Calendar Plate for May

Black painted enamel calendar dish for the month of May

Attributed to Martial Courteys (ca. 1550–92)
Calendar Plate for May
Limoges, ca. 1565–75
Enamel on copper, parcel-gilt
Diam. 7 5/16 in. (18.6 cm); d. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)
Gift of Alexis Gregory, 2021
Photo Joseph Coscia Jr.


The composition is centered on two women looking at a book. They are accompanied by two children, a man looking at a book with a score, and a second man who holds a lute and pats one of the children on the head. In the background are a castle-like structure, gardens and hills, and a mill with a waterwheel. The rim is decorated with strapwork, as well as musical instruments and scores. Cartouches at the top and bottom include the Roman numeral II and MAYVS (May). The composition derives from an engraving by Etienne Delaune (ca. 1518–1583) published in 1561 as part of his first series of Labors of the Months.

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