Original leaf from a large early 17th century Gregorian chant. Manuscript calligraphy on animal parchment, in gothic script. Musical notation, on a four-line stave, in black with text in black & red ink. Headings, rubrics & ruling in red. This leaf measures 605x410mm – 23 ¾ x 16 1/8 inches.
From a Gradual executed in a Dominican convent in Poznan (Posen) Poland, c. 1632 (Poland’s intellectual center & one of its oldest towns).
Graduals from Eastern Europe at this period are very uncommon!
This leaf is for use on Holy Saturday. One large illuminated initial ''C'' (2x1.5'') in Celtic design in colors of yellow, taupe, green & black.
One large illuminated initial ''C'' (4.5 x 2.5'') in Celtic design in colors of red & taupe on a gold & black ground of geometric design.
The largest illuminated ''C'' begins Exodus 15:1-2: ''Cantemus Domino…'' (Let us sing a canticle to the Lord for he is gloriously adorned, the horse & rider he hath thrown into the sea; my helper, my protector & my salvation…).
The large knot-work initial ''H'' (verso) is in a Celtic design with colors of gold & black & begins ''Hic est Deus…'' (This is God…).
Provenance: A number of leaves from the same parent codex as this one survive, including the frontispiece with a long Latin inscription that dates the manuscript, identifies its text as following the edition of Seraphinus Siccus (that published in 1620), connects the creation of this volume to Georgius Trebnic, Provincial Prior of Poland, and Hyacinth Chorinski, prioress of the Poznan convent, and identifies that house as the original home of the book. It had been dispersed by 1966 when Cornelius J. Hauck (1893-1967) deposited his highly decorated leaf in the Cincinnati Museum (later sold by Christie's New York, 27-28 June 2006, lot 139, but there dated a century too early). Other leaves were sold by Bruce Ferrini in the 1990s. The Dominican convent was established in Poznan in 1244, with the church and abbey built in the ten years following. The house was dissolved by the Prussians in 1833 and its goods scattered. The site only returned to a religious use in 1920 when Jesuits took over the church, and 1935 when Dominican brothers returned to the convent.