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On Target: Quick and Easy Targets

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-08-31 17:36

We have all been there. Pennsic is over, we have another shoot to do, we’re tired and just fresh out of ideas, or we get that dreaded phone call: Lord so-and-so has a family emergency, can you step in? Here are some quick and easy ideas for targets.

First, who would not enjoy shooting at a plague rat? All you have to do is make four circles. I like to add my googly eyes. The whiskers are 4 wire ties. A smile, a little backing and you’re ready to go. ( You can see how well he stands up.)

Next, I get so many comments on this target – it’s a candelabra shoot that takes all of 5 minutes to make. All you need is a piece a black foam board from the nearest dollar store and some white and gold duct tape. Archers get six shots to shoot the five candles. It doesn’t matter if they hit the candelabra, and there’s plenty of room to miss, so they cannot hit two candles in one shot.

Third, let’s go for a little bit of hunting. You have to protect His Majesty’s rabbit for His dinner, and shoot the four foxes. Now, I’m not making any political statement here, but in the commercial word Fox, the “O” makes a perfect bulls eye. Believe me when I say people will get a good laugh out of this. If you’re a good artist you can do this all freehand, or go to your local store and buy stencils.

Last we have a small twist on a wand shoot. Get a cylindrical piece of cardboard like an oatmeal box. Hang about two and a half feet of pool noodle covered in cookie dough-colored duct tape from the box. You now have Captain Ahab’s peg leg. Hang it just off the ground, and you will get the feel of shooting his leg out from under him.

These targets are all easy to make and fun to shoot.

This month’s safety tip: now that Pennsic it is over, don’t let your guard down when you’re on the range. I’ve had as few as one shooter and as many as 50. Stay alert, offer to help the Marshal in charge if you can, and if you are marshalling, don’t be afraid to ask for a break.

In service,

Deryk Archer

Categories: SCA news sites

Rarely seen liturgical textiles on display in Vienna

History Blog - Tue, 2016-08-30 22:54

The Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna is home to an extraordinary collection of treasures accumulated by the House of Habsburg over hundreds of years. Jewels, vessels made of gold, silver and gemstones, furniture, paintings, the imperial regalia of the Holy Roman Empire and opulent vestments are on display in the Secular Treasury, including one of my favorite historic textiles of all time, the Mantle of Roger II, made in 1133-4 for the Norman king of Sicily. The crimson samite mantle was embroidered in gold by Arabic craftsmen in Palermo who created a breathtaking split scene of lions attacking dromedaries on both sides of a stylized date palm. It made its way to the Holy Roman Empire through marriage by the early 13th century and to Vienna in 1801.

The Ecclesiastical Treasury features chalices, relics, monstrances, tabernacles and liturgical vestments. Its collection of 18th century religious textiles, most of which were donated to the Church by Emperor Charles VI, his wife Elisabeth Christine and their Empress Maria Theresa, mother of Marie Antoinette of France. The vestments were made of the most expensive French and Italian silks and satins that were then lavishly embroidered.

The extensive holdings of the Ecclesiastical Treasury in Vienna are largely unknown to the general public; they comprise mainly vestments and liturgical textiles that were used to celebrate Mass or during religious festivities. Totalling around 1,700 artefacts, the collection includes both sets of vestments and individual textiles. Many of these precious garments were donated by members of the House of Habsburg who for centuries ruled the Holy Roman Empire. The pomp and circumstance associated with this high office is reflected in the costliness of these sumptuous textiles, the finest of which date from the Baroque, the apogee of Habsburg piety. Unlike mediaeval ecclesiastical textiles, baroque vestments generally feature not figurative but purely ornamental decorations. Precious secular silks adorned with a variety of designs frequently function as the base material, which is then elaborately embellished with appliqués, lace or gold-, silver- and silk embroidery to produce opulent textile works of art.

The leading benefactress in the 18th century was Maria Theresia (1717-1780). She donated precious textiles for use in the imperial palace chapel and the chapels of the different imperial summer residences at Schönbrunn, Laxenburg and Hetzendorf, as well as in St. Augustine’s church in Vienna. The latter evolved into a major stage for Habsburg piety. Here newly-appointed bishops were invested. All these places were lavishly appointed with sumptuous ecclesiastical textiles.

These textiles are so fragile they are kept in conservation cabinets and cannot be on permanent display. Select pieces can be seen now in the special exhibition Praise of God, and the embroidery alone is mind-blowing.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Court Report: Pennsic 45

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2016-08-30 17:23

August 6-10, AS 51 (2016)
45th Annual Pennsic War

Documented from the Rolls and Files of the Coram Regibus of Thomas Byron et Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc: Being a True Record of the Business of Their Majesties’ Royal Court at the 45th Pennsic War. As recorded by Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, with the assistance of Don Eric Grenier de la Barre, Freiherrin Helena Mützhazenin (Fleur D’Æthelmearc Herald), Lord Pavel Dudoladov, THL Gytha Oggesdottir (Silent Herald), Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai (Silver Buccle Herald), Drotin Jǫrundr hinn Rotinn (Comet Pursuivant), Maighstir Uilliam MacantSaior (Sycamore Herald), and Master Fridrikr Tomasson.

On the 6th of August, Their Majesties received The Honorable Lady Álfrún ketta and asked if it was her wish to sit vigil to contemplate elevation to the Most Noble Order of the Laurel. Upon her reply, They invited forward the present companions of that Order to conduct her to the place of her vigil and give her counsel. Court was suspended.

On the following day, Their Majesties called Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc before Them. They then received Their Masters of Defense to conduct Don Clewin to the field, there to hold against all challengers and hear counsel prior to elevation into the Most Noble Order of Defense. Court was suspended.

In the evening on the 7th, Their Majesties resumed Their Court to place His Grace, Duke Timothy of Arindale, upon his vigil for induction into the Order of the Pelican. Court was suspended.

Later on the same day, Their Majesties reconvened Their Court in the presence of Their Heirs, Marcus and Margerite, and Their Excellencies Brandubh and Hilderun of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, having business with several of Their Excellencies’ subjects.

Meister Urho Walterinen, having been found among the populace despite his assurances that he would not be attending any other events during Their Majesties’ reign, was brought forward to explain this discrepancy. Well pleased with his answer, Their Majesties were additionally glad of the opportunity to present him with the scroll intended to commemorate him as the 41st Jewel of Æthelmearc. Their Majesties threatened that if he chooses to appear at yet another event, despite assurances to the contrary, They may will call him a third time to present the medallion! Scroll by THL Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne.

Their Majesties summoned before them Lady Silence de Cherbourg. They noted that “Silence the Bard” is rarely an accurate description, and praised her dedication to her arts despite the challenges of young children and other commitments that often take precedence. They added to Their own regard that of another body who would see her among their number, and thus invited Their Order of the Fleur D’Æthelmearc, Granting her Arms and naming her a Companion of the Order. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Her Ladyship Silence de Cherbourg with her Fleur scroll. Photo by Arianna.

Their Majesties next required THL Silence to switch baby duty with Betkin van Uutwijck that They might receive her into Their Presence. They spoke with her of her time spent retaining and particularly of her garb in the Flemish style, and felt it mete that she be raised to Their nobility as befit one with such talents and gifts. Thus did They Award her Arms. Scroll by Lady Vivienne of Yardley.

THL Ishiyama receives his book. Photo by Arianna.

The Honorable Lord Ishiyama Gentarou Yorie’e, then being called before Their Majesties, was presented with a book that had come into Their Majesties’ possession. His Majesty explained that the book was from an admirer who wished to remain anonymous, and had begged Their Majesties to pass the gift on to His Lordship that he might use it to further his study of period Japanese furnishings. His Lordship carefully received the volume, which was of some age and delicate condition, with his thanks.

Their Majesties next wished the attendance of Lady Cionaodh Gunn. In recognition of her superlative grace under the challenges of this year’s War Practice, Their Majesties were minded to bestow unto her the Golden Escarbuncle.

Lady Cionaodh Gunn. Photo by Arianna.

Their Majesties next sought the presence of The Honorable Lady Muirgheal inghean Dubhghaill. She was relieved of her duty as retainer to Their Excellencies in order to come before the throne. Not for retaining, but for her skill with sword and bow, and her service as marshall, did Their Majesties seek to reward her, and thus They deemed it proper to include her among Their Order of the Golden Alce.

In an odd coincidence, Their Majesties’ next desire was to speak to The Honorable Lord Kieran MacRae, who had replaced Her Ladyship in attending Their Excellencies. Nonetheless, he was brought before the throne, where Their Majesties remarked on all the areas in which he strives. But none have been more evident than his skill with pen and brush, the intrepid “combat scribe” ability to create works of beauty with no pen but a chisel-tip marker, and no canvas but an awkward spear haft. Gifts of this magnitude are greatly to be praised, and have earned the accolade too of Their Highnesses, and also of The Most Noble Order of the Laurel. Therefore, Their Majesties invited Their Order of the Laurel to join Them and instructed His Lordship to hold vigil at Agincourt, where Their Heirs would hear his answer whether he will join that august Order. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

THL Kieran MacRae with his Laurel Writ. Photo by Arianna.

Their Majesties next invited Mistress Irene von Schmetterling before Them, while the Order of the Laurel was convened. They there inquired whether she were prepared to sit her own vigil as had been previously commanded. At her reply, They instructed Their Order to take her forth to the place of her vigil, and invited all who would offer counsel to seek her there.

Their Majesties also made it known that Don Clewin’s elevation to the Order of Defense would occur on the field on the following day at half-past noon. Her Majesty further announced that She would bestow favors on all who wished for one, following the suspension of Court.

Their business being concluded, Their Majesties gave permission to Their Excellencies to hold their court. Following the close of Their Excellencies’ Court, Their Majesties thanked all scribes and regalia wrights who contributed to either of the evening’s awards, and Court was suspended.

