c 1460 Book of Hours Calendar Leaf for June


A single calendar leaf for the month of June from a manuscript Book of Hours. 16 lines of red ruled French text, in blue, red or gold ink on animal vellum. (160x120mm – 6 3/8 x 4 5/8’’) 

Large “KL” initials (for KALENDS) are in blue on a gold & floral ground. Panel borders above and below the miniatures contain floral, ivy & acanthus leaves in gold, red, blue, green & pink. Feasts alternate red & blue with the important days in burnished gold. This calendar leaf was executed by a skilled artist working in the style of the Maitré François.    

Northern France: probably Paris, c. 1460.

The miniatures show the labor of the month (mowing) & (verso) the zodiacal sign (as per the calendar in 1460) of Cancer. Among the Saints listed are St. Nicomedes (1st), St. Boniface, Bishop of Mayence (5th), St. Barnabas, Apostle (11th), St. Ursinus, Bishop of Bourges (12th), St. Romanus, Bishop of Rouen (17th), St. Gervasius (19th), St. John the Baptist (24th), Sts. John and Paul (26th), and St.  Paul (29th).

Left of the list of saints’ days are repeating letters A - G called Dominical Letters since they help find Sundays. Far left is a column of Roman numerals i - xix called Golden Numbers to indicate appearances of new moons, & counting ahead 14 days, full moons throughout the year (year + 1; divide by 19; remainder is Golden Number - if zero GN = 19). Finally: each month had 3 fixed points: Kalends (1st day) Ides (middle) & Nones (9th day before Ides). All days in between were counted backwards from these points.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-2942