have been an actual coverlet. All are made with the same materials (linen top and back, cotton padding, linen thread) and with the same technique (dark brown backstitched outlines on the decorative motifs, running stitch on the backgrounds). The iconography and the motifs are so similar that these items were all but certainly made in the same workshop, while the designs and the captions on the Guicciardini quilts are in an otherwise rare Sicilian dialect.
The Guicciardini quilts, one in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, one in the Museo di Bargello in Florence, have been the subject of scholarly controversy for nearly a century. They seem to have been made for a wedding between two powerful Florentine families around 1394, but whether they were originally a set of two quilts for two beds, one quilt for an enormous ceremonial bed, or a huge wallhanging is not known. Some scholars, notably Arthurian specialist R.S. Loomis and quilt historian Susan Young, believe they were designed as a set, but recent analysis by Sarah Randles indicates that they were probably one huge piece that was cut apart and reassembled into two quilts for reasons that made sense at the time. The piece in the Bargello belonged to Guicciardini descendants as late as the 1920’s, while the section in the Victoria & Albert was acquired around the turn of the twentieth century. The iconography, a Sicilian retelling of the story of Tristan and Isolde depicted in large squares similar to the panels on a modern comic book, seems strangely inappropriate for a wedding gift, especially if the quilt(s) was indeed intended for use on the bridal bed.
Less well known is the third quilt, which was owned by the Pianetti family. This piece, only half of which was extant when it was last photographed, once again showed Tristan and Isolde, only in central medallion surrounded by heavily stuffed fleur-de-lis. The border shows allegorical figures feasting in vineyards and gardens, but there are no captions so the meaning is not clear. It was last seen in 1938 and has vanished without a trace, leading to the tragic but unavoidable conclusion that it might have been lost during the massive destruction of World War II a few years later.
Quilt historians assumed for decades that the Guicciardini and Pianetti quilts were the only surviving medieval quilts. However, a startling discovery around 2000 in Budapest challenges this assumption. Archaeologists excavating the old Tekeli Palace found a silk textile depicting the arms of the Arpad and Angevin dynasties encased in mud at the bottom of a rubbish shaft. The Anjou Textile, as it is now known, was wet-cleaned and disinfected by conservators to remove mud and bacteria, then examined for clues to its construction and original purpose. The mudball had been found alongside coins dating between 1390 and 1427, while physical analysis of the actual cloth indicated that it was at least a few decades older than the coins.
Close examination revealed that this textile was pieced and appliqued in red, white, blue, and golden silk, while its age indicated that it was likely made not long after the Cimabue painting with the patchwork cloth of honor. Stitch patterns on the cloth and a few bits of cotton padding and linen thread clinging to the wrong side clearly indicated that the Anjou Textile had originally been quilted in a diamond pattern at least twenty or thirty years before the Sicilian whole cloth quilts.
Most striking of all, Hungarian court records from the reign of King Charles Robert reference a large order of red, white, and blue silk from Italy, while the king’s Great Seal of 1331 clearly shows a patchwork cloth of honor that is all but identical to the Anjou Textile. As unlikely as it may seem, the evidence indicates that there is a strong possibility that the Anjou Textile was pieced and quilted no later than 1331, and probably about ten years earlier.
As important as the Anjou Textile, it is not the most elaborate piece of early patchwork. That honor must go to the Impruneta Cushion, one of the most remarkable surviving pieces of early needlework, regardless of technique.
This small pillow, only one foot square, was found in an Italian tomb in 1947. The little town of Impruneta, about fifteen kilometers south of Florence, had been bombed in 1944 during the Allied advance up the Italian peninsula. It wasn’t until 1947 that the town had the money to check on the tomb of its fifteenth century bishop, Antonio degli Agli, which had been knocked open when bombs struck the pilgrimage church of Santa Maria dell’Impruneta.
Bishop Agli himself had suffered little damage during the attack, but the most significant find in his tomb was the tiny cushion that had been placed under his head by his grieving niece, Deinara, when he died in 1477. The cushion, which seems to have been one of the bishop’s favorite possessions, turned out to be not a simple pillow but a dazzling piece of early patchwork, with elaborate star and checkerboard patterns on the front and a simple but striking geometric pattern on the back.
