Description The song "Ring-around-a-Rosy" is still popular today, often danced in a circle just as we see the monkeys doing here. Yet this seemingly lighthearted song has a dark past. The plague swept Europe during the 14th century, and the song's words actually refer to its terrible symptoms: a circular rose-colored rash, sneezing or coughing, and finally, death. Flower petals were worn in a pouch around the neck to keep the smell of death away. The song, then, seems very different in this context. Ring-a ring-o-rosies A pocket full of posies Achoo, Achoo, We all fall down.
- Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
- Checkmate! Medieval People at Play. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010.
Provenance Jacques Mauze (?), 15th century . Ex libris Crouzon, 17th or 18th century . G. E. Street, 19th century . Léon Gruel, Paris, late 19th-early 20th century ; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, early 20th century; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.  inscriptions on fols. 167r and 213v (the latter now erased)  inscription on 1r  inscription on 1r  No. 46 on 1r
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, after 1894
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License