a bifolium, each leaf 700mm. by 480mm., with a vast initial 'C', 210mm. by 195mm., opening "Christus natus est nobis ...", formed of a man arching his body into the form of the letter and holding a goose by its legs, before a detailed scene of the Birth of Christ, 4 lines of text with music on a 5-line red stave in a fine hand emulating the late gothic, full border of elaborate coloured acanthus-leaves terminating in animal masks and sprays of pink roses, and enclosing realistic birds, roundels enclosing scenes of the Annunciation to the Shepherds (90mm. in diameter), and twin crowned coats-of-arms in the bas-de-page, verso of leaf 1 blank, verso of leaf 2 with 4 lines of text and music, slight scuffing and flaking, else in good condition, leaves numbered '1' and '2', nineteenth-century faded satin cover pasted to verso
From a choirbook made for King Philip V of Spain (duke of Anjou until his accession to the Spanish throne in 1700) following his marriage to Princess Marie Luisa Gabriella of Savoy on 2 November 1701. The marriage cemented the Treaty of Turin, which ended Franco-Savoyard conflicts during the Nine Years' War, and she proved extremely popular with the Spanish until her untimely death from tuberculosis in 1714 at the age of twenty-six.
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