Blank Borders Then And Now

Blank borders – the illumination only scroll part – are used when Their Majesties give a spontaneous award. But did you know there’s a historical precedent for them?  History You can find illuminated manuscripts with completed borders without writing later in the SCA period. They served a similar purpose to our SCA blank border scrolls. They were waiting for a scribe to fill in the words. The reason you find more blank borders later in period is that booksellers then parted out section “gatherings” or page pairs by the tasks needed. While it was still better to do the calligraphy before the design it wasn’t required. If the text didn’t fit within the available space it flowed onto a page with limited illumination. You’ll also find pages having a large amount of blank space after the text for the same reason. Period blank borders allowed manuscripts to be sold by illuminated page quantity and quality. More prosperous buyers – or those wanting to appear so – could buy more lavish books. And the book dealers could make more money. It was a win-win. Every stage in an illuminated book’s creation still required intensive labor. And sometimes multiple collaborating workshops. Parchment made from dried animal hides cut to size, inks mixed, quills prepared, designs planned, pages ruled. But no longer were illumination and calligraphy done in a specific order. Additional 21412, f. 3  Foliate border This system originally developed in Paris for university textbook production. It spread […]

Read More →

Guide To Blank Border Scroll Creation

M. Rolf Hobart’s blank border entries at the Barony of Mag Mor’s 2017 Cattle Raids. At last falls Cattle Raids event in the Barony of Mag Mor, I was asked by a passing RUSH student, “What are those?” as he pointed to the blank scrolls’ displayed. I admit they might look a bit lost to the scribal-less-aware. So, what are they? […]

Read More →