c 1450 Gregorian Chant - Wonderful initial - Spain


Original leaf from a Spanish Antiphonal on animal parchment. (570 x 405mm – 22.5 x 16’’)

The manuscript text & music (six lines of music on a five-line stave) were beautifully executed by hand in dark brown ink on a red stave in large gothic hand.

Spain, circa 1450.

One exceptional illuminated initial (145mm – 5.75’’ square) in red and blue with an elaborate internal and external geometric "puzzle design" (in the Moorish influenced Mudejar style) in intricate red and blue penwork; one knot-work (cadel) initial heightened with yellow.

The elaborate puzzle initial begins Psalm 47 (King James 48) 10-11: “Suscipimus deus…” (We have received thy mercy, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so also is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of justice).

The large knot-work “M” begins verse 2: “Magnus…” (Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in his holy mountain). 

Antiphonals contain chants for the canonical hours of the Divine Office: 1st vespers or vigil of great feasts, matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers & 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-12834
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