Catalog Archive
Auction 102, Lot 590

"[Set of 4 Antiphonal Leaves]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1600 (circa)



12.9 x 17.5 inches
32.8 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.

Set of 4 vellum antiphonal leaves boldly written with five-line music in black and red. Each side is decorated with at least one decorative initial, 4 of which are blocked and colored in red and blue. This is a very nice set of leaves.


Condition: B

Some toning of vellum with a few spots.

Estimate: $400 - $450

Sold for: $300

Closed on 3/5/2003