The Beaupré Antiphonary is a manuscript liturgical book, written in Latin on parchment at the end of the 13thcentury (c.1290) for the Cistercian Abbey of Beaupré, near Grammont in East Flanders. The work would originally have been in two sets, each of three volumes, one for the abbess and one for the prioress, and would be used for singing during church services. Following the French revolution and the closure of the abbey, the Antiphonaire de Beaupré was partially destroyed and dispersed in fragments.
The page acquired by the King Baudouin Foundation during a sale at Sotheby’s in London on 7 July 2016, is a complete page containing eight lines of music and texts written in Gothic script, with a series of illuminated blue and red initials. The page’s existence was unknown until it was discovered at an antique dealer’s shop on the Isle of Wight (England) in the 1980s. Other pages from the Antiphonary are kept at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
This page was acquired for the Alamire Foundation in Leuven, which has as its mission the study and conservation of the musical heritage of the former Netherlands. The Alamire Foundation has launched a project of virtual reconstruction and making fragments of the Beaupré Antiphonary which have returned to Belgium available on line.