Cruikshank, George (illus).
London. Chatto and Windus. 1844 - 1853.
Eleven engravings on wove paper, image area approx 3 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches on sheets 4 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches, plus title page. Scattered foxing, edgewear including small chip to upper right corner of Gemini print and crease to upper right corner of Aries print (both outside image area), light staining to margins of several prints; overall good condition. One engraving mocks the "woman of mind" for her neglected household; the other ten are lighthearted representations of astrological signs. Taurus, a literary bull, invades a printer's shop, while Aquarius is a street urchin splashing passers-by. The "unmatched enjoyment" of Virgo is a group of women having tea with their pets, and the Gemini twins are a pair of stage performers. Other signs included are: Aries, Capricornus, Sagittarius, Pisces, Libra, and Scorpio.
These plates were disbound and preserved, with the original title page, from the book "The Comic Almanack: An ephemeris in jest and earnest, containing merry tales, humorous poetry, quips, and oddities. Second series, 1844-1853". The writers were Thackeray, Albert Smith, Gilbert A. Beckett. and the Brothers Mayhew. The chief illustrator was George Cruikshank, famous for his illustrations of Dickens's novels, and all of the engravings in this group are signed in the plate by Cruikshank. The Comick Almanack ran for years; the 1853 second series volume is held in two libraries listed on OCLC: Haverford College Library in the United States, and the Australian Defence Force Academy Library. Item #56732