Perpetual calendars such as this were in common use in Scandinavia into the 18th century, marking the yearly rhythm of agrarian societies in the northern latitudes. The name comes from prim, the old Norse word for the new moon.
Traditionally made of a stick of wood, they were marked on each side for the two Nordic seasons – a summer side and a winter side – with divisions for each day and symbols for religious holidays, equinoxes and festivals.
Primstav fell from fashion only with the move to a Gregorian calendar and the advent of affordable printed or mechanical devices for predicting seasonal shifts and the weather.
This example, a nice example of treen as well as an object of social history, was thought to date from the 18th century.
A rectangular section staff, measuring 2ft 11in (27cm), it was carved with typical markings and to one side with the Nordic surname Kolben.
Estimated at £150-200 on January 13-14, it took £2400.