Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Metal Type ID

Expand Messages
  • Gerald Lange
    I have a couple pieces of metal type that I can t identify, but I ve become a bit intrigued by them and was wondering if anyone here might know something about
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 3, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      I have a couple pieces of metal type that I can't identify, but I've
      become a bit intrigued by them and was wondering if anyone here might
      know something about these. I put pics up in the Photo gallery here

      http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/ppletterpress/

      that show the face, pinmarks, nicks, feet. Very odd face, looks like
      something from the end of the 19th century. Casting is quite bad,
      probably what really drew my attention. The two pieces, however, look
      like they were cast on different machines and are from perhaps two
      different foundries. The pinmark on one of them, HS, I have never seen
      before in any reference, not on the Briar Press list either.

      Anyone?

      Thanks

      Gerald
    • typetom@aol.com
      Hi Gerald, Any chance you have any more of the alphabet? I can t even imagine what letter or ligature one of these is. The kerned part looks more like an
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 4, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Gerald,
        Any chance you have any more of the alphabet? I can't even imagine what
        letter or ligature one of these is. The kerned part looks more like an accent mark,
        while the curves seem to go the wrong way for any letter I try. They do have
        an Art Nouveau feel to them but I don't think I've ever seen the letterforms
        before.

        I'm also wondering if you have measured them for type height? European? The
        only thought I've come up with for the pin mark is Haas typefoundry, which
        would be Haas'sche Schriftgiesserei if written out -- though I have never seen a
        pinmark for their type and can only guess that they might use HS initials.

        The casting is crude enough to suggest hand casting, but pinmarks came in
        with machine casting. You also don't give the point size, which may suggest the
        age if it is not a standard point size -- the kern suggests to me it may
        predate the point system (or that it may have been cast from older mats to fit the
        different standards of the point system body size). The large size could help
        explain the poor quality of the casting.

        I look forward to anyone else's suggestions.
        Thanks for the puzzle!
        Tom

        Tom Parson
        Now It's Up To You Publications
        157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
        (303) 777-8951
        http://members.aol.com/typetom
      • Gerald Lange
        Tom, I m afraid that these are the only pieces of the puzzle that I have. They are shown in the pic with the nick on the bottom. For a long time I thought they
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 4, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          Tom, I'm afraid that these are the only pieces of the puzzle that I
          have. They are shown in the pic with the nick on the bottom. For a long
          time I thought they wee a "n" and a "y". But with the nicks down they
          are a "n" and an accented "a". I think. Quite rough design.

          They are 72-pt. Don't know that this would necessarily put them after
          the point-system. They are type-high, but I've never been able to find a
          date as to when .918 became the American standard. (I asked Stephen Saxe
          once and he did not readily know, and seemed surprised at the question,
          as if it had never been asked before.) So I've assumed late nineteenth
          or turn-of-the-century. These are crude and just large enough to suggest
          sand casting but I'd guess the nicks and pinmarks would eliminate that.

          Thanks for the response and interest.

          Gerald


          > Hi Gerald,
          > Any chance you have any more of the alphabet? I can't even imagine what
          > letter or ligature one of these is. The kerned part looks more like an accent mark,
          > while the curves seem to go the wrong way for any letter I try. They do have
          > an Art Nouveau feel to them but I don't think I've ever seen the letterforms
          > before.
          >
          > I'm also wondering if you have measured them for type height? European? The
          > only thought I've come up with for the pin mark is Haas typefoundry, which
          > would be Haas'sche Schriftgiesserei if written out -- though I have never seen a
          > pinmark for their type and can only guess that they might use HS initials.
          >
          > The casting is crude enough to suggest hand casting, but pinmarks came in
          > with machine casting. You also don't give the point size, which may suggest the
          > age if it is not a standard point size -- the kern suggests to me it may
          > predate the point system (or that it may have been cast from older mats to fit the
          > different standards of the point system body size). The large size could help
          > explain the poor quality of the casting.
          >
          > I look forward to anyone else's suggestions.
          > Thanks for the puzzle!
          > Tom
          >
        • Mark Wilden
          From: Gerald Lange ... time I thought they wee a n and a y . But with the nicks down they are a n and an accented a . I
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 4, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            From: "Gerald Lange" <bieler@...>

            > For a long
            time I thought they wee a "n" and a "y". But with the nicks down they
            are a "n" and an accented "a". I think.

