Original leaf from an 18th century Gregorian chant on fine hand made paper. Latin text with black square-note music on a red four-line stave. (480 x 330mm - 19 x 13’’)
An unusual production – entirely done by hand, not in a printing press. The staves are hand ruled and penciled guidelines can still be seen on the text block. Lettering and designs are a combination of meticulously cut stenciled elements and freehand.
From an Antiphonal produced at a religious commune in Olbia, Italy, c. 1778 (dated and signed elsewhere in the manuscript by the scribe “J. Coudounel”).
One elaborate illuminated ''F'' (4 1/2 x 4 1/4'') in red surrounded by flowers and blossoms in red and black on a golden ground surrounded by an elaborate black floral border.
The elaborate illuminated ''F'' opens the Common of Holy Martyrs with the hymn: ''Fortem virili...'' (High let us all our voices raise, In that heroic woman's praise...).
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. They were used by priests, monks and nuns in churches and religious enclaves. The large size allowed them to be seen by multiple members of a choral section.