Blue Pencil no. 48—One Hundred Books Famous in Typography, Part 2 [In the Beginning] nos. 1–9

Note: When I began this dissection it was intended as a single post—even as it grew much longer than expected. However, I was forced to break it up into smaller chunks when I ran into an unexplained “failure error” when trying to save the draft one day. Rather than try to break up the dissection into equally sized posts based on word counts, I decided instead to make separate posts based on the divisions used in the Grolier Club exhibition for the one hundred books entries; and on divisions in the catalogue for the material that was not part of the exhibition (e.g. foreword, introduction, Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography, bibliography, etc.). Note that the divisions used in the exhibition itself (e.g. “The Golden Age” or Looking Back”) were abandoned for the catalogue.

In the Beginning
pp. 26–27
1. Johann Gutenberg (c.1395–1468), punchcutter and printer
Biblia Latina
Mainz: [Johann Gutenberg], 1455. Two volumes. Folio.
Provenance: The Grolier Club.

• Set in the textura type now known as the B-42 type (Type 1:140G)

• Text is c.490 words
• No links are given. There should be links to nos. 2 and 74; and to p. 265
• Gutenberg’s date of birth is unknown. Various years (e.g. 1395, 1397, 1398, and 1400) have been proposed.
• The online exhibition: “Lender: The Grolier Club”. The Grolier Club does not own a complete copy of the Gutenberg Bible, only a fragment (leaf 394), which is what was on display. See A Noble Fragment: Being a Leaf of the Gutenberg Bible, 1450-1455; with a Bibliographical Essay by A. Edward Newton (New York: Gabriel Wells, 1921). The leaf comprises Isaiah 65 verses 22–25, Isaiah 66, Jerome’s preface to Jeremiah, and Jeremiah 1 verses 1–10.

“A key piece of equipment which did not exist was the adjustable mold, necessary for casting letters of different widths. That device was new, invented by Gutenberg.” p. 26

Kelly’s contention that Gutenberg invented the adjustable type mold is widely believed, but it is also undocumented. For a survey of the literature with some reprints of texts see Circuitous Root, David Macmillan’s blog. He bluntly says, “We know nothing certain about the hand mold as it existed in the first fifty years of typefounding. In particular, we do not know what Gutenberg’s mold looked like, even though it was arguably one of the most important inventions in history. It is likely that it resembled later hand molds, but we have no real evidence.”

Kelly makes no mention of the recent controversy over Gutenberg’s method of casting his type. See “Temporary matrices and elemental punches in Gutenberg’s DK type” by Blaise Agüera y Arcas in Incunabula and Their Readers: Printing, Selling and Using Books in the Fifteenth Century edited by Kristian Jensen (London: The British Library, 2003), pp. 1–12 and a rebuttal “Hat Johannes Gutenberg das Gießinstrument erfunden? Mikroskopischer Typenvergleich an frühen Drucken” by Christoph Reske in Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 2015, pp. 44–63. “Nicolas Jenson, Peter Schoeffer and the Development of Printing Types” in Incunabula in Transit: People and Trade by Lotte Hellinga (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2018), pp. 40–85 includes an account of the scholarly debates over early methods of typemaking.

“In order to approximate the scribe’s work, Gutenberg cut and cast about 250 different sorts, including alternate characters, combined letters (ligatures), and abbreviations.” p. 26

Gutenberg had more than 250 sorts. “When Gottfried Zedler analysed the fount of Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible he distinguished just under 300 sorts (others might put the figure somewhat lower),” writes Lotte Hellinga. Her parenthetical comment is footnoted: “Gottfried Zedler, Die sogenannte Gutenbergbibel sowie die mit der 42zeiligen Bibeltype ausgeführten kleineren Drucke (Mainz, 1929). Zedler (nor as far as I know anyone after him) did not investigate whether some of the variant forms were introduced in the course of printing as replacements for worn types, possibly produced from worn-out matrices.” See “Nicolas Jenson, Peter Schoeffer and the Development of Printing Types” in Incunabula in Transit: People and Trade by Lotte Hellinga (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2018), p. 42. Kelly does not fully explain how Gutenberg’s large character set enabled him to emulate scribal practice. The scribe was able to justify a text by making adjustments to his calligraphy on the fly. In order to save space letters were narrowed or joined together; and words were contracted or abbreviated. Gutenberg codified these practices so he too could achieve a justified page of text with even word spacing.

“It is likely that Schöffer designed the letterforms used as models for the typeface….” p. 26

Kelly does not describe the type as a textura.

