Recently I was commissioned to produce a illuminated vellum Wedding Commemoration Certificate for a young couple soon to be married in Scotland. The brief was simple the coat of the arms of the Groom was to be used but beyond that I could do what I please and let my creative juices flow.
With the coat of arms as the foundation point I decided to use it’s colours as accents throughout the document. Thus the title draws on the principal colours of the arms, the names in blue and the initial letter hint at the blue masonry on the castle and further down the text important sentences are written in the same main colours of the arms, purple and green, or in heraldic parlance, Purpure and Vert.
The illuminated capital letter shows the Groom’s coat of arms and thistles as an emblem for the geographical location of the marriage set on a 23.5 carat gold background. Next I designed a border using the white Jacobite roses and the swans from the crest of the coat of arms. And centre top a traditional motif of a heart pierced by and arrow and ensigned by a coronet and the happy couples initials all linked by a true lovers knot. The Heart motif and the initials were also used in the two roundels which top the side margin decoration. The two swans in the top margin hold a bell and a key which again are traditional nuptial symbols. Whilst at the bottom left a swan holds the banner of arms of the Groom, and at bottom right there is a depiction of St. Katharine, to represent the Royal Peculiar that gave the Groom his Manorial title and a Castle representing his Scottish Feudal title and a small lozenge of the arms as representative of his new bride.
This beautiful bespoke hand written and hand painted and gold decorated certificate perfectly records one of the most important days of your life in a truly unique way. Unlike so many digital certificates this is truly a work of art with many years of professional expertise and craftsmanship going into each one using some techniques that are a thousand years old and which were used to create the beautiful illuminated manuscript books of the Medieval period. This certainly is a treasure to be handed down through the generations.
My thanks to Mark Lindley-Highfield of Ballumbie Castle
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Copyright Andrew Stewart Jamieson. All rights reserved 2018. May not be copied, published or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission from the artist and the armiger,