Manesse Codex Tapestries for EK Royal

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The East Kingdom Royal decoration project was originally conceived by Mistress Eleanor fitzPatrick with three goals - to make the business area of EK Royal at Pennsic be beautifully impressive instead of merely functionally utilitarian, to inspire lots of people to create the beauty and feel a sense of ownership and pride in EK Royal, and to show people that decorating a Pennsic camp is easier than they might think. Stage one was to create a set of faux-stained-glass lanterns (EK Royal Courtyard Lanterns) for the courtyard to hang from the existing lantern hooks. Stage two was to build a set of faux-candle chandeliers (EK Royal Candle Chandeliers) for the meeting tent.

Stage three of this project was to create a set of painted wall hangings, in the style of the Manesse Codex, depicting East Kingdom arms, awards and orders. Baroness Cassandra Boell agreed to do the hard work of converting Codex panels into flattened cartoon-like line drawings and modifying them to show EK heraldry instead of the originals. Mistress Eleanor took those converted line drawings, projected them onto canvas using a home theater projector and traced them in pencil. She hemmed them, then put them together into "paint-by-number" type kits and sent them out to various teams to be painted.

Please note that the artist, Baroness Cassandra Boell has given permission for anyone to reuse her designs. Feel free to take and modify them to your own heraldry. Mix and match elements and borders and create something beautiful for your own kit. Clicking on any of the images on this page will bring you to the original, full resolution image that you can download.


Eight panels were chosen to modify to represent a broad cross-section of East Kingdom activities and orders.

The Boat Panel

The first panel, the Boat, was modified to include the Silver Crescent and Maunche order badges. It seemed appropriate to start with the orders for Service and for Arts & Sciences.

Tapestries boatOriginal.jpg Tapestries boatColorCartoon.jpg Tapestries boatBWCartoon.jpg Tapestries boat Completed.jpg

This panel was painted by Mistress Ygraine of Kellswood.

Tapestries - Original Instructions for Boat Panel

The Tree Panel

The second panel, the Tree, was modified to display the arms of the King and the Queen of the East.

Tapestries TreeOriginal.jpg Tapestries Tree Color.jpg Tapestries Tree BWCartoon.jpg Tapestries Tree completed.jpg

This panel was painted by Count Brennan mac Fearghus, Countess Caoilfhion inghean Fhaoláin, their daughter Courtney Rose, Duke Kenric, Sir Antonio Patrasso, Baroness Alesone Gray of Cranlegh, Lord Yehuda ben Moshe and Lady Sorcha Dhocair.

Tapestries - Original Instructions for Tree Panel

The Castle Panel

The third panel, the Castle, was modified to display the badge of the Order of the Sagittarius and to showcase the Artemis and the Golden Mantel.

Tapestries Castle Original.jpg Tapestries Castle color.jpg Tapestries Castle BW.jpg Tapestries Castle completed.jpg

This panel was painted by Baroness Medhbh inghean Uí Cheallaigh, Baron Sigurthr Vigurhafn, and their daughter Caitilín ingen Donndubáin.

Tapestries - Original Instructions for Castle Panel

The Horse Panel

The fourth panel, the Horse, was modified to display the badge of the Order of the Tygers Combatant and to showcase Equestrian activities.

Tapestries Horse Original.jpg Tapestries Horse Color.jpg Tapestries Horse BW.jpg Tapestries Horse Completed.jpg

This panel was painted by Baroness Alanna of Skye and was the first panel completed.

Tapestries - Original Instructions for Horse Panel

The Couple Panel

The fifth panel, the Couple, was modified to display the arms of the Prince of the East.

Tapestries Couple Original.jpg Tapestries Couple color.jpg Tapestries Couple cartoon.jpg Tapestries Couple completed.jpg

Tapestries - Original Instructions for Couple Panel

The Couple was painted by Lady Lasairfhiona Inghean Cheallaigh, Ciarnet ni'Bhroin and David of House Berwick

The Music Panel

The sixth panel, Music, was chosen to feature musicians and dance and modified to display the badges of the Order of the Terpsichore and the Order of the Troubadour.

Tapestries Music Original.jpg Tapestries Music Color.jpg Tapestries Music BW.jpg Tapestries Music completed.jpg

Tapestries - Original Instructions for Music Panel

Music was painted by Duchess Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon.

