Catalog Archive
Auction 102, Lot 584

"[Pair of Antiphonal Leaves]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1490 (circa)



13.2 x 17.5 inches
33.5 x 44.5 cm

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.

Pair of fine vellum antiphonal leaves containing eight staves of five-line music. Written in a fine hand with black, red, blue and gold ink. Each side contains several decorative initials with delicate penwork.


Condition: A

Couple of spots of candle wax, else fine.

Estimate: $230 - $275


Closed on 3/5/2003