You know that manuscript I found at the tip shop and paid a whole $15 for? Well, it also included a chair and 12 DVDs, so I'm saying the pictures was about half of that.. well.. it's been a bit of a fun ride to see if I can track down what it is and where it came from. Turns out it's an antiphony, a folio with hand lettered and coloured music notation. It's freakishly large- bigger than an A5 sheet- which is usual for that kind of thing.
Interesting features are the blackness of the ink- probably gall- and the wear and grubby handling marks on the pages. It looks like it was glued down one side, and therefore part of a book.
The faint rule up lines are greyish but didn't have that slight sheen we tend to see with lead pencil.
After posting up in online facebook groups, the feeling by most was that it's a real parchment, which is certainly is, but the date was the remaining issue. It had all the hallmarks of being old, but I really wasn't sure. So I figured there was one way to trim down the timeline a little, and I took an eraser and gently tested a little of the grey rule up lines.
So- definitely not super early. maybe 17th or 18th century? A modern reproduction would less likely be double sided and the wear and tear marks wouldn't be evident. And the cost for the parchment alone would be quite pricey.
I'm thinking it's old, but not super old. I love it to bits though. I wish I knew who made it so their name could go down in history as the maker, but I guess I'll never know.