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 elaborate illuminated ''O"' (3 3/4'' square) in red and black surrounded by half moons in the corners in green and all on a golden ground. The initial is framed with red and black flowers on a light green ground.
One elaborate illuminated "D" in green surrounded by half moons in green with golden ground & all surrounded by a delicate black floral border.
The leaf concludes the Office on the Dedication of a Church and opens the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The illuminated "O" begins: "O Quam..." (O how awesome is this place! Truly this is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven).
The illuminated "D" begins: "Dum esset..." (While the king was upon his bed, my nardus did give an odor of sweetness. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me...).
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.