Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Steppe Nomads at the Met

I was recently in NYC for mundane research. Given that three of my books surveying Sarmatian and co. goldwork were published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was on my list of things to do when I'm not working in the collections of the natural history museum.
I wasn't expecting a lot to be displayed- they aren't exactly popular with the general public- and there wasn't. Iranian steppe nomads are confined to a corner in a small gallery devoted to Near East Asian art. This includes other groups such as the people of the Caucasus, Sassanian Persians, and Mesopotamians. I was actually surprised at how little work was being displayed from "the cradle of civilization". The one thing that I was disappointed about, even with my low expectations, is that none of the golden deer were displayed. I think the Golden Deer of Eurasia was written as a companion to a special exhibition (how I wish I could have seen it!), but I was hoping at least one of the many they have would still be viewable by the general public. Oh well. I still highly recommend going if you're in town. The museum has a dearth of other things displayed. I took pictures of Renaissance string instruments for a friend, saw Henry VIII's last set of field armor (how sad that his "grossly overweight" is "normal" for much of the US today...), and a really awesome ceramic dish. It was made at the end of period using actual animals to make casts. Check out their annex, The Cloisters, as well!

Below are pictures of what they did have in the Caucasian peoples (sensu stricto) and Iranian nomads corner.
Disc with running dogs surrounding a mountain goat
Caucasus region, 1st-3rd centuries AD

Clasp with an eagle and its prey
Gold with turquoise inlays
Iran? Parthian, 1st cent BC-1st cent AD

Roundel with horned animal, lions, and griffins
Gilded silver inlaid with stones, iron backing
Central Asia, Sarmatian, 3rd-2nd century BC

Roundels with griffin heads
Gilded silver with stone inlays
Western Asia, late 1st millennium BC

Axe head
Silver and iron
Western Asia, Scythians, 6th-5th century BC

Dress ornaments
Northern Black Sea region (Maikop?)
Scythian, 5th century BC

Fragment of a plaque
Northwestern Iran, possibly Ziwiye, 7th century BC

Teeny tiny ibex figure (an inch long at most)
Same info as above plaque fragment

Finial and pommel with coiled animal forms
Gold and gold with turquoise inlays
Western Asia, possible Black Sea area
Scythian, 6th century BC

Belt buckle, felines attacking ibexes
Mongolia or southern Siberia, Xiongnu period, 3rd-2nd century BC

In addition to the relevant corner, I also found these gems in the Chinese exhibits (which are extensive!). Look familiar to anyone?
Belt buckles
North China, 3rd-2nd century BC
This shape of belt buckle is also present in the form of several Saka (i.e., Asian Scythians) artifacts figured in the Golden Deer book, including the one I used to make the bottom right scene in my '8 of 8' scroll.

Belt plaque
Gilded silver
North China, 3rd century BC
Another belt buckle plaque, this time rectangular. There's that Sarmatian theme of twisting the hindquarters around 180 degrees. It also has the Iranian nomad modifications of taking a horse (it has one hoof per foot), giving it a bird beak, deer antlers, drawing the antlers in that very stylized way, and terminating the tines in griffin heads to boot. The griffin heads aren't quite as noticeable as they typically are, but if you've seen it before you can easily recognize it as such.

There are multiple records of Iranian steppe nomads getting a hold of Chinese artifacts and vice-versa (trade-and-raid routes and all that). There's also the pan-steppe themes that extend all the way east into Mongolia, which borders China. Mallory and Mair discuss the introduction and adoption of Scythian-style art in China. Lebedensky (the same guy who wrote the tamga book) mentions in another book that some Scythians may have migrated into China (must get a hold of all his books!) I didn't notice anything steppe-related in the Greek or Roman rooms (though I could have missed something; they are rather extensive), so I was extremely excited to find these steppe-type artifacts in the Chinese area. There were a few more relevant artifacts in the China section, but these were the best examples of steppe-type art there.

