Original leaf from a Gregorian chant. This decorative leaf is from a large Spanish Antiphonal. Executed by hand in manuscript calligraphy on animal parchment.(525 x 400 mm - 21 5/8 x 15 3/4'')
Sixteen lines of text written in an angular gothic hand in black ink. Headings & rubrics are in red. One exceptional five-line illuminated initial, & two three-line illuminated initials in red with a geometric & floral background in violet ink, or blue with a geometric & floral background in red ink; one elegant knot work (cadel) initial in black ink.
Spain, c. 1480-1520.
The very large (5.25 x 6.00 inch") illuminated ''P'' begins part of Ephesians 2:4 & Romans 8:3: ''Propter…'' (For His exceeding charity wherewith He loved us, God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, alleluia).
The illuminated ''D'' begins Psalm 2:7 & Psalm 18 (King James 19) 6: ''Dominus…'' (The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee…He hath set his tabernacle in the sun…).
The illuminated ''E'' begins part of John 1:29, 27: ''Ecce agnus…'' (Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world. Behold he who comes after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose).
Antiphonals contain chants for the canonical hours of the Divine Office: first vespers or the vigil of great feasts, matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline.
As is usual with Medieval and Renaissance parchment, the hair side of the leaf is darker than the flesh side, but may take ink somewhat better. The differences in tone caused scribes to arrange their quires so that the hair side of one sheet faced the hair side of the next, and the flesh side faced the flesh side.