Sign for Savoy Taylors Guild Ltd., The Strand, London (c.1906).

Sgraffito on a wall in the Giudecca section of Venice.

Detail of a neon sign for a barbershop in Grottaferrata, Italy.

Detail of page from Les Ecritures Financiere, et Italienne-Bastarde (1647) by Louis Barbedor, a French writing master.

Detail of store sign for Cortese Frizzoti in Venice. The letters in black have been painted over a gold ground which covers a former store name in mosaic tile.

Medieval inscription in Round Gothic capitals. In the cloister of S. Giovanni in Laterano in Rome.

Capital E and G stencils from collection of Eric Kindel, Reading, England.

Ghost signs with printer’s fist on wall of Rue de la Commune in Montreal.

Detail of painted directional sign for Coney Island covering mosaic sign indicating Up Town Trains. 53rd Street station of the R line in Brooklyn.

Punches for punctuation cut by Giambattista Bodoni at the Museo Bodoniano in Parma, Italy.

Detail of cover of Warren’s Standard Printing Papers specimen book by S.D. Warren (1929). Design, ornament and lettering by W.A. Dwiggins.

Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 713—A Description of Christ

The Letter of Publius Lentulus (also known as The Epistle of Publius Lentulus) is a report from “Publius Lentulus, Proconsul of Judea to the Senate of Rome” describing the appearance and temperament of Jesus Christ. The text was discovered in 1421 by Giacomo Colonna. Although denounced as a fraud by the humanist scholar Lorenzo Valla in the 1440s and commonly labeled as spurious or a forgery by religious scholars and leaders over the course of the succeeding five centuries, its account …
Continue reading

Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 712—Illustrations of Rome and Venice

Three illustrations of sites in Rome—fragments of the Acqua Claudia, a detail of the Lateran Cloister, and a rustic view of the Colosseum—by W.A. Dwiggins exist in the Carl Purington Rollins Papers at Yale University. The first two illustrations were created for the title pages of the two volumes of Eternal Rome by Grant Showerman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1924). Dwiggins’ original pen-and-ink artwork for both of them has survived. [1] For the third illustration, there is only a …
Continue reading

Blue Pencil

The Definitive Dwiggins no. 87 addendum—The Drab Doroone

“Extra-Wild Animals of the Faraway-Land of Lurg: The Drab Doroone” by Hermann and Jacob Püterschein. Original artwork by Hermann Püterschein [W.A. Dwiggins] 1914. Image courtesy of Special Collections, the Boston Public Library.
The Definitive Dwiggins no. 87 was devoted to W.A. Dwiggins’ association with publisher L.A. Rankin and Happyland magazine. For the magazine Dwiggins and his cousin Laurance B. Siegfried collaborated (as the brothers Hermann and Jacob Püterschein) on a brief series of illustrated verse entitled “Extra-Wild Animals of the Faraway-Land of …
Continue reading