Analysis by an early conservator known only as “Signor Clignon,” supplemented by a thorough conservation/stabilization by the Tuscan state conservation agency in 1990, revealed that no fewer than thirty different types of silk lampas, brocade, damask, satin, and velvet were used to piece the front of the cushion. The actual pieces ranged in size from approximately 1.5 inches to perhaps a quarter inch square, and were so finely and accurately stitched that conservators speculated the makers used stiff paper or pasteboard to stabilize the shapes during construction. The seams, which had been repaired at some point during Bishop Agli’s lifetime, were all reinforced with couched cording. The back of the cushion was pieced of inch square pieces of wool arranged in concentric squares. This not only produced a noticeable sense of movement, but is all but identical to the modern patchwork pattern known as Trip Around the World. Just as on the front, the seams on the back were reinforced with couched cording.
Italian scholars believe that the cushion was made between 1425 and 1455, as it was clearly used before being put in Bishop Agli’s tomb. As carbon dating would require destroying a large section of the cushion itself, it is not possible to give a more precise date unless Agli family records surface mentioning the cushion.
The Renaissance brought increased trade with the Eastern countries where quilting originated. The Ottoman Empire had a native tradition of quilted bedcovers and caftans; surviving examples from the courts of 16th and 17th century sovereigns such as Suleiman the Magnificent and Selim the Grim are worked in the running stitch on silk broadcloth and brocade, lined with cotton to get around the Qu’ranic prohibition against silk garments. Court etiquette dictated that clothing be presented to foreign ambassadors, so it is possible that European diplomats posted to Constantinople returned with quilted caftans in their baggage.
This was the time when European countries established colonies and trading posts in Asia. India had a strong native quilting tradition and quickly began producing export work in cotton and silk (the very word calico, later the name of the favorite quilting cotton, is derived from Calcutta). Portugal in particular imported “pintadoe quilts” from its Indian possessions, as well as palampores and unquilted spreads that were later worked up into “colchas” on the Iberian peninsula. Several of these Indian/Bengali quilts have survived, including one in the collection of Hardwick Hall in England, almost a dozen in the Museum of Antique Arts in Lisbon, and a half-circle cape in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
By the sixteenth century, silk and linen quilts were quite popular in wealthy households throughout Europe. Among the best examples of this is the 1547 death inventory of England monarch Henry VIII.
Henry VIII’s inventory provides a unique look at quilts in aristocratic households. He owned over one hundred quilts and quilted coverlets, including two quilts assigned to his bath, sixty “holland” quilts of fine linen for bedding, and approximately forty quilts of various types of silk. One of the quilts, a green sarcenet coverlet worked in roses, pomegranates, and fleurs-de-lis, may have dated from early in Henry’s marriage to his first queen, Catherine of Aragon, or even been part of her trousseau when she married his brother Arthur. Other quilts were “payned” (pieced) in color combinations such as purple and white, green and white, and five or six colors such as tawny, green, yellow, blue, crimson, and white. There were even two “quiltes of canvase to cover cartes,” presumably part of the equipment used to move the royal household on Henry’s frequent progresses.
Many of these quilts likely either Indian imports or European copies of expensive Indo-Portuguese work, such as the Indo-Portuguese silk quilts, but the “holland” quilts of fine linen stuffed with wool were likely made in Northern Europe. Four or five of these would be used as actual bedclothes, while a silk quilt, often very elaborately worked with metal or silk threads, would be used as a bedspread.
There are several uses for quilts and quilted objects in the SCA. The most obvious, and common, is armor. Although quilting was used for both gambesons and jacks, padded linen jacks cannot be made list legal. However, a finely quilted jack would look spectacular in court. A better choice for a heavy weapons fighter would be a gambeson or a quilted tunic worn over armor in cold weather. The only caution would be to use only cotton batts – synthetic batts do not breathe, and armor made from them could cause a fighter to overheat and suffer a heat stroke. Most pre-quilted fabric is made with polyester batts and should be avoided for this reason.
Another good choice would be quilted bedding, either pillows or bed quilts. Most fabric stores offer basic quilting classes, by either hand or machine. Machine quilting is obviously not period, but it’s possible to quilt a whole quilt in a day by machine. Virtually all modern quilts are made of cotton broadcloth or calico – again, not period, but washable, cheap, and very practical for camping. And Indian bedspreads are so close to palampores that a quilted version would make a fine addition to any campsite.
One warning: quilting is addictive. The calicos used for modern quilting are among the most beautiful cottons being made today, and who can resist beautiful fabrics? So don’t be surprised if what begins as a single gambeson, or a way to use up scraps, turns into a full blown obsession!
Colby, Averil. Quilting. HarperCollins, 1972.
