Gregorian Chant - c 1778 - deer - stars - flowers


Original leaf from a manuscript 18th century Gregorian chant in two colors 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 golden with an interior of flowers and two prancing deer!  The initial is surrounded with a border of black stars and flowers on an orange ground.  

The leaf continues the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The elaborate illuminated "A" begins:   " Assumpta est...'' (Mary is assumpted into heaven: the Angels do rejoice, they lauding do bless our Lord. The Virgin Mary is assumpted unto the heavenly chamber in the which the king of kings sits upon his starry seat. Into the odor of thy ointments we do run: young maidens have loved thee exceedingly. Thou daughter art blessed of our Lord: for that by thee we have partaken the fruit of life.).

Shipped unmatted


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.

  • Inventory Number: IM-11297