Catalog Archive
Auction 130, Lot 848

"[Manuscript Music]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1390 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

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.

From a 14th century Catholic Graduale, this large sheet of vellum has beautiful manuscript, five-line music on both sides. Written in brown and red ink, both sides contain large red and blue initials decorated in intricate filigree penwork that extends into the margin.


Condition: A

Estimate: $300 - $375

Sold for: $240

Closed on 12/2/2009