Evans, Lisa. ‘”The Same Counterpoincte Beinge Olde and Worene’: The Mystery of Henry VIII ‘s Green Quilt”, in Medieval Clothing and Textiles 4, Robin Netherton, Gale R. Owen-Crocker, eds. Boydell Press, 2008.
—. “Anomaly or Sole Survivor? The Impruneta Cushion and Early Italian ‘Patchwork'”, in Medieval Clothing and Textiles 8, Robin Netherton, Gale R. Owen-Crocker, eds. Boydell Press, 2012.
Von Gwinner, Schnuppe. The History of the Patchwork Quilt Origins: Traditions and Symbols of a Textile Art. Schiffer Publishing, 2007.
Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia
Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences
You all may remember how impressed I was with this past year’s King’s and Queen’s A&S Champion’s Competition. Mistress Elysabeth Underhill and Master Magnus Hvalmagi organized an activity highly praised by the entrants and judges alike.
We want to build on their success as we plan for future A&S Champion’s Competitions. We also want to take advantage of what worked at the Kingdom competition and make it easy for other groups to use throughout the year.
To those ends, Mistress Elysabeth and Master Magnus have agreed to work with me as Kingdom A&S Special Deputies.
1. Refine the judging rubric and publish this spring
If you are interested in helping with any of these tasks please contact them. They will be gathering feedback from the populace as well as recent A&S Champion’s Competition judges and entrants.
Our goals are:
1. Set expectations early for the next competition
We hope this will make the process easier and more enjoyable. We also think that this fosters learning and teaching throughout the year in addition to the competition.
These roles and goals are specific to the administrative aspects of the competition. The Champions will be chosen by the Royalty in the manner of their choosing.
We will be working together with Lady Sofya Gianetta di Trieste, Queen’s Champion of Arts and Sciences, and Lady Raziya bint Rusa, King’s Champion of Arts and Sciences.
In addition to their roles representing the Kingdom, they will advise and assist the A&S Office in these administrative tasks associated with the competition.
Your Servant to Command,
Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, a&s champions, A&S champs, Arts and Sciences, champions
Lord Argus Erikson, aka Argus of the Seven Hills, passed on unexpectedly on February 1, 2017. His passing leaves a hole in the fabric of the Barony of Stonemarche. Usually one starts this sort of article with a summary of the person’s awards and offices. Doing that doesn’t do Argus justice.
He received his Award of Arms from Balfar and Luna in 2000. He served Stonemarche as Chatelaine for several years.
Eventually he handed off the formal office, and writing the reports to someone else, but he never really stopped being a Chatelaine. As I scanned the social media in the first day or two after we heard the news, the one thing I saw repeated over and over was the sentiment that he’d been one of the first people the writer met when they came to an event in Stonemarche as a nervous newcomer, and he welcomed them. He made them feel like they belonged there, and were genuinely wanted.
That, at its core, is what a Chatelaine does. You can read guides to SCA life, you can watch videos and look at web sites about the SCA and how to get started, but it’s the personal touch that really makes you want to stay. He made people welcome as naturally as breathing. His legacy to Stonemarche, and to the SCA as a whole, is all those people who came, felt welcome, and stayed to become part of the fabric of the group.
It wasn’t just when you were new either. His face lit up any time he saw a friend, whether he’d just seen you the week before, or it had been a year. I don’t think I ever ran into him at an event without getting a big smile of welcome and hug.
He did lots of other things in the SCA too – he fought heavy list, he fenced, and he loved to sing and tell stories. He wrote SCA filks, and loved a good party. He was a familiar sight at bardic circles with his gigantic beer stein, claiming “The wife said I could only have one drink, so it’s a big one.” It wasn’t true, but it made a good ice breaker. It got people to laugh, and he loved that.
He was Father Christmas at more than one Baronial Yule. I think he was “Uncle Argus” to half the children of the Barony. And he was always there to lend a hand when something needed doing at an event.
The funeral was held on Thurs. Feb. 9, but an informal memorial is planned for Palio in Stonemarche in June, for his SCA friends to share memories and bid him farewell.
The formal obituary is available on-line here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/telegram/obituary.aspx?n=brian-ford&pid=184026211&fhid=4796.
This In Memoriam was written by Mistress A’isha bint Jamil.
Filed under: In Memoriam Tagged: In Memoriam, Stonemarche
The Dream Atlas is a map of the Known World inspired by the 14th century Catalan Atlas and created as a fundraiser for Their Highnesses to use toward travel expenses and Eastern Hospitality for foreign royalty. This Atlas is now available for purchase. The map shows all twenty of the current kingdoms, as well as many baronies, shires and sites of large annual events.
