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les Enluminures

Antiphonal for the Day Offices, Diurnale Carmelitarum in quo continentur omnia quae cantantur in choro per annum [Carmelite Diurnal Containing Everything Sung in Choir throughout the Year]

In Latin, stenciled manuscript on parchment with musical notation
France, Paris, eighteenth century, c. 1700-40 (?) (after 1689)

TM 760

One volume in two, ii (paper flyleaf) + 111+ ii (paper flyleaf); vol. 2, ii (paper flyleaf) + 117 + ii (paper flyleaf), original pagination in Arabic and Roman numerals top outer corner recto is continuous through both volumes: [2, title page, unnumbered, blank on verso] +1-218 + [2, unnumbered leaf at end] + 219-[408] + i-l pages, lacks 3 leaves, pp. 231-232, 283-284, 293-294, and probably the title page for volume 2 (collation, vol. 1: i6+1[title page unpaginated, one leaf added at end, pp. 11-12] ii-xiii8 xiv6 xv2; vol. 2:18 [beginning p. 219, lacking 1, possibly an unnumbered title page, or canceled, -8, pp. 231-2) ii-iv8 v8 [-2, pp. 283-284 and -7, pp. 293-293] vi-xiv8 xvi8+1 [single leaf, pp. 293-294, added at end]), quires in volume one signed with a letter on the opening leaf bottom outer corner, each page frame-ruled in bright red ink, all rules full length with two narrowly spaced horizontal rules at the top used for running headlines, and with seven horizontal lines ruled in lead for the text visible in volume 2, pp. 403-408, which are blank apart from ruling (justification 180-178 x 147-145 mm.), text in roman letter in black ink with seven lines and seven 4-line brown or red (on pp. 219-402) staves with square notation in black, headings and rubrics in red, with other colors used for important feasts including blue, black, silver and yellow-gold, red initials, approximately forty initials in red, blue, silver, yellow-gold and blue set within decorative contrasting borders, culs-de-lampe in color (e.g. pp. 90, 170, 218, 382, l), full-page border p. 295, and partial border p. 219, scattered stains slightly affecting text on a few pages, significant stains pp. 26-29, some smudging, cockled, but overall in very good condition. Bound in France in contemporary red morocco over pasteboard, tooled in gold with two sets of three fillets forming an outer border, with pointillé fleurons at each corner, and a rectangular center panel with a small stamp including a crown in the center (cf. the modern Carmelite coat-of-arms, also with a crown); spine with five raised bands, with title in the second compartment, lettered, “DIURN/ DES/ CARM”; spine elaborately gold-tooled with pointillé fleurons and small stars, bordered by tiny dots; gold-tooled turn-ins, gilt edges, volume 1, joints partly chipped and cracked at top of spine, corners damaged, volume 2, slight damage top of spine, overall in very good condition. Dimensions 245x189 mm.

This is a two-volume Antiphonal for the day offices (or a Diurnal) for the entire year that was produced using stencils. Stenciled manuscripts are curious hybrids, obviously unique items, like handwritten manuscripts, but produced with a mechanical aid like printed books. This is a handsome example, with musical notation and colorful decoration. Its text is of interest as evidence of the survival of the medieval rhymed offices for the Three Marys and Albert of Sicily in a post-Tridentine Carmelite source.


1. Produced in Paris in the eighteenth century, perhaps c. 1700-1740, by the Carmelite friar, who included his name, “F. Prosperi Croisier Carmelitae”, on the title page; he has not been identified in other sources. The text, including rubrics and running titles, and the decoration were all produced using metal stencils, and presumably the musical notation was stenciled as well. Page numbers were inserted by hand, as are the numbers for the Sundays after Trinity in the rubrics for these feasts (the rest of the rubrics were stenciled).

