Catalog Archive
Auction 104, Lot 694

"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1480 (circa)



11.7 x 16.5 inches
29.7 x 41.9 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.

Very lovely leaf of fine vellum containing four-line music. The recto is decorated with one large initial and the verso contains three full-stave decorative initials. The decorations are executed in a very unusual red and blue penwork.


Condition: A

Clean and bright with flaws in the vellum in outside margin.

Estimate: $325 - $400

Sold for: $350

Closed on 9/10/2003