Antiphon, Feast of Purification

Recto, Verso

This folio is taken from a 15th century Italian Monastic Antiphoner, for the celebration of the purification of St. Mary, and features French square notation alongside a Gothic Rotunda script. Since the manuscript is rather large and thick it is most likely made of vellum (cowhide), since sheep parchment was usually produced thinner.


The recto side begins with the ending lines of the First Antiphon of the procession of candles, with the Second Antiphon taken directly from Luke 2:26. The rest of the recto and verso are the Second Antiphon in the procession of 'Candlemas', and begins with a large illuminated 'R' yet ends abruptly (to be continued on the following folio of the original Antiphonary).


The manuscript was originally to be read by the chorus during Mass, since there is the presence of 'Clotus' ending each musical staff. The quality of the parchment and the elaborate illuminated 'R' in gold leafing suggest that this folio was taken from an Antiphonary codex that belonged to a wealthy parish church, chapel, or cathedral.



  1. et saluato rem mundi 
  2. Responsum accepit a[ntiphon]
  3. symeon aspiritu


  1. se mortem nisi uideret
  2. christum domini
  3. et cu[m] in ducere[n]t pueru[um]
  4. In templo accepit
  • Title: "Antiphon, Feast of Purification"
  • Subject: Large choir book of an antiphon for the celebration of the purification of Saint Mary. Recto begins with the ending lines of the first antiphon of the procession of candles. The responding text is Luke 2:26. Remaining text is the procession of Candlemas.
  • Size: 638 mm (with 33 mm bottom fold) x 500 mm
  • Quality: High quality, bright parchment; Cockled, indicating it has shrunk. There is discolouration (recto) likely from the frame in which it was previously mounted. There is a large oil mark in the middle outer margin, likely from physical contact.
  • Binding: Four sewn holes, 140 mm apart along the inner margin, used for binding. Three are broken & one intact; evidence the folio was unbound rather than cut. Evidence of adhesive use.
  • Ruling: Four lines of text and staff per page. Single column (665 mm x 287 mm) reads left to right. Two vertical plummet lines 80 mm from inner margin. Red vertical plummet lines appear 12.5 cm from the outer margin. Each musical staff is separated by a text box that is 28.7cm long by 5.8 cm: there are four textbox this size on both the Recto and Verso.
  • Illuminations:
  • Date: circa late 15th century
  • Location: Italy, possibly Florence
  • Language: Latin
  • Script: Gothic Rotunda script & French Square notation. (This choir book was to be read by the chorus during Mass, as evident by the presence of 'Clotus': skinny slanted neume indicating the beginning neume on the following staff.)
  • Archive: Carleton University Art Gallery collections
  • Reference Number: CUAG 1996.62.12 | Add. 10500