On the following day, the 8th of August, Their Majesties resumed Court by receiving Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc and inquiring of him whether he had decided to accept elevation into the Order of Defense. Pleased by his acceptance, They invited those Masters of Defense there present to come foward in support of their newest companion. First, Duchess Líadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh praised Don Clewin for his presence, a quality that shines through his bearing, his dress and armor, his smile, his stance, his words, and all he does. Within the tapestry of the Dream, strands are woven of actions, works, and presence, and Her Grace attested to the inspiration and enrichment on display in the thread that Clewin contributes. Next, Duke Timothy of Arindale spoke on behalf of the Chivalry, noting that as a Knight, it is his duty to serve King, Queen, Kingdom, and Society. In Clewin, His Grace recognizes a natural Peer, whether the outward symbol be a belt or a livery collar, and he is proud to call him both brother and Peer. Meisterin Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen attested to his artistry, equivalent to a Laurel in the way he teaches and distributes manuals of fence, as well as how he constantly seeks out additional information and perfects its practice, honing not only his own technique, but that of those around him. She commented that often she has to remind him to go fight, because he is immersed in teaching. Mistress Zoë Akropolitina, representing the Order of the Pelican, recounted Clewin’s many, many acts of service, as a fighter, a fencer, a teacher, and more. She affirmed that he is always somewhere teaching, or if not teaching, lending a hand. Finally, Duchess Dorinda Courtenay imparted the knowledge that mastery can only be achieved by balance. Clewin balances his family with the call of the sword; he balances his lady’s time on the field with his own; he balances his love of historical fencing technique with the rules of the list; he balances his love of rattan with his love of rapier and steel. He has achieved balance, and with it mastery, with the common thread throughout that is his love for the sword. Hearing these words, Their Majesties were well minded to continue, and ordered placed about him both a personal livery collar, made by the hand of Meisterin Fredeburg, and the ancestral livery collar. The lineage of the ancestral collar was read and the book presented to Meister Clewin, to add his own page and pass on to the next Master of Defense when the time comes. He was given his sword with which to defend the realm, and a coat to proclaim his status. He then swore his oath to Their Majesties upon his own sword. The scroll, an etched buckler, was made by Master Aanais Fenn.

Don Clewin is made a Master of Defense. Photo by Baron Steffan Wolfgang von Ravensburg.

Her Majesty once again announced that She would distribute favors and that prior to the afternoon’s rapier battle, She would address the Rapier Army. There being no further business at that time, Court was suspended.

Late in the evening of August 8th, Their Majesties were possessed of a desire to see the performance of I Genesii, despite its conflict with Their own party in Their Royal encampment. Although They attempted to stealthily ensconce Themselves among the audience, a miscalculation led to Their appearance upon the stage itself! Their Majesties therefore did the only logical thing: They resumed Court, shortly after which, They demanded that Lord Angus MacDougal cease his playacting long enough to be named a Companion of the Order of the Sycamore, in recognition of his service and faithful participation among I Genesii. Scroll by Lady Abigail Kelhoge. Court was quickly suspended before anything else could go wrong–er, happen.

On the evening of Tuesday, August 9th, Their Majesties resumed Their Court, accompanied by Their Highnesses Marcus and Margerite, and by the assembled Barons and Baronesses of the Kingdom. Their Majesties rejoiced in welcoming new subjects to adorn Greater Æthelmearc: with the consent of the Midrealm, Brynna Barth and Felineous Wraitheon declared allegiance at Nothern Oaken War Maneuvers; and with the consent of Their Majesties of the East, Don Andrew Blake of Edinburgh and Dona Jeanne Francesca Fitzgerald joined the ranks of the Sylvan Kingdom earlier at War.

Their Majesties sought Ulf Halfdansson to present himself. Worthily impressed with his conduct among the youth fighter community, They did name him a Companion of the Silver Alce. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Next did Their Majesties invite Dame Hrefna Úlfvarinnsdóttir to attend Them. They noted with gratitude her efforts to ensure that the Kingdom was well represented among the history displays at the Society 50-year Celebration. In recognition of her ingenuity and dedication beyond the call of duty, They awarded to her a Golden Escarbuncle.

Dame Hrefna. Photo by Arianna.

Their Majesties called before them Edward McDonald. Their Majesties noted that his service as a herald and fighter are worthy of praise, and have long enhanced his community. To recognize his efforts, They Awarded him Arms. Scroll by Mistress Una de St. Luc.

Elizabeth de Hawkesworth was next summoned to attend Their Majesties. Her service to her house and to the Kingdom, particularly at War Practice, was cited, along with her other qualities, as pleasing to Their Majesties, and as such, They deemed it right and proper to Award her Arms. Scroll by Baroness Rowena Moore, Deryk Balthazar Simmons, and Mistress Maria Christina de Cordoba.  

Elizabeth de Hawkesworth. Photo by Arianna.

Next did Their Majesties require the attendance of Hrungnir Hjaldarbjorn. They remarked on his many pursuits, including fighting and the construction of books and other leatherwork. Thus impressed with his efforts, They did Award him Arms. Scroll by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle, Oleksandra Ivanova Baboyka, and Christiana McNamara.

Hrungnir Hjaldarbjorn. Photo by Arianna.

Their Majesties then called forward Isabeau la Fauconniere. Long are the hours of service she has given to her Baron and Baroness, as well as to the organization of her camp. In order that her efforts might be properly acknowledged, Their Majesties bestowed upon her Arms. Scroll by Lady Felice de Thornton.

Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Their Majesties sought the presence of Nicole of the Ravenswood, but being not in attendance, instead invited Her Excellency, Baroness Sadira of Thescorre, to carry Their words to the lady. Having heard good report and observed her service to her Barony at event registration, in the kitchens, and as autocrat, They Awarded her Arms. Scroll by The Honorable Lady Eleanore Godwin.

Their Majesties next called for Seamus Rogan, but being not in attendance, Their Excellencies Marcus and Desiderata, Baron and Baroness of Delftwood, presented themselves on his behalf. Their Majesties prayed they might carry unto Seamus Their praise and gratitude for his skill and service in the field of archery. They then further signified Their regard by Awarding him Arms. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Then was Valentine MacLachlan called to attend the Sylvan Throne. In recognition of his skill and dedication to armored combat, Their Majesties inducted him into the Order of the Golden Alce, thereby Awarding him Arms. Scroll by The Honorable Lady Juliana Stafford.

Scroll by THL Juliana Stafford

Next, Their Majesties desired to see Lord Rhys of Mylesende. His prowess as a fighter had also reached the notice of the Crown, and was found worthy of praise. Thus did Their Majesties bestow upon him the symbol of the Golden Alce and induct him into that Order. Scroll by Lady Abigail Kelhoge.

Scroll by Lady Abigail Kelhoge

Their Majesties next sought Sigurdr Vitskertr and were dismayed to see him not in attendance. Nonetheless, They made note of his exemplary service as exchequer and labor at event registration, and thus determined to recognize these accomplishments with elevation into the Order of the Keystone, further Awarding him Arms. Scroll by Baroness Constance Glyn Dwr.

Following this, Their Majesties welcomed Lord Finar of the South Marche and Signora Celesta Vianello into Their Presence. Both these gentles have given so generously of their time, and for so long, to the service of the Pennsic Information Point, that Their Majesties decreed it only proper and fitting to enroll them both as Companions of the Order of the Keystone. Lord Finar’s scroll by Mistress Gillian Llewellyn; Signora Celesta’s by Master Caleb Reynolds.

The Court next had business with Lady Magge Illfoster. Their Majesties spoke with her of her labors in kitchens and as retaining staff, finding it greatly to be praised. In acknowledgement of these continued acts of service, They named her a Companion of the Order of the Keystone. Scroll by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle, Shoshido Tora, and Thora Riddarsdottir.

Their Majesties called for Lady Logan Latta du Kent, who being not present, was represented by Their Excellencies Magnus and Muriel of the Rhydderich Hael. Their Majesties wished Their Excellencies to convey Their words of approbation for Logan’s support of the rapier community, and also to bring to her the symbol of the Order of the Keystone, of which Their Majesties decreed she now be a Companion.

Next, Their Majesties desired words with Baroness Oddkatla Jonnsdottir and Baron Friderich Schwarzwalder. Their Majesties thanked them for the hard work and organization of the Kingdom Party of the night before, deeming it enjoyable and successful. Baroness Oddkatla requested that an artifact from the party be put to good use. His Majesty then addressed Prince Marcus, saying that there was a rumor His Highness had hurt his arm. Their Majesties presented His Highness with the arm of the Lady of the Lake, clad in purest shimmering samite, to aid His Highness and lend strength to heal his injuries.

Rowena McCara was called before Their Majesties, who took note of her beautiful embroidery, and teaching of the same, in the Roumanian style. In recognition of her skills, They names her a Companion of the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll in progress by Master Jehan de la Marche and The Honorable Lady Ismay Ponde.

Lady Rowena McCara. Photo by Arianna.

Then did Their Majesties wish to be attended by Master Benedict Fergus Atte Mede. Having taken good note of his skill in the art of clothing and leatherwork, particularly in the making of footwear, Their Majesties found merit worthy of a Companion of the Sycamore, and thus deemed it proper to name him so. Scroll by Oliver Sutton.

Next, Their Majesties required Master Augusto Giuseppe de San Donato to present himself before the Court. Of late, Their Majesties have had reason to observe this noble gentle as one of Their Chamberlains, but long have his labors been known to Their Majesties and many others. His service to the Thrown Weapons community, to the Canton of Beau Fleuve, and to the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael have continued to earn renown, and thus were They minded to create him a Baron of Their Court. Scroll by Baroness Rosemund von Glinde. 

