c 1470 Book of Hours Calendar Leaf for November


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15-18 lines of ruled text, written in French with dark brown, red gold & blue ink in lettre batarde script on animal vellum. (122x90mm).

Large illuminated ''KL'' initials (abbreviations for KALENDS) & four one-line illuminated initials are gold on rust ground. Panel border contains an intricate floral motif with acanthus leaves, berries and vines. (For sister leaf see Blackburn Collection, Cleveland Museum of Art, pl. 52).

France (possibly Loire Valley), c. 1470.

Painted by an illuminator influenced by Maitre Francois.

Illuminated roundels show labor of the month (feeding hogs) & verso, zodiacal sign (per the 1470 calendar) of Sagittarius. Major feast days include: St. Marcellus (3rd), St. Herculanus (7th), Four crowned martyrs (8th), St. Theodore (9th), St. Martin (11th), St. Faustus (15th), St. Columban (20th), St. Cecelia (22nd), St. Catherine (25th), and St. Andrew (30th).

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 14x11'' mat.

  • Inventory# IM-1525