Petit Almanach Postal et Telegraphique, 1904

While looking for something interesting at a flea market in Cannes, I stumbled upon these miniature books. I knew nothing about them at the moment, but it was pretty obvious they are some sort of pocket calendars.

As a fast googling shows, they were quite popular in the 19th and the first half of the 20th century France. These miniature calendars and almanacs were published by many companies and had several variations. Including mere calendars, with all the saints listed, eclipses, and full moon days. Other had information on postal fees as well, hence the name for the latter: Petit Almanach Postal et Telegraphique or its variations. Simple calendars often included some spare pages for notes as well.

Sometimes they are called wallet calendars/almanacs. Or it may be purse calendars or pocket calendars. But you get the gist.

Sewing systems are simple, either a metal staple or sewing through two holes. A couple of books had their blocks glued to the covers.

I have eight of them. They are all very small but vary in size from 4,5 x 3 cm to 5,5 x 4 cm. Six of them are close to 5 x 3,5 cm in size. The coin in the photos is 2 Thai Baht. I know that’s not the most obvious choice, but that what I had on hand when made these photos.

As a nice coincidence, a day before I found these almanacs at the flea market Todd Sommerfeld from Booksby Press posted this on Facebook and Instagram:

I didn’t see that post until late Saturday!

Besides decorative silk panels, these almanacs may have been decorated in various ways. Some of them were even mounted in leather covers! Check this auction for some examples (you’ll have to scroll down because it ended a long time ago.)

My favorites are the colorful one from 1950; and the one with Art Nouveau decoration from 1904.

Do you have similar miniature books in your collections? What are your favorites?

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