Original leaf from a Spanish Antiphonal on animal parchment. The manuscript text and music (seven lines of music on a five-line stave) were beautifully executed by hand over 500 years ago!!! (480 x 350mm – 19 x 13 ¾’’)
Spain, c. 1500.
Two exceptional knot-work (cadel) initials in black ink heightened with yellow - one containing a face!
This leaf continues the Feast of the Conversion of Paul celebrated on January 25. The knot-work initial containing the face begins: ''Damasci...'' (In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king was desirous to apprehend me, but at night the brethren let me down by the wall in a basket, and so escaped I his hands in the Name of the Lord).
The second knot-work initial begins: ''Saulus...'' (Saul who is also called Paul was by God made a great preacher, From whom he increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews).
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.