Sixteenth-Century Antiphonal. Musical Manuscript on Vellum.
[Italy: Circa 1575]. Large folio. 23 3/4 x 15 1/2 inches. 131
leaves. Manuscript numbered pages: 23-49, 49, , 51-95, 102,
32-34, 37-50, 54, 54-60, 62, 62-75, 78-96, 101-105, 107-109, 114,
. Discontinuous pagination, perhaps gathered from multiple
works. Lacking first section and several other leaves. Large vellum
leaves with staves in red with notation in black, with sporadic
plain illuminations (lacking colors and gilt). Large red and black
ink initials (fifty-eight red, eighty-seven black). With
thirty-seven decorative floral initials (red ink initials with blue
ink floral decorations), 3 1/2 x 3 inches. Large, extensive floral
decorated initial "S", 6 3/4 x 7 inches (second leaf labeled "40"),
in red and blue inks. All decorative initials with various detailed
vines and flowers as well as detailed border designs. Old calf,
worn with complete brass fittings on edges and corners, over wooden
boards, marbled endpapers. Front board detached, spine lacking
leather in three compartments, binding cords exposed, boards and
spine with some tears and stains. Front free end-paper and fly-leaf
loose. Few leaves torn and defective. Old sewing and tape repairs.
Eighteen inch vertical tear in both second leaves labeled 34 and 93
(partially repaired with tape). Rectangular cut in lower margin of
leaf 89 and 92, paper loss in lower margin of 102, second leaf
labeled 88 with paper loss along outer margin not affecting music,
last leaf missing upper half with loss to first three staves.
Occasional holograph ink marks to some lower right corners. Typical
natural toning to alternate leaf sides, over-opened pages, light
rippling, some soiling. Overall, a decent representation of a large
amount of Italian antiphonal leaves of the late sixteenth century.
From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
with Thirty-seven Decorative Initials
Please visit HA.com/6127 for an extended description of this lot.
More Information: The Antiphonal (or Antiphoner) was the principal medieval choir book, and contained the chants of the Divine Office. The title is derived from the way the verses of the service were sung alternately by the two halves of the choir sitting opposite one another.
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