When a Gregorian antiphonary, of excellent quality and in a fine state of repair, was put up for sale, the King Baudouin Foundation could hardly miss such an opportunity!

What characterises this 15th century antiphonary as being so special is, on the one hand, its exceptional quality and, on the other hand, its excellent state of repair.

This collection of liturgical chants has numerous coloured and illuminated capitals, decorated by quill. Just like the written text and the musical notations, the illuminated capitals are typical of the quality of this antiphonary. The manuscript itself is quite voluminous, measuring 43 x 33 cm and containing 284 folios. It is moreover completely intact and the state of the sheets of parchment is also exceptionally good.

It is unlikely that many more manuscripts from this period and in such excellent condition find their way to the market. The Alamire Foundation, the international centre for the study of music from the Southern Netherlands, thus considers this antiphonary as exceptional. It is certainly of great value for the research, dissemination and promotion of Gregorian musical heritage.

Manuscript on parchment
Material / technique: 
Black, red and brown ink
Approx. 43 x 33 cm
Type of acquisition: 
Acquired by the Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Alamire Foundation, Leuven