Shepherds Purses: manuscript - Bedford Hours "Annunciation"

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The largest number of shepherds in this manuscript apears in both the main and marginal scenes on the Annunciation to the Shepherds page.

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The two women appearing in the lower roundels might almost be the same figure, based on their clothing, but the details of the accessories are different. The woman on the left wears an ordinary belt in addition to the Shepherds Purse, and the pouch has faint netting marks, which the other doesn't appear to have.

The men are all clearly distinct from each other. There are four that can be seen to wear Shepherds Purses. The first one shown here is relatively indistinct, other than having a crescent shape.

The other three pouches all show clear netting over a crescent-shaped pouch. The first two are otherwise unremarkable.

The last is of particular interest because the tongue of a strap and the faint hint of a buckle can be seen, suggesting the method of fastening. See the discussion of evidence for construction details.


Backhouse, Janet. 1990. The Bedford Hours. The British Library, London. f. 15b, f. 65, f. 70b

Basing, Patricia. 1990. Trades and Crafts in Medieval Manuscripts. New Ansterdam Books, New York. plate 6