Three Leaves from a Psalter and Prayerbook,
Calendar Page (beginning of May) with Labors of the Month (Courting) and Zodiacal (Gemini) Vignettes
[Cat. no. 65], about 1524
North Germany, Hildesheim(?)
Ink, tempera, and liquid gold on vellum
The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection [Cat. nos. 65-67]
These three leaves represent the charming, intricate decoration found throughout the parent volume, its leaves now dispersed. Virtually every border, recto and verso, was decorated with liquid gold and highlighted with a variety of flowers, fruits, and vegetables-carnations, thistles, roses, violets, peas, melons-as well as cornucopias, satyrs, masks, insects, birds, etc. The decoration is particularly charming because of the little vignettes within the borders. These motifs depict a girl kneading bread, a cook ladling soup, a goose nibbling grapes off a vine, and a satyr with a horn. Such details would have been a sumptuous delight to the original owner. This was a highly personalized volume, apparent-ly written and illuminated in North Germany. The prominent mention of St. Godehard (died 1038), Bishop of Hildesheim in the original manuscript suggests that it was produced in that city.