Seed-sowers’ Aprons

The Linkspages at

While putting together the aprons linkspage, I noticed a garment that came up repeatedly in medieval agricultural artwork; a sort of seed-sower's apron, in white fabric, which was used by men to carry seeds into the fields for sowing. I’ve moved them from that linkspage over to this one, so they can be considered together.

These frequently appear in illustrations from books of hours and calendars.

(Other illustrations show the use of different containers, like a basket [Holkham Bible, or this 13th century Flemish psalter] or the skirt of one’s tunic [Sermons of Maurice de Sully] to carry the seeds into the field.)

  • Labor, The Dream of the King (Bibl. Mazarine, MS 0870, fol. 111v), 1295
  • September, Calendar (BNF Fr. 786, fol. 3), fourth quarter of the 14th century
  • Ceres sowing corn (fol. 107v) and Ino ordering the sowing of boiled corn (fol. 140v), collected works of Christine de Pizan (British Library Harley 4431), c. 1410-1414
  • October in the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1412-1416
  • October, The Hours of Margaret of Orleans (BNF Lat. 1156 B, fol. 10), c. 1426
  • Peasants in the field in Le Régime des princes (BNF Fr. 126, fol. 7), ca. 1450
  • The massacre of the innocents, Fleur des Histoires (Bibl. Mazarine, MS 1559, fol. 196v), c. 1450-1474
  • A sower in a Book of Hours (BNF Latin 13263, fol. 10), ca. 1470-1480
  • October, book of hours (Liturg. 41, fol. 10r), c. 1470-1480
  • March and October, The Grimani Breviary, c. 1490-1510
  • Boethius and the peasants, The consolation of philosophy (BNF Néer. 1, fol. 116v), 1491
  • October, the Petites Heures of Anne of Brittany (BNF NAL 3027, fol. 5v), c. 1499-1514
  • September from a book of hours (British Library King's 9, fol. 10v), c. 1500
  • October from the Great Book of Hours of Anne of Brittany, c. 1500-1508 (BNF Lat 9474, fol. 13)
  • Fols. 9v and 105r in the Hennessy Book of Hours, c. 1530-1540