A DECORATIVE AND WELL-PRESERVED LEAF
Manuscript Vellum Leaf from an Antiphonal.
Italy, c. 1420.
Large folio (c. 45 x 32 cm), seven lines of text and musical notation in neumes in red and black on both sides, recto with a large ornamented initial in red and blue, and two smaller initials (one in red, the other in blue) red markers, later pagination in upper right-hand corner, minimal surface wear and very light spotting in places only; a decorative and well-preserved leaf, mounted, both sides displayable.
The initial opens the text to be sung at Michaelmas (September 29) ‘In tempore illo consurget Michael,’ which is based on chapter 12 of the Book of Daniel, where the Archangel, patron Saint (in the Western Church) of sick people, mariners, and grocers is described as ‘the great prince who standeth for the children of Thy people.’ The large format and letters enabled the assembled clergy ‘to sing from one sheet.’