The exact date of the volume is difficult to judge. The date suggested here is based on the evidence of the style of the decoration and the binding. Liturgical evidence only allows us to date it after 1666 (Holy Name of Mary observed in Carmelite houses), after 1669 (canonization of St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi), and probably after 1689, since it includes the feast of the patronage of St. Joseph, the patron of the reformed Discalced Carmelites, who celebrated his feast on the third Sunday following Easter since 1689. 

2. By the second half of the thirteenth century, the Carmelites were a presence at the major universities in Europe, including Paris. The Carmelite monastery in Paris at the Place Maubert served as the house of studies for the order throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern era, when it was closed during the French Revolution in 1789. The Discalced Carmelite Observance, a reform movement within Carmel established by St. Teresa of Jesus in Spain in the sixteenth century and which subsequently became a separate Order, spread to France in the seventeenth century. Discalced Carmelite Friars established a community in Paris on the Rue de Vaugirard in 1611 (later known as the Séminaire des Carmes, it is now the university seminary of the Institut Catholique de Paris). 

The book includes numerous Carmelite saints, including Andrew of Corsini (F. 4 February, 1302-1373) on p. 239, who was canonized in 1629, St. Angelus (F. 5 May, 1185-1220), on p. 261, who was the first Carmelite martyr, and his feast was observed by the Carmelites since 1456, St. Simon Stock (F. May 16) on p. 268 (here, Simon, anglici, that is, “of the English”), who was born in England, and served as the fifth or sixth prior general of the Order (feast was observed throughout the Carmelite order from 1564), Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi (F. 27 May, 1566-1607) on p. 273, canonized in 1669, Eliseus (Elijah), F. June 14, on p. 278, revered by the Carmelites as the founder of their order, and Elias (Elisha), F. July 20, on p. 301, his disciple. The office of Albert of Sicily (F. August 7, c. 1250-1306/7) on p. 318, the first specifically Carmelite saint, who was canonized in 1457, is still the medieval rhymed Office, “O Alberte norma munditiae.” The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Caramel (16 July) is included here on p. 295 with a full border. The Carmelite feast of the Resurrection is found in the Temporale on p. 91.

3. There is only a single small hand-written addition to the text, adding “ut in festo sancti micaelis” to the rubric on p. 249, but there are signs that it was carefully corrected; on pp. 73 and 74, text was added in the lower and upper margins, and a parchment strip added between pp. 226-227, supplying omitted text (both apparently orginal with the volume).

4. Two annotations added in ink, p. 406, inside top margin, “1780”; p. 407, top outer corner, “1660.”

5. Nineteenth-century oval stamp, on the title page and p. 219, “Domus Burdigalensis Soc. Jesu”, indicating that at that time the book was owned by the Jesuits in Bordeaux.

6. Pencil annotation, front flyleaf, f. i verso (both volumes), “C. L. [P?]ole”,; and dealers’ annotations, in red and black pencil, inside back cover.


Volume one:
[title page] Diurnale Carmelitarum in quo continentur omnia quae cantantur in choro per annum …;

pp. 1-218, Proprium de tempore in circumcisione domini, …;

Temporale from the Circumcision (1 January) through the Octave of Christmas. The feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph (De patrocinio sancti Joseph), is included on p. 111, on the third Sunday after Easter. Note the two sections at the end; the first listing the antiphons and responses for the Saturdays following Trinity Sunday on pp. 148-170 (here numbered by month, ending with the fifth Saturday in November), followed by the antiphons for the Magnificat for the Sundays following Trinity Sunday on pp. 171-183, concluding with the twenty-fifth Sunday, followed by Advent and Christmas. 

[unnumbered leaf following p. 218], Dominca, incipit, “Sede a dextris meis dixit Dominus Domino meo; Fidelia omnia mandata …; Sabbato, incipit, “Alleluia alleluia alleluia …” [Five settings];

Five antiphons for Sunday Vespers, and five settings of the Alleluia for Saturdays.

