And another thing...

ebensorkin's picture

I have been showing an image of 3 Aldine (Griffo) r shapes around. You may have seen them.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebensorkin/2416920076/in/set-72157604556594...

But today I noticed something else. All three of the bases are quite different too. This is starting to look less & less circumstantial to me now. What do you think?

I also read that Aldus in the same period "clearly had no less than seven varient forms of the letter "nu", five of "alpha", "phi" and "omega", four of "beta", and "tau": in all, the twenty-four letters of the alphabet appear in seventy-five forms, while contractions, abbreviations, accents and breathings carry the total number of sorts well into the hundreds. The quote is from the Lowry book "The world of Aldus Manutius : business and scholarship in Renaissance Venice".

Obviously this again proves nothing but it builds a picture in my mind where alt r shapes may have seemed even that much more plausible.

Comments

Hiroshige's picture

I think in that time type cutters were scarce and it was uncommon for publishers to have inhouse type cutters so they made do with what they had. It seems that print shops patched together type from different sets and made do with whatever they had - and probably borrowed/lent type from one shop to another.

daniele capo's picture

I think in that time type cutters were scarce and it was uncommon for publishers to have inhouse type cutters so they made do with what they had

Manutius had an inhouse type cutter: Griffo.

All three of the bases are quite different too.

Well, is it possible that differences are exaggerated by the printing process? (however if the punchcutter had to cut three different lowercase r it's reasonable, for me, that he could not obtain three identical bases)

ebensorkin's picture

I will need to see if these differences show up in pattern where the flourished r has the 3 spots at the bottom of it's serif, the regular has a concave shape and the truncated one a flat one - in a pattern or not. I recognize I will have to get a lot more data before I can prove ( or disprove ) anything.

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