I came across a (likely) incomplete antiphonary originating from Western France. After looking at similar antiphonal leaves and their styles over the centuries, I suspect this book was created between 1726 and 1760, and is possibly Antiphonarium seu vesperale romanum totius anni, juxta breviarium sacrosancti concilii tridentini auctoritate recognitum though it’s not indexed on Google Books1.

18th century antiphonary 18th century antiphonary

The book is structured into 3 parts:

I. PROPRIUM DE TEMPORE (pgs 1-202)

II. PSAM I (1-100)

III. OFFICIUM DEFUNCTORUM (Roman numeric pages)

There are a few things that make this interesting. There is no cover page, so it took me a long time to narrow down what it could be. Second, if this indeed from the 17th or 18th century, it is, unfortunately, missing more than half the pages. There are 3 parts instead of several, which could not be correct post Council of Trent. Strangest of all, right at the end of the Proprium, between pages 200 and 201, someone had 2 pages (not sure the date) bound (see imgur link). The last 2 pages of the Proprium may have been reconstructed or from a different antiphonary. In fact, most construction is done with pieces from other antiphonaries. Finally, the Officium (composed in 1603) is clearly from a different antiphonary all together. I noticed this by comparing the “D” Drop Cap in the imgur link with “D”s throughout the Proprium and Psalm (which were identical).

Nevertheless, a very unique book, and I continue to learn something new about it every time I dig a little deeper. If you have any information on these books, I’d love to hear from you.


Originally posted on Reddit April 18, 2020.


References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?id=cw1JngEACAAJ