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How did people hold their pens?

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  • Quokkaqueen
    This is turning into one of those easy to ask, difficult to answer questions, so I hope someone can point me in the right direction! I can find plenty of
    Message 1 of 16 , Jul 4 4:52 PM
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      This is turning into one of those 'easy to ask, difficult to answer' questions, so I hope someone can point me in the right direction!

      I can find plenty of information about palaeography, and the different scripts used by people to write over time, but do we know *how* they held their writing instruments?

      The earliest I can find is the 1617 "The Pens Excellencie" fol. 34r http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/ceres/ehoc/billingsley/
      and http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/ceres/ehoc/images/billingsley/bb43.JPG
      which sounds awfully like how we hold pens and pencils today, except for resting the pen on the top of your middle finger.

      Is there anything earlier that includes pen-holding instructions, or anyone know of any studies on how pen-holding techniques developed?

      Thanks!

      ~Asfridhr
    • Cynthia Ley
      Have you found any illuminations showing people writing? I would check under art. Good luck! Arlys ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Message 2 of 16 , Jul 4 5:21 PM
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        Have you found any illuminations showing people writing? I would check
        under art.

        Good luck!

        Arlys
        >
        > This is turning into one of those 'easy to ask, difficult to answer'
        > questions, so I hope someone can point me in the right direction!
        >
        > I can find plenty of information about palaeography, and the different
        > scripts used by people to write over time, but do we know *how* they
        > held their writing instruments?
        >
        > The earliest I can find is the 1617 "The Pens Excellencie" fol. 34r
        > http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/ceres/ehoc/billingsley/
        > and http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/ceres/ehoc/images/billingsley/bb43.JPG
        > which sounds awfully like how we hold pens and pencils today, except
        > for resting the pen on the top of your middle finger.
        >
        > Is there anything earlier that includes pen-holding instructions, or
        > anyone know of any studies on how pen-holding techniques developed?
        >
        > Thanks!
        >
        > ~Asfridhr
        >
        >




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Karen_Larsdatter
        ... Sure -- check out http://larsdatter.com/scribaltools.htm for several illustrations showing writers, scriveners, scribes and so on, at work on various types
        Message 3 of 16 , Jul 5 7:35 AM
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          Asfridhr wrote:

          > do we know *how* they held their writing instruments?

          Sure -- check out http://larsdatter.com/scribaltools.htm for several illustrations showing writers, scriveners, scribes and so on, at work on various types of manuscripts, ranging from about the 11th century to the 17th century.

          If you're looking for illuminators & illustrators, check out http://larsdatter.com/painting.htm as well.


          Karen Larsdatter
          www.larsdatter.com
        • Karen_Larsdatter
          Yikes, sorry; the illuminators & illustrators are actually at http://larsdatter.com/illuminators.htm these days. :) Karen Larsdatter www.larsdatter.com
          Message 4 of 16 , Jul 5 7:38 AM
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            Yikes, sorry; the illuminators & illustrators are actually at http://larsdatter.com/illuminators.htm these days. :)


            Karen Larsdatter
            www.larsdatter.com
          • Madame du Pont
            Greetings Karen Larsdatter, Do you know why in a lot of the pictures the writers are holding two instruments, one in each hand? Thanks for the pictures. It is
            Message 5 of 16 , Jul 6 7:54 AM
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              Greetings Karen Larsdatter,

              Do you know why in a lot of the pictures the writers are holding two instruments, one in each hand?

              Thanks for the pictures. It is interesting to isolate one activity and see it a lot of pictures.

              Adieu,
              Madame du Pont
              Stayner de Silk
              Chateau du Merry Swan
              Currenty from An Tir, but in 6 days moving to the realm of Meridies

              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Karen_Larsdatter" <karen_larsdatter@...> wrote:
              >
              > Yikes, sorry; the illuminators & illustrators are actually at http://larsdatter.com/illuminators.htm these days. :)
              >
              >
              > Karen Larsdatter
              > www.larsdatter.com
              >
            • fastusminimus
              ... I think
              Message 6 of 16 , Jul 6 8:39 AM
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                On Jul 6, 2012, at 10:54 AM, Madame du Pont wrote:

                > Do you know why in a lot of the pictures the writers are holding
                > two instruments, one in each hand?
                >
                I >think< one is the pen and the other is to hold the media in
                place...without getting your sweaty icky fingers on it...
                Something I need to use this week!
                Ta
                Carol-in the stinkin heat for yet another few days! At least we have
                power, for now!

                > Thanks for the pictures. It is interesting to isolate one activity
                > and see it a lot of pictures.
                >
                > Adieu,
                > Madame du Pont

                Of the craftsmen it may be said that in the handiwork of their craft
                is their prayer.






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ann Catelli
                I have memories of a paper where it said the second instrument was placed under the hand, so it wouldn t smudge the ink. Ann in CT
                Message 7 of 16 , Jul 6 6:49 PM
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                  I have memories of a paper where it said the second instrument was placed under the hand, so it wouldn't smudge the ink.

