Original manuscript leaf from an important mid 15th century Choirbook. Four lines of music on a four-line stave, written in liturgical gothic script on animal parchment. Interlinear musical notation is in black on a red four-line stave. (580 x 410mm – 22 ½ x 15 ¾’')
One 2.5'' square illuminated initial ''E'' in a floral motif and in colors of red, pink, brushed gold, orange, and green with white tracery on a blue ground with white tracery – surrounded by a border of heavily burnished gold.
This beautiful four-line stave musical sheet is from a Gradual of the Benedictine Monastery of Santa Giustina of Padua, 1440-50.
This leaf was formerly in the collection of C.W. Dyson-Perrins (noted English collector of the late 19th & early 20th centuries).
A series of richly decorated choir books was made for S. Giustina in Padua in the early to mid 15th century. There are now four in the Biblioteche Capitolare in Padua.
The large illuminated ''E'' begins Psalm 44 (King James 45): ''Eructiavit cor meum…'' (My heart hath uttered a good word…).
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.