[MANUSCRIPT] Leaf from an antiphonal
, manuscript on vellum with five staves of plainchant, headed with two lines of textura quadrata in red and black above a fine pictorial historiated letter L decorated with the figure of a violinist playing a six-stringed violin emerging from acanthus leaves. Likely Italian, late 15th/early 16th century, the initial 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches (14.5 x 10.5 cm), the leaf 19 x 13 3/4 inches (49 x 35 cm). Some minor soiling and staining, especially to edges.
The instrument (somewhat crudely rendered) is likely a lira da braccio, which is congruent with an Italian origin for the antiphonal from which this leaf came. This was the instrument of the Italian court poets, and is a close relative of the medieval vielle.
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