It is a truth universally acknowledged that every Janeite needs a miniature book compiling the six main novels written by Jane Austen, to carry it with them all the time and read it in case of emergency 💖
Allow me to take a moment to loudly emote about the 8th wonder of the world that is the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. Hosted by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association in the National Hall Olympia, the only way I could begin to describe the wonder of it would be to compare it to a shopping mall of special collections.
It was absolutely amazing to see so many wonderful things in such a wonderful place, a selection of which can be seen above. It was also really useful in a research context to see sales and acquisitions policies of various libraries and collectors in action! I wish that I had the funds to acquire some of these things for my collection…
Here we have an Almanac for 1790 by the Company of Stationers. This well-loved little volume comes in it’s own leather sleeve, complete with matching gold gilding. The title page gives a helpful explanation: “The Almanack Explained. Note that under the Title of every Month is the change of the Moon, & every Month contains three Columns, 1. Days of the Month 2 .Saints Days, &c. 3.Time of high water at London Bridge”. We have many other almanac’s in our collection, including this mini featured here.
The Company of Stationer’s Almanac, 1790. Charlotte Smith Uncatalogued Miniature Collection.
Today we have the very tiny and very lovely Codex Argenteus (The Silver Bible), from Uppsala University in Sweden, 1959. The interior silver structure is a tiny replica of the 1662 binding of the Codex Argenteus, a manuscript which dates from the early sixth century, written during the period of Ostrogoth rule in northern Italy. It contains fragments of the four gospels in the Gothic language, translated by the Bishop Ulfilas. The manuscript is important because it is a rare example of the now extinct Germanic language. The codex itself, bound hundreds of years later in silver by the Count M.G. De La Gardie, was presented to Uppsala University in 1669. All of this information and more is included inside this tiny pamphlet, translated into four different languages.
Codex Argenteus (The Silver Bible), from Uppsala University in Sweden, 1959. Un-catalogued miniature.