Finely illuminated Gregorian chant leaf, c. 1500


“All they from Saba shall come, 

bringing gold and frankincense”



Recto: Five lines of music written on parchment in square neumes on red-ruled five-line staves with a key signature. Rubrics in red.  The accompanying text is written in Latin in a refined gothic rotunda bookhand.  One very fine illuminated initial - “O” - in red, with extensive internal and external decorative black penwork, with flourishes of leaves and flowers continuing into the left margin.   See images below


Verso:  As Recto with a large initial ‘S’ in black.


Origin:  Spain


Date:  c. 1500


Content:  Omnes de Saba with its verse Surge et illuminare is the Gradual for Epiphany. The text is from Isaiah 60:6 & 1.  The initial “O” begins the chant:  Omnes de Saba venient aurum et thus deferentes et laudem Domino annuntiante.  (All they from Saba shall come,  bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord. ) The text is carried over to Verso where the verse Surge et illuminare begins.


Condition:  The leaf is in very good condition with only the expected marking from page-turning, browning and surface dirt.  It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 530x380mm. Text and music area : approx.  375x290 mm. Presented in a museum quality mat, ready to frame. Packing & registered, insured post within Australia: $27.50.  Overseas destinations: ask for quote.


Notes:  Omnes de saba and Surge et illuminare have been set to music by Handl, Orlando di Lasso, Palestrina, Byrd and several other composers.


Item No:  MMU 033

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