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Orna­mented Types

Twenty-three alpha­bets from the foundry of Louis John Pouchée
With an Intro­duc­tion by James Mosley

The first com­plete print­ing and pub­li­ca­tion of an unique col­lec­tion of 23 alpha­bets of wood-engraved orna­mented let­ters in the col­lec­tion of the St Bride Print­ing Library, Lon­don; with two addi­tional alpha­bets. The let­ters were engraved by hand in the 1820s as pat­terns from which metal stereo­types could be made for sale to poster-printers. They are here printed from the orig­i­nal wood-blocks on the hand presses at I. M. Imprimit. The illus­trated Prospec­tus con­tains a full account of the alpha­bets and their redis­cov­ery in the twen­ti­eth cen­tury, and describes the print­ing of the present edition.

The edi­tion is in two parts, pre­sented as a match­ing set. The box of the Spec­i­mens is accom­pa­nied by a letterpress-printed folio vol­ume of Intro­duc­tion fully illus­trated with com­par­a­tive mate­r­ial from type­founders’ spec­i­men books and other sources, many repro­duced here for the first time.

The Spec­i­mens

25 alpha­bets on 46 unbound sheeets, 170gsm mould-made paper 530mm x 380mm, con­tained in a black buckram-covered Solan­der box

The Intro­duc­tion

Black buckram-bound folio in match­ing slip­case, 48 pages, page size 530mm x 380mm

The text is hand set in ‘Scotch Roman’ (Mono­type Series 137) with founders’ dis­play types includ­ing Fry’s ‘Canon’ and William Caslon IV’s ‘Egypt­ian’ of 1816, which was spe­cially recast for this edi­tion at the Oxford Uni­ver­sity Press.

200 num­bered sets + 10 sets hors commerce

The edi­tion was awarded the Pre­mio Felice Feli­ciano in Verona, 1995.

© I. M. Imprimit and the Cor­po­ra­tion of the City of Lon­don, 1990–1994

Images © Ian Mortimer