In addition to providing geographical reference, there are annotations about each kingdom designed to help travelers better understand various regions. These notes come from conversations with the people who dwell in each land and provide only a small taste of much larger cultures.
Researched and drawn by Lady Christiana Crane, The Dream Atlas is designed to be an opportunity for people to learn about their neighbors, regardless of kingdom. It makes an attractive piece of art for the home or office, however adventurous pilgrims may instead choose to fold their map and use it to record their own travels, turning the Atlas into a living journal.
Maps are 24”x36” black and white prints and are $35 including shipping. These can be ordered through the website until April 3, 2017.
There is also an extremely small number of limited-edition, full color hand painted originals of the map done on acid free paper available for $1000 each. Details regarding availability and delivery time are available by contacting TheDreamAtlas (at) crossroadgames (dot) com.
To learn more about The Dream Atlas, or to order yours, go to theknownworlddreamatlas.blogspot.com
Filed under: Announcements Tagged: for sale, fundraiser, Fundraising, Ioannes and Honig, Travel Fund
The class scheduler, Mistress Barbeta Kyrkeland, is still looking for teachers to teach classes in the following categories:
If you are available to teach at thsi event, please contact Mistress Barbeta firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed under: Events Tagged: Bergental, classes, novice, novice classes, novice schola, teachers
Greetings unto all those intending to enter Spring Crown Tournament,
Please be aware that both the combatant and the consort must submit a letter of intent, either through the following link (preferred) or by email to Their Royal Highnesses Prince Ioannes and Princess Honig with a copy to the Kingdom Seneschal. Joint submissions are preferred if you are using the following link, or if you are using email.
The Letter of Intent must be received by Coronation, April 1, 2017.
If using email, the letters of intent must include all of the following information for both combatant and consort: Society name, legal name, address, telephone number, years of residency and be accompanied by proof of membership with membership number & expiration date that is valid at least thirty days after Crown. If both entrants are combatants, then that should be clearly indicated.
Their Highnesses would remind all entrants that should they win, they will be named Prince and Princess of Tir Mara for their time as Crown Prince and Princess of the East, representing the noble people of Our fair Crown Principality. Please bear these responsibilities in mind should you choose to enter the Crown Lists this Fall. Their Royal Highnesses also request that combatants bring heraldic shields for the list trees.
In Service to the East, I remain
Dueña Mercedes Vera de Calafia
Filed under: Heavy List, Official Notices Tagged: Crown Tourney, Letter of Intent
Submitted to the East Kingdom Gazette by Eloise, Baroness Beyond the Mountain
Ah, February. It feels like winter has stretched on forever, and like spring will never come. Some parts of the Kingdom are grey and cloudy, and others are wondering where to put the snow. It is enough to crush the spirit. What is one to do, to revitalize the soul and sustain us until the return of warmth?
The wise suggest exercising one’s artistic skills, which warms the fingers through activity and nurtures the mind through use. And what better application of winter survival skills than entries for Artifacts of a Life?
Artifacts of a Life III will be held in the Barony Beyond the Mountain (New Britain, CT) on September 30. Artifacts is a different sort of arts competition: entries must be “themed” – the theme is things that would have been used/owned by a single individual sometime in period. Possibly they are the items that would have been left in a will, or even just the day to day paraphernalia of life. They do *not* have to be items owned by *your* persona, but they do have to be linked to one person in one time/place.
There are currently anticipated to be three categories: Typical, Elite, and Village. The Typical category must include three to five items from a single culture and time. The Elite category will include six to nine items from a single culture and time. And for the communally ambitious, the Village category will allow you to work with others in a team to collaboratively create six to nine items. To flog the horse, all of the items in an entry must be placed within a uniform time and culture.
February is grey and quiet. Isn’t now a perfect time to work on your entries? You know that the closer we get to Pennsic, the more you will think about those deferred projects. The ones you were going to work on over the winter. You know as well as we do that you’re not going to do those jobs until July. It’s tradition – why fight tradition? Instead, take these snowy days, and immerse yourself in the artifacts of a life in period. Now is the perfect time.
And prizes! Did we mention the lovely prizes? As at the first two events, we will be bestowing hand-made wooden chests stuffed with materials to make the fingers of even hardened artisans twitch with avarice.
The event announcement is here: http://www.eastkingdom.org/EventDetails.php?eid=3108. The event website, with information about the rules, and pre-registration is here: http://sca-artifactschallenge.blogspot.com/. Please watch both spaces for updated information, as details about the event itself are always changing.