Scroll calligraphed by Lord Angelino the Bookmaker, illumination by Lady Elektra of Sylvan Glen

Then Their Majesties invited His Grace, Duke Timothy of Arindale to give answer whether he would be elevated into the Most Noble Order of the Pelican. Receiving his reply, They called for that Order to join them and heard words of testimony, beginning with the words of Their Noble Cousin, Gabriel Rex, Stellar King of Ansteorra, who spoke as a representative of the Chivalry. His Majesty Gabriel spoke of the Chivalry as those who heed the call, who answer and do what must be done. While most would be proud to be numbered in this company, His Grace does not answer, but feels the call, finds the needs, goes where the need is, spends his time and life in the service of fulfilling the need of his family, friends, and kingdom, with enthusiasm, dedication, and a cheerful shrug, dragging others behind him in his wake. Her Grace, Gabrielle van Nijenrode, representing the Ladies of the Rose, recalled that she would neither have served as his Queen, nor accepted his proposal on the day they first won, were she not certain he was a man of chivalry. Beyond that, she spoke of the many ways she observed him serving, and the way that he will tell others that his service is expected because he is a knight. He insists that no one will have more fun than he does, and it is this care for and about others that assures her he is worthy of the Pelican. Master Robert of Sugargrove described His Grace’s buoyant enthusiasm as a quality that keeps people playing in the Society, and further revealed that as a craftsman, His Grace made the bronze tip that adorns Master Robert’s own belt. Master Quinn Kerr, of the Order of Defense, recounted the parable of the pilgrim who came across a building site. He asked the builders what they were doing. The first said, “Laying stone,” the second said, “Building a wall,” and the third said, “Building a castle.” In His Grace, Master Quinn is reminded of one who epitomizes the motto, “Not for me, not for you, but for us.” Her Grace, Duchess Isabella of York, Royal Peer and “fifth force of nature,”™ informed the Court that she has known His Grace was a Peer for more than 20 years, since he came to an Eastern event as King, and took off his crown to wash dishes at day’s end, and made sure the tables were clean and put away before he left the site. Following his example, Her Grace said, she could not herself sit the throne of the East and do nothing, and His Grace has the inspiration to get up and make a difference. Lady Antoinette de Lorraine next spoke on behalf of the populace. She reflected on what makes a Pelican, if not a call to duty, and commented that she recalled how at His Grace’s own Coronation, he vacuumed the hall and made a final sweep of the site. She pledged to always remember this behavior and never forget the way in which His Grace inspires many others to look at the angles, take chances, and never let dreams die. Finally, His Grace, Duke Eliahu sent words, read by Her Grace Gabrielle, on behalf of the Order of the Pelican. His Grace cited the enfranchisement that Duke Timothy infuses in others: seeing how to improve something, he leads the effort by invoking others to implement the improvement. His success is magnified by the impact he has on others. Moved by this overwhelming and incontrovertible testimony, Their Majesties called for the ancestral medallion and case. Duchess Gabrielle also presented a personal medallion, and then bedecked him with a hood made by the hand of The Honorable Lady Jacqueline de Molieres. Their Majesties bid His Grace to rise and be greeted as a Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Pelican. Scroll calligraphed by Lord Angelino the Bookmaker, illumination by Lady Elektra of Sylvan Glen.

Duke Timothy is inducted into the Pelican. Photo by Baron Brandubh o Donnghaile.

Their Majesties next brought before Them The Honorable Lady Álfrún ketta. At her assent to join the Most Noble Order of the Laurel, Their Majesties first invited Mistress Mary Isabel of Hearthstone to take back Her Ladyship’s apprentice belt, and then asked the company of Laurels to attend and draw near. Countess Kalista Morganova spoke of the continuing obligation to the kingdom after the Crown passes from one Royal couple to the next. She praised Álfrún’s generosity in placing her knowledge, wisdom, skills, and findings at the disposal not only of the kingdom, but the Society as a whole, in much the same way as a Royal Peer. Duke Timothy returned before the Court to speak as a member of the Order of Chivalry, of the concept of renown. While more common in combat than in Arts and Science, Álfrún’s wordfame has spread far to other Kingdoms: East, Midrealm, and beyond. Her status and the regard of the community of the Known World commend her as a Peer. Master Will Paris read the words of Master Orlando di Bene del Vinta, who described the Order of Defense not only as one of prowess with the sword, but of knowledge of the art and science of the blade, and attested that she has gained mastery, but more importantly, freely shares her knowledge with everyone. Her love for her art is evident and enriches the Society as a whole. Master Morien McBain, as a Pelican, said that he considers himself blessed in life, but that one of the greatest blessings he counts is of this lady’s friendship. He told a tale of their childhood, and a toy knight of Álfrún’s that inspired him to put on armor, creating in him a drive that remains steady to this day. And Mistress Rhiannon y Bwa reiterated Master Morien’s statements about Álfrún’s joy, saying that the Laurels heard tales of Álfrún’s enthusiasm for fiber arts and her boundless capacity to draw others in, her craftiness not only with spindle, loom, and fleece, but in enticing breeders to give up wool from different types of sheep, some of which are unique and unseen in over 50 years of spinning, thus making it clear how she advances her art.

THLady Alfrun ketta becomes a Laurel. Photo by Arianna.

Hearing these testimonies, Their Majesties were well pleased. They called for the symbols of her station: Mistress Mary Isabel bestowed upon her the medallion that had belonged to her own Laurel, a lineage that extends to the Outlands. A wreath was placed upon her head, and the cloak that bedecked her shoulders was the very same that many had woven during the course of her vigil. The fruitcake reliquary was bestowed to her keeping, and she gave her oath of fealty to the Crown. Then Their Majesties bid her rise and join the Noble Order of the Laurel. Scroll a work in progress with wording by Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Ham.  

Their Majesties then invited Mistress Irene von Schmetterling to appear before Them and asked whether she were ready to accept the accolade of the Most Noble Order of the Laurel. At her assent, They called for testimony from the assembled Peerages. Duchess Líadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh praised Mistress Irene for her passion, her fervor, the way she inspires others to action, a powerhouse who finds delight in trying new things, challenging herself and inspiring others to do likewise. Sir Kadan Chákhilgan Ger on Echen made comparison of the seven knightly virtues and seven deadly sins, and the way in which all must combat the latter with the former. In Irene, he saw none of the sins, and every virtue on display. Master Giovanni di Fianna, premier Master of Defense of the Kingdom of Trimaris, spoke of the quality of sprezzatura, the effortless way in which a master displays her talents and vitues. Irene’s love for her art, for the Dream, kindles curiosity, gives her the courage to learn from what does not work, and gives her the quality of sprezzatura, As one who has traded affiliations with her more than once, Master Giovanni remained confident that her love for her art will expand her curiosity, courage, and sprezzatura. Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Ham, for the Order of the Pelican, spoke of the boundless, tireless service Irene has given over the years, in every place where she has lived, and that he knew her for a Peer throughout all the time she was a protegée, a herald, an autocrat, and a marshal. Mistress Orianna, also speaking for the Pelicans, added that everything she does is also an act of service–in her fencing, her arts, and everything she practices, she does nothing if not serve. Finally, Mistress Honoria of Thescorre described meeting Irene at her first Pennsic war, and how, shortly afterward, Irene allowed her to stay as if they had been friends for much longer. The relationship that began bloomed from there, as they exchanged arts, as Honoria sent her materials and received back beautiful works. She affirmed that Irene encouraged her when she was not encouraged, and did the same for many others. Irene shares everywhere she goes, making her art blossom and the arts of others blossom as well. Hearing these heartfelt words from worthy representatives, Their Majesties called for regalia that would proclaim her new station to all. Master William de Montegilt placed a medallion around her neck, and Mistress Alison of the Many Isles adorned her shoulders with her cloak bearing the Laurel leaves. Mistress Álfrún ketta brought forward the fruitcake, so long in her possession, and Mistress Irene renewed her oath of service to the Crown. She was then asked to join her new Order. Scroll forthcoming.

Mistress Irene is inducted into the Laurel. Photo by Arianna.

Before dismissing the Order of the Laurel, Their Majesties desired one more to come forward and be recognized for his contributions to the Arts. Sir Ian Kennoven represented well the Sylvan Kingdom as another of Their Majesties’ Arts and Sciences Champions, and his work in cooking and particularly the construction of sugar plate subtleties has met with the Order’s approbation, as well as Their Majesties and Their Heirs. Thus he was commanded to present himself to Their Majesties’ Heirs at Their Coronation at Harvest Raid, there to sit vigil and contemplate induction into the Most Noble Order of the Laurel. Scroll by Duchess Líadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh.

Next, Their Majesties allowed Their Silver Buccle, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, time in Their Court to formally invest The Honorable Lady Solveig Throndardottir with the office and mantle of Keystone Herald. Her Ladyship was not dismissed, however, for Their Majesties were not done dispensing justice–in this case, the just and right command that Her Ladyship be taken into the custody of the Most Noble Order of the Laurel, and to sit vigil in the camp of Clan Yama Kaminari on the following day, drinking tea in contemplation of Their Majesties’ question, and thereafter, to give answer in that place whether she would join the august assembly of the Order. Scroll a work in progress by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai and The Honorable Lady Isabel Fleuretan.

THLady Solveig bows as Their Majesties announce her Writ for the Laurel.

Their Majesties recognized all those who contributed scrolls, medallions, and regalia for those recognized in Court that day, and reminded scribes who had turned in scrolls to come to the Royal encampment for resupply, if they had not already done so. The Coram Regibus was then suspended.

Court resumed on Wednesday, the 10th of August, in the Camp of Clan Yama Kaminari. As recorded by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, Silver Buccle Principal Herald:

Their Majesties summoned the young wolf Akayama Yatoru Kage’o. They commented that, though he had begun as but a cub, he had grown strong, with claws and fangs that he launched at targets for the honor of his Barony, and fur that suited his person well. For these reasons, they Awarded him Arms. Scroll in progress by Baroness Juliana Rosalia Dolce di Siena and Tiarna Ard Padraig Ó Branduibh.

Their Majesties noted that there was one who, though not among them, was much deserved of recognition for her prowess both on the fencing field and as a valued member of the Æthelmearc Ballista Army. Thus it was that they announced that The Honorable Lady Elaine Fairchilde had been granted admission into the Order of the Golden Alce. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.

Next, Their Majesties capitalized upon the opportunity presented to Them that They might summon Their Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful, before Them. For they wished to continue speaking of prowess of those who rained death upon Æthelmearc’s enemies with their mighty siege engines, and Gwendolyn had proven herself puissant in the engines of war. So it was that They saw fit to bestow upon her the right to bear the badge of, and proclaim herself a member of, the Order of the Golden Alce. Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds.

Noting the great martial prowess for which Yama Kaminari has been known these many years, Their Majesties next sought the presence of Minamoto-roku-i Sakurako, whose skill with the fencing blades had won great honor not only for her, but for her Clan, Barony and Kingdom across the Known World. She was therefore befitted with the badge of the Golden Alce and proclaimed a member of that noble Order. Scroll by Ishiyama Gentarō Yori’ie upon wording by Minamoto-roku-i Taikawa Saiaiko.

