"Exactly what became of the Centaur patterns is not known

jefferson's picture

So Bruce Rogers creates what is widely acknowledged to be the finest interpretation of Jenson's Roman ever made, and the patterns are lost? I don't even know what a pattern is, but I have this mental image of someone at a yard sale buying something whose worth and use they could never fathom.

I mean, sure, some of the matrices are in a museum somewhere, but just imagine the lucky bastard who buys the patterns at some estate auction. Will he save them? Or will he throw them away? Will he even know what they are?

hrant's picture

That stuff usually got melted down and re-used for other fonts, or sold as scrap... and then melted down and used in a tank or something. Patterns were generally made of brass as far as I know; expensive raw material... On the other hand, if some guy can end up with a lost Elvis recording in a suitcase bought at a garage sale, then hey, who knows what typographic treasures are wallowing next to the washer-dryers of suburbia! :-/

Many gems have been lost this way, but often it's not easy to blame anybody - you can't see what the future holds after all.

hhp

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