Posthumously awarded

   
  Pharaoh
Thutmose III

Egypt
   
  Pharaoh
Tutankhamun

Egypt
   
  King Solomon
Israel
  Emperor Jimmu
Japan
  King Alexander
the Great

Macedon
  Hannibal
Tunisia
  Julius Caesar
Italy
  Emperor Charlemagne
France-Germany
  King Richard Lionheart
England
  Saladin
Egypt-Syria
  King Alfonso X
Spain
  Emperor Peter
the Great

Russia
  King Gustav II Adolf
Sweden
  Emperor Frederick II the Great
Germany
  Pharaoh Hatshepsut
Egypt
  Pharaoh Cleopatra VII
Egypt
  Queen Eleonor
of Aquitaine

France-England
  Queen Isabella I
Spain
  Queen Elisabeth I
England



 

 

 



     
PAGES OF HONOR - The manuscript as a knowledge transmitter
     

Parchment is a writing material with a long and arduous manufacturing process, as the skin of the lamb from which itís made - usually lamb, goat, sheep or ram - must be treated specifically to make of it a useful and lasting material. Its name comes from Pergamum, a city of Asia Minor, founded by Phileterus in 238 B.C.
According to the Latin writer Pliny, King Attalus I founded the library that reached its apogee with King Eumenes II (197 to 158 B.C.); it held 200.000 volumes in it.
This library competed with Alexandriaís in such a way that, according to tradition, the Egyptian king Ptolemeus Philadelphus stopped supplying papyrus to the city of Pergamum. As a result of that the city of Pergamum developed and improved the manufacturing of this writing material to replace the papyrus. Nevertheless, the first evidence of the parchment use is very old: it dates from 2700 - 2500 B. C., during the fourth Egyptian dynasty. According to Herodotus and Ctesias, it was widely used among the Persians, though the oldest preserved scroll is from the second century B.C., it contains a Greek text and comes from Dura Europos. Among the Greeks it was known as dipthera and among Latinos membrane, the name that was commonly used during the Middle Ages, as the one of charter membranacea. The name of parchment comes from the expression membrane pergamenea, that was first used in the edict of Diocletian 301 B.C., known as the Edictum de pretiis rerum venalium; the term pergamenum was used by St. Jerome (330 - 420).
The parchment was the favourite writing material in the third and fourth centuries, until the introduction of paper by the Arabs in Europe in the late eighth century. After its spreading, it remained as the preferred material for illuminated manuscripts for a long time.

The method that has been used to obtain the parchment for each one of the Pages of Honor manuscript is the same as the one used in the tanneries of the Middle Ages: starting with the selection of skins, one by one, when they still have wool and hair, thus we ensure the final result of the process. Once the
skins have been selected, they will be soaked in a solution of water and quicklime for a long, stirring them periodically to wet them all. After this stage, and with the skins still moist to facilitate the work, they are
scrapped manually, using sickle blades or curved blade knife as tools, and removing all traces of flesh that might remain.
This is a job that requires much experience and skill to avoid damaging the skin while performing. After this operation, the skins are soaked again, without wool, hair or flesh, in clear water for several days to be thoroughly cleaned and free off lime.
The drying process is done by tightening the skins one by one on a wooden frame, so that we can increase its size, control its thickness and maintain the parchmentís uniformity characteristics. During this drying period we polish both sides of the skins with a pumice stone to achieve a natural smoothing.
After the cleaning and the selection of thickness and colour have been made, a natural resin is applied over the skins to facilitate the fixing of golden and inks, rejecting those that do not look like the ones used in the original manuscript.


After centuries since its use as a way of writing and transmitting knowledge, the Order of the Royal Honor, thanks on this extraordinary and genuine natural parchment, allows us to feel through its beautiful miniatures drawn with fine paintbrushes, and through its natural touch and smell, the emotion of holding the testimony of an old and wise work that illuminators and amanuensis left us patiently in vellum and parchment.

     
 
1. Skin cleaning
 
2. Selection of skins, one by one
     
 
3. Manual skin scraping
 
4. Skin appearance after having been soaked in water and lime
     
 
5. Pre-drying and natural draining
 
6. Drying and stretching on wooden frames
     
 
7. Manual polishing and smoothing in both sides
 
8. Check of the final result
     
 
9. Manual marquetry in the same size as the original manuscript
 
10. Faithfully following the painstakingtechnique of the ancient masters, the binding is done in a absolutely craftsman process, in natural skin on table
     

 



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