Further Reading p. 315
Johann Gutenberg and His Bible, a historical study by Janet Ing (New York: The Typophiles, 1988)
Gutenberg: Man of the Millennium (Mainz: City of Mainz, 2000)—exhibition catalogue
• Suggested reading: Johann Gutenberg: The Man and His Invention by Albert Kapr; translated by Douglas Martin (Aldershot [England]: Scolar Press, 1996).

Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography
p. 265—42-Line Bible Type / Peter Schöffer & Johann Gutenberg c.1440 / Interpreted by the Dale Guild / See no. 1

Single leaf of the Gutenberg Bible (vol. II, fol. 394v Preface to Jeremiah)
• There should be a caption explaining that the running head, rubricated initials, two lines in red, and other red marks visible in the leaf were added by hand. Some aspects of Gutenberg’s sophisticated typography are also worth mentioning such as his use of alternate characters, ligatures, and abbreviations; his excellent word spacing; and his “hung” punctuation.

pp. 28–29
2. Johann Fust (c.1400–1466), publisher; Peter Schöffer (c.1425–c.1503), punchcutter?, printer and publisher
Psalterium cum canticis et hymnis
Mainz: [Johann Fust & Peter Schöffer], 1457. Folio.
Provenance: The Morgan Library & Museum.*

• Set in two sizes of textura type (Type 1:286G and Type 2:234G)

• Text is c.280 words
• No links; there should be a link to no. 1

“There are only ten copies known today, all printed on vellum.” p. 28

Kelly leaves out the fact that the Psalter was printed in two lengths: longer ones (of 175 leaves, of which 4 copies survive) specifically for the diocese of Mainz, and shorter ones (of 143 leaves, of which six copies survive) for more general use. The Princeton University copy (linked above) is described as the only long copy in the United States. The Grolier Club exhibition displayed one of the two leaves (PML 21989 a-b) from the Morgan Library which come from a previously dismembered short version of the Psalter.

Further Reading p. 315
The Mainz Psalters and Canon Missae, 1457–1459 by Irvine Masson (London: The Bibliographical Society, 1954).
• Suggested reading: “The Fust and Schöffer Office and the Printing of the Two-Colour Initials in the 1457 Mainz Psalter” by Mayumi Ikeda in Printing Colour 1400–1700: History, Techniques, Functions and Receptions (Leiden: Brill, 2015), pp. 65–75.

Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography
• There is no digital typeface linked to Fust & Schoeffer’s textura. I am unable to suggest one.

*The full provenance of the Morgan Library & Museum leaf of the Fust & Schoeffer Psalter is: “Ludwig Bechstein (1801–1860), Meiningen, who removed the leaves from an unknown binding (see 1870 Culemann letter to Quaritch in file); Friedrich Georg Hermann Culemann (1811–1886), of Hanover, purchased in 1839 from Bechstein; his sale, Sotheby’s, 7 Feb. 1870, nos. 648–649, to Quaritch for Amherst; William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst, Baron Amherst (1835–1909); his sale, 3 Dec. 1908, lot 767, to Quaritch for £81; J.P. Morgan, Jr., purchased from Quaritch, 1923.”

Single leaf (f. 143v) of the Mainz Psalter.
• There should be a caption pointing out the two-color initial B which is discussed at length in the text.

pp. 30–33
3. Nicolas Jenson (c.1420–1480), punchcutter and printer
Eusebius Pamphilus / De Evangelica Praeparatione
Venice: [Nicolas Jenson], 1470. Folio.
Provenance: American Type Founders Company Library & Museum at Columbia University [sic].

• Set in roman type (Type 1:115R)
• Additional information: “Translated by Georgius Trapezuntius; with additions by Antonio Cornazzano”

• Text is c.266 words
• Linked to nos. 51 and 84; the latter is a spurious reference since the quarto size specimen for Adobe Jenson is not part of the original series of octavo size Adobe type specimens—see Adobe Jenson: A Contemporary Revival: A New Multiple Master Typeface Family Based on the Original Types of Nicolas Jenson and Ludovico degli Arrighi (Mountain View, California: Adobe Systems, 1994); there should be links to nos. 43 and 44.
• “Newer interpretations were made by American Type Founders (Cloister)…” should include a reference to Morris Fuller Benton, the designer of Cloister, since the designers of other Jenson revivals are cited.
• “Ludlow Typographic Corporation” should be “Ludlow Typograph Company”
• The website: “Provenance: The American Type Founders (ATF) Library; later Columbia University Rare Books [sic] and Manuscripts [sic] Library”. This is more accurate than the description in the catalogue. But “American Type Founders Company Library” is how RBML currently identifies items. The bookplate that Bruce Rogers designed for ATF reads “Typographic Library and Museum of the American Type Founders Company”. This mistake is repeated throughout the catalogue.
• The correct provenance is Columbia University, Rare Book & Manuscript Library Goff E118 as this copy of the Eusebius did not come from the American Type Founders Library

