Original leaf from an 18th century Gregorian chant on fine hand made paper. Latin text with black square-note music on a red four-line stave. (480 x 330mm - 19 x 13’’)
An unusual production – entirely done by hand, not in a printing press. The staves are hand ruled and penciled guidelines can still be seen on the text block. Lettering and designs are a combination of meticulously cut stenciled elements and freehand.
From an Antiphonal produced at a religious commune in Olbia, Italy, c. 1778 (dated and signed elsewhere in the manuscript by the scribe “J. Coudounel”).
One large illuminated initial (3 1/4’’ square) in red with gold interior surrounded by three brown deer, flower blossoms on a gold ground, and nine black stars all within a black floral border.
This leaf continues the Common of a Confessor. The elaborate illuminated "I" begins: Invocantem exaudivit Dominus...'' (The Lord heard his holy one calling him: the Lord heard him and made him dwell in peace. All those you protect shall be glad, for it is you who blessed the just man, Lord: you surround him with favor as with a shield. How great is you name, O Lord our God, through all the earth! For with glory and honor you crowned your holy one, you gave him power over the works of your hand).
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. They were used by priests, monks and nuns in churches and religious enclaves. The large size allowed them to be seen by multiple members of a choral section.