London Almanack for the Year of Christ 1785

London Almanack for the Year of Christ 1785

London: Company of Stationers [1784]

£ 1,000

A miniature almanack in an intricate gilt binding (60 x 36 mm), 26 leaves, engraved throughout, including four-page view of View of Somerset Place and the River Thames, a list of the important days of each month, royal birthdays and coin weights. Contemporary citron morocco, with red overlay oval in centre, profusely gilt with geometric and natural ornaments with a cornucopia tool, in matching slipcase; red duty stamp, marbled pastedowns; very well preserved, slipcase rubbed with some losses of decoration, corners frayed.

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 4575; Bondy p.39; Houghton 192 p.51