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les Enluminures

Noted Antiphonal (use of Vienne)

In Latin, illustrated manuscript on parchment
Southeastern France, Rhone Valley, archdiocese of Vienne, c. 1275-1320

TM 1187

i (paper) + 283 + i (paper) folios on parchment, modern foliation in pencil, 1-283, lacking two leaves (collation i6 [-1, lacking the opening leaf before f. 1, with loss of text] ii-xv8 xvi6 xvii-xxvii8 xxviii4 xxix-xxxii8 xxxiii9 [quire of 9, no text or leaves missing] xxxiv4 xxxv10 xxxvi10 [-10, lacking the final leaf after f. 283, with loss of text]), no catchwords or signatures, ruled in brown ink (justification 155 x 110 mm.), written in black ink in Gothic bookhand (textualis) on ten lines of text and ten four-line staves in red ink with square musical notation on each page, rastrum 8 mm., rubrics in red, capitals touched in red, 1- to 2-line initials alternating in red and blue with opposing penwork filigree in blue or red decorating the 2-line initials, five large (c. 110 x 75 mm.) parti-colored initials in red and blue with fine penwork decoration (ff. 32v, 39, 126v, 140, 172), the outer margins of ff. 1 and 2 cropped, signs of frequent use, wear and stains, but in overall very good condition. Bound in the sixteenth century in brown calf over wooden boards, covers blind-tooled in a panel design: interlace roll in the middle flanked by clover roll on each side, outer frame with alternating circular stamps containing either rose or sunburst designs, spine with three raised bands, blind-tooled with single fillets forming a crossed X, clasps and hasps of leather and brass, one strap lacking, fastening front to back, leather worn but expertly conserved, a beautiful binding in very good condition. Dimensions 239 x 173 mm.

Fascinating for its music as well as for its early ownership, this attractive monastic Antiphonal from the archdiocese of Vienne is distinguished also by its generous margins, elaborate penwork initials, and early binding.  It preserves early staff notation, which only begins in Antiphonals in the twelfth century. The volume also includes the livre de raison of its sixteenth-century owner, the Lyons printer and libraire Olivier Estange.  He used the margins to record his family history, to describe in unusual detail local events in Lyons, and to provide details of his work, which is otherwise unknown apart from the evidence in this Antiphonal.


1. The style of decoration as well as the script suggest that the manuscript was made in the last quarter of the thirteenth or early fourteenth century, in a provincial center. The script is an upright gothic bookhand, without decorative hairlines, and with round ‘s’ used only in the final position.  The text is for monastic use (with twelve antiphons for Matins) in the archdiocese of Vienne (Isère), and the manuscript was most likely made locally in an abbey along the Rhône. Chants are included for the Office of St. Maurice, whose relics are kept in the cathedral of Vienne and to whom the cathedral is dedicated (f. 149v-), and for the Office of St. Leodegar of Vienne, the archbishop of Vienne, who had the cathedral rebuilt in the eleventh century (f. 271-).

2. Several fifteenth- and sixteenth-century doodles, drawings of heads and inscriptions in the margins and on the flyleaves, including the names of the monk Jacques Dechantegreil, “Dechantegreil Monachus” (f. 283v), “Jacobus Dechantgreil” (front flyleaf, verso), the monk G. Heyns, “F(rater) G. Heyns” (f. 53), Jean Bosonier, “Jean Bousonier” (also with the orthography Jehan Bosonier, ff. 52, 221; the name Bosonier or Bosonnier is still found in the region in Marseille, Arles and Bouches-du-Rhône in the 18th and 19th centuries), “A moy Jean...” (f. 280), “Jean Bousonier” (front flyleaf, verso), and finally the candle maker Dupuy “Dupuy chandelier de messire Dam... Dupuy” (front flyleaf, verso), “Dupuy” (ff. 173, 272).

3. Olivier Estange, printer in Lyon, who owned the manuscript at least in the years 1504-1534, when he used its margins to record family and local events in Lyon. The manuscript was very likely still in use during the procession of Notre-Dame-de-Confort in Lyon in 1534, which is mentioned in these marginal notes (see below).

