c 1460-70 Book of Hours June Calendar Leaf, Flanders


Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 15 and 17 lines of red ruled text written in French on animal vellum. (175 x 120mm – 6 7/8 x 4 5/8’’) 

The panel borders contain a highly decorative floral design with flowers, berries and acanthus leaves in blue, red, green, pink, and burnished gold. Major feast days are in  red (origin of term ‘red-letter day’). Large “KL” initials (for KALENDS) are in burnished gold on a red and blue ground with delicate white penwork.  

Flanders (Bruges?), c. 1460-70.

Among the feasts listed are Saints Nicomedes (2nd), Boniface, Bishop of Mainz (6th), Medard, Bishop of Noyon (9th), Barnabas the Apostle (11th), Gervasius & Protasius (19th), Florence  (20th), James the Apostle (22nd), John the Baptist (24th) and Peter (29th).

Left of the 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.

A very attractive calendar leaf with entries for all the days of the month. Very clean and fresh with bright colors and gold, an unobtrusive closed 1 inch cut in the upper border.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-12770