Auction 97, Lot 563

"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Manuscript Music

Period: 1280 (circa)



15 x 21.2 inches
38.1 x 53.8 cm

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.

Four-line music written on seven staves in black and red ink. Both sides include a large initial in red or blue ink each decorated with delicate penwork.


Condition: A

Some toning and wear in the margins, especially where the leaf was turned in the large book.

Estimate: $140 - $180

Sold for: $130

Closed on 12/5/2001