Catalog Archive
Auction 197, Lot 753


"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Music

Period: 1600 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.6 x 21 inches
39.6 x 53.3 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

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 sheet of vellum containing the text of a Gradual. It is boldly written in Latin in black ink with numerous and red and blue initials with intricate pen work on both sides. The text includes part of Psalm 27, which translates as:

Since they have not understood the works of the Lord and the works of his hands, you will destroy them, and you will not build them up.
Blessed is the Lord, for he has heard the voice of my supplication.
The Lord is my helper and my protector. In him, my heart has hoped and I have been helped. And my flesh has flourished again. And from my will, I shall confess to him.
The Lord is the strength of his people and the protector of the salvation of his Christ.
O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance, and reign over them and exalt them, even unto eternity.


Condition: B

Toning on verso with moderate soiling, a chip at bottom right, and an adjacent tear that enters the text at bottom.

Estimate: $100 - $130

Sold for: $41

Closed on 4/24/2024