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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Belgium, Bruges, ca. 1500
MS M.52 fol. 7v

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Historiated border containing cama³aeu figures, medallions, and miniature in lower border frames text.
Top border, in cama³aeu:
Scene, Sports and Games: Sledding, and Ice-skating -- Man pushes two men seated on sled pulled with ropes by two men. Another man is seated, back turned, on ice beside round object. Another man, seated on sled, propels himself forward using poles. Woman stands beside him. Three men ice skate.
Left border, decorated with figures in cama³aeu, contains four medallions, panel, and four paired medallions with the following scenes:
1) Eligius of Noyon, nimbed, wearing bishop's miter and vestments, holds chalice in right hand and hammer and crozier in left hand. He stands before patterned hanging within room.
Feast celebrated December 1.
Below, in cama³aeu, two horsemen.
2) Nicholas of Myra: Consecration as Bishop -- Two bishops, flanking Nicholas of Myra, tonsured, seated with hands joined, place miter on his head. Both bishops wear miters and vestments and hold croziers in left hands.
Feast celebrated December 6.
3) Joachim and Anna: at Golden Gate -- Beside Golden Gate, Anna, nimbed, veiled, and Joachim embrace.
Feast of Conception of the Virgin celebrated December 8.
4) Christ: Nativity -- Within stable, Virgin Mary, nimbed, kneels before manger in which Christ Child, nude, lies. Two angels kneel opposite her. Ox and ass are behind manger. Two figures, possibly shepherds, one beyond fence and the other within door of stable, look on (Adoration of the Shepherds?).
Feast of Nativity celebrated December 25.
Above, in cama³aeu, herd of sheep flank medallion. Below, in cama³aeu, two shepherds flank medallion (Scene, Occupational: Pastoral).
5) In first of two paired medallions, two scenes:
Stephen Protomartyr: Stoning -- Two executioners hurl stones at Stephen Protomartyr, nimbed, tonsured, wearing deacon's vestments, kneeling, hands joined.
Feast celebrated December 26.
Evangelist, John: drinking Poison -- Aristodemus, followed by another figure, extends chalice to Evangelist John, nimbed, standing next to bodies of two dead men.
Feast celebrated December 27.
6) In second of two paired medallions, two scenes:
Innocents: Massacre -- Soldier, raising sword held in right hand above his head, grasps head of infant held by woman, seated on ground. Second soldier, holding infant, raises dagger held in right hand. Woman grasps his right arm.
Feast celebrated December 28.
Thomas ³l Becket: murdered before High Altar -- Three executioners, one bearing lance and two bearing swords, attack Thomas ³l Becket, nimbed, tonsured, kneeling before high altar.
Feast celebrated December 29.
7) Zodiac Sign: Capricornus -- Goat, within landscape
Below, CAPRICORNVS inscribed in cama³aeu.
Right border, decorated with illusionistic architectural niches containing statues of figures, including Barbara of Nicomedia with tower, pope, and two bishops.
Lower border:
Month, Occupation: December -- Two women bake bread within covered area enclosed by wattle fence and attached to house. One women kneads bread, the other stokes flames of oven.
To right, woman holds pan under neck of pig as man, straddling pig, cuts its throat with knife. Another man, standing beside bucket containing dismembered legs of pig, holds pig atop table as second man raises cleaver above its head.
Figures in snowy landscape. In background is bridge crossing moat leading to castle.

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