Tag Archives: (century) 15th

Scroll: The Prayer Book of Michelino da Besozzo Folio 5

Folio 5 of the 1410 Italian Manuscript: The Prayer Book of Michelino da Besozzo

Baronial Level Scroll, Barony of Sacred Stone in Atlantia
Award: Defenders of The Sacred Stone
Recipient: Jenna Fairhaven
Completed: 23 Sept 2017

Scroll wording, design, calligraphy, penciling, inking, and painting all completed by Lady Prudence the Curious.

Materials Used
Paper – Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour Paper HOT PRESS – 12 x 9 inch, 140 pound

Pen – Manuscript fountain calligraphy pen filled with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Black Star waterproof India Ink. Nib was B2 or B3.

Paint – Winsor & Newton Designers Gouche colors of Olive Green and Winsor Green for the leaves and vines (with highlights in Imitation Gold); Brilliant Violet and Light Purple (lightened a breath with Premium White) for the flowers, initial “J”, and scroll work around the initial and the “We” (with highlights in Premium White). Raised goldwork created with Liquitex Basic Acrylic Gesso tinged with red paint, and then covered in Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink – Gold. Some outlining – especially of the initial – done with Micron as well as Artist Loft illustration pens in the 0.1 to 0.5 range.

Pencil lines removed include scribal lines to write on, the outline for the initial, and the freeform of the vinework to figure out where the gold leaves needed to go.

Tools – Paint brushes, mechanical pencils, Westcott white eraser, Ames lettering guide, and T-square ruler. Water cups, eye drops, and small paint pallet were used to mix and store paints.

Challenges: In this case I took on the assignment when I shouldn’t. I have too many commitments, as always, but I so wanted to paint something, anything I took on five assignments with plenty of time – or so I thought. Pennsic troll just killed me. I ended up starting this two days before the event, which is good because the baronage move their court up a day to Friday evening. Otherwise the date on the scroll would have been wrong. I completed it early Saturday morning and brought it to the event to be given out.

I am very pleased with the scroll work around the opening letter and around the initial. This is something I had just started to work on before I packed up all my paints to move.

The flowers surprised me with the little bit of gold in the middle of each flower, and the leaves have a light hatchwork of gold for highlighting. I needed to add a breath of white to the Light Purple; WN Light Purple is very dark, but it was the best match to the other purple for the flower, so adding a little permanent white brought the color out a bit more for the eye to see – but also means the color will be impossible to match in the future.

What I would like to improve – the leaves and the flowers are not quite right for matching the original manuscript. The leaves were more rounded than pointed, except for the gold leaves. Some of the flowers are close in appearance and others are a little off.

I fought the fountain calligraphy pen the entire time. In my hiatus, Micheal’s art supply switched from two fairly good fountain pens (Panche and Os…something) to the much poorer quality product of Manuscript. I’m going to have to figure out how to use a dip pen because this is unacceptable. On the plus side the scrollwork around letters will only get better, as will the whitework and goldwork highlights. Still a whole new skillset to master will take years, worth it, but years.

Click on for full size version

Scroll Wording as meant to be read in court:
We are Marc Baron and Alianor Baroness. Know ye the Sacred Stone Baronial Birthday, on September twenty-second in the year of the Lord two thousand and seventeen and anno societas being fifty-two, we invited

Jenna Fairhaven

into Our Defenders of the Sacred Stone for her exemplary service as Baking Champion.

NOTE: “by our hands” was added as the calligraphy was being worked on because, well I didn’t have enough text on the final line to look balanced.


Recipe: Meatballs in Almond Milk Sauce

Recipe:  Pompys (Meatballs in Almond Milk Sauce)

(article published January 2017, The Phoenix, Barony of Sacred Stone)

The Early English Text Society is a wonderful resource for the SCA and numerous other historical groups for their interest in preserving and, more importantly, disseminating texts usually available only to specialized scholars.  Two fifteen-century cookery-books is an example drawn from sources from 1430 to 1450.


Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Editor Thomas Austin.  Oxford University Press: London, England. 2000 (unaltered reprint). from p.34

Original Entry

(thorn letter symbol replaced by [th])

Take Beef, Porke, or Vele, on of hem, & raw, alle to-choppe it ate [th]e dressoure, [th]an grynd hem in a mortar as smal as [th]ou may, [th]an caste [th]er-to Raw yolkys of Eyroun, wyn, an a lytil white sugre: caste also [th]er-to pouder Pepyr, & Macys, Clowes, Quybibys, pouder Canelle, Synamoun, & Salt, & a lytil Safroun; [th]en take & make smale Pelettys round y-now, & loke [th]at [th]ou haue a fayre potte of Freysshe bro[th]e of bef or of Capoun, & euer [th]row hem [th]er-on & lete hem sethe tyl [th]at [th]ey ben y-now; [th]en take & draw vppe a [th]ryfty mylke of Almaundys, with cold freysshe bro[th]e of Bef, Vele, Moton, o[th]er Capoun, & a-lye it with floure of Rys & with Spycerye; & atte [th]e dressoure ley [th]es pelettys .v. or .vj. in a dysshe, & [th]en pore [th]in sewe aneward, & serue in, or ellys make a gode [th]ryfty Syryppe & ley [th]in pelettys atte [th]e dressoure [th]er-on, & [th]at is gode seruyse.


Take beef, pork or veal, or all of them, and raw, all to chop it at the serving, than grind them in a motor as small as thou may, then add thereto raw yolks of eggs, with a little white sugar: add also thereto ground pepper, mace, cloves, cubeb (a spice related to pepper), powdered canella (cinnamon cassia – common modern cinnamon), cinnamon (cinnamon zeylanicum – often called true cinnamon, and very hard to get ahold of), and salt and a little saffron; then take and make small pellets round suitable (y-now means done, suitable or enough) and look that you have a fair pot of fresh broth of beef or of  chicken and you throw them thereon and let them seethe/boil until that they done, then take and draw up a thrifty milk of almonds with cold fresh broth of beef, veal, mutton or chicken and ally it with rice flour and with spices and at the serving lay these pellets five or six in a dish and then pour thin sauce on it and serve in or else make a good thrifty syrup and lay pellets at the serving thereon and that is good service.

My Interpretation (serves 4)


1 lbs of Beef, Pork or Veal or mixture thereof (ground)

1 egg yolk

1 tsp of sugar, ground pepper, ground cinnamon

½ tsp of ground mace, ground cloves, salt (and fresh ground true cinnamon or one “Red Hot” candy)

¼ tsp saffron

3/4 can of broth (chicken or beef)

4 cups of water

Almond Milk Sauce: ¼ cup almond milk, ¼ can of broth, 2 Tablespoons thickener of choice (rice flour, corn starch, wheat flour), spices as wished (likely similar to the meatball – but use the lighter colored ones for best color effect: mace, salt, true cinnamon, sugar)


  1. Take a saucepan large enough to hold the water and broth and still be 1/3 empty. Start boiling the water and broth.
  2. Take the ground meat and add egg yolks, and spices. Make into small meatballs.
  3. Once broth is at roaring boil, add meatballs carefully. Turn heat down to slow boil.  Cook until done – between 15 and 20 minutes.
  4. In frying pan, as you would make gravy, put in the almond milk, broth, thickener and spices. Sauce can be thin and runny, thick like heavy gravy, or syrupy.  You decide.
  5. Serve the meatballs and sauce together or separately. If together, meatballs are lightly (thrifty) coated with sauce, not swimming.