Fragment from the Beaupré-lez-Grammont Antiphoner thumbnail 1
Fragment from the Beaupré-lez-Grammont Antiphoner thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H , Case MS CUTTINGS, Shelf TEMP 2

Fragment from the Beaupré-lez-Grammont Antiphoner

Manuscript Fragment
1280-1290 (made)
Place of origin

Fragment of a leaf from the Beaupré-lez-Grammont Antiphoner, Flanders; 1290. A duplicate number MS.23 was assigned to this object in error and was subsequently cancelled.

Object details

Object type
TitleFragment from the Beaupré-lez-Grammont Antiphoner
Materials and techniques
Brief description
Fragment of a leaf from the Beaupré-lez-Grammont Antiphoner, Flanders; 1290. A duplicate number MS.23 was assigned to this object in error and was subsequently cancelled.
  • Length: 300mm
  • Fragment width: 220mm
Production typeUnique
Gallery label
Object history
The Beaupré Antiphonary was initially composed of two sets of antiphonaries, each had three volumes, originally created for the abbess and prioress of Beaupré by Johannes de Toussens. The Walters Art Museum owns three volumes from the two sets: two volumes from the set for the abbess and one volume from the set for the prioress. A fourth, related volume was later created to accompany Volume one. These manuscripts were begun in 1280 and completed in 1290; they measure 33.5 cm wide by 47.5 cm high. All volumes remained in the Cistercian nunnery where they were originally created until about 1800. There is a gap in the provenance from 1800-1850. The book could have been taken into hiding after the pillaging associated with the French Revolution. It is possible that the Beaupré Antiphonary sets and volumes were separated during this gap.

The volumes at the Walters previously belonged to John Ruskin. Ruskin acquired the books circa 1850. Ruskin cut out pages from the volumes, annotated and added Latin transcriptions in the margins, and allegedly erased much of the marginalia. While the cutting of pages and annotations were supposedly intended for didactic purposes, the reason for the erasures is still unknown.

Although the V&A's fragments also suffered, they were not destroyed at the hands of Ruskin. Ruskin did not own the volumes from which this fragment came. Interestingly, neither of the V&A's fragments (7939 & 7940) appears to have the characteristic, "Ruskinian" erasures present in the Beaupré volumes. The other Beaupré volumes were lost in a fire in ca. 1865 that broke out in the house adjacent to Sotheby's. It is unknown if Ruskin had even seen these other volumes.

The two V&A fragments show signs of fire damage and were 'presented by A. Pickert Esq[ui]re, Nuremberg' on 26 November 1872 (Register of Drawings 1871 to 1874 (7790 to 8056), p. 63). This must be Abraham Pickert, art dealer in Nuremberg, and shows that he was still alive at this date (he is commonly believed to have died in 1870). The accompanying note in the register reads: 'Illuminated Mss. Two fragments, leaves rescued from the Library at the Siege of Strasburg'.

For more information and bibliography on the surviving antiphonaries, see Walters Digital Collection Ms. W.759, W.760, W.761 and W.762, see references. (This supplement to the Beaupré Antiphonary, volume I (W.759) was produced ca. 1475-1500, but also includes eighteenth-century additions).
Historical context
Data taken from notes compiled by Rowan Watson. The full text of the entry is as follows:


Car. 0.1
Part of a leaf with a historiated initial O (letter-shape beige The Betrayal, with burnished gold sky)

Inc: Omnes amici mei (Office of Good Friday)

NL (South). 1290
(300 x 220) mm. lines 10 mm. apart;
Part of 8 lines of music and text visible; stave 18 mm ( lines 6 mm. apart ) Square notation, on 4 red lines

Beaupré Abbey, Belgium; Gift of A. Pickert, art dealer in Nuremberg, 26 Nov. 1872
Pub: 1923 cat, 10-11; Brouts et al., 'Manuscrits datés conservés en Belgique', tome I (1968), no. 23, p. 25; Miners , "Since De Ricci", in Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, vols XXXI-XXXII (1968-9), pp. 62-68.
Associated object
7940 (Object)
Bibliographic references
Accession number

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Record createdDecember 10, 2008
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