“While still clearly calligraphic in nature, as evidenced by the sloped crossbar to the e and modulation of the strokes, Jenson’s roman made strides towards a more decidedly typographic engraved form, particularly in the structure of the serifs.” p. 30

This is the entire extant of Kelly’s description of Jenson’s roman. It is insufficient in that it does not explain why Jenson’s roman is deservedly celebrated. There is no visual comparison to types that precede it or are contemporaneous with it such as the gotico-antiqua of Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz (1465), and the romans of Wendelin da Spira (1469) and Christoph Valdarfer (1470). Kelly ignores Jenson’s innovative h with a straight leg, the beautiful balance of his a and g, and the overall harmony of his capitals (even though they deviate significantly from classical Roman epigraphic models).

Further Reading p. 315
Nicolas Jenson, Printer of Venice by Henry Lewis Bullen (San Francisco: John Henry Nash, 1926)

Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography
p. 266—Centaur / Nicolas Jenson 1470 /Interpreted by Bruce Rogers / Monotype / See nos. 3 and 51

Three unidentified pages (recto, verso, recto) are shown. The verso has a red and blue rubricated initial N. Otherwise the three pages are similar to each other. Based on the Princeton University copy of the Eusebius (linked above), the pages are 31, 152 and 153. Although the latter two pages represent a double-page spread, Kelly has not displayed them in that manner. (It should be noted that this pagination refers to the online copy. Jenson’s book has no folios.)
• The online exhibition shows two double-page spreads, representing pp. 30–31 and 152–153.
• There should be a caption indicating that the initial N and the various red markings have been added by hand.

pp. 34–35
4. Erhard Ratdolt (1442–1528), punchcutter and printer
Euclid / Elementa Geometriae
Venice: [Erhard Ratdolt], 1482. Folio.
[There is no provenance given. The online exhibition says the lender is Jerry Kelly.]

• Set in a rotunda type (Type 7:92G)
• Additional information: “Translated by Adelard of Bath. Edited and with commentary by Campanus of Novara.”

• Text is c.266 words
• Kelly does not identify the type used in the Euclid as a rotunda.

“Some believe the designer of the borders, initials, and perhaps even the type was possibly Bernhart Maler, who was in partnership with Ratdolt until 1478, and may have still been connected with him later, though not a full partner (however, Redgrave does not subscribe to this hypothesis).” p. 34

Kelly does not identify Redgrave. The reference is apparently to Erhard Ratdolt and His Work at Venice by G.R. Redgrave (London: Printed for the Bibliographical Society at the Chiswick Press, 1894), p. 32. Maler’s first name is more commonly spelled “Bernhard”.

“The most accepted theory today is that they [the over 500 geometric diagrams in the book] were made from bent rules or perhaps cast metal shapes, but we cannot be sure how such consistent, thin and accurate lines were printed.” p. 34

Kelly does not provide a reference for this conclusion. Bonham’s remarks about a copy it sold in 2004, “It yet remains a matter of some bibliographic debate whether the diagrams were achieved with woodcuts or metalcuts.” Kelly makes no mention of type in the diagram being set vertically and at an angle as well as horizontally.

Further Reading p. 315
Erhard Ratdolt by Robert Diehl (Vienna: Herbert Reichert Verlag, 1933)
• Suggested reading: The Earliest Known Type Specimen, Erhard Ratdolt, Augsburg, 1486: A facsimile issued on the occasion of the first Edinburgh Antiquarian Book Fair, March 26-27, 1973 (Brighton: Tony Appleton, 1973). The Grolier Club owns a copy.

Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography
• There is no digital typeface linked to Ratdolt’s rotunda; and I cannot suggest one. However, there is Rotunda Veneta by Riccardo Olocco (2020), based on Nicolas Jenson’s beautiful 1474 rotunda.

The opening page (recto) with woodcut initial P; border; and geometric diagrams. (In the exhibition a spread from Liber X was shown.)

pp. 36–37
5. Aldus Manutius (1450–1515), printer, Francesco Griffo (d. c.1518), punchcutter
Aristophanes / Opera Omnia
Venice: Aldus [Manutius], 1498. Folio.
Provenance: T. Kimball Brooker.

• Set in greek type (Type 1:146Gr)
• The online exhibition: “Lender: From the library of T. Kimball Brooker, author and collector of the Aldine Press”.

• Text is c.504 words
• Links to nos. 7 and 14; there should also be a link to no. 60
• Additional information: “Aldus’s editor for the publication was Marcus Musurus (ca. 1470–1517), a native of Rhethymno, Crete.”
• Aldus’ dates should be either 1449/1452–1515 or c.1450–1515.
• Griffo’s dates should be c.1450–1518; see Francesco Griffo da Bologna: A Biography by Paolo Tinto.
• This entry is out of chronological order.

