London Almanack for the Year of Christ 1854

London Almanack for the Year of Christ 1854

London: Company of Stationers [1853]

£ 800

A lovely miniature almanac for 1854, (60 x 36 mm), 26 leaves, with a four-page engraved view of View of Virginia Water; listing eclipses, key dates for each month, royal birthdays, and other practical information. In morocco covers, intricately gilt in a geometric pattern, with orange and green overlay, in a slip case of the same decorative style, all edges gilt, a clean and well-preserved copy; binding with some loss on back board and worn at edges, but beautifully preserved ornaments, slipcase quite rubbed and text block loose from binding.

The Company of Stationers, founded in 1403, started publishing almanacks in 1603 after James I’s Royal Grant, and continued to do so for nearly 300 years. Almanacks such as these were published annually and intended to be discarded and replaced with the most up to date volume, an early form of mass media production with 400,000 volumes produced each year. The miniature size was ideal for portability and every day referencing and contained important information such as calendars, holidays, astrological readings and currency weights. These objects were both useful everyday tools for merchants and tradesmen, or entertaining and decorative pieces for the curious and illiterate.

ESTC T127713; Welsh 4667; Bondy p.39; Houghton 212 p.55