[Almanac] The Oxford Almanack for the Year of Our Lord God MDCCLV. With an etched allegorical headpiece, etched by John Green after a design by Samuel Wale, under which is “The Regal Table Since the Conquest,” on the left-hand side; and, “The Officers of the University,” listing the officers of the University: the Chancellor, the Right Honorable Charles, Earl of Arran; the High Steward, the Right Honorable John, Earl of Westmoreland; the Vice Chancellor, George Huddeford, D.D., President of Trin. Coll.; and Proctors M. Maddock of Braz. N. Coll. and Ed. Smallwell of Christ Church. Engraved in the lower right-hand corner of the image is: “I. Green Sculpt OXON.” In the lower left-hand corner of the image is “S. WALE INVENT”. The date “1755” is engraved at the top right-hand corner of the plate impression, just above the etched image.
Printed on one side only, an unnumbered sheet, a broadside almanac, the untrimmed sheet measures 75.5 cm x 55.5 cm, and the image measures 36 cm x 43.5 cm, entirely engraved by John Green after the elaborate allegorical drawing of Samuel Wale (1721?-1786), depicting a young man being led by a female wearing a winged headdress. The young man seems to be restrained by two figures arising from a pit, one of which, a male figure, appears to have donkey’s ears. Children play with scientific instruments and books in the foreground. Few of Samuel Wale’s easel paintings survive. He was known in his lifetime for images that summarized British history from ancient times to his own in the eighteenth century, as evidenced by this allegorical image. The calendar for the Oxford academic year 1755 is engraved below the large etched headpiece.
This very rare surviving broadside almanac has undergone expert conservation, starting with a surface cleaning to remove superficial and ground-in dirt. It was then washed to reduce acidity and some discoloration, after which it was resized to restore crispness and resilience to the sheet. Tears and other weak areas were reinforced with mulberry paper, using wheat starch paste. It was then flattened to remove creases and planar distortions. It has not been matted. On the lower left-hand margin there is slight paper loss of blank paper from the worn edge. Petter, p. 67.