Catalog Archive
Auction 190, Lot 698

Superb Crown Folio Gradual with Manuscript and Printed Music

"Graduale Iuxta Morem Sacrosancte Ecclesie Romane...",

Subject: Music

Period: 1551 (published)


Color: Printed Color

11.5 x 17.3 inches
29.2 x 43.9 cm
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This superb Roman Gradual was printed in Venice by Petrus (Pietro) Liechtenstein, who was originally from Cologne, Germany but was active in Venice, Italy from 1538-85. His workshop was "ad Signum Agnus Dei" (at the Sign of the Lamb of God), which is also depicted in his printer's mark on the title page. The title translates as: "Gradual in accordance with the sacred custom of the Roman Church" and includes 170 double-sided printed leaves of music. The music notation consists of note-forms in black on a four-line staff printed in red, with large initial capitals also printed in red. Interspersed within the music are 33 woodcut engravings of scenes from the bible, including a full-page engraving of Jesus being removed from the cross. This example is particularly unique as it includes 12 pages of manuscript music in black, red, and blue ink added at the front of the volume by an unknown author.

Crown Folio. 172 printed leaves with title page, index, colophon and 33 woodcut engravings; 12 pages of manuscript music. Hardbound in full leather with raised bands on spine.

Such large, early Graduals are uncommon on the market.


Condition: B+

The pages are mostly clean and bright with occasional soiling and some dampstaining along the bottom edge of the volume. Leaves 121-130 have a light dampstain in the center of the pages due to a spill. There are old paper repairs on several pages to repair edge tears, and a few pages have unrepaired chips or short tears along the edges. The black ink on the manuscript pages shows through to the verso. The front hinge has been reinforced with old paper. The covers are heavily scuffed with bumped corners and some tiny holes in the back cover. The spine is also scuffed with some cracking.

Estimate: $6,000 - $7,500


Closed on 11/16/2022