Finally, Their Majesties said that They would have The Honorable Lady Solveig Throndardottir before Them. Having sat vigil and contemplated over tea the question before her that day, she answered that yes, she would indeed accept elevation to the Most Noble Order of the Laurel. The present companions of that Order were gathered before Their Majesties. So, too, were all those who bore or had ever borne the title of “Herald,” for her work was so expansive and influential that not a herald present could say that her efforts had not touched them. Duke Sir Christopher Rawlyns bore the words of Count Sir Jehan de la Marche, who spoke of the grace and expertise with which she directed the multiple noh and kyogen performances in which he participated, his admiration for her dedication to education, and stated that she is, without a doubt, worthy of this accolade. Viscount Sir Haakon Oaktall said that though he knows little of art, he knows much of weapons, and knowledge is a weapon that Solveig wields with precision and skill, and that her efforts encourage people to love things that they do not yet know. Duchess Dorinda Courtenay bore the words of Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne, premier Defender of the West Kingdom, who proclaimed herself in awe of both Solveig’s ability and her tenacity, and wished she could be there to share such a special moment. Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn recalled a quarter century past, when he was elevated to the Order of the Pelican, and knew even then that Solveig was worthy of being a Peer; he also recalled his days as Brigantia Principal Herald, when he requested that Solveig write a “little pamphlet” about Japanese names. Mistress Juliana de Luna, Siren Herald and former Pelican Queen of Arms, held aloft a copy of that “little pamphlet,” over 300 pages long, and recalled that for longer than she had been practicing heraldry, Solveig had been there, learning, teaching, and researching; she also talked of Solveig’s research into ceremonies, food, and all other aspects of Japanese culture and declared her a treasure. Their Majesties, being moved by all of these good testimonies, did award unto Solveig Arms by Letters Patent and declared her a Magistra of the Order of the Laurel, presented her with a medallion, a jacket and a wreath as regalia of her new station, and accepted her oath of service as a Peer of the Realm. Finally They granted her a name augmentation and named her 宗阿弥 “Sō’ami.” Scroll by Ogami-sama Akira and Minamoto-roku-i Taikawa Saiaiko.

There being no further business before them at the 45th Pennsic War, the Coram Regibus was closed.

Faithfully Submitted,

Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres

Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald

**Photos courtesy of Gwendolyn the Graceful, Arianna of Wynthrope, Juliana Rosalia Dolce da Siena (Tuesday Court), and Ananias Fenn (buckler) 

Categories: SCA news sites

Export of Queen Victoria’s coronet barred for now

History Blog - Mon, 2016-08-29 22:31

You might think a sapphire and diamond coronet designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria the year they were married would never be in danger of being exported out of the UK, but it is. The Culture Ministry has placed a temporary export ban on Queen Victoria’s coronet in the hopes that a buyer in the UK, ideally an institution, can raise the £5 million ($6,554,000) plus £1 million ($1,310,725) VAT to match the purchase price.

In the happy days before her widowhood, Victoria loved brightly colored gems, and Albert designed the coronet to match a sapphire and diamond brooch he had given to Victoria as a wedding present. Victoria was delighted with these gifts, writing in her journal “My dear Albert has such good taste and arranges everything for me about my jewellery.” In the case of the coronet, Albert arranged for Joseph Kitching, Goldsmith & Jeweller To His Serene Highness the Prince of Saxe-Coburg, to make it using gemstones that Victoria had gotten as gifts from her uncle King William IV and his wife Queen Adelaide. The small crown — just 4.5 inches wide — has 11 kite- and cushion-cut sapphires mounted in gold surrounded by diamonds mounted in silver. It cost £415.

Victoria wore the coronet two years later in 1842 when she sat for one of the most famous portraits of the young queen by Franz Xaver Winterhalter. The fashionable artist’s first portrait of Queen Victoria captured her in white silk satin and lace gown reminiscent of her groundbreaking wedding dress which would launch the white wedding trend. The sapphire and diamond brooch Albert had given her the day before their wedding is pinned to her bosom, just as it was on her wedding dress. The coronet encircles the tidy bun on the back of her head. The painting became an iconic representation of Queen Victoria all over the world.

Prince Albert’s death in 1861 sent Victoria into a period of inconsolable mourning that lasted for years. She wore black and made no public appearances, executing the duties of the monarch in seclusion at her favorite royal residences, avoiding Buckingham Palace and London as much as possible. Breaking two centuries of uninterrupted tradition, she refused to attend the State Opening of Parliament for five years, finally returning to the duty in 1866 under duress. The new Prime Minister Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, and future Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli pressured the queen to attend the ceremony to quell politicians’ and the public’s increasing discontent with her withdrawal from public life. She did it with great reluctance, grumbling that it would be a terrible “shock to her nerves.” Instead of wearing the coronation crown, whose weight had caused her some pain during her coronation, she wore the little coronet, a reminder of her beloved husband.

Neither Queen Alexandra nor Queen Mary wore the sapphire coronet. In 1922 King George V and Queen Mary gifted it to Princess Mary, their only daughter, as a wedding present when she married Viscount Lascelles, the future 6th Earl of Harewood, in 1922. Mary, Princess Royal after 1932 and Countess of Harewood after 1929, wore the coronet often on public occasions. After her death in 1965, the coronet fell out of view. It emerged in 1997 for an exhibition at the renown Wartski jewelers in London, on loan from the Countess of Harewood. In 2002 it was exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Tiaras exhibition.

At some point after that it was sold to a dealer in London. The overseas owner requesting the export license bought it from that dealer. Whenever an export license is requested, the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA) studies the piece and determines whether its historical and cultural value is too significant to let it leave the country without a fight.

RCEWA member Philippa Glanville said:

“Key to the self-image of the young Victoria, this exquisite coronet was designed by her husband Prince Albert. Worn in her popular state portrait by Winterhalter of 1842, the year it was made, its combination of personal meaning and formality explains why she chose to wear it in 1866, emerging from mourning for the State Opening of Parliament. It evokes vividly the shared romantic taste of the time, and its form has become familiar through many reproductions. Its departure would be a great loss, given its beauty, its associations and its history.”

Individuals and institutions have until December 27th, 2016, to raise the money or at least raise enough money to indicate they have a chance of matching the price if given a little more time. In that case, the temporary ban may be extended to June 27th, 2017.

If I were Queen Elizabeth II, I would be whipping out my checkbook right now. Which raises the question: are the Queen’s checkbooks plain or the kind with designs? I’m thinking horses in a field or Corgis at frolic.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Pennsic 2016 Court Report

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-08-29 20:24
East Kingdom College of Heralds

Report for the Court of: Kenric and Avelina

Event: Pennsic
Location: Aethelmearc

Date: 8/7/16-8/12/16
Reporting Herald: Donovan Shinnock 
(assisted by Yehuda ben Moshe, Anastasia da Monte, Martyn de Halliwell, Ryan MacWhyte, Liadan ingean Chineada)


SUNDAY 8/7/16,

Recipient, Award, Scribe

Talan ap Gueiluirth, Silver Tyger, Elen Alswyth of Eriskay

Talan Gwyllt, Silver Tyger

Kit de Coldwood, Silver Tyger

Ciaran d’alltherien Tostigh, Silver Tyger, Elizabeth Greenleaf

Sorcha Dhocair, Golden Rapier, Sarra Graeham of Bimham


MONDAY 8/8/16,

Recipient, Award, Scribe

Tiernan MacAlpin, Chivalry, Padraig Dubh MacEanruig, Faelin MacLochlainn


TUESDAY 8/9/16,

Recipient, Award, Scribe

Eon of Carolingia, AoA, Triona MacCasky

Doroga Voronin, Silver Rapier, Nataliia etc.

Dionisio da Desio, Silver Rapier,

Lupold Hass, Golden Rapier, Palozi Marti



Recipient, Award, Scribe

Mikjall Bogmadr, Master Bowman,

Alexandre de Champlaine, AoA,

Sean of Malagentia, AoA, Fiona O’Maille o Chaun Coille

Keegan of Malagentia, AoA, Fiona O’Maille o Chaun Coille

Sean Dubh, AoA, Triona MacCasky

Marian Rose Meerstappa, Gilder,

Marguerite ingean Lachlainn, Augmentation of Arms, Heather Rose DeGordoun

Sean O Morain, Troubador, Magdelena von Kirschberg

Poplyr Childs, Apollo’s Arrow, Nest verch Tangwistel

Grimolfr Skulason, Silver Wheel, Eadaoin Chruitire

Magnus de Londres, Golden Mantle, Hawise ferch Meredith

Anelida of Falconbridge, Company of the Pennon,

Sigurthr Vigurhafn, Company of the Pennon,

Vissevald Selkirksson, Company of the Pennon,

Colin Ursell, Company of the Pennon,

Nicolette Bonhomme, Company of the Pennon,

Medhbh inghean ui Cheallaigh, Company of the Pennon,

Magdelena, King’s Award of Esteem,

Carminante, King’s Award of Esteem,

Maggie Rue, King’s Award of Esteem,

Kayleigh MacWhyte, King’s Award of Esteem,

Rolf the Carter, King’s Award of Esteem,

Remy dela Montaigne de Gascogne, King’s Award of Esteem,

Anne of Farmlingham, Queen’s Order of Courtesy,

Dom Coelho do Baraco, Court Barony, Saerlaith ingen Chennetig

Alys Treeby, Maunche, Agatha Wanderer

Isabel du Ross, Silver Crescent, Lada Monguligin

Samuel Peter deBump, Master Bowman,

Brunissende Dragonette, Laurel, Isobel Chamberlaine

Ruslan Novgorodcev, Tyger of the East, Vettorio Antonello


FRIDAY 8/12/16,

Recipient, Award, Scribe

Handsome Boys, Blue Tyger Legion,



Filed under: Court, Pennsic Tagged: awards, court report, Pennsic

Theleme at Penn

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-08-29 20:04

Greetings!  On August 20th the Bailiwick of Ivyeinrust held its Theleme at Penn event in the Rare Books Library at the University of Pennsylvania. Artisans and Scholars of the East Kingdom were invited to come and talk about their research, both failed attempts, successes and ideas for future works.

