Catalog Archive

Auction 151, Lot 733

"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1700 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

12.3 x 16.7 inches
31.2 x 42.4 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 vellum leaf from an antiphonary. Both sides with seven staves of five-line music, written in black and red ink. The thin sheet of vellum includes a large initial on each side that is decorated in filigree pen work.


Condition: B+

One small stain adjacent to the large initial "B" with light soiling and some creasing in bottom blank margin. There are a few tiny worm holes in blank margins.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $100

Closed on 11/19/2014