Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 720


"[Music]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1700 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.9 x 23.3 inches
40.4 x 59.2 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.

This impressive elephant folio sheet of vellum contains five-line music in red and black ink with illuminated initials in red, blue and yellow. The song translates in part as:

I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.


Condition: B+

Light toning and soiling with some creasing in the bottom margin and an ink stain at bottom right on verso.

Estimate: $160 - $200

Sold for: $65

Closed on 9/14/2022