Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 751


"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1660 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

14.3 x 20.4 inches
36.3 x 51.8 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 large sheet of vellum contains four-line music in black and red ink with one large initial in blue, red and burnished gold, as well as an intricate border of vines and flowers on verso. Beginning with the large letter "P" on verso, the text translates in part as:

Complete my steps in your paths, that my steps may not be moved.


Condition: B+

Light soiling with a chip at top right.

Estimate: $130 - $180

Sold for: $120

Closed on 2/7/2024