Calendar,  Medieval manuscripts

October from Walters W. 425

Detail of the labor for October from Walters W. 425 f. 10r. © 2011 Walters Art Museum, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License

Walters W. 425 calendar pages for October, f. 9v and the primary image for the labor of October, Walters W. 425 f. 10r, both have greenery in their marginalia, though f. 9v also includes some striking blossoms, including a Heart’s Ease or Pansy, and  a flower that looks very much like a Chrysanthemum, and one that might be a Zinnia. There’s also a surprising realistic moth at the bottom right. There’s a blue Pansy on the left, something that looks a bit like a Zinnia or possibly another Chrsyanthemum, and the moth. Notice the shadows under the orange flower petals, and under the moth, making them both look three dimensional.

Detail from the bottom margin of Walters W. 425 f. 9v

The October calendar image for the labor of the month from Walters W. 425 features an image of Scorpio in a medallion in the margin. The featured labor for the month is crushing grapes, or more specifically, treading grapes, is more commonly a labor for September than a labor for October, though the depiction here in Walters Museum W. 425 f. 10r is fairly standard. One man is shown pouring grape juice into a barrel and another man is sitting in a low barrel, treading gapes. Behind the man in the barrel treading grapes are two more similar barrels, currently not in use.

The room where they are treading grapes looks a bit like a threshing barn, looking up at the roof, but I think it’s probably a special area built just for winemaking. There’s nothing extra in the room, just the other barrels of grapes and juice, in the background, which does suggest a dedicated purpose.