1800 · [Oxford]
A full-sheet Oxford Almanack for the year 1800 with lists of the kings of England starting from William the Conqueror and of the officers of the university. It is illustrated with an etching designed by Edward Dayes (1763-1804) and executed by James Basire (1730-1802). The text was engraved by James Cole (active from 1764-80).
The Oxford sheet almanacks were issued yearly from 1676 until 1946. To quote Petter, "The value of a yearly series of illustrations such as the almanacks provide is that in them a single unbroken thread reveals the trends of development and illustrates with precision the history of art" [Petter, The Oxford Almanack, 1674-1946, p. 14].
The etching depicts the Sheldonian Theatre (in the middle), the Clarendon Building that housed the Oxford printing house until 1830 (to the left), and the Ashmolean Museum, now the Museum of the History of Science (to the right). Dayes may have based his design on one of John Donowell's Oxford views, published in 1755.
James Basire, in charge of the almanacks from 1797 to 1814, came from a family of prominent engravers. He is best known for apprenticing the young William Blake. Edward Dayes, a pupil of William Pether, was a painter and engraver, whose influence can be seen in the early drawings of J. M. W. Turner.
*Petter, The Oxford Almanack, 1674-1946 (1946), pp. 15, 39, 41. OCLC: 1062032770. "Basire, James" and "Dayes, Edward" in ODNB. (Inventory #: 6060)