18mo and 12mo (part 2), binding size 104 x 62 mm. 110;  pages. Calendar (pp. [4-25]) interleaved. Part 2, a letterpress table of monthly wins and losses, with its own title, Perte et Gain, within type-ornament border. Contemporary embroidered blue silk over binder’s board, covers with outer frame of frisure (silver-gilt foil-covered thread) enclosing an undulating foliate border of silver and pink sequins couched with twisted metal-covered thread (bouillon), central medallion of white silk with floral decor: a single flower with blue foil blossom on upper cover, a flowering plant with three yellow blossoms on lower cover, both with stems of bouillon or frisure and small colored sequins, both medallions wreathed in frisure with pink and green sequins, a ribbon above and tassel below composed of sequins, frisure, metal bosses, a bright pink metallic roundel, etc., backstrip with undulating leafy decor of couched and stitched-in frisure; gilt edges; mirror (tarnished) inside front cover, front liners of later blind-patterned pink silk (intended to match the inside of the slipcase), front flyleaf and lower free endleaf of plain pink silk, a pink paper-lined folded pocket inside lower cover; lower medallion lacking two sequins, else fine; later 18th or early 19th-century gold-tooled red goatskin two-part slipcase, lined in patterned pink silk. Provenance: the calendar section interleaves with early 19th-century annotations in pencil, on domestic matters, in French and Flemish; pencil note on front flyleaf, "Ayant vraisemblablement appartenu à Mme van den Hecke grand mère de ma mère Hélène du Roy de Blicquy," dated in ink 1944.***
A practical almanac, interleaved with jotted household accounts, in a well-preserved embroidered binding, probably produced in Flanders, using materials and techniques based on French models.
This Ghent annual appeared from 1757 to approximately 1831, published by the printer-bookseller Pierre François II de Goesin and continued by his heirs after his death in 1787. Most of the 18th-century volumes contain the same table of wins and losses at the gaming tables and all have an interleaved calendar. Included in this almanac is the usual kind of official information — a calendar with saints and market days as well as historical events, schedules of carriages, ships, and postal messengers, lists of principal sovereigns and princes throughout Europe and of local officials in Ghent — but it also has a special focus on art. Some of the annual issues include guides to the treasures of the city of Ghent; this 1782 volume contains the second part of a catalogue of the paintings in the Elector’s Gallery in Dresden (pp. 62-95, paintings numbered 260-489), of which the first part had appeared the previous year, and the rest presumably followed the next year (the text reproduces the relevant numbers of the Dresden 1765 edition of the Catalogue des tableaux de la Galerie électorale à Dresde, which is digitized). This well-printed almanac must have been prized, as a high proportion of extant copies are bound luxuriously, in morocco or painted bindings, or embroidered bindings with morocco slipcases, as here.
On the inserted blank leaves a contemporary reader, no doubt the mistress of a household, recorded the purchase and use of foodstuffs and basic supplies. In February, for example, on the 1st “started a sack of flour & paid the baker,” on the 8th [bought?] “du thée ginsine” [Ginseng tea], on the 11th, “started a barrel [baril] of vinegar,” on the 16th, “started a barrel [tonneau] of beer,” and on the 25th, [bought?] “a new sack [ballot] of sand.” Variations on these notes recording the same products recur monthly. In March the sand container was refilled and new barrels of beer and vinegar had to be opened.... The notes for December, in Dutch, list various textiles, with prices on the verso.
Uncommon outside Belgium; the V & A and the Metropolitan Museum hold copies and the Harry Ransom Center has a set of 11 volumes. Van der Haeghen, Bibliographie Gantoise vol. 3 (1860), 4804. Item #4134