Catalog Archive
Auction 113, Lot 843

"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1500 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.3 x 21.5 inches
38.9 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.

Fine vellum leaf from an Italian antiphonary written in four-line music in black, red and blue ink and embellished with a beautifully illuminated large initial on one side. The initial 'A' is finely painted in blue, green red, mauve, white and burnished gold leaf.


Condition: A

Minor soil in margins.

Estimate: $550 - $600

Sold for: $350

Closed on 12/7/2005