William Blades.

Some early type specimen books of England, Holland, France, Italy, and Germany online

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B M EDO T37




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SOME EARLY



TYPE SPECIMEN BOOKS



ENGLAND,

HOLLAND, FRANCE, ITALY,

AND GERMANY.



CATALOGUED BY

WILLIAM BLADES,

^YITH

EXPLANATOEY EEMAEKS.



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geprintcb from the ''fviutcts' igcgisttx



LONDON

1875.



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EARLY TYPE SPECIMEN BOOKS.



Information upou Early Type Specimen Books is only to
be obtaiued from the books themselves, and as they are very
seldom to be met A\dtli, I feel that the many imi)erf ectious of
the following sketch will be readily excused. At the same
time it is urgently requested that any reader who may be
able to add to, or correct, the information here given will
favour the writer with a communication.

Books have their fates as well as nations, and the certain
doom of many a fair volume is utter destruction. Those of
an ephemeral character, or such as soon become obsolete,
have to pass through what, with literal truth, may be called
3l fiery ordeal. That is when they become too antiquated to
be of any value to the current generation and yet require a
century to pass over theu' heads before they have any merit
in the eyes of the antiquarian. Perhapg no class of books
is more subject to this unkind destiny than the specimens
issued by Type-founders, which soon become so worthless
in the very eyes of their own parents, that large editions
entu'ely disappear and "leave no track behind," even in
the veiy foundries which gave birth to them. I imagine it
to be as ti-ue of the Continental as it is of the old Englivsh
foundries, that not one of them can show a coj)y of their
first si)ecimen books. It may therefore be of some interest
to make a note of such specimens anterior to the year 1820
as I have been able to meet with, confimng myself to those
issued in our own country.

When pi-inters were their ow^ type-founders their works
were their own ty[3e-specimens ; but soon after the spread
of the art through Europe printers were found who were
willing to cut punches and cast for their brethren. When
William Caxton, about 1J:76, erected his press just outside

B



M 3923



.tiie.TY^lLs.of .the Abbey at Westmiuster, his whole stock of
.


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Online LibraryWilliam BladesSome early type specimen books of England, Holland, France, Italy, and Germany → online text (page 1 of 2)