Shepherds Purse: manuscript -Ms. Douce 93

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The picture is taken from Ms. Douce 93 (f.28), currently located in the Bodleian Library. The motif of a group of shepherds dancing cuts across other shepherd genres -- it may be found, for example, accompanying an annunciation scene, although it is more common in generic pastoral scenes. It is unclear from context which this is. Although there are no sheep in sight, the characteristic shovel-footed staffs lying on the ground are of a type associated with shepherds. About half the dancers are wearing crescent-shaped pouches with a lozenge-shaped netted pattern on them.


Reeves, Compton. 1998. Pleasures and Pastimes in Medieval England. Oxford University Press, New York. p.48