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Riders (1723.) British Merlin [Tables & Stylus]

Riders (1723.) British Merlin [Tables & Stylus] by RIDERS, Cardanus (1723)

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Author: RIDERS, Cardanus
Title: Riders (1723.) British Merlin [Bound with Writing Tables and Silver Stylus]
Year: 1723
Publisher: E and R Nutt
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £850
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An exceptional eighteenth century almanac complete with writing tables, the original silver stylus and Anglo-Irish annotation.

Bound in panelled red goatskin, fading to gilt panelling. Four raised spine bands with tiny acorn devices in the compartments. Rubbing to extremities, slight abrasion to leather. Four silver, heart-shaped bosses to upper and lower covers, each secured to the binding with pins and engraved with delicate thistle-like designs. These hold the silver stylus which closes the volume. Internally, Dutch floral endpapers followed by a single blank endpaper, first gesso and glue-covered writing table with remnants of script; two further blank interleaves followed by second writing table also with script. Both writing tables are discoloured but the gesso and glue coating on the pasteboard leaves is intact. A further blank precedes the printed text: A1-B12, complete as called for, signature A printed in red and black, astrological woodcut and text concluding with an advert for ‘Artificial Teeth’. The almanac’s first signature has been interleaved with blanks during binding: blanks adjacent to A1-4 present; stubs of blanks present A5-8 and full blank pages opposite A9-12, all unused. Browning to paper stock.

Rare surviving almanac complete with writing tables, silver stylus and evidence of being transported between England and Ireland. There appear to be two phases of annotation with the earlier business-like jottings dating from the 1730s followed by a period of disuse and then the rediscovery of the book in the 1790s: ‘found this in the year 1793’ (verso of the first blank after the printed text). The annotation begins on the verso of the first floral endpaper with a note about a letter ‘to Mr Wm Meredith at the Post Office in Dublin’ with further notes about repairs in ‘John Walker’s house in Martinmas half year 1734’. The writing tables show further evidence of ownership by the Walker family with the signatures of ‘Eleanor Walker Clift’ and ‘Arabella Walker’ (Anglo-Irish Arabella Walker Heneage?). On the verso of the first writing table is written ‘Col Conway’. There are further Clift ownership signatures to the second writing table including James Moore Clift and to the verso of this leaf: ‘Sarah Chambre left Whitehaven March 31’ (Whitehaven is a west Cumbrian port town, briefly important in the coal and slave trade, with Ireland and the American colonies during the second half of the eighteenth century). Further annotation on the verso of the final floral endpaper: ‘Mrs Rogers formerly Brown... Timber from Mr Grey’s Hall...’ Altogether a delight
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