Original leaf from a large manuscript Spanish Gradual on animal parchment. (533 x 370mm – 21 x 14.5”)
The manuscript text and music (5 lines of music on a five-line stave) were beautifully executed by hand over 500 years ago in the 15th century!!! Spain, c. 1475-1500.
One elegant puzzle initial in red & blue with elaborate internal & external geometric "puzzle design" (in the Moorish influenced Mudejar style) in intricate red & violet penwork; three elaborate knot-work (cadel) initials heightened with yellow two have intricate internal design in violet.
“A pen with a long slit - half or three-quarters of an inch - was used for drawing these flourishes” (Reference: Mudejar Ornament in Manuscripts, by Frances Spalding, p. 4, Hispanic Society of America, 1953,). Aside from the pen a sizable amount of talent was also required to produce this amazing fluid puzzle design!
The knot-work “K” continues the Kyrie: “Kyrie…” (Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy).
The elaborate illuminated “G” begins the Gloria – an ancient hymn of praise to the Trinity: “Gloria in Excelsis Deo…” (Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we adore Thee…). Gloria in Excelsis Deo is also the well-known Christmas song of the Angels from the Annunciation of the Nativity to the Shepherds, as related in Luke 2: 8-14.
Graduals contain the musical chants for the proper of the Mass: introits, graduals, tracts, alleluia, offertory and communion verses, and sequences for special feasts. They may also include chants for the ordinary of the Mass: Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and for the introductory ‘asperges’ rite.
An attractive leaf with desirable historic content.