(France (almost certainly Rouen): second half of 15th century). 160 x 115 mm. (6 3/8 x 4 5/8"). Single column, 16 lines in an elegant gothic book hand.
Matted. Script in red, blue, and gold, "KL" and several one-line initials in gold on blue and pink ground with white tracery, both sides with a single panel border in outer margin featuring blossoms, leaves, and gold ivy and bezants, some with hairline vines, over a dotted ground, recto WITH A SMALL MINIATURE IN LOWER MARGIN DEPICTING THE LABOR OF THE MONTH OF OCTOBER (a male and female peasant sowing fields), bordered on both sides with a design matching the panel border described above. A couple of trivial smudges, but A VERY FINE LEAF with glittering gold, and WITH THE MINIATURE IN PERFECT CONDITION.
This attractive calendar leaf, undoubtedly from a Book of Hours commissioned by a person of substantial means, contains a small but delightful miniature depicting the labor of the month for October: Sowing. The image features two peasants--a man dressed in blue clothes and a woman in pink--standing in a freshly plowed field. The woman balances a large bag on her head, while the man takes a handful of seeds--appearing here as flecks of gold--from his apron and scatters them on the ground. The use of gold and blue lettering here is a luxurious element, usually reserved for manuscripts of the period that are at least slightly upscale. Also of some interest is the fact that the labor of the month here features both a man and woman, whereas the majority of these particular (slightly more masculine) scenes just include the male. (ST16381)
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PJP Catalog: 78.028