Stundenbuch von Heinrich VIII.

Stundenbuch von Heinrich VIII. December. Roasting Slaughtered Pigs, f. 6v


December. Roasting Slaughtered Pigs, f. 6v

In December, the pigs that were fattened in November are butchered. At the right a woman has collected their blood in a large pan. Resting on a bed of kindling and covered with twigs, the hogs are singed prior to butchering, for which the man prepares by sharpening his knife.

The left margin begins with the Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate, for the Feast of the Conception of the Virgin (December 8, in blue). This is followed by Sts. Barbara, holding her tower (December 4), and Nicholas, shown resuscitating the three pickled youths (December 6, in red). The right column begins with St. Thomas the Apostle, holding a builder’s square (December 21, in red), the Nativity of Our Lord (December 25, in blue). These are followed by Sts. Stephen Protomartyr, with a rock on his head (December 26, in red; the figure is similar to the one that appears in August), John the Evangelist, blessing a cup of poison (December 27, in blue), and a small group of praying children who represent the Holy Innocents (December 28, in red).

The zodiacal sign is Capricorn, the Goat.

Roger S. Wieck.
Curator, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
The Morgan Library & Museum

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