Presentations were held on a wide variety of topics. A track related to books included presentations such as: “Interactive Manuscripts” (Lady Lianor de Matos), “Bookmarks and Bookbinding” (Baroness Christina Jenevra de Carvalhal) and ” The Felbrigge Psalter: a 14th century embroidered book cover” (Mistress Avelyn Blakenye)

A second track of presentations, and several posters, included works on a variety of topics, such as “The Intersection of Naalbinding and Knitting” (Lord Ibrahim al-Rashid), “Swordsmanship as Theater” (Lord Lorenzo Gorla), “Research as Perseverance” (Lady Judith bas Rabbi Mendel), and “Humoral Theory in the Medieval Kitchen” (Master Galefridus Peregrinus)


What made this event truly unique, though, was the opportunity to view, examine,and touch medieval manuscripts from Penn’s Rare Book collection. Included among the documents pulled for attendees to view was an illuminated chronicle tracing the descent of Edward IV from Adam. This fantastic roll of parchment can be viewed in detail on the library’s website:http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/medren/detail.html?id=MEDREN_4171757 


To learn more about the event you can:

View  the event photo album:http://s1028.photobucket.com/user/laralu/library/Theleme%20at%20Penn%202016

View the event schedule & poster and presentation descriptions:

Power Point Presentations:


Baroness Christina Jenevra de Carvalhal: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1mJ6pptzKR7vVR2i-44KTp6yA3fo4xgJ81ReUUgvPDq8/edit?usp=sharing


Master Galefridus Peregrinus: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cwf0dm2qzr76ttq/Humoral%20practice%201.pptx?dl=0

Filed under: Events

Order Polling Responses due Monday August, 29th

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-08-29 14:15

Responses to the first poll of Their Highnesses Brion and Anna need to be sent before midnight tonight when the polls close.

Responses to the second poll are open until Friday, September 9th.

Polls are sent to the members of the Orders of High Merit and the Peerages so that they may provide input to the Crown on future members.  Orders which conduct polls include the Chivalry, Laurel, Pelican, Defense, Silver Crescent, Tygers Combattant, Sagittarius, Maunche, Golden Rapier, and Golden Lance.

Anyone can make an awards recommendation and does not need to be a member of an Order.  Recommendations can be submitted via the Award Recommendations page at the East Kingdom Website.

If you are a member of one of the Orders of High Merit or the Peerage and are not currently receiving polling emails, please sign up via the instructions on the East Kingdom Polling Lists page. Please note that the discussion lists and the polling lists must be subscribed separately.

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: award recommendations, brion and anna, deadlines, order of high merit, peerage, polling deadlines, polling lists, polling orders, pollings

Confederate spy Belle Boyd’s flag up for auction

History Blog - Sun, 2016-08-28 22:08

Belle Boyd was still a teenager when her career as a spy for the Confederate States of America began. Born in Martinsburg, Virginia (today West Virginia), she was 17 when war broke out in 1861. Her family, while not rich, was of old Virginia stock and she received a decent secondary education before making her debut in Washington, D.C. The whirlwind of balls and box socials was interrupted by Fort Sumter and she left D.C. to return home. Her father volunteered for the Confederate Army.

Within months Martinsburg was occupied by Federal troops. According to her autobiography, Belle Boyd saw to it that the town was occupied by one fewer Union soldier on July 4th, 1861. A group of soldiers had busted into their house, hearing that there might be Confederate flags within. When they went to raise the Union flag over the house, Belle’s mother protested and a solider retorted “in language as offensive as is possible to conceive.” Enraged, Belle whipped out the pistol she had concealed on her person and mortally wounded the Yankee soldier. The commander of the Union garrison in town investigated the shooting and declared it justified. He assigned sentries to guard the house and its residents from further interference.

And that’s how Belle Boyd got to know a passel of Union officers, charming information out of them with her wit, boldness and flirtatiousness. Mind you, there are no reports of any such shooting taking place in the official Union Army records. The account could be Belle Boyd’s fictionalized version of events invented or exaggerated for a stronger lead-up to her later spying activities which do appear on the record.

The exploit that would make her famous took place in May, 1862, just after her 18th birthday. Either by pressing her ear to a knothole in the floor or a knothole in the wardrobe (accounts differ), she eavesdropped on Union General James Shield’s conversation with his staff at a hotel in Front Royal, Virginia. She found out that Shield’s troops were leaving, that Union numbers would be significantly reduced. Riding a horse through Union lines with fraudulent passes, Belle reached General Stonewall Jackson’s army and relayed a message to him via an officer: “The Yankee force is very small. Tell him to charge right down and he will catch them all.” On May 23rd, 1862, Jackson charged right down and defeated Colonel John R. Kenly at the Battle of Front Royal in a rout.

News of Belle Boyd’s daring late-night run spread quickly. There were stories in southern and northern newspapers about it. She was described in the northern press as the “Siren of the Shenandoah” and “Cleopatra of the Secession.” Stonewall Jackson sent her a lovely personal thank you note and awarded her the Southern Cross of Honor. She also received an honorary commission as a Captain in Jackson’s army and an honorary appointment as his aide-de-camp.

Belle revelled in the attention. She made no attempt to hide her actions, instead telling the story, often with embellishments including a claim that carrying a Confederate flag, she had led Jackson’s men onto the battlefield. She repeated that claim to one Frederic Sears Grand d’ Hauteville, a Union captain on the staff of General Nathaniel Banks, when she met him at Front Royal on June 10th and gave him the flag she said she had been waving when she “led the attack” on Union troops.

Another officer serving under General Nathaniel Banks wrote about Belle and the flag in a letter home on July 28th, 1862. That officer was Robert Gould Shaw, famously played by Matthew Broderick in the Oscar-winning movie Glory.

“Perhaps you have seen some accounts of a young lady at Front Royal, named Belle Boyd. There was quite a long and ridiculous letter about her copied into the ‘Evening Post’ the other day. I have seen her several times, but never had any conversation with her. Other men who have talked with her, tell me that she never asked for any information about our army, or gave them the slightest reason to suppose her a spy; and they were probably as capable of judging as the correspondent who wrote about her. She gave Fred. d’ Hauteville a very pretty Secession flag, which she said she carried when she went out to meet Jackson’s troops coming into Front Royal.”

After seeing significant action, Frederic d’ Hauteville resigned his commission in 1863 and married socialite and scion of two great New York dynasties, Elizabeth Stuyvesant Fish. She died just 10 months later and d’ Hauteville withdrew to his family chateau on Lake Geneva. The flag traveled to Switzerland with him and remained in the house until it was sold for the first time in 2015. Yes, you read that right. A genuine historical artifact was found in a real life private Swiss collection under entirely legitimate circumstances.

Now it is going up for auction again, for the first time in the United States.

Eleven star flags of this pattern are generally dated in the brief timespan from July 1861, when Tennessee and North Carolina joined the Confederacy, until November 28, 1861, when two additional stars were added to the flag to mark the establishment of Confederate governments in Missouri and Kentucky. Made sometime in that timespan, perhaps even by Boyd herself, this flag was packed away and preserved before it was even a year old. The flag exhibits an unusual canton configuration. While one side features the eleven stars in a circle, typical of First National flags, the other side has but a single star in the center of the canton. [...]

Its condition has remained immaculate, retaining the short ribbons along its hoist and showing no tears, holes, fraying, loss, or staining. A small handwritten note has been loosely stitched to the flag, testifying to its provenance. The note reads: “Confederate flag. Taken by F.S.G d’H. and given by him to E.S.F. in 1862 (?). To be given to Freddie d’ Hauteville when he is fifteen.” The handwriting is that of Frederic d’ Hauteville, who has spelled out his name in initials. E.S.F. represents the initials of his late wife, Elizabeth Stuyvesant Fish. Freddy, his son by his second wife, was born in 1873, thus dating this note some years before his 15th birthday in 1888.

The auction will take place on September 17th, 2016, but the lot is already open for online bidding. The opening bid is $50,000. Heritage Auctions expects it to sell for much more than that, and given its impeccable provenance and exquisite condition, it may even break the record for a flag of the First National pattern. The record for Confederate flag sold at auction is the battle flag of J.E.B. Stuart which sold for $956,000 in 2006.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Kingdom Equestrian Champions Chosen

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2016-08-28 17:48

Yesterday the annual tourney to choose the King’s and Queen’s Equestrian Champions was hosted by the Shire of Quintavia, at the Hazel Grove Agricultural Association in Groton, MA. Unlike most of the Kingdom Champions tourneys, the site does not rotate between regions. Sites suitable for equestrian tourneys are relatively uncommon, so bids are encouraged from sites which are central to the locations of the kingdom’s active equestrians. The date also varies, but late summer or early fall are generally preferred, both to allow for the championship to fall toward the end of the competition season, and to avoid the hottest part of the summer, in the interests of protecting the horses from unnecessary heat stress.

Queen Avelina and Princess Anna choose their Queen’s Champion

The new Champions are Baroness Lillian Stanhope, chosen as King’s Champion, and Viscountess Gwenllhian Rhiannon of Dragon Keep, chosen as Queen’s Champion.

Baroness Lillian Stanhope and Dakota Tesoro

Baroness Lillian has a long history of involvement with equestrian arts in the East. She was previously chosen as Queen’s Champion of Horse by Gregor IV and Kienna II in 2013. Both her parents, Duke Randal of the Dark and Duchess Katherine Stanhope, are active equestrians, and Baroness Lillian has been riding at East Kingdom events since her very early years. The King’s Champion is, by tradition, the winner of the competition, which is a test of prowess in mounted  martial arts designed by the outgoing Champions.

Viscountess Gwenllhian and Jubilant

Viscountess Gwenllhian is an accomplished horsewoman, but has only recently begun to participate formally in the equestrian arts within the SCA. This was her first entry in a champions tourney. She has resided in multiple kingdoms over the course of her Society career. She served as Princess of Drachenwald (prior to its separation from the East), was inducted into the Order of Chivalry as a Master of Arms in the West, and was made a Companion of the Order of the Pelican after returning to the East.

The Queen’s Champion is chosen by Her Majesty, according to whatever criteria may seem good to her, often in consultation with the Princess, since the Champion will also serve her successor.

Equestrian competition is truly a partnership between horse and rider, so we should not leave them out.

