Shepherds Purse: manuscript - Bennick Hours (August)

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This scene is included for comparative purposes. It is taken from a Book of Hours by Simon Bennick (Victoria and Albert Museum, E. 4576-1910) from early 16th century Flanders. There are two raggedly-dressed reapers (male and female) sitting at the edge of a field, each with an elongated white cloth stretched across the lap on which bread sits whle they eat. The man's cloth appears to be constricted where it falls off the lap to the right, but further details are not available. While the immediate scene does not involve shepherds, it suggests one possible interpretation of the simple sash version of the shepherds purse: both carrying mechanism and "tablecloth". Compare with the "Weapons of Gouffier" scene.But compare also with the full carrying bags in **75, 76**. The lap cloth could conceivably be one of these bags after being emptied.



Medieval Women calendar, 1993 July