c 1470 Book of Hours Calendar Leaf for June


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15-18 lines of ruled text, written in French with dark brown, red gold and blue ink in lettre batarde script on animal vellum. (122 x 90mm – 4 7/8 x 3 ½’’)

Large illuminated “KL” initials (abbreviations for KALENDS) and four one-line illuminated initials are gold, on rust ground. The panel border contains an intricate floral motif with acanthus leaves, berries & vines. (Sister leaf: Blackburn Collection, Cleveland Museum of Art, pl. 52).  

France (possibly Loire Valley), c. 1470.

Illuminated roundels show the labor of the month (threshing wheat) & (verso) the zodiacal sign (as per the calendar in 1460) of Cancer.  Painted by an illuminator influenced by Maître François.

Among the saints listed are:  St. Boniface (5th), St. Basil the Great (14th), St. John the Baptist (24th in gold), and Sts. Peter and Paul (29th in gold).

To the left of the list of saints’ days are repeating series of letters A - G called Dominical Letters since they help find Sundays (after many calculations). At the 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-1524