Catalina de Valencia and Dakota Tesoro

Dakota Tesoro, affectionately known in equestrian circles as Te, owned by Baron Duncan Kerr, carried Baroness Lillian to victory. Te is a 21 year old Andalusian gelding, with more than 10 years of tournament experience. In his career, including this most recent tourney,  he has carried five King’s or Queen’s champions to victory.

Jubilant, a 21 year old Morgan gelding belonging to Viscountess Gwenllhian, was her mount for the tourney. This was Jubilant’s first East Kingdom equestrian event. Viscountess Gwenllhian reports that he enjoyed the experience.

Photos were graciously provided by Lady Lavina Attewode (Bifrost Studios) and Mistress Leonete D’Angely.

Filed under: Equestrian Tagged: equestrian, Kings and Queens Champions

National Trust acquires iconic Jacobean miniature

History Blog - Sat, 2016-08-27 22:59

The National Trust has acquired a very fine early 17th century miniature by Isaac Oliver for £2.1 million ($2,760,000), a new record for a British miniature. The miniature is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest British examples of the art form. It has been on display at the Powis Castle in Powys, Wales, which was bequeathed to the National Trust by 4th earl of Powis in 1952. The anonymous seller, believed to be in the family of the Earls of Powis, sold the miniature at a discount — it was valued at £5.2 million ($6,830,000) — in exchange for tax concessions. Even so, the National Trust had to raise funds to buy the piece and save it for the nation before it went up for public sale. The Art Fund contributed £300,000 ($394,000), the National Heritage Memorial Fund £1.5 million ($1,970,000) and the National Trust pulled together the rest from various sources.

The subject of the miniature is Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury (1583-1648), a soldier, diplomat, statesman, poet, playwright and philosopher. His first cousin was Sir William Herbert, 1st Lord Powis. Scholars believe the miniature has been in the Powis family almost since it was first painted.

The cabinet miniature measures nine by seven inches and presents him as a chivalric hero of medieval romance, reclining in a verdant glade by a babbling brook. Lying recumbent with his head propped up on one hand, Herbert strikes the pose of the melancholic, symbolic of deep thought and contemplation. This isn’t just the image of a philosophically minded young man, however. Herbert is the Melancholy Knight here, shown in repose after dueling in a joust. His shield, decorated with a winged heart rising from the flames and the inscription “Magia Sympathiae,” (“sympathetic magic,” an element in Herbert’s metaphysical treatise De Veritate on the pursuit of truth) covers his arm, while in the background his elegant suit of armour is perched between two trees and his page holds a helmet so extravagantly beplumed that the red feathers obscure the page’s face entirely. To the right of the page, Herbert’s armoured white destrier paws the ground spiritedly. In the far distance, painted in blue, is a city on a river.

Edward Herbert was a dashing figure of the era, famed for his bravery, intellect and success with the ladies. The miniature was painted around 1610-1614, a time when Herbert had distinguished himself in highly chivalric fashion while volunteering under Philip William, Prince of Orange, in the Low Countries. From 1609 through 1614, the Dutch Republic was involved in the War of the Jülich Succession over who would control the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg. Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II claimed the duchy, as did Wolfgang William, Duke of Palatinate-Neuburg, John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg, and the Prince of Orange representing the interests of the Dutch Republic.

In 1610, the emperor’s troops occupied the fortified citadel of Jülich and the armies of the Republic, Palatinate-Newburg and Brandenburg came together to besiege it. Herbert stepped forward to propose a classic solution to the conflict: he offered to fight the Holy Roman Emperor’s chosen champion in single combat. The victorious champion would win the duchy for his lord. Rudolph II declined. The siege lasted 35 days before the Imperial troops surrendered and withdrew and Rudolph renounced his claim to the duchy.

Born in France the son of a Huguenot goldsmith named Pierre Olivier who anglicized his last name when he fled persecution in Rouen and moved to England, Isaac Oliver was 27 and already an experienced painter when he became a pupil in the workshop of painter Nicholas Hilliard who was a popular miniature portraitist of the Tudor court.

Hilliard was limited in his skills, however, sticking largely to relatively flat head-and-shoulders portraits. When Oliver began painting miniatures under Hilliard in 1587 he was quickly recognized as a great talent and an innovator of the genre, which was less than 70 years old at that time. His portraits covered more of the body, used more and brighter colors, added chiaroscuro shadow elements that gave the features more depth and dimension. Oliver introduced the naturalism of Renaissance Italian and Flemish painters to British miniatures, and his works were widely collected by the young and fashionable.

There is an extremely juicy backstory to the miniature, one that appropriately enough for Herbert involves a married woman, a pissed off husband, attempted murder and attempted duels. The tale is recounted by Edward Herbert himself in his scandalous autobiography which was only published a century after his death by Horace Walpole, publisher, author and son of the first prime minister of Britain Robert Walpole, who had borrowed it from the then-Earl of Powis. Walpole called it “the most curious and entertaining book in the world,” and with good reason.

According to Herbert, the miniature was commissioned not by the Herberts but by the wife of one Sir John Ayres. She had purloined a copy of the original painting, now lost, and had Oliver make a version in miniature to wear “about her neck, so low that she hid it under her breasts,” a placement that Herbert acknowledges gave Sir John reasonable cause for suspicion. Then this happened:

Coming one day into her chamber, I saw her through the curtains lying upon her bed with a wax candle in one hand, and the picture I formerly mentioned in the other. I coming thereupon somewhat boldly to her, she blew out the candle, and hid the picture from me; myself thereupon being curious to know what that was she held in her hand, got the candle to be lighted again, by means whereof I found it was my picture she looked upon with more earnestness and passion than I could have easily believed, especially since myself was not engaged in any affection towards her.

Why, who could think there was illicit affection between them, just because he found himself in her rooms with the lights out while she fondled a miniature of him she kept in her cleavage? Sir John, apparently, because word got out that he planned to kill Herbert in his bed. When several titled personages alerted Edward Herbert to the contract out on his head, he enlisted his cousin Sir William Herbert to ask Sir John Ayres to refrain from murdering him in his sickbed until they could meet in an honorable duel once Edward was recovered from a fever.

The appeal fell on deaf ears, but their communication led Sir John to change his plans from murder in bed to murder on the streets. He and four men-at-arms attacked Herbert, recently recovered from his illness and on his way to Whitehall. A fierce battle ensued in which Herbert fended off five men, broke his sword, took a dagger blow from ribs to hip and still managed to pin Sir John down and whup him like he owed him money with the busted remnant of his sword. Ayres’ men dragged his body to safety.

Herbert recovered from his knife wound and wrote to Ayres again suggesting an honorable duel between them. Ayres replied that Herbert “had whored his wife, and that he would kill [him] with a musket out of a window.” The Privy Council got involved, adjudicating the dispute between them. Lady Ayres wrote a letter denying her husband’s allegations and the lords oohed and aahed over Herbert’s brave Dumas-like derring-do. Ayres did not try to kill him again.

What’s missing in this self-servingly dashing narrative is an explanation of how the portrait wound up with the Powis Herberts. Perhaps Lady Ayres handed it over. Perhaps this whole story is, let’s just say, richly embellished.

The miniature will now spend several months getting treatment from conservators. Once it is in tip-top shape, it may be loaned to other museums — the piece has been loaned to institutions like the Victoria & Albert in the past — before returning the Powis Castle for permanent display.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

4,200 yr-old rattle found in Turkey

History Blog - Fri, 2016-08-26 22:44

Archaeologists excavating the Acemhöyük excavation site in central Turkey have unearthed a clay rattle that dates to the early Bronze Age. It has not been radiocarbon dated yet, but the layer in which it was found dates to around 2200 B.C. which makes the toy one of the oldest rattles ever found. Made out of terracotta, the rattle is shaped like an oval coin purse. It probably had a handle originally but that has been lost. The top has a few perforations to allow sound to escape. It is intact and still sealed with small objects inside, probably pebbles, which make the rattling noise. Had any part of it broken or chipped over the past 4,000 years, the contents would have fallen out and it would no longer rattle. Happenstance has preserved it so that we can still hear what the Bronze Age baby and parents who once shook it can hear.

You can see and hear the rattle rattled in this Turkish language news story on the find.

That’s Dr. Aliye Öztan in the video, leader of the excavations at Acemhöyük since 1989. Acemhöyük is a large oval mound 44 hectares in area that is one of the largest Bronze Age sites in Anatolia. The tumulus was erected around 3000 B.C. There are a total of 12 habitation layers, the oldest dating to the Late Copper Age. The rattle was found in layer seven. The settlement was continually inhabited from the Early Bronze Age through the Roman era, reaching peak prosperity in the second millennium B.C. when it was an important center of trade during the Assyrian Trade Colonies Period (1950-1750 B.C.) when the Assyrians established karums, or merchant colonies, in multiple cities in Anatolia.

Excavations at the site began in 1962 and have continued ever since. While earlier excavations have focused on the prosperous Assyrian Trade Colonies Period, the aims of the current dig is to excavate the bottom layer of the mound and the Early Bronze Age ones. The city walls were built in the Early Bronze Age, so this period is key to understanding the community’s growth and development. Other artifacts found this season include a fragment of a necklace made of bones, metal needles and cups.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Fall Crown Tournament Requirements

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2016-08-26 20:14

Unto all of Æthelmearc do Marcus and Margerite, Heirs to the Sylvan Throne, send greetings!

We will be holding our Crown Tourney on October 1 in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael. Letters must be in our hand by our Coronation. Given the close timing between Coronation and Crown Tournament we would appreciate letters being in our hand well before that.

We have only one additional caveat to our Crown Tourney: Consorts must be in attendance.

 From Kingdom Laws and Policies:


III-100 Entrants in this section of Law are defined as the combatant and consort entering Crown Tournament.

III-200 All entrants in the Crown Tournament must be members of the Society
for Creative Anachronism, Inc.

III-300 All entrants in the Crown Tournament must be 18 years of age or older as of the date of Crown Tournament.

III-400 The withdrawal of either entrant from the Crown Lists shall automatically eliminate both from that Tournament, except as provided below.

III-1100. Either may withdraw at any point in the Tournament by notifying
the Minister of the Lists.

