Compost et Kalendrier des Bergères

Compost et Kalendrier des Bergères Facsimile Edition

Paris (France) — August 17, 1499

Addressed to a female audience: religious and secular texts in Guy Marchant's popular "Shepherd's Calendar"

  1. Guy Marchant (active 1483–1505/06) was a prolific Parisian publisher responsible for over 200 printed works

  2. His coveted prints are considered to be some of the finest illustrated specimens of early book printing

  3. Oriented toward a female audience, this prized compendium has contents from both religious and secular texts

Compost et Kalendrier des Bergères

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Compost et Kalendrier des Bergères

Guy Marchant (active 1483–1505/06) was a prolific Parisian publisher responsible for some of the finest codices from the dawn of book printing, including the so-called Shepherdess-Calendar at hand. Oriented towards a female audience, it is a variation of the popular Shepherd’s Calendar and represents a compendium of various texts, tables, and illustrative woodcuts. 70 printed graphics altogether adorn the manuscript. The specimen at hand is the only copy in Spain, one of six in existence, and one of only three codices which are still intact.

Compost et Kalendrier des Bergères

This French incunabulum, an early printed book originating from before 1501, was published on August 17th, 1499 in the Parisian workshop of Guy Marchant (active 1483–1505/06). This prolific French printer was responsible for the manufacture of approximately 190 editions of incunabula, with another dozen or so editions being printed in the 16th century. His prints are considered to be some of the finest illustrative works of the century, and his version of the Shepherd’s Calendar is counted among his most coveted creations. Marchant’s edition can more accurately be titled the Shepherdess Calendar, which was oriented toward a female audience but only had minor changes to the content. The specimen at hand is the only copy in Spain, one of six in existence, and one of only three codices that are still intact. First introduced in 1491, the text grew from three to five sections and its contents were a combination of science, superstition, and morally edifying content.

The Shepherdess Calendar

The contents of the book are a combination of elements from medieval compendiums like books of hours, the Ars Moriendi (a text instructing one how to die well), and the so-called Dance of Death (an artistic allegory for the universality of death). Sections of the codex include a calendar with saint’s days, tables of golden numbers and moveable feasts, astrology, advice on bloodletting, an interpretation of the Ten Commandments, The Tree of Sin, The Life of the Birds, Lazarus' account of the torments in Purgatory, Death on a Pale Horse from the Revelation of St. John, ballads and much, much more. Poetry and illustrative woodcuts are predominant in the work, with text in verse appearing more rarely. The calendar, instead of consisting of one woodcut, had a separate engraving for each month. 70 printed graphics altogether adorn the French text, which is printed in elegant Gothic script, and transport the reader through a fascinating world in which literature, science, and morals converge.

Codicology

Size / Format
144 pages / 28.5 × 19.0 cm
Origin
France
Date
August 17, 1499
Language
Illustrations
70 woodcuts
Content
Shepherd's Calendar
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Compost et Kalendrier des Bergères – M-10 – Biblioteca de la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Madrid, Spain) Facsimile Edition
Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1999
Limited Edition: 3160 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Compost et Kalendrier des Bergères

Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1999

Publisher: Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1999
Limited Edition: 3160 copies
Binding: Parchment on wooden board. The facsimile edition comes in a cloth-lined presentation case with gold engraved leather spine.
Commentary: 1 volume by Manuel Sánchez Mariana
Language: Spanish
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
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