The Golf Book (Book of Hours)

The Golf Book (Book of Hours) f. 26v, September, ploughing

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f. 26v, September, ploughing

This is the month when work on the winter crops – wheat and rye – begin. A peasant can be seen in the foreground with a knife in his belt guiding a harrow drawn by two horses. Next to him is a sower with an apron-like bag hanging from his shoulder full of seed which he scatters over the field. Opposite these two is a farmer holding the plough handle that guides the ploughshare being drawn by a team of horses. Several birds including hooded crows, unrelated to the aristocratic world but part of the reality in the country, peck at the furrows in the tilled earth. Further on, to the left, is a swineherd striking an oak tree with a stick to make acorns fall down to feed the herd around him. In the background is a fenced farm with people outside. The peasants’ garb indicates the onset of cold weather.
The bottom of the border on f. 26v depicts a game similar to marbles, i.e. several children trying to get small balls into holes made in the ground, whilst a child on stilts looks on. This game is played by one of the groups of children in the Mayer van den Bergh Breviary (f. 5v), in exactly the same arrangement as in the Golf Book, in the top, left-hand strip of the border around September.

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