Letterpress frost-fair keepsake printed on the frozen river Thames during the winter Frost Fair on 5 February 1814.
For this fair, we have not one but two amazing items. One of these exceptional survivals is a piece of gingerbread, bought at the fair. This commemorative cake, perhaps actually baked on the ice, is now over 200 years old.
The other is a book by George Davis, titled “Frostiana”. Or to give it its full title:
or A History of the River Thames
In a Frozen State:
and the Wonderful Effects of
Frost, Snow, Ice, and Cold,
in England, and in Different Parts of the World
Interspersed with Various Amusing Anecdotes
To which is added,
The Art of Skating
It is a unique item because, as clearly stated by Davis in his introduction: “as an additional object of curiosity, it may be proper to mention, that a large impression of the title page of this work, was actually printed on the ICE on the RIVER THAMES !!” It is and will be the only time that we know this happened.