leaf) Length 105 mm; Width 40 mm; Thickness 5 mm
- This perpetual
almanac consists of ten (originally eleven) leaves of boxwood, fastened
through paired perforations along one edge by a cord, so as to form
a "book". The leaves are carved on both sides with runic and
other symbols. When complete, twenty of the sides (or "pages")
comprise the calendar itself with the other two forming the covers.
The front cover, with the first page of the calendar on the back of
it, is missing. Each of the calendar pages bears a central line of runic
characters which, reading from left to right, consists of a continuous
repetition of the first seven letters of the runic alphabet. These runes
represent the days of the year, the seven individual letters serving
to differentiate the days of the week.
- The use
of runes, and the particular saints' days marked on this almanac, support
the 1685 catalogue in indicating a Scandinavian origin; the inclusion
of St. Hallvard (May 15), a specifically Norwegian saint who is not
generally recognized in either Sweden or Denmark, strongly suggests
that it was made in Norway sometime in the early sixteenth century.
In all probability this is one of the almanacs recorded in the Ashmolean's
Book of Benefactors as the gift of John Heysig in 1683.
- Museum Id. No:
- 1685 A no. 452:
Calendarium Suecicum ex asseribus oblongis
fabricatum literis Runicis inscriptum, suecis a Rimstock