The Children Panel

The seventh panel, the Children, was modified to display the badges of the Order of the Tyger's Cub and the Order of Gawain, and to include a girl child. None of the original Manesse Codex panels featured a girl child, just boys or babies.

Tapestries Children Original.jpg Tapestries Children Color.jpg Tapestries Children BW.jpg Tapestries Children completed.jpg

Tapestries - Original Instructions for Children Panel

Children was painted by Mistress Leonete d'Angely, Emelime du Logenzia, Amanda, Lady Albreda Aylese, and Rowyn, Dana, and Ewan, Children of the North.

The Swords Panel

The eighth panel, Swords, is showcasing the Order of the Golden Rapier.. At the time the Manesse Codex was created, rapier didn't exist. Baroness Cassandra chose a panel featuring swords and added the OGR badge to it, rather than trying to modify the swords into rapiers.

Tapestries Swords Original.jpg Tapestries Swords color.jpg Tapestries Swords BW.jpg Tapestries Swords completed.jpg

Tapestries - Original Instructions for Swords Panel

Swords was painted by Haus zum Kitzingen: Master Ernst Nuss von Kitzingen, Baroness Catelin la Broderesse, Ryan of Nordenhal, Etain and Ricardo.

The Materials

Each panel used approximately 2 yards of 10 oz Duck in "natural", ordered from Big Duck Canvas Warehouse ( This canvas was chosen as a compromise between quality and cost. Sunforger would have presented a smoother surface for painting but at a significant increase in cost.

The paints are all Versatex brand screen printing ink (, treated with a "no heat" fixative. Mistress Eleanor fitzPatrick has used Versatex for painting pavilions with great success in the past. Her personal pavilion, the traveling Royal pavilion and the stripes on the EK Royal gate pavilion are all painted with Versatex. It's easy to work with, has excellent coverage and is the least expensive of the quality screen printing inks. The one drawback to Versatex is that it cannot be allowed to freeze before painting or it will permanently separate. If you're going to order Versatex you have to be careful to make certain that it will not freeze in shipping. Dharma Trading is well aware of this problem and quite good about working with you to time winter shipments to minimize the risk of freezing.

Original chart of paint requirements for first four panels

The Process

Creating the graphics

Cassandra write up details of the graphics work

Creating the paint-by-number kits

The panel artwork, both color and outline, were downloaded to an iPad connected to a portable video projector. The projector was set up facing a large blank wall and the image was adjusted until the actual size of the projected image was the desired size. Since there was no available space big enough to back the projector far enough from the wall for a vertical throw of five feet, every panel was turned on its side and projected that way. The zoom and keystone settings on the projector were tweaked until the panel measured 5 feet along the length of the design and both diagonal measurements were approximately the same. As you can see from the original Manesse panels, not all of them are square to themselves so there were a lot of "judgement calls" on how true was good enough. Then a large piece of canvas was tacked to the wall, leaving enough excess canvas around the projected design to be able to hem it afterwards. The design itself was traced with pencil. It took between two and three hours per panel to trace - more for the ones with really complex borders.

The panels were then cut to size - 3" out from the border on the sides and bottom and 7" out from the top. They were turned twice, with the lower corners mitered for neatness, and hemmed close to the edge of the turned under fabric. Once the panel was painted the hems were nearly invisible from the front.

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Figuring out the paint requirements turned out to be a much bigger job than anticipated. While Cassandra had created overall lists of the colors in each panel, it was still necessary had to work through each panel and figure out how much of each color was needed for that particular panel, then add up the requirements for all of the panels and decide how much to order. This was complicated by the extremely high cost of shipping Versatex in the winter. In the end, we vastly overestimated how much paint was needed. Below is the link to the master color chart created for the first four panels. Original chart of paint requirements for first four panels Original chart of paint requirements for second round of four panels

Once the paint arrived, custom colors were mixed for those panels that had them, the paint and fixative were portioned into small plastic containers purchased for the purpose, and each container labeled to match the list in that panel's instruction sheet. The paint, stirring sticks, a set of brushes, a set of measuring spoons, scrap canvas for practicing and the prepared panel were all packed into plastic totes purchased specifically for this project.

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Painting the panels

input from the artist teams?