Catalog Archive
Auction 101, Lot 551

"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1480 (circa)



11.9 x 16.3 inches
30.2 x 41.4 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

The origins of liturgical music traditionally date back to St. Gregory the Great (d. 604), who was inspired by the Holy Dove to record the principles of 'Gregorian' chant. The Gradual contained the musical parts of the Missal and was sung from the steps (gradus) of the altar. The Antiphoner contained the musical sections of the Breviary. These terms have become interchangeable in modern times. Because of their size and complexity, these manuscripts were still being handmade in the traditional way for centuries after the introduction of printing. They were boldly hand-written and illuminated on large sheets of sturdy vellum so that the entire choir could read from one book.

Very lovely leaf of fine vellum containing four-line music. The recto is decorated with a large (2-stave) initial "Q" and the verso contains full stave initial "I". The decorations are executed in a very unusual red and blue penwork.


Condition: A

Minor discoloration and flaking of some ink.

Estimate: $350 - $400

Sold for: $250

Closed on 12/4/2002