December from Walters W. 425
December calendar images typically feature a pig slaughter, a common labor for December. In the case of the fragmentary prayer book from The Walters museum, Walters W. 425, a pig being butchered was the image for November. December calendar images, when they don’t feature a hog being butchered, often feature a boar hunt. Sometimes December calendar images feature a winter scene, or, sometimes, bread baking. The December calendar image from Walters W. 425 f. 12r has a medallion in the margin featuring the astrological sign of Capricorn, the horned ram, and below it, a winter scene featuring a snowball fight, with a rickety windmill (yes, this is Flemish) in…
November from Walters W. 425
The November calendar page from The Walters Walters W. 425 features gold scrolling leaves in the margin, with a small Sagittarius astrological sign in a medallion in the margin. The November calendar has a very conventional scene depicting the labor of the month; Walters W. 425 f. 11r shows a man and a woman slaughtering a pig, very much in the spirit of the Middle English lyric about the labors of the months: At Martynesmasse I kylle my swine The typical labor for November in books of hours shows the swine being fattened on acorns, while is hog butchering is often featured as the labor for December. This November scene is very…
October from Walters W. 425
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. The October…
September from Walters W. 425
This September calendar image from the fragmentary prayer book The Walters museum MS. W. 425 f. 9r is a fairly typical labor for September in colder climates. A man is walking behind a two-horse plow. The marginalia includes a rondel with scales, the astrological symbol for Libra, more flowers, and a bird. I confess I am a little puzzled by the cloth on the back of the horses; it’s a piece of tack that I do not recognize.