            My thought was another alphabet, like Cambodian.
          • David Goodrich
            Gerald, Type is very odd for a number of reasons. Could it have been an amateur (professional printer but not typefounder) sand casting from a sort cast by
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 5, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              Gerald,
              Type is very odd for a number of reasons. Could it have been an amateur
              (professional printer but not typefounder) sand casting from a sort cast by
              HS? (or SH -- looks the same) Round bottoms of letters are particularly
              crude and not typical of late 19C (round gothic was mid century). Could
              they have been hand filed on the original then sand cast?
              I have seen hundreds of late 19C faces and never seen anything resembling
              this. I know of no face where the bowl of the a closes back on itself
              although several art nouveau types had bowls that didn't connect at the top
              or bottom. An affectation such as this would usually get picked up and
              knocked off by rival foundries.
              It is also odd that a lower case letter would take up the entire body of the
              type so that the accent mark would have to be kerned.
              The suggestion that these are from another alphabet sounds like a good one
              to me.
              David

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Gerald Lange [mailto:bieler@...]
              Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2004 8:47 PM
              To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [PPLetterpress] Metal Type ID


              I have a couple pieces of metal type that I can't identify, but I've
              become a bit intrigued by them and was wondering if anyone here might
              know something about these. I put pics up in the Photo gallery here

              http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/ppletterpress/

              that show the face, pinmarks, nicks, feet. Very odd face, looks like
              something from the end of the 19th century. Casting is quite bad,
              probably what really drew my attention. The two pieces, however, look
              like they were cast on different machines and are from perhaps two
              different foundries. The pinmark on one of them, HS, I have never seen
              before in any reference, not on the Briar Press list either.

              Anyone?

              Thanks

              Gerald



              • To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
              PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              • Encountering problems? contact:
              PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
              • To unsubscribe:
              PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

              Yahoo! Groups Links

              To visit your group on the web, go to:
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PPLetterpress/

              To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • Gerald Lange
              David Thanks for your thoughts on this. Some good ideas. There are a number of oddities as you point out in terms of design, casting, historical placement.
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 5, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                David

                Thanks for your thoughts on this. Some good ideas. There are a number
                of oddities as you point out in terms of design, casting, historical
                placement. I've tried to place where I may have picked these up and
                have come up empty. In the last couple years I've sold off all the
                ornamental and titling fonts that I had and these came from one of the
                last cases which was essentially a free for all of a bit here a bit
                there. I'd never noticed them before but pulled them because they were
                so perplexing.

                I'd thought about sand casting or casting in the stick techniques. One
                of them certainly looks, from the casting, like it may have been a
                reproduction done this way. The other I'm not sure. The grove on the
                bottom of one of them would seem to indicate the elimination of a jet.
                The other simply has a snap/break at the edge.

                There has been some documentation of relatively crude casting
                techniques. I found this buried in the reference section here (this is
                from member John Hudson's site)

                http://www.tiro.com/syllabics/James%20Evans/Rossville%20Project/rossville.html

                Quite interesting.

                All best

                Gerald


                > Gerald,
                > Type is very odd for a number of reasons. Could it have been an amateur
                > (professional printer but not typefounder) sand casting from a sort
                cast by
                > HS? (or SH -- looks the same) Round bottoms of letters are particularly
                > crude and not typical of late 19C (round gothic was mid century). Could
                > they have been hand filed on the original then sand cast?
                > I have seen hundreds of late 19C faces and never seen anything
                resembling
                > this. I know of no face where the bowl of the a closes back on itself
                > although several art nouveau types had bowls that didn't connect at
                the top
                > or bottom. An affectation such as this would usually get picked up and
                > knocked off by rival foundries.
                > It is also odd that a lower case letter would take up the entire
                body of the
                > type so that the accent mark would have to be kerned.
                > The suggestion that these are from another alphabet sounds like a
                good one
                > to me.
                > David
              • michael babcock | interrobang
                looks like a non-latin design. at first blush and without pulling any specimens, Thai or Tamil. that might account for the crude quality. -- best, m |
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 6, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  looks like a non-latin design. at first blush and without pulling any
                  specimens, Thai or Tamil. that might account for the crude quality.

                  --
                  best, m | interrobang
                • Norman L McKnight
                  I don t have the answer to this one; however to address the pinmark it seems unlikely Hass sche Shriftgiesserei would have produced so primitive a casting
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 6, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I don't have the answer to this one; however to address the pinmark
                    it seems unlikely Hass'sche Shriftgiesserei would have produced so
                    primitive a casting unless this was an experimental hand cast for a
                    set of sorts, perhaps replacements, perhaps from very old non stand-
                    ard matrices. As for the language I see the similarity of Thai and
                    similar scripts, however they do not contain these characters; and
                    my own inclination was a variant of Cyrillic, perhaps of Balkan ori-
                    gin or perhaps a pre-Petrine itallic in Russian, however these charac-
                    ters to not occur there either. The curl at the bottom of each char-
                    acter is, I think, ornamental and not a distinctive part of a non
                    roman alphabet. The acute accent over the lowercase "a" is found only
                    in French, Italian, Portugese, Gaelic, Roumanian and a few African
                    languages using Roman characters. I have searced Monotype Recorder:
                    Languages of the World (1963), Fry's Pantographia (1799) and the
                    large monograph on the holdings of the Imprimerie Nationale's non
                    roman fonts [1926]and not found any non-roman fonts which look like
                    this. I think they are probably just a lowercase acute accented "a"
                    and an "n" perhaps capital. The needle remains at the bottom of the
                    hay-stack so this thread may have to be sewn up imperfectly.
                    Norman McKnight
                    Philoxenia Press
                    Berkeley
                  • E Roustom
                    http://www.omniglot.com/writing/armenian.htm the two letters look almost Armenian - above link somewhat useful. Elias
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jan 6, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment
                      http://www.omniglot.com/writing/armenian.htm

                      the two letters look almost Armenian - above link somewhat useful.

