c 1460 February Book of Hours Calendar Leaf, France


Original calendar leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 17 lines of red ruled French text, in red or brown ink on animal vellum. (174 x 112mm – 6 ¾ x 4 5/8’’)Large “KL” initials (for KALENDS) are in burnished gold on a red and blue ground with delicate white penwork.

France,  c. 1460.

Among the feast days listed are: St. Ignatius (1st – Bishop of Antioch), St. Blaise (3rd – patron saint of doctors & tailors), St. Agatha (5th), St. Scholastica (10th), St. Valentine (14th – patron saint affianced couples), St. Matthew (24th – patron saint of accountants), and St. Baldomer (27th).

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.

An attractive medieval leaf with St Valentine's name  displayed on  the 14th of February. In nice condition with some unobtrusive devotional wear and a tiny vellum flaw in the outer blank margin.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-12474