Medieval Manuscripts: 14th century (1320-40) Northern France, Buchmalerei
Large - Initial "S"
Individual sheet from a liturgical manuscript - antiphonary - on parchment.
Writing in red and sepia brown / black
Music notation neumes script with brown / black sepia
Sheet size 53,3 x 37,3 cm (ca. 21 x 14.7")
Leaf of a large choir book with a magnificent "S"-initial marking the beginning of the Introitus of St. Paul Apostle. The ornate, tall initial ends in curved foliage at two of the corners. The "S" sits on a blue field with white tracery. The center of the initial is decorated with intricately curving stems ending in foliage. The decorative "S" is very ornate with its real gold applications.
Verso two smaller initials "D" and "Q", adorned with pen work in their centers and along their outlines, initiate new verses. Four-line staff as red lines with music notation in neumes script.
Parchment shows traces of age and use. The real gold slightly rubbed as it touched opposite book page as the pages were turned while the book was used. Smudging in lower corner from turning pages. Missing upper left corner was replaced expertly with parchment. Considering age of ca. 700 years condition is very good.
one of our Twitter followers offered the following correction: “Not an antiphoner, which is music for the Office, but a gradual, music for the Mass, since it gives the end of a Communion, an Introit, and the beginning of a Gradual.”