Johann Theodor de Bry’s Neiw Kunstliches Alphabet


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 letter M, for example—whilst also being draped with fruit, lobsters and even insects. I used a smaller redrawing of De Bry’s letter S for one of the page designs in Jeff VanderMeer’s City of Saints and Madmen in 2002. Probably not the use that De Bry intended but then I expect he’d be surprised that his work was still being used at all after four hundred years. Via BibliOdyssey.


Previously on { feuilleton }
The Book of Ornamental Alphabets
Paul Franck’s calligraphy
John Bickham’s Fables and other short poems
Letters and Lettering
Studies in Pen Art

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