The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Almanac
  • Almanac
  • Antoine-Nicolas Martinière (1706 - 1784) , Enameller
  • France
  • 1741 - 1742
  • Enamel, copper and gilt-bronze with brass back
  • Object size: 46.4 x 31.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Inscription: 'ALMANACH / PERPETUEL ET TOUJOURS NOUVEAU / DEDIÉ / AU ROY.'
    Inscription: 'L'histoire du Phenix se trouve en ce Tableau. L'an qu'on voit Expirer en produit un Nouveau'
    Inscription: 'Martiniere Emailleur / et pensionaire du Roi rue / des 5 diamant a paris' Engraved
    Inscription: 'A.N. / Martiniere. / Decembre 1741.' Enamelled and '1741.' is underlined
  • F64
  • Small Drawing Room
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The inscriptions on this perpetual almanac make it clear that it was made for Louis XV. It is made from enamel on copper, framed by gilt bronze, each frame having an arched top surmounted by the arms of France below a royal crown. The enamel plaques indicate the months, the signs of the Zodiac, the phases of the moon, the days of the week, the dates and the saints' days.
    In July 1793 it was taken from the palace of the Tuileries for sale by the Mobilier National, which suggests that Louis XVI had kept it after his grandfather's death and then brought it with him from Versailles when he was moved to the Tuileries in 1789. It is an interpretation, in enamelled copper and gilt bronze, of a type of annual almanac which had appeared from the mid–seventeenth century in the form of engravings which were sold by specialist booksellers. These had relatively short lives, but in 1743 a bookseller, Roubert de Corbeville, announced what he claimed was the first perpetual calendar, lasting until the year 2244. This beautiful object is a contemporary attempt to fulfil the same task in more durable materials.