                  Ann in CT



                  ________________________________
                  From: Madame du Pont <madamedupont@...>

                  Greetings Karen Larsdatter,

                  Do you know why in a lot of the pictures the writers are holding two instruments, one in each hand? 

                  Madame du Pont

                  --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Karen_Larsdatter" <karen_larsdatter@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Yikes, sorry; the illuminators & illustrators are actually at http://larsdatter.com/illuminators.htm these days. :) 
                  >
                  > Karen Larsdatter
                  > www.larsdatter.com

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Karen_Larsdatter
                  ... It depends on which illustration you re looking at; the second tool in http://www.nuernberger-hausbuecher.de/75-Amb-2-317-62-r/data is likely an inkhorn,
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jul 7 7:41 AM
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                    Madame du Pont asked:

                    > Do you know why in a lot of the pictures the writers are holding
                    > two instruments, one in each hand?

                    It depends on which illustration you're looking at; the second tool in http://www.nuernberger-hausbuecher.de/75-Amb-2-317-62-r/data is likely an inkhorn, for example (see http://larsdatter.com/inkwells.htm for several examples).


                    Karen Larsdatter
                    www.larsdatter.com
                  • Cynthia Ley
                    ... A few issues ago, there was a Tournaments Illuminated which focused on scribal, and I recall one author addressing this very question. Don t have it where
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jul 7 8:21 AM
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                      On 7/7/2012 7:41 AM, Karen_Larsdatter wrote:
                      >
                      > Madame du Pont asked:
                      >
                      > > Do you know why in a lot of the pictures the writers are holding
                      > > two instruments, one in each hand?
                      >
                      A few issues ago, there was a Tournaments Illuminated which focused on
                      scribal, and I recall one author addressing this very question. Don't
                      have it where I can get to it right now though.

                      Arlys


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Madame du Pont
                      OK...that would make sense so you don t put your hand down on the work. Merci, Mme du Pont Stayner de silk Kingdom d An Tir...moving in 5 days to Meridies
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jul 7 3:16 PM
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                        OK...that would make sense so you don't put your hand down on the work.

                        Merci,
                        Mme du Pont
                        Stayner de silk
                        Kingdom d'An Tir...moving in 5 days to Meridies

                        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Ann Catelli <elvestoorder@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I have memories of a paper where it said the second instrument was placed under the hand, so it wouldn't smudge the ink.
                        >
                        > Ann in CT
                        ________________________________
                        > From: Madame du Pont <madamedupont@...>
                        >
                        > Greetings Karen Larsdatter,
                        >
                        > Do you know why in a lot of the pictures the writers are holding two instruments, one in each hand? 
                        >
                        > Madame du Pont
                        >

                        >
                      • Ylaire Sainte Claire
                        Actually, this is a knife. This knife is held against the vellum while writing. A Pennsic, stop by guild Mirandola and talk to Ranthufr (Randy Asplund) about
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jul 7 10:29 PM
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                          Actually, this is a knife. This knife is held against the vellum while writing. A Pennsic, stop by guild Mirandola and talk to Ranthufr (Randy Asplund) about holding the pen and knife. He actually uses period tools, made by himself, and period grips. http://www.randyasplund.com/ his web page. A link of him holding both the pen and the knife. I believe the knife helps to hold the paper still without making smudges of oils (oils that could keep the ink from laying right) and to use as a guide of where to put the letter (like a kindergartner using a pointer finger on a line of text they are concentrating on writing). http://www.randyasplund.com/pages/article/schiff1.html


                          He is an excellent source of information on authentic scribal tools, methods, paints, everything. He usually teaches a class or two at Pennsic in the Guild Mirandola tent. Also, there is an SCA Scribes and Illuminators yahoogroup where you might find others knowledgable on this subject.



                          Ylaire Sainte Claire
                          Shire of Sylvan Glen, Æthelmearc



                          Sent from my iPad
                        • Karen_Larsdatter
                          The secondary tool is often a knife; it s used for holding down the parchment while writing, or scraping away an error before it has the chance to set, I
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jul 8 7:54 AM
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                            The secondary tool is often a knife; it's used for holding down the parchment while writing, or scraping away an error before it has the chance to set, I think; could also be used for sharpening a quill pen.

                            Some assorted examples:
                            http://atlantis.coe.uh.edu/manuscripts/docs/03medievalproduction.pdf
                            http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/medieval/jpegs/imagecat/1500/imac0968.jpg
                            http://www.themorgan.org/collections/collections.asp?id=81
                            http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=43454
                            http://blog.metmuseum.org/penandparchment/exhibition-images/cat110r2_49b/
                            http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O=IFN-8100220&E=JPEG&Deb=46&Fin=46&Param=C
                            http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O=IFN-8100228&E=JPEG&Deb=2&Fin=2&Param=C
                            http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O=IFN-8100228&E=JPEG&Deb=83&Fin=83&Param=C
                            http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O=IFN-8100228&E=JPEG&Deb=125&Fin=125&Param=C
                            http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O=IFN-8100261&E=JPEG&Deb=284&Fin=284&Param=C

                            (A few more good examples at the Morgan Library, but their Corsair system seems to have problems this weekend.)