4. In the collection of Monsieur Lavalette in Bézier in France in 1938, when the manuscript was studied by Robert Marichal, who later published its marginal notes (Marichal, 1984).

5. Sold at Troyes, Boisseau-Pomez, Maison De Ventes Aux Enchères, April 8, 2004, lot 61.

6. Said to have belonged to Jacques and Monique Delamotte, although their ex libris is lacking.


ff. 1-283v, [Antiphonal, use of Vienne, chants for offices from Easter until Christmas, Temporal and Sanctoral intermixed, begins imperfectly with a chant for Easter], incipit, “Alme ihesu christe rex glorie. Deus magne pie et benigne dei patris unice...”; f. 1v, followed on the verso by the antiphons for Easter, “Et respicientes viderunt...”, “Scio quod Jesum...”, “Cito euntes, dicite discipulis quia surrexit Dominus”, “Hymnum dicamus, alleluia, Domino Deo nostro”, “Data est mihi omnis potestas...”, “Et valde mane una sabbatorum...”, and “Angelus autem Domini descendit de celo …”; … [ends imperfectly with a chant for the Nativity of Christ], “Virga Jesse floruit de qua nasci voluit … Virgo salutifera dele nostra crimina pietatis ubera petimus quibus Deum te//.”

In the Sanctoral cycle chants are included for the Offices of John the Baptist (f. 58v-), John and Paul (f. 60v-), Peter (f. 62v-), Paul (f. 68v-), Martin (f. 70v-), Christopher (f. 88v-), Pantaleon (f. 91-), Lawrence (f. 112v-), Radegunda (f. 118-), Beheading of John the Baptist (f. 139-), Maurice (f. 149v-), Denis (f. 166-), Cecilia (f. 187-), Clement (f. 192-), Tobias (f. 249-; “Ingressus Raphael archangelus ad Tobiam”), Leodegar, archbishop of Vienne (f. 271-), George (f. 271v-) and Anne (f. 275v-).

Large puzzle initials mark the beginnings of offices on the feasts of:

f. 32v, Ascension, “Post passionem suam per dies...”;

f. 39, Pentecost, “Repleti sunt omnes spiritu sancto...”;

f. 126v, Assumption of the Virgin, “Vidi speciosam sicut columbam ascendentem...”;

f. 140, Nativity of the Virgin, “Solem iustitiae regem paritura supremum...”;

f. 172, All Saints, “Hodie dilectissimi omnium sanctorum sub...”;

The main Choir Book for the Divine Office is the Antiphonal or Antiphonary. Most Antiphonals include the antiphons, invitatories, and responses, which constitute all the Office chants except for the hymns and Psalms. Our Antiphonal provides the chants for Offices from Easter until Christmas, following the liturgical calendar, with Temporal and Sanctoral cycles intermixed. Antiphonals with musical notation are found beginning in the eleventh century; Antiphonals with staff notation date only from the twelfth century.  Our manuscript, which was copied in the later thirteenth or early fourteenth century, is therefore a relatively early example of this type of liturgical manuscript and one that should be studied in the context of other music manuscripts surviving from this important Archdiocese.  Its relatively small size contrasts with the very large format of many later medieval Choir Books.

The early-sixteenth-century owner of our manuscript, Olivier Estange, used this manuscript to record important family events and local meteorological phenomena during the years 1504-1534 (ff. 139v-140). Robert Marichal studied these notes in 1938 when our manuscript was owned by Monsieur Lavalette.  Marichal put the project aside, but returned to later, publishing them in 1984 in an article where he describes the manuscript as a fourteenth- or fifteenth-century Breviary (Marichal, 1984). Estange was a printer in Lyons, found in local archival documents in 1529 under the name Olivier Hostaige and from 1534 to 1538 under the name Olivier Estange (Baudrier, 1895, p. 145). In our manuscript he noted the births of his five sons with three different women. Two sons, Jacques and Michel, were born in 1504 and 1511 during his first marriage to Benoiste de Sales. In 1516, he had a natural son, Jean, with Jeanne Franchiére from Chaponay, which is in the Dauphiné near Lyons. Two years later, in 1518, he had a fourth son, Olivier, with Pernette, the daughter of François Ymbert. Their second son, Antoine, born in the following year, died at birth. The archival records reveal that by 1538 he had a new wife, Thomasse (Baudrier, 1895, p. 145).

