Almanacco delle Dame. 

Florence, F. Canale, [1883]. 

32mo (95 x 65 mm), pp. 128 (p. 124 misnumbered ‘89’), with 4 chromolithographic plates and chromolithographic title printed in pink and gold with ornamental borders; headings printed in a variety of typefaces; occasional light spotting but a very good copy; in original boards with colour-printed illustrations, edges gilt, yellow endpapers, preserved in the original gilt paper slipcase, likewise with illustrated panels; slipcase edges lightly worn, though panels remain brightly coloured and in fine condition.


US $349€320

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A lavishly decorated – and seemingly unrecorded – Florentine almanac for ladies, containing love poetry, notable dates, and illustrating the latest fashions of 1883. 

Such publications for women, especially popular in Tuscany and Lombardy from the late eighteenth century to the close of the nineteenth, bear the dates of lunar phases and eclipses, moveable feasts and feast days, and significant dates pertaining to the royal family; this example is characterised in particular by the inclusion of four beautiful fashion plates, and a selection of light-hearted and largely unpublished poetry.  Of the twenty-one poems ‘for the fairer sex’ contained in the present volume, all are listed anonymously save for ‘Il Sole d’Agosto’ by Antonio Stoppani, author of Il bel paese (1876).  Almanacchi delle dame were available at several price points: our copy, with its gilt edges and slipcase, and charming coloured panels depicting scenes of maternal love, is a particularly ornate example and would likely have been among the most expensive almanacs on the market. 

In the market for ladies’ almanacs existed a ‘plurality of key figures (printers, typographers, engravers, stationers, financiers) whose roles frequently overlapped’ (Giornali di donne in Toscana, p. 24 trans.), resulting in a multitude of analogous publications issued contemporaneously and under the same titles.  In the Giornali di donne in Toscana, Simonetta Soldani records an 1884 almanac printed by a G. Canale in Florence, likewise with 128 pages and a segment of poetry ‘Al gentil sesso’ (no. 67); although no other Canale-printed almanacs are listed, she suggests the possibility of a wider body of work associated with the Canali throughout the nineteenth century (see also nos 19, 30, 35, and 43). 

Franchini, Pacini, and Soldani, Giornali di donne in Toscana (2007). 

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