Original leaf from a manuscript Spanish Antiphonal on animal parchment. (560 x 365mm – 22 x 14 3/8’’) The manuscript text and music (six lines of music on a red five-line stave) were beautifully executed by hand dark brown ink over 400 years ago!!!
Spain, c. 1525 –this leaf is from the Winter Volume (pars hiemalis) which comprised the Offices of Advent, Christmastide and Epiphany.
One illuminated initial in red with violet interior and exterior penwork extending into margin with intricate flourishing; one exceptional knot work (cadel) initial in dark brown ink heightened with yellow.
This leaf continues part of the Epiphany Office. The first line continues: "Gavisi..." (They rejoiced with great joy).
The knot-work "E" begins: "Et intrantes..." (And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him).
The illuminated "V" begins: "Videntes..." (When the wise men saw the star they rejoiced with great joy).
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. This leaf is in nice condition for its age, showing the customary signs of use.
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.