Volume two:
pp. 219-382, Proprium sanctorum festa Januarii, In festo Nominis Jesu …;

Sanctorale, beginning with the Name of Jesus in January and concluding with Thomas in December, among the feasts included are Andrew of Corsini, February 4 (p. 239), St. Joseph, March 19 (p. 252), Joachim, March 20 (p. 253), St. Angelus, May 5 (p. 261), St. Simon Stock, May 16 (p. 268), St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi, May 27 (p. 273), Eliseus (Elijah), June 14 (p. 278), In festo Commemoratio (Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Caramel, p. 295), July 16 (p. 295), Elias, July 20 (p. 301), Transfiguration (p. 314), Albert of Sicily, August 7 (p. 318) with the medieval rhymed Office, “O Alberte norma munditiae”, Cleophas, September 25 (p. 346), and All saints of the order, in November, p. 363.

pp. 383-402, Supplementum, De nomine mariae, …; De pietate …; De Corona spinea …; De quinque plagis …; In festo sororum …; [ending mid p. 402; pp. 403-408, blank but ruled];

The feast of the Holy Name of Mary was observed by the Universal Church in 1684, although it seems to have been part of the liturgy of the Discalced Carmelites since 1666. The presence of the feast of the Sisters of Mary (here, In festo sororum), also known as the Feast of the Three Marys is of particular interest. Its text appears to be the rhymed office, “Ecce dies gloriosa”, part of the Carmelite liturgy since 1342 (Boyce, 1990, p. 133), but replaced by the feast of Mary Magdalen de Pazzi in the Sanctorale (as it is in other late Carmelite books; see Boyce, 2008).

pp. i-l, Commune Sanctorum. In Communi Apostolorum, ….

Common of Saints, from Apostles to a Virgin, concluding with the Dedication of a Church.

Many Choir Books from the late Middle Ages were copied in a very large format that enabled a group of singers to share one manuscript, a tradition that continued through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for both handwritten manuscripts and stenciled books. This stenciled book is an example of a smaller format book, and may have been for personal use. The musical texts for the Divine Office (prayers said throughout the day and night by members of religious orders at the offices of Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline), were collected in Antiphonals. As the title page indicates, this book is a Diurnal, that is an Antiphonal with texts for the day offices only (although in fact, chants for the night office of Matins are occasionally included as well).

The two main cycles of the liturgical year are the Temporale, which include Sundays and the feasts celebrating the life of Christ, organized around the moveable feast of Easter, now found in volume one, and the Sanctorale, which includes the feasts of Saints, now in the second volume. In contrast to the practice in medieval liturgical manuscript, the feasts here are arranged not according to the liturgical year that begins in with the first Sunday in Advent, four weeks before Christmas, but according to the calendar year, beginning on January 1, with the feast of the Circumcision.

The volumes were copied for Carmelite Use. The Carmelite order dates back to the twelfth century, when a group of hermits settled on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land. By the thirteenth century the growing order had adopted a mendicant rule and spread to Europe. They received provisional approval by the pope in 1247 (confirmed in 1274). By 1281, they were an international order with ten provinces. They flourished throughout the Middle Ages with foundations in all the major university cities, including in Paris. The sixteenth-century reform of the order resulted in the foundation of the Discalced Carmelites, and the two branches of the order continue to the present day.

The text and music of these volumes deserve further study; the inclusion of the rhymed offices for the Three Marys and Albert of Sicily, evidence for the survival of medieval rhymed offices in the post-Tridentine era, is just one example of their potential importance. Boyce’s study of Carmelite liturgical books from Kraków has demonstrated that even books dating after the liturgical reforms of the Council of Trent can contain texts and music that are historically important and of interest to liturgical scholars (see Boyce 2004 and 2008 for a study of post-Tridentine Carmelite Office Books).

In most respects, these volumes are direct descendants of the liturgical Choir manuscripts copied in the later Middle Ages and in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (and occasionally later). The script, however, although it was clearly not produced by type face, was not written by hand, but instead was produced using metal stencils. The stenciled letters can be recognized by the small breaks in the body of the letter from the bridges found in the stencil template (stencil-templates must avoid continuous shapes that would cause them to fall apart, for example, the inside of an “o” must be connected with bridges to the outer shape of the letter). 

