TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

Collectarium for use in the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris

In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment with musical notation
Paris, 1619 and 1769

TM 1196

ii + 119 + i folios on parchment, on ff. 6-34, 37-55 foliation in Roman numerals in black ink made in 1619, i-xlviij, this foliation was resumed in the eighteenth century for ff. 56-88, xlix-lxxxi, on ff. 102-113v pagination in black ink added in 1769, 1-24, modern foliation in pencil, 1-119, complete (collation i4 (-2, lacking one leaf after f. 1, without loss of text) ii2 iii8 iv8 (one leaf, f. 19, added before the 1619 foliation) v-vi6 vii2 viii12 ix7 (irregular quire, nothing lacking from text) x10 xi10 (-10, lacking one leaf after f. 74, without loss of text) xii10 xiii4 xiv2 xv4 xvi6 xvii10 xviii3 xix6); quires i-ii, vii, x-xi, xvii-xviii were added in the eighteenth century, ff. 31-34 mis-bound, f. 34 should follow f. 31 (cf. 1619 foliation: 26, 28, 29, 27), no catchwords or signatures, ruled in red ink and lead point (justification 209 x 118 mm.), ff. 6-18v, 20-34v, 37-55v, 75-81, 83-86v, 88r-v, 116-119 written in 1619 in black and red inks in a large bookhand imitating Garamond font in single column on c. 17 lines, ff. 3, 4-5, 9v, 19r-v, 56-74v, 81v-82v, 87r-v, 89-92v, 95-98v, 101-115v written in 1769 in black and red inks in script imitating two Roman fonts in a single column on c. 17-32 lines, music on four-line staves in red ink with square musical notation, five staves per page, rastrum 18 mm., rubrics in red, several very fine 1- to 3-line initials in liquid gold on colored grounds or in colors on grounds of liquid gold, decorated with flowers, foliage and penwork in late medieval, Renaissance and Baroque styles, a tear on f. 78, some stains and signs of use, pages cropped in the margins with some loss to original folio numbers, overall very good condition. Bound in France in the eighteenth century in dark brown morocco, tooled in gold, both covers with fleurs-de-lis in the corners, a frame of triple fillets, and a center piece medallion with three fleurs-de-lis inside a frame of small leaves and flowers, spine with five raised bands, tooled in gold with fleurs-de-lis and dots, gilt edges, leather worn especially on the spine and corners, but in overall good condition. Dimensions 255 x 175 mm.

This illuminated music manuscript was made for the French royal chapel, the Sainte-Chapelle, by two talented maîtres écrivains in 1619 and 1769. Any manuscript directly tied to the Sainte-Chapelle is of great historic, liturgical, and musical interest. This new addition to the corpus of surviving manuscripts from the royal chapel is decorated with numerous initials presenting a veritable gallery of ornament and with beautiful calligraphy that documents the continuation of the manuscript arts centuries after the invention of print.


1. Made for use at the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, as is indicated on the titlepages, ff. 3 and 101, as well as by the content of the rubrics and texts. The book was apparently made for one of the canons of the royal chapel and was copied by two maîtres écrivains working in Paris in 1619 and in 1769 (see the discussion below). The original part of the manuscript was made during the reign of Louis XIII (r. 1610-1643) in 1619, the date which is given at the end of the index on f. 119: “finis. 1619.”

2. The manuscript was “reworked” in 1769 to reflect changes in the liturgy over the years. The titlepage to the Easter Procession on ff. 101-113v, which suggests this section may have been copied from a printed exemplar, also provides the date 1769, indicating that the update to the book was made during the reign of Louis XV (r. 1715-1774).  Parts of text were erased by scraping the ink from the parchment or by crossing out the text. New texts were added in new quires (see the codicological description above). In addition, significant additions were made on blank spaces on existing leaves, often in small script, e.g., on ff. 9v, 12 (one line in small script), 13, 13v, 14v, 18v, 21 (the bottom of the page, including the initial), 21v, 23, 23v, 25 (the last stave and line of text in small script), 26, 29, 30v, and so forth. 

