Font on a gravestone

schui's picture

Here's my ancestors gravestone. We need to find the same font now. It looks definitely condensed but I had no luck finding it in the FontBook. The uneven E and S gave me the thought that it's custom made. But certainly some Font created before 1953.
Any Ideas?

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bowfinpw's picture

Lettering on gravestones was all done by hand in those days. In fact a few font designers learned their skill cutting letters in stone (Matthew Carter and Michael Harvey are two that I think have that background). The irregularities you noticed are for that reason. It was a very skilled craft.

Can I ask why you want to find a similar font? Close will have to be good enough because I suspect many stonecutters evolved their own alphabets that were adapted from existing (or invented) typefaces to make them suitable for the medium they worked in.

- Mike Yanega

Jens Kutilek's picture

I think it's not cut into stone, it's three-dimensional metal letters fixed to the stone (however that's done ...)

schui's picture

yes, those are letters out of metal with that emboss effect.

I need to find a similar font, because my family needs to add another name to the gravestone. (don't know about other countries, but it's quite common to share a grave for a hole family in Germany)
When my Grandfather passed away ten years ago, the stonemason didn't really match the fonts so my grandfathers name looks different to those to names. Now we need another name and we want to avoid another mismatch of fonts.

I guess I have to talk to the stonemason, what he thinks about that. I really want to know, if those are letters forged by hand or if you can by this alphabet from a catalog.

Here's the left side of the gravestone with the mismatching font.

bowfinpw's picture

"I think it’s not cut into stone, it’s three-dimensional metal letters fixed to the stone (however that’s done ...)"

Yes, of course, but I assumed that the process involved making casts of engraved letters (reversed). In the link Christopher has above, one of the replies is from a stonecutter from Wales who talks eloquently about what is required to make engraved lettering. I believed that making the originals for these cast letters would involve similar constraints and choices.

- Mike Yanega

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