Stencilled manuscripts are curious hybrids. They are unique items, like handwritten manuscripts, but were produced with a mechanical aid, and in that sense are more like printed books. Here the text, including the rubrics, running titles, and other headings, all the initials and the decorations, and almost certainly the musical notation were all constructed with stencil templates. Only the page numbers appear to be added by hand. Liturgical books made by stencil, many of them very large Choir Books with musical notation, are an extremely interesting artifact in the history of the book that flourished in France and Germany in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and in some cases, well into the nineteenth century. 

Gilles Filleau des Billettes composed an extensive account of the process for the “Description des Arts et Métiers” of the French Royal Academy of Science c. 1700 (edited in Kindel, 2013). In his description he suggests the practice was created by someone (name unknown) c. 1650, and specifically mentions that books for particular churches were written in this way, as opposed to printed books used more generally by the whole church (“C’est celui par lequel on écrit les plus beaux livres d’églises particulières qui n’ont pas besoin d’être autant répandus que ceux qu’on imprime pour l’usage général du clergé ...”; quoted by François, 2010). Another early historian of these books, Fischer van Waldheim, writing c. 1800, suggested that they were invented by a Trappist monk in 1674. 

Stenciled liturgical books, often made in monastic settings, are known from the mid seventeenth century until the latter decades of the nineteenth century, and in some cases later. This practice probably began in France, and then spread around Catholic western and southern Europe, including the Low Countries (presently francophone Belgium), Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, and possibly even Mexico. One example has been identified in England (I thank Mr. Eric Kindel for sharing his research, in correspondence, 2012). In Germany in the monasteries around Mainz were known for their stenciled books (see Schreiber 1927; Gottron 1938; Rodrigues 1973; and Rosenfeld 1973); the most famous practitioner was Thomas Bauer (d. c. 1780), who entered the Carthusian monastery in Mainz c. 1720. Three books stenciled by him are now, Mainz, Stadtbibliothek II 137, 142 and 145 (Rodrigues 1973). Numerous stenciled books were also produced in France (François, 2010; O’Meara 1933).

It is hard not to be struck by the labor that was required to produce a volume like this Gradual. Would it not have been easier to simply to copy the volume by hand? Eva Judd O’Meara, asked William Addison Dwiggins a modern stencil maker in the US in the 1930s-50s, this question; Dwiggins’ opinion was that stenciling was quicker than writing. Moreover, copying manuscripts in scripts imitating roman type may have been particularly difficult. Certainly the books produced by this method have their own striking aesthetic appeal, and the fact that they could be made without employing a trained calligrapher was a practical advantage.

It is difficult to judge how many stenciled books are still extant. Descriptions of these books often fail to recognize the process. There has been no attempt at a general census; Gotton (1938, listed below), identified forty examples in German institutions; O’Meara (1933) mentioned that there are probably “a score or more” in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France; she listed a further fifteen or so probably examples in French municipal libraries. Both these published surveys are outdated, and numerous additional examples are now known. Single leaves from stenciled choir books are not uncommonly offered for sale amidst the numerous manuscript leaves from late medieval and early modern Choir Books offered by dealers. These volumes, in contrast, offer the opportunity to acquire a complete text, still in their original bindings, and in very fine condition.


Boyce, James John. Carmelite Liturgy and Spiritual Identity: the Choir Books of Kraków, Turnhout, Belgium, Brepols, 2008.

Boyce, James John. Praising God in Carmel: Studies in Carmelite liturgy, Washington, D.C., Carmelite Institute, 1999.

Boyce, James John. “Medieval Carmelite Office Manuscripts, A Liturgical Inventory”, Carmelus 33 (1986), pp. 17-34.

Boyce, James John. “The Medieval Carmelite Office”, Acta Musicologica, 62 (1990), pp. 119-151.