III-500 In order to be eligible to fight or be fought for in Crown Tournament, a person must be a subject (as defined in Corpora) of Æthelmearc for one year immediately prior to Crown Tournament and be able to demonstrate a reasonable level of participation in Æthelmearc during that period. The Crown may waive the above requirements if the entrants are subjects of the Kingdom and able to demonstrate to the Crown’s satisfaction by their own words or by recommendation of peers of the Kingdom that they have sufficient familiarity with Kingdom Law and customs and an acceptable level of participation.

III-600 Letters of intent must be sent to the Crown. They must include the
following elements for both entrants:
* SCA names
* Legal names
* Addresses
* Telephone numbers
* E-mail addresses
* Proofs of membership
* Age (proof
to be supplied at Crown Tournament)
* Proof of current authorization for Combatants.

To facilitate complete letters of intent, a form is available on the Kingdom website as well as from the Crown and the Seneschal on request. Prospective entrants are encouraged but not required to use this form to ensure a complete letter. Letters of intent must be mailed, e-mailed, or hand-delivered to the Crown no later than the Coronation immediately prior to the Crown Tournament. The Kingdom Seneschal shall verify eligibility as defined in the Bylaws and Corpora.

III-700 No person shall enter the Crown Tournament without intending an honorable attempt to compete for the Crown. At the discretion of the Royalty whose Crown it is, the Kingdom Officers who administer Crown may step aside and have their emergency deputy administer the Tourney, so they may enter. In the event a Kingdom Officer should win Crown, the Law regarding Emergency Deputies and office succession will apply.

III-800 The entrants must be acceptable to the Crown or Their representatives.

III-900 No person fighting in or being fought for in Crown Tournament may administer the Crown Tournament.

III-1000 Any two people may champion each other in the Crown Lists (hereinafter referred to as a combatant couple so long as neither is championed by any other person.

III-1100 If one member of a combatant couple is removed from the Crown Lists for marshallate infractions or any infractions of the Rules of the Lists, both members are ineligible to continue in that Crown Tournament. If one member of a combatant couple voluntarily withdraws as a combatant in the Lists, the MOL and Marshal will confer with the withdrawing member to determine if they are also withdrawing as consort or if the other member may continue in the Lists. If the participant withdraws both as fighter and consort, both shall be ineligible to continue in that Crown Tournament.

III-1200 The preferred method of Crown Tournament is a double-elimination

III-1300 The winner of the Crown Tournament and the winner’s consort become the new Heirs to the Throne of Æthelmearc. They are each entitled to the Title of Crown Prince or Crown Princess, as appropriate to the individual’s persona.

III-1301 Upon ascending to the Throne, They may rightfully be acknowledged as Monarch and Consort with alternate Titles as appropriate to the dignity of the Throne.

Here is link to the online form.

Our Address is:
Jennifer & Marcus Stendahl
523 Winsor Street
Jamestown, NY 14701

Ae.prince@aethelmearc.org ae.princess@aethelmearc.org

In Gloriam, Æhelmearc!

Marcus et Margerite
Crown Prince & Crown Princess

Categories: SCA news sites

Backlog Scroll Display Day Announced

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-08-26 17:30

The Signet’s Office is organizing a Backlog Display Day at Ghosts, Ghouls and Goblins:


Many of you work hard on backlogs, and they never get to be seen because they don’t go out in court.  This is a chance to show off your beautiful work, to be recognized for it, and for the Signet Office to show its appreciation.  As a bonus, for anyone who needs a firm deadline, this will hopefully help serve for some extra motivation to get those backlogs done and out of your hair!

Please let Mistress Eva know if you’re planning on bringing (or sending) a backlog scroll to display so that we can make sure to have enough table space.

If you’re excited about the idea but don’t have a backlog assignment, Sir Antonio would be happy to provide one.

Mistress Eva will be providing fun, fabulous prizes for those who bring backlogs.

Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences, Events Tagged: Arts and Sciences, Calligraphy and Illumination, events

Etruscan stele names goddess Uni

History Blog - Thu, 2016-08-25 22:06

The inscribed Etruscan stele discovered in the ancient settlement of Poggio Colla earlier this year has yielded an exciting name: Uni, a fertility/mother goddess who was the Etruscan equivalent of the Greco-Roman goddesses Hera and Juno. She may have been the goddess worshipped at the temple. Other finds made at Poggio Colla, most famously a ceramic fragment with the earliest birth scene in European art, support the contention that the town was the center of fertility cult.

The massive slab was found in the foundation of a 2,500-year-old stone temple, but it was recycled for that purpose. Archaeologists believe the stele was an important part of a sacred display in the first wood temple. It is ponderously sized at 500 pounds, four feet high and two feet wide, and is inscribed with letters and punctuation around the edges of the front face and sides. With the stone partially cleaned the number of characters found was 75. Now they’re up to 120 and still counting, putting it in the running for the longest Etruscan inscriptions on stone. It is certainly one of the three longest sacred (non-funerary) Etruscan texts yet discovered.

When the discovery of the stele was first announced, archaeologists expressed hope that they might discover from the inscription which deity the temple was dedicated to because it’s extremely rare for Etruscan sanctuaries to be so identified. The discovery of the name of the goddess Uni is therefore a wish come true. In addition to the name of the goddess Uni, researchers found the word “tinaś,” which they believe is a permutation of Tina or Tinia, the god of the sky and the top of the divine hierarchy in the Etruscan pantheon. Tina was the Etruscan equivalent of Zeus or Jupiter.

Etruscan epigrapher Adriano Maggiani and comparative linguist and University of Massachusetts Amherst classics professor Rex Wallace are studying the inscription and working to translate the text. They’ve found that the text was carved with great care, perhaps by a professional, highly skilled stone carver commissioned to carve words written by a scribe or temple official.

“This is probably going to be a sacred text, and will be remarkable for telling us about the early belief system of a lost culture that is fundamental to western traditions,” said archaeologist Gregory Warden, co-director and principal investigator of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project, which made the discovery. [...]

“It is also possible that it expresses the laws of the sanctuary — a series of prescriptions related to ceremonies that would have taken place there, perhaps in connection with an altar or some other sacred space,” said Warden[.]

This is just the early stage of the translation, hence the carefully qualified statements. Mugello Valley Archaeological Project researchers will present the discovery of the goddess Uni in the inscription at an exhibit in Florence on August 27th. The talk will include a hologram of the stele since the stone itself is still in the process of conservation at the Archaeological Superintendency in Florence. Their findings will also be published in the upcoming November issue of the journal Etruscan Studies.

“We can at this point affirm that this discovery is one of the most important Etruscan discoveries of the last few decades,” Warden said. “It’s a discovery that will provide not only valuable information about the nature of sacred practices at Poggio Colla, but also fundamental data for understanding the concepts and rituals of the Etruscans, as well as their writing and perhaps their language.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Coronation/Harvest Raid Reservation Information

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2016-08-25 18:33

Greetings!  Just a few reminders from the reservations clerk for Coronation/Harvest Raid:

1.  Most importantly, I take reservations in the order I receive payment for them. I do not hold spaces for anyone. You are all special and you are all my friends. Please send in the checks or drop them off to my house. If you want a notification that it was received, please provide an email.

2.  We do not rent out “a cabin” – we rent out a bed in a cabin. If you want a whole cabin for you and your friends, the best way to do that is to send me reservations for 10-12 people with a note to put them together  I go to great lengths to put compatible people together, and I will do my best for you. If you aren’t comfortable with this, tent/trailer camping is a good way to get your privacy. Some of the bunks are upper bunks. Most of the time, people work it out, but if you have 10 people who all need a lower bunk, that is a problem. Please consider having someone bring a cot.

3.  Refunds – we have had issues with our generous refund policy, as several people reserved with only a medium intention to attend, knowing they will get their money back.  This hurts others who wanted to stay and eat but were turned away, so please do not do this. However, we are not about keeping your money for an event you couldn’t attend. If you cannot attend, please email me as soon as you can to let me know. If we can resell your feast seat or your cabin spot, we will refund your money after the event, however, leaving the event early so “we have freed up a bed for Saturday night” doesn’t really help anyone. We will refund your day fee if you cannot
attend and ask. However, all refunds are done after the event, and I have to mail checks to get signatures, so it may not be lightning fast. Please be patient with me on these. I do not want your money if you were too ill to attend the event, but I hate doing refunds. I love you, hate mailing checks.

4.  Pre-seating – If you have a mobility disability and wish to have space reserved for you on the upper level of the hall, just let me know and I will pencil you into a table.  You will still need to put your sticker on that spot when you check in. If you have a large group and wish me to pre-seat them, I will do that as well, but PLEASE TELL THEM so they put their sticker on that spot and don’t fill in to another. The whole point is to prevent large groups from taking all the tables with a few spots left for that family of 6 who gets there late.

Any questions, please write me at reservations@heronter.info and I will do my best to help you!


Categories: SCA news sites

Six Neolithic flint axes reunited in Denmark

History Blog - Wed, 2016-08-24 22:14

It was the recent discovery of the sixth axe that set the wheels in motion for its reunion with its five brethren, but the story begins in 1930 when a farmer discovered a Neolithic flint axe in a field near Snostrup on the Roskilde Fjord in southwestern Denmark. The axe was 27 centimeters (10.6 inches) long and roughly hewn. Over time the farmer found another four axes with the same coarse finish. In 1975, National Museum of Denmark curator CL Vedbæk visited the farmer and documented the axes. Treasure trove laws were different then; after the artifacts were recorded, they stayed with the finder.

Forty-one years later, an archaeological excavation in the same field unearthed another rough axe. Museum Group ROMU archaeologist Jens Winther Johannsen was part of the excavation team. He remembered there were other Neolithic axes found in the field and decided to seek out the family. He asked around and was able to locate one of the farmer’s sons. As luck would have it, the family had kept the axes together and in good condition and the son wanted to hand them in to the National Museum. The National Museum judged them to be treasure trove. The state gets to keep the axes and the farmer’s family will get a finder’s fee.