“The first Greek font was based on the hand of Immanuel Rhusotas (according to Barker)…” p. 36

Kelly does not identify Barker. The reference is presumably to Aldus Manutius and the Development of Greek Script & Type in the Fifteenth Century by Nicolas Barker (Sandy Hook: Chiswick Book Shop, 1985).
•  The Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University says that Aldus’ Greek types were based on the handwriting of two other Greeks as well as that of Rhusotas: “Aldus employed Francesco Griffo (1450–1518) to cut punches based on the handwriting of friends and associates, including Immanuel Rhusotas (active 1465–1500), Ioannes Gregoropoulos (active 1493–1503), and Marcus Musurus (ca. 1470–1517).” The Bridwell Library says that this was the first printed edition of Aristotle.
• “John Gregoropoulos” seems to be a cipher, albeit an important one. (See  Aldus Manutius and the Development of Greek Script & Type in the Fifteenth Century by Nicolas Barker [New York: Fordham University Press, 1992] second edition, pp. 19 and 52.)

Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography
• There is no digital typeface linked to Griffo’s Greek. I am not familiar enough with Greek typefaces to suggest one.

Further Reading p. 315
Greek Letters: From Tablets to Pixels edited by Michael S. Macrakis (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 1996).
• Suggested reading: The Aldine PressCatalogue of the AhmansonMurphy Collection of Books by or Relating to the Press in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles edited by Nicolas Barker, P. G. Naiditch, and Sue A. Kaplan (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2001).

Opening of the second chapter. (In the exhibition the opening of the first chapter was shown.)

pp. 38–39
6. Aldus Manutius (1450–1515), printer, Francesco Griffo (d. c.1518), punchcutter
Pietro Bembo / De Aetna
Venice: Aldus Manutius, February 1495/6. Octavo.
Provenance: T. Kimball Brooker.

• Set in roman type (Type 2:114R)

• Text is c.294 words
• Full title; De Aetna ad Angelum Chabrielem liber
• Link to no. 3; there should also be links to nos. 16, 69, 80, and 84
• In his list of typefaces influenced by Griffo’s first roman, Kelly leaves out more recent ones, most notably Yale by Matthew Carter (2004) and Neacademia by Sergei Egorov (2011).
• The online exhibition: “Lender: From the library of T. Kimball Brooker, author and collector of the Aldine Press”.

Further Reading p. 315
The World of Aldus Manutius by Martin Lowry (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1979).
• Suggested reading: The Aldine PressCatalogue of the AhmansonMurphy Collection of Books by or Relating to the Press in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles edited by Nicolas Barker, P. G. Naiditch, and Sue A. Kaplan (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2001).

Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography
p. 367—Bembo / Francesco Griffo & Aldus Manutius 1495 / Interpreted by Stanley Morison / Monotype / See no. 6

Opening page of the book. (A different spread was displayed in the exhibition.)

pp. 40–41
7. Aldus Manutius (1450–1515), printer, Francesco Griffo (d. c.1518), punchcutter
Virgil [Vergilius Maro] / Opera
Venice: [Aldus Manutius], 1501. Octavo.
Provenance: T. Kimball Brooker.

• Set in roman type (Type 2:115R)

• Text is c.420 words
• No links; there should be links to nos. 6, 11, and 13
• The online exhibition: “Lender: From the library of T. Kimball Brooker, author and collector of the Aldine Press”.

“Aldus Manutius had several goals when he developed an italic typeface for a series of portable, octavo format publications, mainly of the Latin classics that he loved.” p. 40

Kelly implies that Aldus designed the first italic typeface. However, in the 1501 Virgil, Aldus praised the ability of Francesco [Griffo] da Bologna in cutting the type, while claiming the idea for himself: “Qui graiis dedit Aldus, en latinis / Dat nunc grammata scalpta dædaleis / Francisci manibus Bononiensis“; “Aldus who gave to the Greeks / now gives to the Latins type cut by the dædalic [skillful] / hands of Francesco da Bologna” (Translation taken from Griffo: The Great Gala of Letters website.)

