Catalog Archive

Auction 99, Lot 602

"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Manuscript Music

Period: 1600 (circa)



18 x 26.5 inches
45.7 x 67.3 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 huge sturdy sheet of vellum containing five-line music. Written in red and black with large initials each side. The initials on the recto includes a large red 'B' decorated with delicate blue penwork.


Condition: A

Some soil in blank margins.

Estimate: $120 - $150

Sold for: $120

Closed on 6/12/2002