Catalog Archive
Auction 99, Lot 598

"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Manuscript Music

Period: 1490 (circa)



13.1 x 17.2 inches
33.3 x 43.7 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 containing eight staves of five-line music. Written in a fine hand with black, red, blue and gold ink. Each side contains several decorative initials with delicate penwork.


Condition: A

Bit of very minor staining.

Estimate: $180 - $200

Sold for: $200

Closed on 6/12/2002