Olivier Estange’s account of the “procession blanche” of Notre-Dame-de-Confort in Lyons in 1534 during a prolonged drought (f. 139v, the upper and outer margins) is particularly interesting. The “processions blanches” began in the sixteenth century, when poor villagers dressed only in white sheets processed through towns intoning prayers to the Virgin Mary.  Estange notes the importance of rain for the wheat crops and vineyards and describes crowds of unprecedented size, all dressed in white, “...et tout le peuple, filles et enfants en chemises, et tout le monde abilhé de blanc, que jamais ne feut veu tant de people ….” The chants to the Virgin Mary are copied on the facing page following this description. The historian Claude de Rubys has confirmed the extraordinary drought of 1534 in Lyon and its neighboring villages, and he remarks that the lack of rain made the wine of that year so bitter that it was called burned (De Rubys, 1604, pp. 354, 366).

Very little is known about Olivier Estange as a printer. No list of his publications seems to exist, and Aimé Vingtrinier does not mention him in his publication on Lyons printers (Vingtrinier, 1894), but the marginal notes in our manuscript shed light not only on his personal life, but also on his work. At the end of his note in the outer margin of f. 139v, he refers to contemporary publications: “...et beisongnoye cheux Le Prince et commençoit La Parle à lire et distribuer sur Le Palais des Dames qui estoit à Scipion.” Machiavelli’s Le Prince, on which he is working (meaning presumably reading or understanding), had only been printed in Florence two years earlier, in 1532, and would not be printed in France before 1546. Le Palais des Dames is a work on virtuous women dedicated to Marguerite de Navarre, the sister of Francis I, composed by the sixteenth-century poet Jean Dupré (or Jehan Du Pré), seigneur des Barthes and des Janyhes en Quercy, and printed anonymously in Lyons in 1534. Estange’s comment seems to imply that he was involved in distributing the work, putting it up for sale as a libraire, and that he had acquired the work from Scipion de Gabiano, a printer active in Lyons in the 1530s. The work La Parle, which he had started reading, is not known, and was probably never printed.


Antiphonarium Romanum ad ritum Breviarii, ex decreto sacros[ancti] concilii Tridentini restituti Pii Quinti pontificis marimi jussu editi et Clementis VIII auctoritate recogniti, ea omnia continens, que tum ad divinum officium decantandum, cum ad religiosorum commodum, necessaria sunt..., Venice, 1614.

Baudrier, H.-L. and J. Baudrier. Bibliographie lyonnaise: recherches sur les imprimeurs, libraires, relieurs et fondeurs de lettres de Lyon au XVIe siècle, Lyons, 1895.

De Rubys, C. Histoire véritable de la ville de Lyon, Lyons, 1604.

Escudier, D. “Les manuscrits musicaux du Moyen Age(du IXe au XIIe siècle).  Essai de typologie,” Codicologica 3, 1980, pp. 34-35.

Gastoué, A. Musique et liturgie. Le graduel et l’antiphonaire romains, 1913.

Hesbert, R. J. Antiphonale Missarum Sextuplex, Brussels, 1935.

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

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

Marichal, Robert. “Un livre de raison d’Olivier Estange, imprimeur Lyonnais (1504-1534), Pantagruel et la grande secheresse,” Mélanges sur la littérature de la Renaissance à la mémoire de V.-L. Saulnier, Geneva, 1984, pp. 521-526.

Moller, H. “Research on the Antiphonar. Problems and Perspectives,” Journal of the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society 10 (1987), pp. 1-14.

Palazzo, E. Le moyen age: des origines au XIIIe siècle, Paris, 1993

Plummer, J. Liturgical Manuscripts for the Mass and Divine Office, New York, 1964.

Vingtrinier, A. Histoire de l’imprimerie à Lyon de l’origine jusqu’à nos jours, Lyons, 1894.

Online Resources

Michel Huglo and David Hiley, “Antiphoner,” Grove Music Online (subscription Database)


Jean-Baptiste Lebigue, “Initiation aux manuscrits liturgiques,” IRHT:

TM 1187