3. A nineteenth-century ownership inscription “W Featherstonhaugh” on the second front flyleaf. It is possibly George William Featherstonhaugh (1780-1866), geologist, geographer, a translator of Cicero, member of the Royal Society, explorer, and railway pioneer.

4. Belonged to Rev. Dr Roderick Terry (1849-1933): his armorial bookplate is pasted inside the front cover; lot 86 in his sale at the American Art Association in New York on 14 February 1935.


[ff. 1-2v, blank]; f. 3, [added in 1769, titlepage], Collectarium seu absolutiones, benedictiones, versus, capitula, orationes, a Domino celebrante dicendae ad usum SS. Capellae Parisiensis”; [f. 3v, blank];

ff. 4-5, [added in 1769, Benediction], Ad completorium. Benedictio, incipit, “Noctem quieta ...”; [f. 5v, blank];

ff. 6-9, [Absolutions and benedictions for the Office, to be said before lessons], Absolutiones & benedictiones dicendae ante Lectiones in officio novem & trium Lectiom. In primo Nocturno. Absolutio, incipit, “Exaudi, domine Iesu christe ...”;


f. 9v, [added in 1769], Antiphonae et orationes de Beata Maria dicendae post Laudes. Dicto, incipit, “Benedicamus ...”;

ff. 10-77, In Circumcisione Domini. Ad Vesperas, Capitulum, incipit, “Apparuit gratia Dei ... Ad Magnificat. Antiphona. Propter nimiam. Oratio. Deus, qui salutis aeternae, ... Ad laudes. Capitulum. Apparuit gratia … “; In Epiphania Domini. Ad Vesperas. Capitulum, incipit, “Surge, illuminare... Ad Magnificat. Antiphona. Magi. Oratio. Deus, qui hodierna... Ad Laudes. Capitulum. Surge illuminare. ut supra. Ad Benedictus. Antiphona. Hodie. Orat. ut sup. Ad process. Ante Missam. Orat. Deus illuminator. fol. lxxij. Ad Magnificat. Ant. Tribus miraculis. Oratio. Deus, qui hodierna. ut.”; In Festo Purificationis Beatae Mariae Virginis. Capitulum, incipit, “Ecce Ego mitto ...”;

Prayers (collects) with capitula, antiphons (with musical notation), responses, versicles and instructions for celebrating the feasts of Circumcision (ff. 10-11), Epiphany (ff. 11-12v), Purification of the Virgin (ff. 12v-13v), Annunciation to the Virgin (ff. 14-15), Palm Sunday (ff. 15-18v), Maundy Thursday, including instructions for the washing of the altars on f. 19, “Ad Lotionem altarium” (ff. 18v-20v), Easter Sunday (ff. 20v-22v), Dedication of the Sainte-Chapelle (ff. 22v-23v), Invention of the Cross (ff. 24-26v), Ascension of Christ (ff. 27-28), Third day after the Ascension, Translation of the head of St. Louis (ff. 28-29), Pentecost (ff. 29v-31v), Holy Trinity (ff. 31v-32), Corpus Christi (ff. 32-36v), Nativity of St. John the Baptist (f. 37r-v), Sts. Peter and Paul (ff. 38-39), Visitation (ff. 39v-40), St. Mary Magdalen (ff. 40v-41), St. Apollina (f. 41v), Translation of the Holy Crown of Thorns (ff. 41v-42), St. Lawrence (ff. 42v-43; partly erased), St. Clare (f. 43r-v), Assumption of the Virgin (ff. 43v-45), St. Roch (f. 45; partly erased), St. Louis of France (ff. 45v-46v), Nativity of the Virgin (ff. 47r-v), St. Adrian (f. 48), St. Gorgonius (f. 48v), Exaltation of the Holy Cross (ff. 48v-50), St. Nicodemus (f. 50r-v), Holy Relics (ff. 50v-51), St. Michael (ff. 51v-52), St. Remigius (f. 52r-v; partially erased), Sts. Denis, Rusticus and Eleutherius (f. 53r-v), St. Simeon (f. 54r-v), All Saints (ff. 55-57; N.B. ff. 56-74v were added later), All Souls’ Day (ff. 58-61v), funeral office (ff. 62-71), Conception of the Virgin (ff. 71-72), St. Ambrose (f. 72), Advent (ff. 72-74), St. Nicholas (f. 74r-v), St. Miltiades (f. 74v), Christmas (ff. 75-76v), St. Michael (ff. 76v-77).