PLEASE NOTE: Entry in the competition REQUIRES pre-registration with Mistress Elizabeth Vynehorn. If you have not specifically notified her of your intention to compete, we will not be able to accept your entry. This is for the benefit of the contestants. Knowing at least roughly what you plan to enter allows us to recruit the best possible judges to give you the best possible feedback. Without pre-registration we will not have sufficient/appropriate judges. Speaking of judges…
If you are available and interested in judging for Artifacts, please let us know. Recruiting judges is by far the most difficult aspect of the event, and if you can assist we would be most grateful. Contact Mistress Elizabeth via the website or event announcement, and we will contact you if your expertise matches our needs.
Come to Artifacts! We would love to see you.
Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Events
The Gazette asked each of the final four performers to share their piece with us. The four performers received the task of composing a piece with a specific theme, each one receiving one of the four seasons.
Winter – Countess Chatricam Meghanta or “Megha”
The piece as performed is based on Purananuru poem # 69, as translated by A.K. Ramanujan. The original poet was Alattur Kilar who was writing about the Tamil King Killivalavan.I modified it to fit the theme I was required to write to, “Winter” (I interpreted that to mean the rainy season in India), where I was, Concordia, and which king I was performing for. ~Megha
My singer friends, here you are, lute in your hand, a hunger in your belly that no one heeds, clutching at your waist, a cloth of patches with strange threads, cold, wet, on a body as aimless as a ruined man’s and your family dulled by poverty.
You round the whole earth and you are here to ask in a small voice for help. So listen.
In Summer Time His army slaughters the murderous elephants of enemy kings, leaves the wounded in pools of blood, makes a slaughterhouse of the battlefield.
Now, in the rainy season, he is in Concordia. He is Brion, King of the East. He wears perfect garlands, his ornaments are flames of gold. you can warm your hands by.
Go to him. You will not ever need to stand in the cold outside his great door. Go fill your eyes with the gold, the rice, the sweet liquor he gives away to singers.
Once he knows you want in winter you will not need to stand with your lute in your hand wet and empty.
Once you have seen him you will wear lotuses of gold, flowers no bee will touch.
He is warmth. He is hospitality. He is the light.
Spring – Maitresse Sabine de Kerbriant I was given 30 minutes to prepare a contrafact (new lyrics set to an existing melody) on the theme of spring. For the tune, I chose “Douce dame jolie,” written ca. 1350 by Guillaume de Machaut. The original song is a virelai with a repeated refrain, with that structure partially mimicked here.
That fair and tender season
So joyful we will be
Think kindly of me is my plea
So joyful we will be
That fair and tender season
The blazing sun beats down upon
I gasp for breath, what do I find?
At last the marshals call a hold
Autumn – Maestro Orlando di Sforza
Autumn Sonnet dedicated to Her Most Royal Majesty, Queen Anna
Wilted willows sway, shamed to raise their eyes.
The quiver of ochre and scarlet leaves,
Alone and defiant she stands, complete.
Let us shine like her, brazen in bold show,
Filed under: Bardic Tagged: Bardic, champions, King and Queen's Champions
Eager to participate in the Barony of Concordia’s traditional mid-February blizzard, 26 artisans descended on Scotia, New York to show off their diverse talents at King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championship.
The competition consisted of two phases. In the first phase, 7 teams of 3 judges each spent up to 45 minutes discussing an artisan’s project with them, and then retired to render scores via rubrics and to fill out feedback forms so that artisans could walk away with advice. After the first judging phase, the top 5 (well, in this case, 6!) would go on to an interview phase with Their Majesties, Their Highnesses, and the judges. The Queen’s Champion was the winner, and the King chose his Champion from among the field.
The entrants were:
Lord Agapios Cargos
We had quite the slew of judges as well:
Mistress Ose Silverhair
The room was packed full of incredibly diverse art, ranging from focused research on historic combat techniques to an actual working boat. Artisans spent the day talking to judges, to other artisans, and to enthralled members of the populace seeking to enhance their knowledge of period practices.
A full gallery of all entrants and their exhibits can be found here, courtesy of Baroness Cateline la Broderesse.
There was also a Youth Arts and Sciences display! Several young artisans of the kingdom put their work on display, and received an extraordinary response from the populace. So great was the volume of attention that the judging teams assigned to talk to them could not physically get to the table to talk to them – there were so many people clamoring around already!