“Many scholars have hypothesized that Aldus realized the compressed chancery cursive hand being used in Italy at the time could contain far more words per page, compared to roman typefaces which were wider, though recently some have questioned that premise. Research I have done seems to show that Aldus’ italic font does allow for more characters per line.” p. 40

The most important Italian scribe at the time that Aldus was contemplating an italic typeface was Bartolomeo Sanvito (1433–1511). His corsiva was not as compressed as the cancellaresca corsiva (chancery cursive) associated with the younger Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi (c.1475–c.1527). It was also not as consistent in form. In fact, of the twenty-two letters Sanvito used (no j, k, w, or y), less than half of them are regularly narrower than the letters of his formata (the scribal equivalent of roman type). Arrighi’s chancery hand, is primarily known through his writing book La Operina (dated 1522, but probably 1523). But those letters, cut in wood by Ugo da Carpi, are significantly narrower than his actual handwriting as found in manuscripts such as the Ethics of Aristotle (1517). My own research into Griffo’s italic contradicts Kelly’s findings. His comment about those who question the premise that Griffo’s italic was a space-saving typeface probably refers to Type Spaces: In-House Norms in the Typography of Aldus Manutius by Peter Burnhill (London: Hyphen Press, 2003). Burnhill remarks, apropos of the notion that Aldus chose italic for his octavo classics for their lateral compression, “In fact, Griffo’s italic is not particularly compressed. It is the x-height of his letters relative to the type body sizes which makes the width of the characters economical on the horizontal of the page.” (p. 85).

Luigi Balsamo claims that Aldus was not concerned with saving space when he asked Griffo to design an italic typeface for him. He flatly contradicts the common view of Updike and others that economy was the goal. Instead he says, “L’idea che aveva sedotto Aldo, infatti, aveva radici più profonde della semplice convenienza: esse traevano alimento, più ancora che nella solida scorza dell’uomo d’affari, nella sua profonda cultura umanistica.” And he explains that the numerous ligatures of the typeface were an important means of establishing the humanist authenticity of the Aldine libelli potatiles.  “Le numerose legature,” Balsamo writes, “troppe per il grafico moderno e fastidiose, sono quelle  della scrittura corrente dell’epoca, quelle cui erano ormai abituati i lettori del Quattrocento, studiosi e gente comune, date che la scrittura corsiva aveva da tempo soppiantato la libraria anche nei codici.” (See Origini del Corsivo nella Tipografia Italiana del Cinquecento by Luigi Balsamo and Alberto Tinto (Milan: Edizioni il Polifilo, 1967, pp. 26 and 27.)

“The typeface was based on the calligraphy of the Italian humanists. Candidates for the handwritten prototype of the Aldine/Griffo italic include Pomponio Leto, Bartolomeo Sanvito and maybe even Aldus himself.” p. 40

James Wardrop was the first to speculate that Sanvito’s corsiva may have been the model for Griffo’s italic, but he concluded that they did not match even though they shared the same spirit and form. See “Humanistic Cursive as a Book-hand: Bartolomeo Sanvito” in The Script of Humanism: Some Aspects of Humanistic Script 1460-1560 by James Wardrop (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1963), p. 35. According to both A.S. Osley and Nicolas Barker, Alfred Fairbank saw the handwriting of Pomponio Leto (1428–1498) as a model. I am uncertain where Fairbank made this suggestion as he describes Sanvito’s corsiva in King’s 32 (British Library) as close to Griffo’s type while stopping short of saying it was the model. See “Antonio Tophio and Bartolomeo San Vito” by Alfred Fairbank in Essays in Honour of Victor Scholderer (Mainz: Karl Pressler, 1970), p. 160. Although the type has letters derived from Aldus’ own handwriting, Barker attributes this to Aldus having influenced by Leto. He also dismisses Sanvito as a source, concluding, “It may be that no such resemblance exists and that the sloped humanistic cursive, by now the familiar and indeed appropriate script for the sort of book that Aldus intended to publish, was sufficiently current for Griffo to make his own version, without any ‘model’….” (See “The Aldine Italic” by Nicolas Barker in Aldus Manutius and Renaissance Culture: Essays in Memory of Franklin D. Murphy: Acts of an International Conference, Venice and Florence, 14–17 June 1994 edited by David S. Zeidberg and Fiorella Gioffredi Superbi [Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 1998], p. 95.)

“…to adequately imitate a page in the chancery hand, Aldus’ punchcutter, Francesco Griffo, needed to cut hundreds of punches, including about 60 ligatures, to achieve a similar effect.” p. 40

A.S. Osley claimed that Griffo’s italic had 65 ligatures. (See “The Origins of Italic Type” by A.S. Osley in Calligraphy and Paleography: Essays Presented to Alfred Fairbank on his 70th Birthday edited by A.S. Osley [London: Faber & Faber, 1965], p. 110.) Barker disagreed, saying that the type had nearly one hundred ligatures. (See “The Aldine Italic”, p. 96 with a list of the combinations on p. 99.)

