Original leaf from a Spanish Antiphonal on animal parchment. (480 x 350mm – 19 x 13 ¾’’)
The manuscript text and music (seven lines of music on a five-line stave) were beautifully executed by hand over 500 years ago!!!
Spain, c. 1500.
Two illuminated initials alternating in blue with delicate red penwork, and red with delicate violet penwork.
The illuminated "H" begins Luke 2:25: ''Homo erat...'' (There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the redemption of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was in him).
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.
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.