7 - 8 April 2004
THE WEST INDIES, CENTRAL AMERICA, THE BAHAMAS AND BERMUDA
WEST INDIES ALMANACS - Wilson's Bahama Almanac and Register for the year 1806. Nassau: Office of the Royal Gazette, . Small 4° (147 x 98mm). (Some spotting and staining.) Interleaved. Original printed wrappers (worn and frail, stitching perished), modern cloth box. Provenance: receipts for mail delivery, dated 1806-1808, on front blank -- Capt. Isaac Botsford (ownership inscription, dated Derby Sept. 20 1829, on later blank).
An Almanack, calculated for the island of Dominica... 1811. Roseau: Alexander Dunbar, . 12° (91 x 90mm). Contemporary blue wrappers (extremities worn), modern cloth portfolio. Provenance: Lieut. John Watts (ownership inscription on title and wrapper).
Loving and Hill's Pocket Almanack, for the year 1824 ... for the Meridian of Antigua. Antigua: Office of the Weekly Register, . 12° (151 x 92mm). Folding letterpress table. Contemporary blue limp boards (wear to extremities, spine lacking). Provenance: lading notes in a contemorary hand (on front pastedown).
The Honduras Almanack for the Year 1826. Belize: published by Authority of the Magistrates, 1826. 12° (170 x 105mm). Engraved frontispiece with armorial vignette, title with wood-engraved coat of arms, one plate. (Very light browning throughout.) Contemporary colonial calf gilt, covers with wide roll-tool border of palm fronds, scrolls and chainwork in gilt and blind (spine restored, slightly bowed). Provenance: Brent Graton-Maxfield (pencil inscription on front endpaper). PROBABLY THE EARLIEST HONDURAS ALMANAC. Sabin does not list a Honduras almanac before 1829.
ALL FOUR ALMANACS ARE INTERESTING EXAMPLES OF COLONIAL PRINTING in British dominions in the West Indies and Central America. According to Toussaint, the earliest known almanac in book form, to be published in the West Indies, was printed in Jamaica in 1734. Presses remained few and printing only became widespread in neighbouring territories in the early 19th century. (4)
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