“In keeping with calligraphic practice, the capitals are roman, not sloped… with the first letter of each line set off somewhat from the rest of the text.” p. 40

Barker [see above] suggests that the roman capitals “spaced apart” from italic at the beginning of a line used by scribes and copied by Aldus may have been a mnemonic device “subordinate to recitation, in which the distinction and isolation of first letters form a series of signposts to the texts”. See “The Aldine Italic”, p. 105.

Further Reading p. 315
In Praise of Aldus Manutius: A Quincentenary Exhibition by H. George Fletcher (New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library and Los Angeles: University of California, 1995).
• Suggested reading: The Aldine PressCatalogue of the AhmansonMurphy Collection of Books by or Relating to the Press in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles edited by Nicolas Barker, P. G. Naiditch, and Sue A. Kaplan (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 20o1).

Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography
p. 368—Cloister Italic (with roman capitals in Aldine style) / Francesco Griffo & Aldus Manutius 1500 / Interpreted by Morris Fuller Benton / ATF / See no. 7

A recto page (sheet A2r) with decorative border and illuminated initial added by hand.
• There should be a caption explaining the “painted page”. Compare it to the same page in the editions at the British Library [linked above] and at the John Rylands Library, Manchester, England. The latter was printed on vellum. An unpainted example can be found at The Dante Collection. For more information on “painted pages” see The Painted Page: Italian Renaissance Book Illumination 1450-1550 edited by Jonathan J.G. Alexander (Munich and New York: Prestel Verlag, 1994).

pp. 42–43
8. Johannes Schönsperger (1455–1421), printer, Leonhard Wagner (1453–1522), calligrapher
[Das Gebetbuch Kaiser Maximilians I]
Augsburg: Johann Schönsperger, December 1513. Folio.
[Shown in the facsimile published by F. Bruckmann in Munich, 1907.]
[There is no provenance given. The online exhibition says the lender is Jerry Kelly.]

• Set in a proto-fraktur type

• Text is c.490 words
• No links; there should be links to nos. 1, 2, 4, 9, and 15.
• “Ulrich and Afra” should be “St. Ulrich’s and St. Afra’s Abbey in Augsburg”

“…a new font based on the bastarda, or fraktur, style of calligraphy used in manuscripts.” p. 42

Bastarda (or bâtarde) is not identical to fraktur. Fraktur has more broken strokes than bâtarde and its capitals are significantly more elaborate with strokes that often approach, but do not touch, one another. Like the first typeface of Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz, the Gebetbuch typeface is difficult to classify. It is a hybrid, a mix of bâtarde forms (e.g. diamond-shaped d, swollen and long sg with a horizontal cross-stroke, cats-eye o, and bowed r) and forms that are distinctly fraktur in nature (e.g. short sD, H and S). Some capitals (e.g. B and N) have “schnorkels” (the elephant-trunk swashes that are characteristic of fraktur), but the ascenders are not forked. Thus, Albert Kapr and other German writers have referred to the Gebetbuch type as a proto-fraktur. See Fraktur: Form und Geschichte der gebrochenen Schriften by Albert Kapr (with essays by Hans Peter Willberg and Friedrich Forssman (Mainz: H. Schmidt Verlag, 1993), p. 27 “eine Vorform der Fraktur” [an early form or proto-type of fraktur]. The first mature fraktur (with asymmetrical d and o; and forked ascenders) was designed by Johann Neudörffer the Elder (1497–1563) and cut by Hieronymous Andreä (c.1485–1556) in five sizes between 1522 and 1527. Jan Tschichold describes it as the “Earliest and most beautiful Fraktur from which all later versions derive.” See Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering: A Source Book of the Best Letter Forms by Jan Tschichold (New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1966)—originally Meisterbuch der Schrift (Ravensburg: Otto Maier Verlag, 1953), p. 229 and plate 106. The Neudörffer-Andreä fraktur can be seen in Albrecht Dürer’s Vier Bücher von menschlicher Proportion (1528).

“The style [fraktur] is a combination of the straight, angular strokes as seen in the textura types of Gutenberg and Fust & Schöffer, and the rounder forms of rotunda and roman.” p. 42

Fraktur has nothing to do with roman or rotunda. Its “rounder forms” (curves) are a result of its origins as a bâtarde, a script commonly found in 15th century Burgundian and Flemish books of hours. See particularly the Book of Hours of Mary of Burgundy, viewed as both a commemoration of the death of Charles the Bold and a token of honor for the marriage of his daughter, Mary of Burgundy, to Maximilian I.*

“Several scholars believe that the calligrapher Leonhard Wagner (a monk of Ulrich and Afra, and a talented scribe) was enlisted to design the face, while the printer Johann Schönsperger was charged with producing the font, which was cut by Jost de Negker, who was sent from his native Antwerp to Augsburg to work on the type.” p. 42

