Gradual (Carmelite Use)

16th century with 18th–century A.D.ditions

Place of Manufacture: Europe, Spain


Overall (page dimensions): 63 x 40.5 cm (24 13/16 x 15 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera, ink (some modern), and gold on parchment (ff. 1-39, paper pasted over older, reused parchment); bindings of black calfskin over boards, with bronze

Not On View





A gradual (a collection of responses and versicles for the Epistle readings, with Introits, Alleluias, Offertories, and Communions for Mass) with 68 folios (ff.) and 1 leaf.

ff. 1 - 39: Commons (16th-century)
ff. 40 - 68: Sanctorale (18th-century addition): St. Joseph, St. Felix of Catalicio, apparition of Santiago, San Juan Capistrano

1 column of 8 staves in Latin (f. 40 ff., 5 staves). Bounding lines on paper pastedown leaves only, in black ink, doubled to all edges except upper. Some prickings preserved in outer margin for staves. ff. 1 - 39: square, heightened neumes, red 4-line staff, with c-clef indicated; ff. 40 ff.: same, but with accidentals and performance notes (18th-century).

Lacking 16 folios at front, 1 leaf lacking after f. 39, lacking seven leaves after f. 68 and at least two leaves at back (the final quire consists of two stubs plus six cancels). ff. 1-18 foliated by original hand (effaced or pasted over) in red roman numerals, upper right recto, as XVII - XIX, XXI, XXII - XXXIII, XXXVI - XXXVII, XL; ff. 1-16, and 19-20 foliated by the pastedown scribe in red arabic numerals, upper right recto, as 61-76 and 78-79; ff. 40-68 (18th-century section) foliated by contemporary hand in black ink arabic numerals as 1-28, 36.

Written in a Rotunda script in black ink with red rubrics. ff. 1-18 (paper pastedown leaves): 1-staff high initials throughout alternating red and black with some green; ff. 19-39: 2-staff high initials throughout alternating red and blue, or red, one-staff high initials in red, blue or yellow wash; ff. 40-68 (18th-century): 1-staff high initials throughout in gold on dark red foliate background, or blue on gold, or red and purple, one-staff high initials throughout in fractura with red and green wash.

Binding: Original (spine width too large for current contents) black calf over boards, heavily rubbed with some red rot, bronze floral bosses and cornerpieces, strap pieces and catches. Lower leather strap extant. Spine leather attached with nails. Parchment pastedowns and final fly from 15th-century choirbook. Title label in leather on spine, illegible. Tabs throughout along outer leaf edges, marking major mass incipits.

Original index of contents by genre pasted-down to verso of final flyleaf, with later additions and corrections. A paper-pastedown table-of-contents at the back of the volume lists the sanctorale contents of the section added in the 18th century, which included St. Joseph, St. Felix of Catalicio (can. 1709), St. Juliana Falconeris (can. 1737), St. Luis Gonzaga (can. 1726), Our Lady of Carmen, San Juan Capistrano, and the apparition of Santiago.


1929, Walter Gay (b. 1856 - d. 1937), Paris; gift of Walter Gay to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 5, 1929)

Credit Line

Gift of Walter Gay