8. Gothic Bastarde

Background and History

This award blank used in Lochac was designed by Master Richard de la Croix and is derived from a MSS fragment which dates around1440 (Manchester, John Rylands Library, Eng MS,63, f iv; Chaucer, Canterbury Tales). The ductus of the calligraphy and the illumination on the AA blank were both adapted from this manuscript.

The calligraphy on this MS is an example of a bastard Gothic hand very popular in the 15th century in England and on the continent. It is far more cursive than the quadrata hand from which it evolved.


The calligraphy on the blank was penned with an Osmoroid Italic Medium at a basic angle of 45 degrees to the vertical. In this particular piece, the letters are penned within 4mm wide lines, spaced 4mm apart. Follow these dimensions precisely.


As with most Gothic illumination, the colour scheme is somewhat rigid. Primary colours (red, green, blue) in particular were most common along with the gold.

The vines and stems should be in primary colours (usually red and blue), highlighted wth fine white lines.

The leaves and flowers should be rich colours (red and blue predominate, but green, purple and even orange were seen), shaded appropriately.

The very small leaves were usually green and the little round dots are always gold.

The are a number of ways you can treat the capital "U":



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