Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Antiphonal music, circa 1450, on vellum

Side with later floral decorations.
Notes are printed with wood blocks.
THIS JUST IN: We have several original leaves from a Medieval/early Renaissance antiphon, circa 1450.

They are partially printed. The notes, for instance, are printed with wood blocks. The words are in Latin and are in manuscript, with period flourishes for several initials. The musical staffs are in four lines, rather than our modern five lines. The leaves themselves are vellum, a much heartier material than paper.

One side of the leaves bears later floral decorations. We have had multiple opinions about these additions. An art conservator took a look at them and decided that they were early, perhaps from the 1600s, and that they displayed rococo elements consistent with that period.

The leaves themselves were originally purchased by a collector while he was in England. The collector (a collector of Africana) thought the leaves might have migrated to Africa at some point and been decorated there, perhaps in the 19th century. Another expert decided that the decorations seemed more like something from the 1970s.

We have matted and shrink-wrapped a leaf so that both sides are visible, and the buyer can decide which side to display. The photographs shown are from different leaves. You may click on the photos to enlarge them.

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