Auction 111, Lot 748

"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1600 (circa)



15 x 20.3 inches
38.1 x 51.6 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.

A large, sturdy vellum leaf containing five-line music written in a fine hand with black and red ink in the Spanish style. Recto is beautifully decorated with an elaborate initial "A" decorated in red and blue with flourishes in the margins. Verso is embellished with two small decorative initials.


Condition: B

Some stains in margins and a couple of tears in vellum at top, and a bit of rubbing to notation on recto.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $220

Closed on 6/8/2005