Catalog Archive
Auction 99, Lot 565

"[Manuscript Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1300 (circa)



4.8 x 7 inches
12.2 x 17.8 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.

A fine vellum leaf from a very early French manuscript Bible. Though the Bible was organized into a single volume in the 13th century it was not until the 15th century that it was divided into verses. The text on this leaf is finely written in two columns with headings at the top of the page. Blue and red initials mark the beginning of each chapter with delicate penwork into the margins. The text is from the book Parapilomenon, the old Greek name for the book of Chronicles.


Condition: A

Minor soil in blank margins.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $170

Closed on 6/12/2002