Calendario par dentro y fuera México. Francisco Dimas RANGEL.
Calendario par dentro y fuera México.
A Pre-Independence Mexican Broadside Almanac.

Calendario par dentro y fuera México.

The only known copy of a colonial Mexican sheet almanac by Guadalajara watchmaker, astronomer, and philomathematician Francisco Dimas Rangel, published by Mexico City viceregal printer Alejandro Valdés in late 1818. The almanac records eclipses and other celestial phenomena, lunar phases, meteorological predictions, astrological data, feast days, and the essential moments in the Catholic calendar. Printed in seven columns within a typographic border on each side, the calendar bears a small woodcut christogram of the Society of Jesus on recto, another of the Virgin on verso, and 49 tiny anthropomorphic moons in various phases. Much like European and English almanacs, Mexican almanacs were likely printed in the months preceding the salient year—-Valdés probably printed his 1819 calendar in November or December of 1818. Most almanacs appeared as a series, year after year, but we have found no evidence of any Rangel almanacs, excepting a tantalizing announcement in an October issue of the Mexico City periodical El Noticioso General, which advises of the upcoming appearance of a Rangel calendario with a very similar title. Rangel is thought to have died in poverty, but when is unknown. Given the verb tenses in the title, Rangel seems to have been alive at the moment of publication, so we can safely assign the scientist a terminus post quem of late 1818. A very simliar almanac series was published by Mariano José de Zúñiga y Ontiveros from at least 1804 to 1821 (a single 1815 edition from the series survives at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Cantamessa 8983 bis notes an incomplete collection of the series). The format and size of Valdés's calendar may have been inspired by Zúñiga's. A remarkable Catholic almanac published in the last years before Independence.

Full title: Calendario par dentro y fuera México, dispuesto por D. Francisco Dimas Rangel, Filomatemático Maestro Maquinista de la Real Fábrica de Ar- | mas de Chispa, y Profesor en la Noble y Real Arte de Reloxería, en esta corte. | PARA EL AÑO DEL SEÑOR DE 1819. LOS SEIS MESES PRIMEROS [-SEGUNDOS]. Colophon: Con las licensias necesa- | rias. En la Oficina de | D. Alexandro | Valdés. [Mexico City]: Alejandro Valdés, [1818].

Mexico City: Alejandro Valdés, 1818.

Oblong broadside sheet, 437 x 320 mm. Untrimmed on three sides with deckles present. Evidence of wax or gum arabic residue on verso, perhaps from having been posted to a wall or door; evidence also of having once been folded in eighths; eight noticeable 2-3-cm worm trails, each touching text, with loss of a few letters. Given the mirror symmetry if the worming, it was clearly committed when the document was folded.


Acquired by W. S. Cotter Rare Books from Ignacio Porrua Uceta of Libreria José Porrua Turanzas (Madrid) in January 2021; Porrua Uceta acquired the almanac directly from W. Michael Mathes before the latter's death in 2012.

Not recorded by Medina or Beristáin.

Item #169

Price: $2,100.00