Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 752


"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1700 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

13.5 x 20.1 inches
34.3 x 51.1 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 seven staves of five-line music in red and black ink on both sides. The song translates in part as:

"For the memory of him is immortal, because he is known both to God and to men."


Condition: B

There is light staining and soiling on recto with more prominent soiling and foxing on verso. There is a minor crease in the bottom left corner of the sheet with an associated short edge tear.

Estimate: $140 - $170

Sold for: $37

Closed on 2/7/2024