The Golden Deer of Eurasia: Scythian and Sarmatian Treasures from the Russian Steppes, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.
Iaroslav Lebedynsky, Les Saces, p.73
Mallory and Mair, 2000, The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another A&S 50 Challenge: Emblazon the Calontir Royal Lineage

Aritê's Depth 50- Draw 50 Calontir royal arms for use as flash cards and whatever else they may be used for (the Calontir Big Book of Emblazons, for example).
50+/50 completed  

Calontir's current Gold Falcon sent out a request for someone to make flash cards of the arms of the Royal Lineage of Calontir. I had recently, for two seconds, thought about illuminating a roll of arms (like the period tournament rolls of arms) before sensibility took over and said "Too much work right now." Drawing things in Illustrator, though, takes much less time and has the additional benefit of building up my library of charges for use with future clients. In short, this request was perfect.

As of the beginning of this challenge, there have been 82 royals of Calontir who either had registered arms or were using them. That's at least 50, so why not make it another challenge? It's not quite enough for two, so I'll just complete the challenge on the way to completing the flash cards.

Making this in Illustrator may seem redundant since one can already access images in the Royal Armorial. However, most of them are pretty low-res and not good for blowing up to the size Gold Falcon wants. Illustrator files are vector art, so it's a non-issue there.

Here they are in no particular order. I'd have them in some sort of order (by reign or by name), except that blogger has decided to place them randomly. If the colors look off from what you would expect, it's because I made CMYK files since they're destined for printing. I also included notes where needed.

Chepe l'Orageux
5th Champion/4th Warlord and 1st King
Per saltire gules and sable, two lightning flashes
throughout in saltire, barbed and flighted Or

* The emblazon in the armorial does not have the bolts throughout, but I have a hard time believing he didn't intend them to be, so I've drawn them that way here.
**These are modern lightning bolts. You may see more rectangular lightning bolts on newer devices, but if I remember correctly, these are Victorian. I don't think lightning bolts are registrable anymore (correct me if I'm wrong), so I've just left them as is here.

Conna ingen uί Chearbhaill
57th Queen
Quarterly azure and vert, a cross fusilly
between four roundels argent
Eleanor d'Autun
22nd Queen
Vert, a fret couped within an annulet argent
Thoman Shadan Secarius
2nd and 11th King
Or, a gurges gules, overall a dagger inverted sable,
and for augmentation, on a canton purpure
a Cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or

*I added the augmentation to the blazon. Looks like it was never resubmitted to add it, though it's being
displayed this way.
Cuthbert Aldhelm
27th King
Lozengy couped in fess gules and argent,
on a pale Or a sword inverted azure
Luther Ambossfaust
30th King
Checky azure and argent,
on a saltire Or an anvil sable
Roderick of Mandrake Hill
15th King
Sable, on a chevron wavy between
three spearheads Or, three acorns sable
Jane Corwin
48th Queen
Azure, a triskelion of legs Or between three bezants
Isabeau Beaux Yeux
49th and 55th Queen
Per chevron azure and vert, a chevron
cotised between a pair of eyes
argent irised azure and a bell argent
Anton Raghelan
49th and 55th King
Per chevron azure and vert, a chevron
cotised between a pair of eyes argent
irised azure and a snake nowed argent
Ariel of Glastonbury Tor
37th, 44th, and 51st Queen
Azure, a domestic cat
sejant within an orle Or
Bataciqan-nu Ko'un Ashir
54th King
Azure, a Mongolian phoenix to dexter, wings elevated
and addorsed, sable rising from flames gules