The five previously excavated axes were transferred to the Museum Group ROMU, thus reuniting them with the sixth one unearthed this year. Examination of the group found that all of the axes are so roughly worked they are classified as intermediate goods, begun, but not completed. They would have had to be reworked, sharpened and polished on a grinding wheel before they could be used. National Museum curator Peter Vang Petersen and Jens Winther Johannsen think that the six axes were deposited together and then spread all over the field by subsequent cultivation. The whitish color of the axes indicates they spent many centuries in the same place where the soil conditions affected their color. They are made out of the same type of flint, and stylistically they all date to the mid-Neolithic, about 2,800-2,600 B.C.

The field where they were discovered was a marsh during the Neolithic. The area wasn’t drained and developed for agriculture until the 19th century. As a general interpretative rule, archaeologists believe deposits in wetlands were religious offerings, sacrifices, ritual “killings” of powerful objects, while objects buried in dry soil were stored for later retrieval. The six axes, therefore, are thought to have been ritually sacrificed to the gods by deposition in the marsh.

As for why unfinished flint axes might have been considered desirable sacrifices, archaeologists have found both finished and intermediate flint objects deposited in wetlands. Petersen hypothesizes that the form may not have been the important factor, rather the material used. The sacrifice of flint objects may have been a kind of tax or toll due to the gods for all the flint removed from the earth. Neolithic Danes were well aware of the value and importance of flint. Eastern Denmark was the center of flint production in northern Europe. From there, they were exported east to the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and north to Sweden and Norway where there is no natural source of flint.

There are no current plans to display all six of the flint axes. The five that were found by the farmer will probably be part of the National Museum’s exhibition of select artifacts that were declared treasure trove the year before. That won’t happen until 2017.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Brennan & Caoilfhionn’s Ducal Challenges to be held August 27th

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2016-08-24 17:36

This Saturday, the Barony of Settmour Swamp is pleased to host Brennan & Caoilfhionn’s Ducal Challenges. The day will feature prize tournaments for both armored and rapier combatants. Each combatant is asked to furnish a prize either made or sponsored (not purchased) for the prize pool.

Winners will alternate choosing prizes with the artists who made those prizes.

Their Graces goals for this event are two-fold.
1) To provide a tournament and an opportunity to train for either Crown or K&Q rapier.
2) To promote a well-rounded Kingdom, where prowess at arms walks hand in hand with excellence in the arts.

Anyone who wishes to participate, but does not have either an art to present or a combatant to represent their art, please contact Duke Brennan via brennan at hullraiser dot com.

Full details are available on the event website: http://www.eastkingdom.org/EventDetails.php?eid=3058

Filed under: Events Tagged: brennan, caoilfhionn, ducal challenge, event, event announcement, sca event, Settmour Swamp

Board Committee Structure to Replace Grand Council

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-08-24 15:03

At its August 22, 2016 meeting the Board of Directors approved the development and implementation of an expanded Board committee structure to encourage and facilitate transparency, participation in and understanding of Society governance throughout the membership of the Society.

The Board shall establish Board committees to serve at the pleasure of the Board. Each of these committees will include representatives of the membership-at-large of the Society, to be nominated by the Kingdoms. A request for nomination process is expected to be in place for the initial committees in the 4th quarter of 2016. Committees to be established include the following:

  • Finance and Audit – Mission: assist the Board’s oversight of the Company’s accounting and financial reporting processes, the audit and integrity of the Company’s financial statements and the qualifications and independence of the Company’s independent auditor 
  • Risk Management – Mission: Oversee insurance, legal, and related matters. 
  • Nominating and Governance – Mission: recommend to the Board the persons to be nominated for appointment as directors; recommend to the Board the directors to be appointed to each committee of the Board; develop and recommend to the Board Society governance guidelines and policies 
  • Communications – Mission: develop and oversee advertising; public relations; publications, social media and other communications initiatives of the Society 
  • Membership – Mission: grow and sustain membership in the Society; evaluate and oversee implementation of programs and initiatives for membership support 

The Board has also formed the following ad hoc committees to serve until their mission is completed in the discretion of the Board: 

  • Youth Activities – Mission: Completion of design and implementation of YAFA programs
  • Technology – Mission: Prepare 5-year technology development plan for Society 
  • Peerage – Mission: Review proposals for the creation of new peerage

From time to time the Board may form other ad hoc committees for special projects.

The Board has the authority to dissolve or modify any committee or its membership at any time.   Committee members serve at the pleasure of the Board, subject to a 3-year term limit. Initial appointments may at the discretion of the Board be for staggered terms so that the term of all such members of a committee do not expire at the same time. Committees will make recommendations to the Board and give quarterly reports. Committee members will be appointed by the Board and Committee chairs designated by the Board.  Committee members at large will be nominated in response to a Request for Nomination (RFN) sent by the Board to each Kingdom Seneschal, describing the mission of the committee and suggested minimum qualifications for committee members.  Kingdoms may then (within a defined period of time) nominate individuals in their Kingdom.  Nominations would be made by the sitting Crown with the advice and consent of the Kingdom Seneschal.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

Categories: SCA news sites

SCA Board of Directors Announces New Committee Structure to Replace Grand Council

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2016-08-24 14:39

The message below was published Wednesday, August 24th via the SCA Board of Directors Announcements email list (announcements@lists.sca.org)

At its August 22, 2016 meeting the Board of Directors approved the development and implementation of an expanded Board committee structure to encourage and facilitate transparency, participation in and understanding of Society governance throughout the membership of the Society.

The Board shall establish Board committees to serve at the pleasure of the Board. Each of these committees will include representatives of the membership-at-large of the Society, to be nominated by the Kingdoms. A request for nomination process is expected to be in place for the initial committees in the 4th quarter of 2016. Committees to be established include the following:

  • Finance and Audit – Mission: assist the Board’s oversight of the Company’s accounting and financial reporting processes, the audit and integrity of the Company’s financial statements and the qualifications and independence of the Company’s independent auditor
  • Risk Management – Mission: Oversee insurance, legal, and related matters.
  • Nominating and Governance – Mission: recommend to the Board the persons to be nominated for appointment as directors; recommend to the Board the directors to be appointed to each committee of the Board; develop and recommend to the Board Society governance guidelines and policies
  • Communications – Mission: develop and oversee advertising; public relations; publications, social media and other communications initiatives of the Society
  • Membership – Mission: grow and sustain membership in the Society; evaluate and oversee implementation of programs and initiatives for membership support

The Board has also formed the following ad hoc committees to serve until their mission is completed in the discretion of the Board:

  • Youth Activities – Mission: Completion of design and implementation of YAFA programs
  • Technology – Mission: Prepare 5-year technology development plan for Society
  • Peerage – Mission: Review proposals for the creation of new peerage

From time to time the Board may form other ad hoc committees for special projects. The Board has the authority to dissolve or modify any committee or its membership at any time. Committee members serve at the pleasure of the Board, subject to a 3-year term limit. Initial appointments may at the discretion of the Board be for staggered terms so that the term of all such members of a committee do not expire at the same time. Committees will make recommendations to the Board and give quarterly reports. Committee members will be appointed by the Board and Committee chairs designated by the Board. Committee members at large will be nominated in response to a Request for Nomination (RFN) sent by the Board to each Kingdom Seneschal, describing the mission of the committee and suggested minimum qualifications for committee members. Kingdoms may then (within a defined period of time) nominate individuals in their Kingdom. Nominations would be made by the sitting Crown with the advice and consent of the Kingdom Seneschal.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

Filed under: Announcements, Corporate Tagged: board committees, board of directors, BoD, corporate, corporate announcements, Grand Council

Crusader-era grenade in group of artifacts turned in to authorities

History Blog - Tue, 2016-08-23 22:53

A group of artifacts recently turned in to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) include a striking embossed hand grenade from the Crusader era. The objects were collected by the late Marcel Mazliah who worked at the Orot Rabin power station in Hadera on the northwest Mediterranean coast of Israel since it was built in 1973. Over the years, he found a broad assortment of archaeological treasures in the sea, probably lost in shipwrecks or simply overboard.

The Mazliah family contacted the IAA after Marcel died and they inherited his less-than-legal collection. An expert went to their home to examine the artifacts and was surprised to find such significant pieces.

According to Mrs. Ayala Lester, a curator with the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The finds include a toggle pin and the head of a knife from the Middle Bronze Age (from more than 3,500 years ago). The other items, among them, two mortars and two pestles, fragments of candlesticks, etc. date to the Fatimid period (eleventh century CE). The items were apparently manufactured in Syria and were brought to Israel. The finds are evidence of the metal trade that was conducted during this period”.

The hand grenade is a handsome example of a weapon in common use by Islamic forces during the Crusader (1099-1187), Ayyubid (1187-1250) and Mamluk (1260-1516) periods. It is made of unglazed ceramic and embossed with grooves and tear drop-shaped designs. It has a domed top over a spherical body that tapers to a point. They were filled with incendiary material – petroleum, naphtha, Greek fire — and thrown or catapulted into the enemy camp where they exploded fire that water could not put out on their targets. There’s a small hole in the top into which flammable liquid could be poured and a wick added once the grenade was loaded.

Some scholars believe these vessels were not weapons, but rather perfume bottles. They’re certainly pretty enough for it and it seems counterintuitive that someone would bother to decorate an explosive projectile whose sole function is to destroy itself and take people down with it. On the other hand, their shape makes them markedly unsuited for placement on a dresser, requiring a rack or holder to keep them vertical, and the decorations also have the practical function of making the devices easier to grip in the hand or set snugly in the sling of a catapult. A smooth clay grenade would be dangerously easy to drop.

There is historical and archaeological evidence of this type of vessel being used in war. For one thing, clusters of them have been found in fortresses, castles and moats. The 12th century historian Mardi ibn Ali al-Tarsusi mentioned in the military manual he wrote for Saladin in 1187 that terracotta vessels with incendiary contents were launched from catapults or thrown from ramparts. Other sources from the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries describe the clay gourds in more detail, explaining how they were used in battle and the various launching methods. Chemical analysis of residue inside several similar pieces discovered traces of rock salt, pine resin and other flammable materials. One gourd on display in the National Museum of Damascus has an inscription that leaves no question as to its bellicose purpose: “This kind of projectile is useful for targeting the enemy.”

The IAA is grateful that the family has voluntarily come forward and handed the artifacts over to the state. Officials plan to give the Mazliah family with a certificate of appreciation and, which is way cooler, have invited the family to visit the IAA laboratories where the artifacts will be studied and conserved.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History