ff. 77-81, Prayers (collects) (without antiphons, capitula, etc.) for the feasts of the Conception of the Virgin, Nativity of the Virgin, Purification of the Virgin, Annunciation to the Virgin, Assumption of the Virgin, Epiphany, and Ascension of Christ;

ff. 77v-88v, [added in 1769], Prayers (collects) with antiphons (without musical notation), responses, versicles and instructions for the feasts the Reception of the Head of St. Louis, Holy Trinity, Nativity of St. John the Baptist, St. Peter and Paul, (a cross reference to “folio lxj” for the Visitation), St. Mary Magdalen, St. Anne, Reception of the Holy Crown of thorns, Assumption of the Virgin, St. Louis, Nativity of the Virgin, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Reception of the Holy Relics, St. Denis;

ff. 89-92v, [added in 1769], Prayers (collects) with antiphons (without musical notation), responses, versicles and instructions for the feast of the Holy Relics; [ff. 93-94v, blank];

ff. 95-98v, [added in 1769, Prayers], Preces dicendae pro gratiarum actione; Pro Rege; Pro Regina gravida, Pro Rege infirmo, …; [ff. 99-100v, blank];

ff. 101-113v, [added in 1769, Easter procession, beginning with a titlepage], Processio Matutina Paschalis sacrosanctae capellae Parisiensis/ E Typographia Augustiniana Majoris Conventus Parisiensis. Anno Domini 1769;

ff. 114-115v, [added in 1769, Benediction], Ad Completorium. Benedictio, incipit, “Noctem quietam ...”;

ff. 116-119, Index Festorum, Benedictionum & Processionum, quae in hoc libello continentur; [f. 119v, blank].

This manuscript is a Collectar (in Latin, Collectarium) for use at the royal Sainte-Chapelle of Paris. A Collectarium (“book of collects”) originated as a liturgical volume including the short prayers (the collects) said during the various canonical hours of the Divine Office, excluding Matins.  Over time it came to comprise an ad hoc collection of the prayers and ceremonies not found in other service books that were specific to the uses of a particular house or sometimes a congregation or religious order.  Consecrated on April 26, 1248, the Sainte-Chapelle is considered one of the highest achievements of French Gothic architecture. It was built by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion relics, including the Holy Crown of Thorns, one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom. As well as serving as a place of worship, the Sainte-Chapelle played an important role in the political and cultural ambitions of Louis IX and his successors, fitting in a long tradition of prestigious palace chapels (capellae regis).

The fabulous treasury at the Sainte-Chapelle preserved ivories, altarpieces, liturgical vestments, and of course books (see Exhibition. Paris, Musée du Louvre. 2001, pp. 144-146). There were up to 119 codices in the Treasury as listed in the inventory of 1480, and many of the medieval manuscripts from the Chapel are well-known. The manuscripts copied in the seventeenth and eighteenth century for use in the Sainte-Chapelle, however, appear to be very uncommon (or at least less studied).  For comparison, we note these later fifteenth- century and early sixteenth-century manuscripts that are associated with the Sainte-Chapelle:  BnF, MS lat. 8890, Missal of the Sainte-Chapelle (after 1503; Exhibition. Paris, Musée du Louvre. 2001, no. 71); Paris, BnF, MS lat. 18013, Ritual for the deceased (Exhibition. Paris, Musée du Louvre. 2001, no. 64); Paris, BnF, MS lat. 17741, Obituary of the Sainte-Chapelle (Exhibition. Paris, Musée du Louvre. 2001, no. 62); and Paris, Bibl. de l’Arsenal, MS 114, Ordinary of the Sainte-Chapelle (Exhibition. Paris, Musée du Louvre. 2001, no. 66).