This statement is stronger than the known facts seem to warrant. Carl Wehmer has this to say of Wagner’s involvement in the Gebetbuch typeface: “Nothing can be deduced from the Proba data as to whether Wagner was involved in the production of Schönsperger’s types or not. The data allow both. One or the other remains conceivable, whether Wagner began his work on the Proba around 1507 or 1509, whether he finished it in 1510 or 1517. Wagner could have written the Clipalicana maior for the Proba as early as 1508 or 1509 and at the same time a model for the prayer book type in the same style…. But Wagner could also since 1508, initially through drafts or proofs, later through unfinished or printed copies, known the type of the prayer book and, as a typeface particularly valued by the emperor, included it in the album of hundreds of different scripts intended for him.” See Leonhard Wagners Proba centum scripturarum (Leipzig: Insel-Verlag, 1963), vol. I, p. 21 (translation via Google translate with some adjustments). Much of Wehmer’s hedging hinges on the date of the Proba centum scripturarum by Leonhard Wagner. The script labeled “Clipalicana maior” in it is considered to be a close match to the Gebetbuch type. The manuscript is dated 1507, but Wehmer, claiming the date is a mistake, says that the production of the manuscript could have taken place as early as 1510 (when the manuscript reputedly contained only seventy-seven sample scripts) or as late as 1517. There is no evidence indicating at what point the “Clipalicana maior” script  was added to the manuscript and thus it could be either the model for the Gebetbuch type or a copy of it. Similarly, the role of Jost de Negker (c. 1485–1544) is even more problematic. Biographies say that he moved to Augsburg in 1508 to work on woodblocks with Hans Burgkmair the Elder and others; and that he contributed woodcuts to the Gebetbuch, but they are silent on the subject of type cutting. See “Zu Jost de Negker” by Campbell Dodgson in Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft edited by Franz Schestag, Henry Thode and Hugo Von Tschudi (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 1968) Band 21. The only source I have found online that mentions a possible role for de Negker in the typeface is ambivalent. “Maximilien semble avoir dirigé lui-mème chez Schönsperger, le travail d’un graveur de caractères qui était peut-être un Anvernois nommé Jost De Negker. C’est ainsi qu’au bout d’un long délai fut mis au jour un livre de prière baptisé Gebetbuch, dont l’écriture était proches de celle du Cisioianus.” This is from “Politique et typographie à la Renaissance” by Henri-Jean Martin in Les trois révolutions du livre: actes du colloque international de Lyon / Villeurbanne (1998) edited by Frédéric Barbier (Geneva: Librairie Droz S.A., 2001), p. 78. Martin’s source is Die Lehrbücher Maximilians I. und die Anfänge der Frakturschrift by Heinrich Fichtenau (Hamburg: Maximilian Gesellschaft & Hauswedell, 1961). Fichtenau’s book, which is inaccessible online, is not Kelly’s source. Under further reading he cites Das Gebetbuch Kaiser Maximilians by Hinrich Sieveking (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1987) which is equally inaccessible.

“…some modern digital fonts, such as Duc de Berry by Gottfried Pott and Fette Fraktur, have recently been made in this style [fraktur].” p. 42

Duc de Berry is a bâtarde not a fraktur; Fette Fraktur is a 19th century typeface not a modern digital one. If Kelly wanted to mention the continuation of fraktur in the 20th century, he could have cited Kleist Fraktur (1928) by Walter Tiemann, Zentenar (1937) by F.H. Ernst Schneidler, and Gilgengart (1939–1940) by Hermann Zapf.

*Gerrit Noordzij says that the name fraktur was first used by Johann Neudörffer the Elder. Noordzij views Neudörffer’s fraktur as the culmination of the Burgundian bâtarde. He defines it as “…a script with a triangular turn between upstroke and downstroke.” See “Bastarda” by Gerrit Noordzij in Alphabet: The Journal of the Friends of Calligraphy vol. 26, no. 3 (Spring 2001), p. 28; see also “Construction” and “Gothic” in the same issue for his thoughts on “running” vs. “interrupted” cursives.

Further Reading p. 315
Das Gebetbuch Kaiser Maximilians by Hinrich Sieveking (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1987)

Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography
• There is no digital typeface linked to the Gebetbuch type. Although not directly related to it, a good digital bastarda typeface is Burgundica by Gerrit Noordzij (1983).

Page f. 45r. (The exhibition showed f. 21r which seems to have a typographic error with an initial T, instead of an A, preceding “Doro te deum patrem…”.)
• There should be a caption identifying the artist of the marginal illustrations. The presence of two forms of a (one bâtarde and one fraktur) in lines 7 and 12 should also be pointed out. The character set of the Gebetbuch typeface includes other alternate characters including a fraktur o.

