FOUR CALENDAR MINIATURES on two leaves from a Psalter, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM.
137 x 97mm. Two leaves, a divided bifolium, comprising May, June, July and August, written in dark brown in a gothic bookhand with rubrics and major feasts in red, four-line initials in blue, dark pink and gold, with FOUR LARGE CALENDAR ILLUSTRATIONS of the occupations of the months, each comprising a figure drawn on a blue or dark pink ground detailed in white, in an arch-shaped burnished gold surround (incision to divide leaves affects edge of one image, outer edge of leaves corroded affecting illumination, particuarly July, remnants of adhesive strips to some corners).
The figures and activities illustrated are as follows: a falconer on foot, holding out an orange bait in his right hand, a falcon on his left arm (tail only visible) (May); a man carrying a bundle of logs on his shoulder (June); a man mowing with a double-handed scythe (July); a man bending down, reaping wheat with a sickle (August).
These appealing Calendar illustrations are distinctive features of Flemish psalter production of the 13th century. The figures, which are shown engaged in an activity appropriate to each month, are large in scale, extending over 16 to 18 lines in height, and step beyond the confines of their niches. Although rendered in simple, thick black lines, their faces are characterful, the white fleshtones coloured with a pale orange daub on each cheek. (2)