*This device is in use but not registered. It would not be registrable due to low contrast unless evidence were supplied as described in the "Individually Attested Pattern" part of SENA.
Comyn Hrothwyn of Goldum Aecum
35th Queen
Sable, on a pale bretessed between
four oak leaves, the lower two inverted
Or, a dagger inverted dable hilted vert
Morgana of Raglan
17th Queen
Per bend sinister vert and Or,
two melusines counterchanged
Magdalena vander Meere
52nd Queen, current Princess
Argent, a mermaid in her vanity
contourny and on a chief
gules three escallops argent
Cadfael the Mordant
16th Queen
Per chevron argent and azure,
two clusters of three grape leaves
vert and a descrescent argent pierced
by a crossbow bolt fesswise reversed Or
Erzebet von Schachendorf
2nd Queen
Per bend Or and sable, a rose azure barbed and seeded proper and an anchor argent
Garick von Köpke
42nd King
Per chevron argent and Or,
three flames proper each
charged with a tower sable
Martino Michele Venèri
37th, 44th, and 51st King
Per chevron gules and sable,
a chevron ermine between two
towers and a wolf's head
erased argent, a bordure ermine
Valens of Flatrock
8th, 23rd, 29th, 35th, and 39th King
Vert, a bend azure, fimbriated Or
between a tower argent and a castle Or,
and for augmentation, on a canton purpure
a Cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or
Fionna nic Alisdair
13th Queen
Or semy of hearts, a snail contourny gules
Brummbarr von Schwarzberg
1st, 2nd, and 4th Champion, 1st and 3rd Warlord, 3rd Prince
Per bend azure and sable, a bend embattled
between two bears rampant argent, and for augmentation,
on a canton purpure a Cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or
Joe Angus Wilson of Clan Gunn
32nd King
Per chevron lozengy sable and argent and sable,
a chess knight argent
Mammarra Liona of Egypt
2nd Consort, 2nd and 5th Princess, 3rd and 7th Queen
Azure, an Egyptian gynosphinx rampant Or
Steffen Albert Rheinbauer
18th King
Azure, a sinister gauntlet clenched
aversant bendwise sustaining a rose slipped
and leaved bendwise sinister argent,
in chief a mural coronet, all within an orle of chain Or
Kaye of Gordon
53rd and 56th Queen
Per pale azure and vert,
a turtle rampant gorged with a county
coronet and in chief two ivy leaves Or

*The registered device does not include the coronet, which is currently in submission.
Lyriel de la Foret
34th Queen
Per pale vert and Or,
a fleur de lys counterchanged

*Device used but not registered
Ostwald Konrad Riese Toten
53rd and 56th King
Vert, a bear rampant argent gorged with a
county coronet Or between two flaunches argent,
each charged with a halber blades to center

*The registered device does not include the coronet, which is currently in submission. His name has also been resubmitted, with a changed from Tod to Toten.
Llywelyn Lorell of Shrewsbury
10th, 20th, and 47th King
Per chevron vert and argent,
two towers argent and a portcullis
within a bordure sable
Alix Coeurbois
11th Queen
Per chevron azure and argent, two crosses
crosslet and a stump snagged proper
Vaclav Semjaka
45th King
Azure, a bear rampant and on a gore
argent a mullet of three points gules
Thorvald the Golden
9th King
Argent, a sword argent flamed and hilted
within a bordure rayonny azure
Miriam bat Yehuda
5th Queen
Azure semy of roses, a lion rampant
contourny argent and in chief a coronet Or
Margarette de Saint Martin-sur-Mer
38th Queen
Per chevron argent and vert,
a lion passant guardant sable and
three crosses bottony two and one argent
Hywela Frech ferch Wyddel
6th and 14th Queen
Per bend sinister vert and vair,
in bend two griffins segreant Or
Elisabeth de Rossignol
5th Princess and 4th Queen
Gules, a pall erminois between three
pomegranates slipped and leaved Or
Gilligan of Eire
24th King
Argent, three lions passant contourney
within a bordure embattled vert
Isadora of Orange Wode
12th Queen
Ermine, chaussé ployé sable
an orange tree eradicated proper
Rorik Galbraith
17th King
Sable, a bear's head erased argent
muzzled gules between two swords
in pile argent within a bordure
argent semy of lozenges sable
Adelith of Horton-cum-Studley
24th Queen
Per pale sable and argent, two swans naiant
respectant, wings elevated counterchanged
Sally Salamandra the Whitesmith
25th Queen
Purpure, a salamander tergiant vert flamed Or
Branwen ferch Rhael
27th Queen
Argent, on a fess purpure between
three dragons' heads erased
azure, three cinquefoils argent
Ternon de Caerleon
3rd Champion/2nd Warlord and 1st Prince
Gyronny of six palewise vert and erminois,
in pall three dexter arms, flexed and
conjoined at the shoulders, each
hand grasping a dagger argent
Valmai Arcalien of Dernhealde
3rd Princess
Per fess argent and azure, in pale an oak
leaf bendwise and a goblet counterchanged
Conn MacNeill
16th and 21st King
Gules, on a pile raguly between two
cups Or, a sword inverted sable
Sheelagh O'Kyan
21st and 41st Queen
Per bend sinister argent and vert,
an oak leaf palewise and a bottlenosed
dolphin naiant counterchanged
Volkmar Katzbalger
12th King
Per pale sable and gules, two halberd heads
addorsed and in chief a lucy Or, for augmentation
on a chief purpure issuant from the line of
division a demi-cross of Calatrava throughout Or
Yrsa in kyrra Guðbrandsdottir
33rd Queen
Argent, a duck naiant sable,
a bordure wavy gules platy
Gabriel ap Morgan ap Hywel
6th and 14th King
Per bend azure and vert, on a bend
engrailed argent between two mullets
of six points Or a fox's head gules
Yasamin al-Hadiyya
42nd Queen
Purpure, a senmurv within eight octofoils in annulo Or

