Shepherds Purse: manuscript - Luttrell Psalter

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Exampes of Shepherds Purses in English manuscripts seem to be difficult to find. This scene from the Luttrell Psalter (British Library Add. MS 42130, f. 163v, ca. 1340) is one of a number of marginal illustrations of everyday life, rather than illustrating a Biblical genre scene. A shepherd in a sheep-pen appears to be tending to one of the sheep and wears a container of some type hung from a cord -- the text speculates that it may be an ointment pot, but nothing resembling a Shepherds Purse. (On the other hand, if my hypothesis is correct that the form of the Shepherds Purse is related to its function in carrying supplies while out in the fields with the sheep, then someone tending to sheep in a pen at home might have no reason to wear one.)


Basing, Patricia. 1990. Trades and Crafts in Medieval Manuscripts. New Ansterdam Books, New York.