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Re: Metal Type ID

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  • 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 1 of 13 , Jan 5, 2004
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      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 2 of 13 , Jan 6, 2004
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        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 3 of 13 , Jan 6, 2004
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          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 4 of 13 , Jan 6, 2004
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            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 5 of 13 , Jan 14, 2004
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              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 6 of 13 , Jan 14, 2004
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                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 7 of 13 , Jan 14, 2004
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                  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 8 of 13 , Jan 15, 2004
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                    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
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