Boyce, James John. “The Carmelite Office in the Tridentine Era”, The Past in the Present; Papers Read at the IMS Intercongressional Symposium and the 10th Meeting of the CANTUS PLANUS 2 (2003), pp. 353-387. 

Boyce, James John. “Die Mainzer Karmeliterchorbiicher und die liturgische Tradition des Karmeliterordens”, Archiv fiir mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte 39 (1987), pp. 267-303.

Boyce, James John. “The Carmelite Choirbooks of Florence and the Liturgical Tradition of the Carmelite Order”, Carmelus 35 (1988), pp. 67-93.

François, Claude-Laurent. “Les lettres réalisées au pochoir”, in Histoire de l’écriture typographique, de Gutenberg à nos jours, volume 2.1, Le XVIIIe siècle, ed. Yves Perrousseaux, Gap, Atelier Perrousseaux, 2011, pp. 48-77.                  

Gottron, Adam. “Beiträge zur Geschichte der kirchenmusikalischen Schalbonendrücke in Mainz”, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (1938), pp. 187-93.

Harper, John. The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy, Oxford, 1991.

Hughes, A. Medieval Manuscripts for Mass and Office: a Guide to their Organization and Terminology, Toronto, 1982.

Huglo, M. Les livres de chant liturgique, Turnhout, Brepols, 1988.

Kallenberg, P. Fontes Liturgiae Carmelitanae, Investigatio in Decreta, Codices et Proprium Sanctorum, Rome, 1962.

Kindel, Eric. “Recollecting Stencil Letters”, Typography Papers 5 (2003), pp. 65-101.

Kindel, Eric. “A Reconstruction of Stencilling Based on the Description by Gilles Filleau des Billettes”, with two appendices by Fred Smeijers, Typography Papers 9 (December, 2013).

Kindel, Eric, ed. “The Description of Stencilling by Gilles Filleau des Billettes: Transcription and Translation”, Typography Papers 9 (December, 2013).

Mosley, James. “A Note on Gilles Filleau des Billettes”, Typography Papers 9 (December, 2013).

O’Meara, Eva Judd. “Notes on Stencilled Choir-Books”, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (1933), pp. 169-85.

Palazzo, Eric. A History of Liturgical Books from the Beginning to the Thirteenth Century, translated by Madeline Beaumont, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1998.

Plummer, John. Liturgical Manuscripts for the Mass and Divine Office, New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1964.

Rodrigues, Alberto. “Die Schablonendrucke des Paters Thomas Bauer in der Stadtbibliothek Mainz”, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 48 (1973), pp. 85-99.

Rosenfeld, Helmut. “Der Gebrauch der Schablone für Schrift und Kunst seit der Antike und das schablonierte Buch de 18. Jahrhunderts”, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 48 (1973), pp. 71-84.

Schreiber, Heinrich. “Thomas Bauer”, in Die Bibliothek der ehemaligen Mainzer Karthause, die Handschriften und ihre Geschichte, 60, Beiheft zum Zentralblatt für Bibliothekwesen, Leipzig, 1927.

Online resources

Introduction to liturgical manuscripts: “Celebrating the Liturgy’s Books”

Huglo, Michel and David Hiley. “Antiphoner”, in Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online:

Initiation aux manuscrits liturgiques, Jean-Baptiste Lebigue (aut.), Paris-Orléans, IRHT [Aedilis]

Eric Kindel, Exhibition (includes a timeline and bibliography)

Eric Kindel, Reading University, staff profile, with bibliography of his articles on stencils:

James Mosley. “Lettres à jour: public stencil lettering in France”, Typefoundry, Documents for the History of Type and Letterforms, 23 March, 2010:

also at:
St. Bride Library, “Temporary Type”, conference, 10-12 October 2005

Odile Blanc, “Séminaire: stencil letters, letters au pochoir”, 31 January 2003, Institut d’histoire du livre: