The following information about largesse was written by Tsuruko Sensei for a class she gives on the subject. Other notes and comments were supplied by Dame Gwen the Potter, Magistra Aelianora de Wyntringham, and Marquessa Laurellen de Brandevin. All content copyright previous mentioned authors 2014.
What is Largesse?
Largesse is a gift or token given by Their Majesties or Their Excellencies to deserving individuals and to those they meet in their travels throughout and outside of the Kingdom.They are proud of the talents of their people and An Tir's excellent largesse has a good reputation throughout the Known World.
Contributing to Largesse:
If you want to contribute something for Their Majesties or Their Excellencies to use as largesse you can contact their head of retinue for guidance.Their Excellencies Conchobar & Eilidh's Head of Retinue is Magistra Aelianora de Wyntringham. Also, many reigns have a website that can be accessed from the An Tir website that gives their suggestions for largesse items. There is no limit to the number of items you can contribute. One item or many items are all equally appreciated.
Why Give Largesse?
Giving largesse is an excellent opportunity to show your work to a wide audience and gain name fame for both you and your home branch.If you contribute something please be sure to attach your SCA name and branch to the item.Their Majesties and Their Excellencies travel widely and bestow gifts along those travels so you may not actually see your item given out.Your talent and generosity is much appreciated by Them even if you are not publicly acknowledged by name.The recipient is grateful and knows who made this wonderful item thanks to the identification you've hopefully included with that item.At a Kingdom or Baronial event there will sometimes be an area for artisans to display their largesse items before being given; another reason to be sure to attach identification to your item.
If you're not an artisan please consider sponsoring an artisan to make largesse items.
Good Items for Largesse:
Many things can be given as largesse, however, it's generally a good idea to avoid things that are scented or food/drink items unless specifically requested. Your gift can be given to anyone and many people have allergies or other sensitivities. Remember too that these items must be transported to events and this sometimes means limited packing space such a traveling by air. Items that are difficult to handle or are fragile may not travel well.
Below is a general list of some things that can be contributed as largesse; this is not an all-inclusive list.
- Bags, pouches, napkins or table linens made from natural fibers
- Small boxes or containers
- Fabric -- natural fibers
- Handcrafted trim, hand spun silk, wool, or linen; handmade felt items
- Hats, veils or hoods
- Illuminated note cards (please put them in an envelope or box to prevent damage)
- Jewelry, semi precious stones or lamp worked beads
- Children's items such as period games, wooden toys, etc.
- Metal work/small hand forged items (eating ware, small hooks, buttons, pins etc)
- Pottery (smaller items preferred)
- Sewing kits or similar practical items
- Small journals or books
- Tassels and other ornaments that can be used to decorate largesse (please use natural looking yarns or thread)
And here's some more ideas:
Just about anything handmade can be largess. Any 100% wool or linen yardage in heraldic colors is good, as is hand-spun yarn, spindles and spindle worls, hand-woven baskets, hand painted cards, hand-made brushes, small blown glass items, sewing items such as needle cases, pin cushions, period-looking scissors, pewter items (spoons, coins, buttons), knives, rattan, duct tape, rivets, shield blanks, hand-made pouches & bags, small leather items, Norse wire weaving, hand-made glass beads, pottery, tent stakes, small wooden boxes.this is just a partial list.
Hand-made items are always the bonus.
There are some things that are not as appropriate as largesse. Avoid food, alcohol, scented candles, circlets, chains that could be mistaken for a knight's chain, earrings, modern-looking jewelry, white or red belts, candy/cookies, and large bulky items that could be hard to transport. Also avoid things that look like "garage sale items" or "thrift store items"... such as cotton doilies... Think about how you would feel if you received an item that obviously came from a garage sale.