TEXT FOR JULY, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF REAPING AND LEO
AN ILLUMINATED VELLUM CALENDAR LEAF FROM A BOOK OF HOURS, DEPICTING THE LABOR OF THE MONTH
Price: 2,750.00 USD
Northern France [probably Paris]: ca. 1460s. 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). This comes from a large fragment of a very appealing Book of Hours with especially charming borders containing human and zoological inhabitants. On this calendar leaf, the labor of the month consists of the cutting of grain, seen here being accomplished by a peasant kneeling with a sickle in hand and dressed in a full-length red garment, a wide-brimmed straw hat, and a long white cloth hanging down from the back of the head, no doubt as a cooling device. This piece of attire as well as the shadows cast by the sun suggest a hot July day. One would expect the work here to be done by a male, but everything about the figure (the apparel, the lightness of the tool, the fair complexion) strongly suggests a female. The verso shows Leo the golden Lion seated in a field beside a large gray rock. The usual flaking to the gold around the initials, otherwise fine.