Especially interesting in this manuscript are the numerous decorated initials in a great variety of late medieval and Renaissance styles, as well as the beautiful scripts imitating typography. Traditional manuscript illumination on vellum is rare in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but comparisons are found, for instance, in the liturgical manuscripts made for Louis XIV for his use at the royal Chapelle at Versailles (see “L’enluminure de manuscrit au XVIIe siècle: les ‘Heures de Louis XIV’,” Online Resources). The manuscripts painted for the Sun King by the workshop of the Hôtel des Invalides after 1682 are in Baroque style. Our manuscript offers a fascinating juxtaposition, where one may admire side by side, as on the opening of ff. 20v-21, initials painted in 1619 that draw inspiration in the styles of the preceding 150 years and an initial painted in 1769, in late Baroque style.

Great attention was paid to the form of the letters in the beautiful calligraphy in our book. In the seventeenth-century France calligraphy was taught as an art form, comparable to music or painting, by professors of writing called maîtres écrivains jurés (see especially Cabane, 2017 and Hébrard, 1995). The two scribes, who copied our manuscript, working in 1619 and 1769 respectively, were undoubtedly professionally trained maîtres écrivains (for lists of maîtres écrivains in France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, see Online Resources).

Recent research by Richard and Mary Rouse (2019) traces the continuation of manuscript arts into the early eighteenth century.  Although the archives offer much primary data, and the Rouses include a Register of the names of more than 500 illuminators during the period from 1500 to 1715, few of these names can be connected with surviving manuscripts.  Renewed study of the rich documentary evidence published by the Rouses juxtaposed to surviving manuscripts like this one promises to enhance our sparse knowledge of the continuation of the manuscript arts centuries past the invention of printing.


Gy, P. “Collectaire, Rituel, Processionel,“ Revue des Sciences philosophiques et théologiques 44 (1960), pp. 441-469.

Cabane, C. Aux Plumes d’Or”: les maîtres écrivains à Paris, calligraphes aux XVIIe siècle,” thèse diplôme d’archiviste-paléographe, Paris, École nationale des chartes, 2017.

[Exhibition. Paris, Musée du Louvre. 2001]. Le trésor de la Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 31 mai-27 août 2001, [catalogue ed. Jannic Durand and Marie-Pierre Laffitte], Paris, 2001.

Hébrard, J. “Des écritures exemplaires: l’art du maître écrivain en France entre XVIe et XVIIIe siècle,” Mélanges de l’école française de Rome 107:2 (1995), pp. 473-523.

Available online: https://www.persee.fr/doc/mefr_1123-9891_1995_num_107_2_4394

Laffitte, M. P. “Les manuscrits du trésor de la Sainte-Chapelle au Moyen Age,” in “La Sainte Chapelle. L’art au temps de saint Louis,” Dossiers de l’archéologie, no. 264, June 2001, pp. 52-65.

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

Palazzo, E., “La liturgie de la Sainte-Chapelle: un modèle pour les chapelles royales françaises?” in La Sainte-Chapelle de Paris: Royaume de France ou Jérusalem céleste?, ed. Christine Hediger, 2007, pp 101-111.

Rouse, Richard H. and Rouse, Mary A.  Renaissance Illuminators in Paris Artists and Artisans 1500-1715, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in France (HMMSF 5), London, Harvey Miller/ Turnout, Brepols, 2019

Saulnier, D. “Liturgy, plainchant and music at the Paris Sainte-Chapelle: Questions on the identity of a royal institution,” Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference 2012, July 2012, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Available online: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01192600/document

Vidier, A. Le trésor de la Sainte-Chapelle : inventaires et documents, Paris and Nogent-le-Rotrou, Impr. de Daupeley-Gouverneur, 1911 [Excerpts from Mémoires de la Société de l'histoire de Paris et de l'Ile de France, vols. XXXIV-XXXVII, 1907-1910].

Online Resources

On Collectars

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Sainte-Chapelle, Paris," in Smarthistory, May 24, 2017, https://smarthistory.org/sainte-chapelle-paris/.

“L’enluminure de manuscrit au XVIIe siècle: les ‘Heures de Louis XIV’”


“Maîtres écrivains (including lists for each century)”

TM 1196