The Golf Book (Book of Hours)

The Golf Book (Book of Hours) f. 26r, Calendar, august


f. 26r, Calendar, august

The bottom border on f. 26r shows five children catching birds. Some carry them in cages, some are taking them out of cages to use them as bait, and some have already prepared their birds as bait by tying cords to their feet. Finally, one child waits for a bird to enter a half-open cage opposite an owl perched on a cane. A similar scene depicting three bird-catching techniques – using a decoy, a net and a falcon – appears in the bas-de-page of the border around the October calendar in the Grimani Breviary (f. 11r). Mention must also be made of the top band of the border around the September calendar in the Spinola Hours (f. 5v).
Finally, the right side of the border, underneath an inscription reading “virgo”, depicts the sign of the zodiac in the form of a long-haired damsel sitting on the grass with a flower in her right hand. Behind her a wood can be seen. The flower could be a variation of the branch sometimes used to represent this constellation, thereby alluding to the literary topic of “collige virgo rosas”. Late-fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Flemish manuscripts often depicted this sign in the form of a damsel – sometimes looking more like a saint than a zodiacal constellation. On each side of the border is a figure with a blank coat of arms.

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