“Well, I hit the rowdy road, and many kinds I met there…”

The best gifts come wrapped in a bit of mystery. Check out the old wooden box that surprised me this Christmas—and sent me on an art-quest.

This box is 11.75 inches square and 2.75 inches deep. The sides are painted turquoise and golden. It used to have a lock—but who is that royal rider?

After several dead ends and a lucky hunch, I had an epiphany and identified this noble fellow and the larger work he inhabits. If you’re up for a Google challenge, see if you can do the same. Scrutinize a close-up of the box cover, and don’t ignore that rectangle at the bottom.

Happy twelfth day of Christmas!

* * *

(Give up? Here’s a stock photo with identifying information. There’s a Wikipedia entry on the complete work of art, and another site shows the box-cover scene in its full context.)

4 thoughts on ““Well, I hit the rowdy road, and many kinds I met there…”

  1. Heh. I had an old Time-Life History of Everything (meaning, Europe) book when I was a kid that had several pages dedicated to that particular procession. Isn’t one of the other riders supposed to be an idealised portrait of il Magnifico?


  2. This is why blogging is so humbling. You imagine something is obscure because you’ve only just learned of it, and it turns out it’s famous and you were actually ignorant.


  3. I think you need to unhumble yourself. 1) The puzzle I got was used, in a school sale, pure coincidence I ever ran across it; 2) I think it must be the same puzzle series, but I actually gave a different puzzle. Says my dad, “The nice puzzle you gave me last year in the same format is of a scene from the Tres riches heures du duc de Berry, the calendar scene from June, I think.”

    This all speaks very badly of 1) my memory; and 2) my knowledge of medieval & Renaissance art. But until informed otherwise, I will cling to a conviction that the same company produced both puzzles, as a salve for my amour propre.


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