Calendrier Royal pour l'année mil sept cent quatre-vingt-dix.
FRENCH REVOLUTION (1789])
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PRINTED IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE REVOLUTION
Single sheet broadside (524 x 420mm), printed on paper, deckle edges. Title printed in centre in red and black, lower two-thirds of sheet with annual calendar, printed in letterpress with months, significant religious festivals, and the astrological position of the sun printed in red, enclosed in tabulated form, flanked on either side by three woodcut portraits of French monarchs, 12 woodcut portraits of monarchs at head of sheet, all with letterpress captions with names and lengths of reign (one old vertical & three horizontal fold lines, small holes very neatly repaired on verso, grubby at folds and edges, frayed edges).
Rouen: P. Seyer & Behourt, Impr. de son Eminence Mgr. le Cardinal, rue de Petits-Puits, [n.d., but
An impressive survival; a rare broadside calendar from Rouen for the year 1790, printed within the first year of the Revolution. Presumably printed in 1789 for the following year, it follows the traditional, Gregorian calendar; the Republican calendar that would replace it was introduced in 1793.
That this broadside was printed as a 'calendrier royal' with woodcut portraits of the French monarchy at this time is jarring, though perhaps unsurprising. At the time of printing - late in 1789 or early in 1790 - the Revolution was still in its early stages, and France was still ostensibly a monarchy; the monarchy was only finally abolished two years later, in 1792. More striking is the survival of this broadside with its depictions of early French kings, through those succeeding years, which saw the abolition of the ancien regime, the execution of the King, the establishment of the First Republic and the Terror. Designed to be pinned up and publicly displayed, the established fold lines visible here suggest that it was kept thus, perhaps accounting for its survival.
We have found only one other copy of this calendar, in France, in the Musée des civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée, Marseille (18.104.22.168 D). A surviving calendar in the same format from Lille, printed for the year 1791, is also titled 'Calendrier Royal', with the Gregorian calendar, though illustrated instead with woodcuts of coinage, rather than monarchs (Paris, Musée Carnavalet, G.29806); that printed for the following year, 1792, was renamed the 'Calendrier Nationale' (in the same collection, G.29825). Helot, 1908.
Stock Code: 246654