Nicene Creed: Liturgical chant leaf, c. 1590

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A huge (690x980 mm.) double vellum music leaf with continuous text 


Recto: Five lines of music written on parchment in square & diamond shaped neumes on red-ruled five-line staves with a key signature. The accompanying text is written in Latin in a gothic rotunda bookhand. Three illuminated initials in red and others in black with decorative penwork. At the end of each page is a “catch word” in the bottom margin to indicate to the binder the next page in the sequence. The music and text is bordered with ruled red lines infilled with yellow. The parchment binding tape and a portion of twine remain.

Bifolium leaves with continuous text are comparatively rare.  See images below 


Verso:  As Recto without coloured initials.  See Verso image below


Origin:  Probably Spain


Date:  Late 16th century - c. 1590


Content:  The leaf includes a section of the Credo - the Nicene Creed. Recto  reads: [cae]lum sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuis regni non erit finis.  Et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominus et vivificantem qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.  Qui cum Pa[tre]... [hea]ven.  He sitteth at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead.  And His kingdom shall have no end.  And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life. Who proceedeth from the Fa[ther]... 


Condition:  While there is some minor ink loss to the Verso of this leaf, Recto is in very good condition with the text, neumes and coloured initials bright and clear.  The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Notes: The history of the Credo is quite complex.  The version that is commonly used today (and in this leaf) is the Nicene Creed.  It was approved for use by the Council of Nicea in 325.  From there, it was introduced to Spain by the Council of Toledo in 589, the eucharistic liturgy in Constantinople in the 6th century, and the Galician rite in France by Charlemagne’s liturgical advisor.  In 1014, German Emperor Henry II insisted Pope Benedict VIII introduce it to the Roman rite, and the Credo was included in the Mass Ordinary. The melody of the Credo first appears in 11th century manuscripts, but it is believed to be much older, and perhaps Greek in origin.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 690x980mm. (27 x 38.5 inches). The size of the leaf precludes matting, it can be loosely rolled and posted in a tube.  Packing & insured post within Australia: $25.00.  Overseas destinations: ask for quote     


Item No:  MMU 025

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