A Miniature London Almanac in a Silver Filigree Binding


London almanack for the year of Christ 1782

London: printed for the Company of Stationers, 1782


5.8 x 3.8 cm. 24 one-sided engraved lvs.

An exceptional object. A London almanac in a Georgian binding and matching slipcase, both the binding and case with multi-colored morocco inlays, all richly tooled in gold with floral tools. The almanac and slipcase are housed in a contemporary silver filigree binding with working clasp. Small defects to leather at edges of slipcase, text block slightly loose but otherwise all three components beautifully preserved. EXTREMELY rare. ESTC lists only 1 copy (British Library.)

The text is engraved throughout and four of the leaves form a composite view of the London Pantheon in Oxford Street, an early project of the architect James Wyatt (d. 1813). Its main rotunda was one of the largest rooms built in London up to that time.  The venue hosted assemblies, masquerade balls, and concerts.

Contents: Leaf 1. Title page, Leaves 2-4. A composite view of the Pantheon in Oxford Street, Leaf 5. "Common Notes" for 1782 (Dominical letter, etc.), Leaves 6-17., monthly calendar (one month per leaf), Leaf 18. "Table of Kings", Leaf 19 "Queens Reigns", Leaves 20-21. "Lord Mayors and Sheriffs from the Year 1761 to the Year 1782", Leaf 22. "List of Holidays", Leaf 23. "Of the Current Coins"

ESTC describes this as "26 lvs. Each leaf is printed on one side only." In this copy, the first and last printed leaves are backed by the marbled endpapers, creating 2 double-sided leaves, while the intervening 22 one-sided printed leaves are pasted back-to-back, making 11 double-sided lvs. Structurally, this gives a total of 13 leaves. I have the (unverified) suspicion that the BL copy is composed in this same manner.

ESTC T127694. For similar London Almanack bindings see See Bondy, Miniature Books, pp. 39-41.