Skip to content


No longer available
Original price £1,600.00 - Original price £1,600.00
Original price
£1,600.00 - £1,600.00
Current price £1,600.00

[Almanac. Perpetual]: Eeuwig duerende almanach beginnende Ao 1701. ‘T Amsterdam, by Iacobus Robyn, [c.1700].

This attractively-presented perpetual almanac in a contemporary binding includes four volvelles for nautical calculations, two of which have contemporary annotations. These notes were perhaps added in 1708, as the year in the title has been ‘updated’ to this by hand.

The movable paper tools in this almanac would have facilitated calculations to work out the precise stage of the moon cycle. These were needed in seafaring to successfully navigate the tides (for relevant explanations, see Schotte 2019 pp. 35-36). The almanac has accompanying instructions for each tool, including some explicit references to the ‘beweeglijken Cirkel’ (moving circle). At least three of these volvelles were apparently strengthened with a layer of paper recycled from contemporary print. Given the large type that is visible, the material perhaps derived from a broadside.

This almanac was issued by Jacobus Robijn, a printer, publisher, and bookseller active in Amsterdam between 1678 and 1701. His output was almost exclusively in Dutch, with topics covered including astronomy and shipbuilding. Robijn is known to have produced another perpetual almanac with moving parts (c.1680), copies of which are also scarce. Listings on STCN suggest that similar almanacs were produced in Amsterdam in the late seventeenth century by H. Doncker, J. van Kevlen, and J. Loots.


Printed. One volume, 15.3 x 9.5 cms in binding, octavo, pp. [16]. Collation: A8. Engraved title page and 7 further pages with engravings. 4 printed volvelles ranging from 5 to 8 cms in diameter, variously showing numbers, months, moon phases, and compass points. Those attached to pp. [3], [7], and [11] are visible through an arc-shaped slot on the corresponding verso. The fourth is attached face up to p. [12]. The holes for threading the volvelles appear to have been added at the same time once the sheets were folded, as there is a puncture hole (or the indent thereof) in the same place on all pages. Contemporary manuscript annotations changing the year in the title to 1708 and adding calculations on pp. [4] and [8]. Bound in contemporary vellum possibly over ropeboard (ties lacking).

Condition (textblock): professional conservation (2024) to reattach the volvelle on p. [11]. Light browning and staining to paper. Condition (binding): wear to sides, light staining; pastedowns lifted at front and lifting at rear.

STCN 302239197 (listing one copy: Leiden). OCLC and an online library catalogue record strongly suggest that there is a further copy of our edition at UCLA.

De Niet, Marco, ‘De Januskop van de achttiende-eeuwse Nederlandse almanak’, Dierbaar magazijn. De bibliotheek van de Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde (1995), pp. 69-82 (with reference to this edition at note 32). Accessible via

Schotte, Margaret E., Sailing School: Navigating Science and Skill, 1550-1800 (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), with reference to the c.1680 edition at pp. 59-60.