Gebetbuchtype character set. From Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering: A Source Book of the Best Letter Forms of Past and Present for Sign Painters, Graphic Artists, Commercial Artists, Typographers, Printers, Sculptors, Architects and Schools of Art and Design by Jan Tschichold; translated by Wolf von Eckardt (New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1966), p. 109 top.

pp. 44–45
9. Johannes Schönsperger (1455–1421)
Melchior Pfintzing, The Emperor Maximilian / Theuerdank
Nürnberg [Augsburg]: Johann Schönsperger, 1517. Folio.
[There is no provenance given. The online exhibition says the lender is Jerry Kelly.]

• Set in proto-fraktur type

• Text is c. 434 words
• Linked to no. 8. There should also be a link to no. 15.
• The full title in the first (1517) edition is Die geverlicheiten vnd einsteils der geschichten des loblichen streytparen vnd hochberümbten helds vnd ritters herr Tewrdannckhs (“The adventures and part of the stories of the praiseworthy, valiant and most famous hero and knight, lord Teuerdank”)

“The book contains 116 woodcuts…” p. 44

There are 118 woodcuts.

“The type may have been designed by the Viennese court secretary Vincenz Rockner… and cut by de Negker…” p. 44

Why is Rockner not included in the header if Leonhard Wagner is included in the header for the Gebetbuch (no. 8)?

“…the volume’s importance to typography lies in the beautiful fraktur typeface, with many alternate characters and a large assortment of swashes, large and small. These [the swashes] were set as separate pieces which, in combination with the cast letterforms, form a remarkably close approximation to the appearance of handwritten manuscripts by scribes employing penmade decorations.

“The difficulty and expense of assembling so many individual pieces to set pages of a printed book made this complex method of typesetting extremely rare…. However, in the late twentieth century new digital technologies for computer typesetting made such composition much less labor intensive, resulting in fonts such as Bickham Script (designed by Richard Lipton for Bitstream), Poetica (by Robert Slimbach for Adobe), and Zapfino (by Hermann Zapf for Linotype) being released, including numerous alternate characters and separate swash ‘pieces’ which could be appended to the letterforms, as had been done centuries earlier in the Theuerdank.” p. 44

None of the typefaces that Kelly mentions are characterized by swash pieces that are intended to be added to letters, though that is possible with Bickham Script. A better example, though, is Burgues Script (2007) by Alejandro Paul for Sudtipos which takes advantage of the contextual alternates feature of InDesign to automatically add swashes to letters and even punctuation! But the typeface that pioneered the idea of added swashes was Trinité by Bram de Does (1934–2015), designed in 1982 for Autologic as a typeface for photocomposition. (It should also be noted that Matthew Carter [b. 1937] designed Walker as a sans serif typeface with “snap-on” serifs and three extra joining strokes in 1995 for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.)

Bickham Script was designed by Richard Lipton (b. 1953) for Adobe in 1997.  It was originally released as a Multiple Master typeface.

For more on the Theuerdank see the post by the Glasgow University Library Special Collections Department on their copy.

Note: Nearly all of the detailed literature on the Gebetbuch and the Theuerdank has been written by German scholars. For those without German language skills, like myself, this has made it difficult to go beyond the Wikipedia level of information. In my comments on Kelly’s texts, I have relied on online translation software to parse German texts accessible online that touch upon both books. Unfortunately, none of the sources Kelly lists are among them.

p. 315 Further Reading
The Theuerdank of 1517 by Stephan Füssel (Cologne: Taschen, 2003); and “Hans Schönsperger” by Carl Wehmer in Altmeister der Druckschrift (Frankfurt: D. Stempel, A.G., 1940).

• It is unclear which book by Füssel on the Theuerdank Kelly is referring to. I found these online: The Theuerdank of 1517: Emperor Maximilian and the Media of His Day (Köln and Los Angeles, 2003);The Theuerdank of 1517: A Cultural-Historical Introduction (Köln and Los Angeles, 2003); and Kaiser Maximilian I, Die Abenteuer des Ritters Theuerdank (Cologne: Taschen, 2003) which was published in English as The Adventures of the Knight Theuerdank (New York: Taschen America, 2003).

p. 275 Fifty Typefaces Famous in Typography
Theuerdank / Johann Schönsperger 1517 / See no. 9

Unidentified recto. (The exhibition showed a double-page spread with an illustration on the verso.)

Theuerdankschrift character set (incomplete). Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering: A Source Book of the Best Letter Forms of Past and Present for Sign Painters, Graphic Artists, Commercial Artists, Typographers, Printers, Sculptors, Architects and Schools of Art and Design by Jan Tschichold; translated by Wolf von Eckardt (New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1966), p. 109 bottom.