Original leaf from a 15th century Gregorian chant. This musical sheet was executed in manuscript calligraphy on animal parchment. (610x430mm - 23 1/4 x 16 3/4'')
Music & text (six lines written in rounded gothic script) are written in black ink, on a five-line-stave, with headings and rubrics in red. This parchment contains a filled hole in the margin – which is original – “Waste not – Want not” put into practice!
Spain: Seville, c. 1460-90.
This striking leaf is related to a series of choirbooks attributed to the Master of the Cypresses who illuminated twenty Choirbooks that are preserved in the Cathedral of Seville. Once thought to be Pedro da Toledo, he is now believed to be Nicolás Gómez – active 1460-90.
Two illuminated initials extend the length of the five-line stave and are in burnished gold on a ground of blue and red with a delicate floral motif – one extends into the margin in an elegant rinceaux-style border of vines adorned with gold bezants! One large calligraphic initial heightened with yellow.
The illuminated “A” begins Alleluya. The calligraphic initial “B” begins James 1:12: “Beatus…” (Blessed is the man that endureth temptation…).
The illuminated “C” begins Psalm 88 (King James 89):6: “Confitebuntur…” (The heavens shall confess thy wonders…).
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.