                      Elias
                    • Gerald Lange
                      I made some plates for a calligrapher today and when she came in to pick them up and we had chatted a bit, I showed her the mystery type. Oh, she says,
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jan 14, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        I made some plates for a calligrapher today and when she came in to
                        pick them up and we had chatted a bit, I showed her the mystery type.
                        "Oh," she says, "India type." She knew the letterforms accents and
                        other characteristics quite well and was quite sure. Even gave me a
                        reference. So I gave them to her!!! Mystery solved, I think.

                        Gerald
                      • typetom@aol.com
                        In a message dated 1/14/2004 bieler@worldnet.att.net writes:
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jan 14, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          In a message dated 1/14/2004 bieler@... writes:
                          << I made some plates for a calligrapher today and when she came in to
                          pick them up and we had chatted a bit, I showed her the mystery type.
                          "Oh," she says, "India type." She knew the letterforms accents and
                          other characteristics quite well and was quite sure. Even gave me a
                          reference. So I gave them to her!!! Mystery solved, I think. >>

                          I'd love to know the reference, and/or any further info you come up with. The
                          answer makes sense on many levels, though I'd still really like to see the
                          whole design and have the name and foundry and possible date.
                          Thanks, Tom


                          Tom Parson
                          Now It's Up To You Publications
                          157 S. Logan, Denver CO 80209
                          (303) 777-8951
                          http://members.aol.com/typetom
                        • Gerald Lange
                          Tom She referred me to Diringer. I assume she meant The Book Before Printing (Dover) or its earlier printing (The Hand-Produced Book). Maybe there is another
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jan 14, 2004
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Tom

                            She referred me to Diringer. I assume she meant The Book Before Printing
                            (Dover) or its earlier printing (The Hand-Produced Book). Maybe there is
                            another Diringer as I have the earlier book and my unfamiliarity with
                            the India letterforms doesn't show me what she obviously saw. Basically
                            just a lead as she was thinking letterforms not type. So the foundry
                            (HS) and the specific design, date of issue, etc., still not found.

                            I don't recall ever seeing specimens of type from an India foundry other
                            than those that were producing Western knockoffs. Not unusual though as
                            a lot of the Eastern European, even the Spanish and Italian specimen
                            books, or even the German fraktur types, don't see a lot of travel in
                            the Anglo-American sphere.

                            I have a very nice Italian type foundry book from the mid thirties, on a
                            thickness level to the BBS of about that time. But much more
                            sophisticated. With faces and forms not at all common but quite
                            refreshing. Other than the work that Dieter Speffmann is/was doing with
                            the German materials, you don't see an awful lot of digital effort going
                            on in trying to resurrect any of this.

                            Gerald

                            typetom@... wrote:
                            > In a message dated 1/14/2004 bieler@... writes:
                            > << I made some plates for a calligrapher today and when she came in to
                            > pick them up and we had chatted a bit, I showed her the mystery type.
                            > "Oh," she says, "India type." She knew the letterforms accents and
                            > other characteristics quite well and was quite sure. Even gave me a
                            > reference. So I gave them to her!!! Mystery solved, I think. >>
                            >
                            > I'd love to know the reference, and/or any further info you come up with. The
                            > answer makes sense on many levels, though I'd still really like to see the
                            > whole design and have the name and foundry and possible date.
                            > Thanks, Tom
                            >
                          • Norman L McKnight
                            David Diringer: The Alphabet: a key to the history of mankind. 2 vols. London & New York 1948 [1st], 1949 [2nd], and 1952 [3rd reprint]and also in Italian,
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jan 15, 2004
                            • 0 Attachment
                              David Diringer: The Alphabet: a key to the history of mankind. 2 vols.
                              London & New York 1948 [1st], 1949 [2nd], and 1952 [3rd reprint]and
                              also in Italian, Florence [1937]

                              I believe there was also a one volume version and more than one
                              edition of the first. It sells for about 250.00 if you can find one
                              in good condition with dj. I don't have one to look at, but looking
                              through the many alphabets shown in my Fry's Pantographia (1799) there
                              are several which have writing characteristics in which such a char-
                              acter would seem at home, but I don't find it there. The closest I
                              came to finding one was Tartaric #5 and #7 which was used by the
                              Manchou Tartars. op. cit. p. 290. Sorry I don't have a scanner, but
                              this is likely to remain a mystery. In looking for an exact match to
                              the characters we forget what is obvious in the variants shown in
                              some of the polyglot tomes such as the one mentioned above, that
                              there are variants of the same letter which don't exactly match each
                              other; thus I may be looking at it without realizing it. It is, as
                              they say, now out of your hands anyway. Your calligrapher friend will
                              likely take up the challenge.

                              Norman L. McKnight
                              Philoxenia Press
                              Berkeley
                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.