                            I think the "Tournaments Illuminated" article was Sir Ranthulfr Asparlundr's piece a few years back; you can see a photo of him working with a pen and knife at http://www.randyasplund.com/imgs/histbufimg/Scribeshop.jpg
                            Here's an article about the process he used to create a T.I. cover:
                            http://www.randyasplund.com/pages/article/tournpg/tipg1.html


                            Karen Larsdatter
                            www.larsdatter.com
                          • Madame du Pont
                            Ummm, an ink horn. I need to look into those. When I do demos making silk standards I use a sea shell to put my dye in. So perhaps an ink horn might have
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jul 8 8:13 AM
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                              Ummm, an ink horn. I need to look into those. When I do demos making silk standards I use a sea shell to put my dye in. So perhaps an ink horn might have been used.

                              And thank you for pointing that out.

                              Adieu,
                              Mme du Pont
                              Stayner de silk
                              4 days til I relocate to the realm of Meridies

                              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Karen_Larsdatter" <karen_larsdatter@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Madame du Pont asked:
                              >
                              > > Do you know why in a lot of the pictures the writers are holding
                              > > two instruments, one in each hand?
                              >
                              > It depends on which illustration you're looking at; the second tool in http://www.nuernberger-hausbuecher.de/75-Amb-2-317-62-r/data is likely an inkhorn, for example (see http://larsdatter.com/inkwells.htm for several examples).
                              >
                              >
                              > Karen Larsdatter
                              > www.larsdatter.com
                              >
                            • Madame du Pont
                              Merci for going to all the trouble of posting these links and I really like the picture of Sir Ranthulfr Asperlund! Your, In Service, Mme du Pont Stayner de
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jul 9 8:57 AM
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                                Merci for going to all the trouble of posting these links and I really like the picture of Sir Ranthulfr Asperlund!

                                Your, In Service,
                                Mme du Pont
                                Stayner de silk
                                Leaving An Tir for Meridies in 3 days....

                                --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Karen_Larsdatter" <karen_larsdatter@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > I think the "Tournaments Illuminated" article was Sir Ranthulfr Asparlundr's piece a few years back; you can see a photo of him working with a pen and knife at http://www.randyasplund.com/imgs/histbufimg/Scribeshop.jpg
                                > Here's an article about the process he used to create a T.I. cover:
                                > http://www.randyasplund.com/pages/article/tournpg/tipg1.html
                                >
                                >
                                > Karen Larsdatter
                                > www.larsdatter.com
                                >
                              • Madame du Pont
                                That all makes sense. Merci for thy reply! Mme du Pont Stayner de silk
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jul 9 8:59 AM
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                                  That all makes sense. Merci for thy reply!
                                  Mme du Pont
                                  Stayner de silk

                                  --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, fastusminimus <cahuff@...> wrote:
                                  >

                                  > >
                                  > I >think< one is the pen and the other is to hold the media in
                                  > place...without getting your sweaty icky fingers on it...
                                  > Something I need to use this week!
                                • Madame du Pont
                                  Merci for the interesting information. Sometimes, it is the little things that make all the difference!! Adieu, Mme du Pont Stayner de silk Chateau du Merry
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jul 9 9:00 AM
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                                    Merci for the interesting information. Sometimes, it is the 'little things' that make all the difference!!

                                    Adieu,
                                    Mme du Pont
                                    Stayner de silk
                                    Chateau du Merry Swan


                                    --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Ylaire Sainte Claire <ylairesainteclaire@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Actually, this is a knife. This knife is held against the vellum while writing. A Pennsic, stop by guild Mirandola and talk to Ranthufr (Randy Asplund) about holding the pen and knife. He actually uses period tools, made by himself, and period grips. http://www.randyasplund.com/ his web page. A link of him holding both the pen and the knife. I believe the knife helps to hold the paper still without making smudges of oils (oils that could keep the ink from laying right) and to use as a guide of where to put the letter (like a kindergartner using a pointer finger on a line of text they are concentrating on writing). http://www.randyasplund.com/pages/article/schiff1.html
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > He is an excellent source of information on authentic scribal tools, methods, paints, everything. He usually teaches a class or two at Pennsic in the Guild Mirandola tent. Also, there is an SCA Scribes and Illuminators yahoogroup where you might find others knowledgable on this subject.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Ylaire Sainte Claire
                                    > Shire of Sylvan Glen, Æthelmearc
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Sent from my iPad
                                    >
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