I have a standard process when I get an assignment for a custom scroll. I look up the heraldry, other awards, and if possible, a photo of the person involved. In this case, a Silver Hammer (GoA science award) had been approved for Seamus MacMuireadaigh, but they didn’t know when he would be at court, so no scroll had been prepared. Then he unexpectedly appeared at an event. The already prepared text was emailed to me at 10pm so the crown could read it in court the next day. I then took the job of creating the scroll, and talked with him about what he would like. He said the image of the knight, priest, and peasant from a particular manuscript always struck him, and he wondered if the peasant could be moved into the center, more prominent position. His award was for medieval husbandry, so that seemed appropriate.

Sloane 2435, f.85

I found him on the British Library images online website in Sloane 2435 folio 85v, by Aldobrando of Sienna, dated 1260-1300.  Image taken from Li Livres dou Santé. Originally published/produced in France, late 13th century. The image of the Cleric, Knight and Workman represents the three classes of medieval society.

A little photo manipulation, and I rearranged the order, as well as shrinking the knight and cleric compared to the “manly” workingman. By coincidence, the detail on the shield of the original is very similar to Calontir.

chickensThe specific area of husbandry in which Seamus had excelled was chickens, so I started looking. I found great period (1496-1498 France) chickens on Mandragore in the Bibliotheque National Français. Français 143, fol. 147.

While I realize that late 13th century and late 15th century don’t go together, the chickens really were nice. I decided it was better to represent his craft than get too particular about style.

arundell-443I used Arundel 443 as inspiration for the overall style, folio 1, 1300-1325, found at the British Library.







Add. 42130 f.166vAlso at the British Library is the image from the Luttrell Psalter with a lady feeding chickens. (dated 1325-1335). Folio 166v.
Seamus Silver Hammer - Chicken detail

Materials were Arches Aquarelle 140 lb Hot Press paper, gouache and ink, and a fingerlooped braid for the seal tag.  Completed in November of 2007.