Week 49

Illustrated calendar


19_S162A_Evighdskalender 19_S162B_Evighdskalender

A great rarity, a Danish illustrated calendar from 1513 (a perpetual calender in Latin), perhaps made in Scania. When folded up the manuscript is not much larger than a large matchbox, but the calendar, as shown, can be unfolded and provides quite a lot of information.

To the right: The pictures for each month from July to December. The light and dark hours of the day are indicated by red and black lines respectively in rosettes, and each month is illustrated by its typical form of labour. July: haying with a scythe, August: grain harvest with a sickle (a woman), September: threshing with a flail, October: sowing of winter seed, November: slaughtering, December: baking (again a woman).

To the left: List of the red-letter days from the months of January (at the top) to June (at the bottom). Illustrations were used to help the illiterate, in part 'portraits' of the saints or other figures, in part rebus-like symbols. Three crowns represent Epiphany (Jan. 6) and a lion, the evangelist Mark's day (April 25). Particularly entertaining is the illustration for February 10 Scolastica (virgo), i.e. the learned virgin St. Scolastica's day. The reminder for the day uses the Danish mening of the first syllable of her name - sko (a shoe!).
Manuscript Department, Ny kongelige Samling 901, oktavo.