*In use, currently in submission
Tristram of Lindesfarne
Ermine, a boar passant azure and a chief gules fretty Or
43rd and 46th King

*In use, not registered
Elspeth of Stonehaven
23rd Queen
Per bend sinister dovetailed sable and argent,
a unicorn's head couped contourny and a dog's head
couped within a bordure dovetailed all counterchanged
Chrystofer Kensor
19th, 25th, and 38th King
Azure, a wolf rampant contourny argent maintaining
in its sinister paw an axe bendwise hafted Or,
a base argent and in chief a ducal coronet Or,
for augmentation, on a canton purpure
a Cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or
Branwyn Whiteraven
9th Queen
Sable, a raven close and on a bordure argent, six roses, barbed and seeded, proper
Arwyn Antaradi
1st Consort and 1st Queen
Or, a saltire cotised gules, overall a horse rampant to sinister sable
Zenobia of Rebelswood
10th Queen
Argent, a unicorn rampant and on a chief
embattled gules, an arrow, barb to dexter, argent
Mahmood al-Taifi (Tomeeki)
13th King
Argent, an elephant rampant sable maintaining in its trunk a coronet gules
Angelo Paolo Cavelli
48th King
Per pale Or and vert, a vol and in chief an annulo counterchanged
Humpk d'Bohunk
6th Champion/5th Warlord, 2nd and 4th Prince, 3rd and 7th King
Azure, a sword inverted Or surmounted
by a skull argent between in fess a pair
of wings, all between three roses Or
Lucian Fidelis
57th King
Argent, a satyr maintaining a spear bendwise sinister inverted sable a bordure embattled gules

*in use, not registered
*Credit where it's due- this emblazon is based very heavily on a sketch by His Excellency, who's a good artist himself. :)
Aislinn Morcroft
28th and 36th Queen
Gules, on a chevron between three crosses
crosslet Or, five strawberry leaves vert
Edward Cire of Greymoor
5th Prince and 4th King
Per chevron gules and argent, two wyverns passant
respectant argent and a scoprion passant sable
Hirsch Ross Eichmann
52nd and 58th King
Or, an oak tree fructed proper and on
a chief gules three stag's attires Or
Alethea Charle
26th and 31st Queen
Lozengy argent and gules, a doe lodged and on a
chief sable two arrows inverted in saltire argent
Brayden Avenel Durrant
15th and 19th Queen
Gules, a fess invected between a natural tiger passant
and a scimitar fesswise, blade to chief, argent

*This sword looks more like a falchion or dao. They're often mistakenly called scimitars.
Katrine Thorrofsdottir
43rd Queen
Gules, a panther passant guardant queue-forchy
argent incensed proper, gorged of a collar and broken chains
Or and on a chief argent three crescents gules

*This device is in use but not registered
Thjothrekr Eiriksson
33rd King
Argent, on a bend wavy gules
between three Thor's hammers sable
a shark naiant argent
Fernando Rodrigues de Falcon
34th King
Per bend sinister sable and Or, a falcon stooping
to sinister counterchanged, and for
augmentation, on a canton purpure a Cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or
Siridean Maclachlan
41st King
Azure, a bend argent cotised
between a lion rampant
and a triple towered castle Or

