Catalog Archive
Auction 104, Lot 693

"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1280 (circa)



15 x 21.5 inches
38.1 x 54.6 cm
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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.

A very early vellum sheet with four-line music. Each side contains seven staves of music and is decorated with initials, each with decorative penwork in blue and red.


Condition: A

Estimate: $140 - $180

Sold for: $160

Closed on 9/10/2003