c 1600 Gregorian Chant - Flamboyant Initial


Original leaf from a Spanish Antiphonal on animal parchment. (695 x 475mm – 27.25 x 18.75’’)

The manuscript text and music (four and five lines of dark brown music on a red five-line stave) were beautifully executed by hand over 400 years ago!!!  Unusual massive size. Slightly trimmed at right and lower margin, no loss.

Spain, c. 1600.

One flamboyant illuminated initial  (140 x 160mm – 5.5 x 6.25’’) in blue and white in front of a floral design in blue, white and green all on an orange ground.

This leaf continues the Immaculate Conception – December 8.  The large illuminated initial “O” begins “Omnes morie…” (As in Adam, all perish because all sin. What is the matter, Esther who is exalted among the people? I am thy brother, fear not).

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.

Shipped unmatted


  • Inventory# IM-12823