*I decided to base my drawing of a lion rampant on a depiction from a period illumination. It isn't an exact copy- it didn't quite make the transition from illumination to Illustrator image without looking completely doofy. I made the mane and toes a bit more realistic. And I also gave it lion ears. The original has human ears. *snicker*
Xorazne Artsruni
45th Queen
Per saltire argent and Or, a sun in splendor within an orle gules

*In use but not registered.
Eringlin Aldhelm
22nd, 26th, and 31st King
Per pale sable and Or, a chevron between three
roundels, and for augmentation on the chevron
a Cross of Calatrava counterchanged

*The device is registered, but the augmentation is a new addition
Iliya of Shadowdale
20th Queen
[Tinctureless] A Ukranian trident and a drawn horse bow conjoined in pale [sable]

*Device in use but not registered
*This design is based on bi/tridents such as those used by the Kiev dynasty and is appropriate for an early period Russian persona such as Her Excellency's. The blazon is a guess on my part. The bottom element might also be blazoned as a heart or a quarter of a Cross of Calatrava. The words in brackets would be necessary for registration in the SCA, but nonsensical in period. In addition to stamping the completely tinctureless design on coins, she also displayed it as Or on purpure during her reign. I've chosen to reproduce it as black and white here to hold true to period design (black and white doesn't necessarily read as "tinctured"), but will change it to Or on purpure if She requests.
*Ukranian/Kievan bi/tridents might be descended from tamga (Drachuk, 1975; Yatsenko, 2001; Fetisov, 2007; Lebedynsky, 2011), though the latter two caution that it isn't necessarily the sign itself that descends from them, but rather the system of use and inheritance.
Ghleanna Meghan of Kirkaldy
1st Princess
Per fess sable and vert, a fess between
three mullets of eight points and a
horse rampant argent.

*Device in use but not registered
Catalina Arazuri
Current Princess
Or, a bend sinister per bend azure and gules
between two monarch butterflies proper.

Lenore de Troyes
30th Queen
Vert, two chevronels argent between three trefoils voided Or

*Prepared, but not submitted before her passing
Christophre Cynwyd
7th Champion
Or, a date palm leaf sable
Lile ni Mhordha
18th Queen
Per chevron ermine and azure, in base
three annulets, one and two, interlaced Or
Maerwynn of Holme
50th and 54th Queen
Or, a triskelion of three unstrung hunting horns
conjoined at the mouthpieces between
three roundels one and two gules
Asgeirr Gunnarsson
5th King
Per pale sable and argent, on a saltire cotised,
two spears in saltire, all counterchanged.
Caillin MacKenzie
46th Queen
Azure semy of roses Or barbed and seeded
vert, on a bend sinister argent three trefoils vert

*In use, not registered
Donngal Eriksson
28th King
Azure ermined Or, a cross
throughout gyronny gules and Or
Phaedra filia Roberti
32nd and 40th Queen
Argent semy of ladybugs gules
spotted sable, a bordure gules

*The ladybugs I've drawn here are European
seven-spotted ladybugs, not to be mistaken
for the common invasive Asian
species found here in the US.
Susannah Griffon
8th, 29th, and 39th Queen
Pean, a saltire Or, overall a griffon passant gules,
and for augmentation, on a canton purpure
a Cross of Calatrava within a bordure Or

*I added the augmentation to the blazon. Looks like it was never resubmitted to add it, though it's being displayed this way.
**This is a Fox-Davies (i.e. post-period) griffon, which I did not know when I drew it a while back. I'll eventually replace my Fox-Davies art with more period depictions, though they are often still registrable given their accessibility.

Drachuk, VS, 1975, Sistemy znakov Severnogo Prichernomor'ya Tamgoobraznyie znaki severopontiyskoi periferii antichnogo mira pervykh vekov nashei ery, Kiev.
Fetisov, A, 2007, The 'Rurukid sign' from the B3 church at Basarabi-Murfatlar, Studia Patzinaka, 4.1, pp. 29-44
Lebedynsky, I, 2011, Les tamgas, une "héraldique" de la steppe, éditions errance, Paris, p. 109-122.
Yatsenko, SA, 2001, Znaki-tamgi iranoyazychnych narodov drevnosti i rannego srednevekov'ya, Moskva.