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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘Johann Theodor de Bry’ tag

 

Early woodcut initials

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More decorated initials, these being from Early Woodcut Initials (1908), a collection by Oscar Jennings of ornamental letters from books of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. By way of contrast with yesterday’s examples, not all of these feature the religious or mythological figures one would expect, some show early mathematical and astronomical devices.

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Paulini’s mythological alphabet

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Whoever I. Paulini was, no one seems to know his (or, indeed, her) first name. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, which owns a copy of these plates, doesn’t elaborate. The copies here are scans from a Getty edition of Alphabeto, part of the collection of Getty Institute volumes at the Internet Archive. The […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {typography} | 3 comments »

 


Joseph Balthazar Silvestre’s Alphabet-album

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Monsieur Silvestre’s Alphabet-album, a collection of decorative alphabets, has a lengthy subtitle—Collection de Soixante Feuilles d’Alphabets Historiés et Fleuronnés, tirés des Principales Bibliothèques de l’Europe—and is a good example of how the 19th century, always characterised as a period of over-elaborate decoration, contains the seeds of 20th-century design. Silvestre’s book dates from 1843 yet contains […]

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Johann Theodor de Bry’s Neiw Kunstliches Alphabet

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A page from Johann Theodor de Bry’s Neiw Kunstliches Alphabet (1595) which can be found in a free PDF version here, the scans being taken from a Victorian reprint. The late, lamented Giornale Nuovo featured some of these curious letter designs in 2005. Each capital is embellished with various symbolic figures—Moses appears perched on the […]

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