As the dust settled, 6 artisans emerged as the finalists. They were:
Magister Galefridus Peregrinus
The room was cleared, and the six artisans waited by their projects. Their Majesties and Their Highnesses, accompanied by their Champions and a handful of retainers, sat with each artisan. They spoke about their project and enlightened their audience, and then spoke with passion and inspiration about what they would bring to the position of Champion.
After consultation, Their Majesties chose Lady Sofya Gianetta di Trieste as Queen’s Champion of Arts and Sciences and Lady Raziya bint Rusa as the King’s Champion of Arts and Sciences. There was much rejoicing!
Master Magnus and Mistress Elysabeth would like to thank all the entrants for showcasing their amazing talents, and all the judges for their tremendous service.
Photos courtesy of Caitline La Broderesse
Filed under: Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, champions, King and Queen's Champions, Kings and Queens Champions
On a day befitting the name of our hosts, Concordia of the Snows, thirteen exceptional performers assembled to vie for the positions of King’s and Queen’s Bards. The competition consisted of three rounds, with each performer given a total of 15 minutes to use over all three rounds (with extra time available for the finals at their Majesties’ discretion).
The competitors were:
Countess Chatricam Meghanta or “Megha” (aka Marguerite inghean Lochlainn)
Mistress Elizabeth Elenore Lovell
Mistress Judith Fitzhenry, called the Uncertain
Lady Lilie Dubh inghean ui Mordha
Lady Lillie von der Tann
Lady Lorita da Siena
Maestro Orlando di Sforza
Lord Robert of Anglespur
Maitresse Sabine de Kerbriant
Lord Sean O’Morain
Lady Solveig Bjarnadottir
Jarl Valgard Stonecleaver
Mistress Ysemay Sterling
In addition to Their Majesties Brion and Anna, the judges for the competition were Mistress Alys Mackyntoich (Queen’s Bard), Lady AEthelflied Brewbane (King’s Bard), Master Grim the Skald and Master Michael of York.
The first round performances ranged from period documented pieces to SCA folk songs, poetry and prose, and even instrumental music combined with vocal song. The competitors did not make the task of deciding who should advance to the second round easy on the judges. After much debate, eight performers were asked to return to offer a second piece. They were: Countess Megha, Lady Lillie, Lady Lorita, Maestro Orlando, Lord Robert, Maitresse Sabine, Lady Solveig and Mistress Ysemay.
Once again, the performances were stellar, and selecting four to advance to the finals was not easy. Ultimately, Countess Megha, Maestro Orlando, Maitresse Sabine and Lady Lillie were asked to offer a third performance.
As is traditional, each finalist was given a challenge based on the performance resumes they had turned in at the beginning of the contest. Countess Megha was asked to prepare an inspirational speech on the subject of Winter. Maestro Orlando was asked to offer an Elizabethan monologue on the subject of Autumn. Maitresse Sabine was asked for a contrefacte (new lyrics added to existing music) on the Spring. Lady Lillie was asked for a song on Summer. They were given 30 minutes to prepare.
All four finalists rose to the challenges before them with passion, vigor and excellence. Maestro Orlando presented an original Shakespearean sonnet that he had written in 30 minutes. Countess Megha used her 30 minutes to adapt an existing period Indian poem about the rainy season and the generosity of Kings. Maitresse Sabine wrote and sang new words to go to the period tune E, Dame Jolie by Guillaume de Machaut. Lady Lillie presented an original song she had composed about the battle with the heat at this past Pennsic War.
Baroness Arlyana Van Wyck took videos of the final performances, which can be found at the public links below:
At the end of the day, Queen Anna chose Maitresse Sabine as Queen’s Bard and King Brion chose Countess Megha as the King’s Bard, with much acclaim all around.
Maestro Orlando was inducted into the Order of the Troubadour based in large part on his performances during the competition.
Mistress Alys and Lady AEthelflied thank all the competitors for their hard work, passion and willingness to perform, as well as the people of Concordia of the Snows for putting on a splendid event.
Article written by Mistress Alys, photos by Cateline La Broderesse.
Filed under: Events Tagged: Bardic, bardic champions, champions
From the Aethelmarc Gazette
“Prince Timothy recently shared the tentative schedule of rapier and cut & thrust classes planned for Ædult Swim 2017 on the AEthelmearc Rapier Army Facebook page. The free event will be February 18 and 19 at Milton Shoe Factory 700 Hepburn St. Milton, PA 17847” ….. to read more click HERE
Filed under: Announcements, Events, Rapier