Original leaf from a manuscript Spanish Antiphonal on animal parchment. (555 x 385mm – 21 7/8 x 15 1/8'')
The manuscript text and music (six lines of music on a five-line stave) were beautifully executed by hand over 450 years ago!!!
Spain, c. 1550. The parent Choirbook once belonged to the Convent of San Pedro Regalado de la Aguilera, and was likely scribed there.
The leaf is embellished with one large illuminated initial in red with intricate blue penwork, and one large cadel (knot-work) initial.
This leaf continues the Common of Many Martyrs. The knot-work ''U'' begins: ''Unus spiritus...'' (One spirit and one faith moved them).
The illuminated ''T'' begins: ''Tradiderunt corpora...'' (For the sake of God they let their bodies be tortured and become worthy to possess everlasting crowns).
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.
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.