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April 19, 2014 at 1:08 AM #8393


Marr c1853Nicolette Gray attributes this egyptian/antique face to the Marr TF (Glasgow Letter Foundry) in c1853. Oddly enough, she cites no catalogs issued between 1843 and 1860; perhaps an interim specimen was available to her research.¹

The temporary tradename is drawn from apt text selected for a specimen shown by the Johnson TF ≤1867.²

AngularCatalog Specimen, Johnson TF ≤1867

OctagonMarr’s is not the earliest-known example of a three-dimensional “beveled” type design: Kelly writes that a sans-serif one tradenamed Octagon# (Solotype Wood Type Nugget#³) was shown in 1838 by George Nesbitt.

Nesbitt, a New York printer, was the sales agent for wood types produced by Edwin Allen (Windham, CT), apparently the only supplier he represented. Kelly adds that “the design is believed to have originated in France.”⁴

View Preliminary Specimenflickr images

Excellent working specimen available on request
High-resolution scan, original caps-only alphabet plus Œ, ?, &, punctuation.

¹Gray, N. (1938): XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages, pages 139 and 201. Faber and Faber Limited, London.
²The date 1867 is deduced from the stereotyped(?) specimen published by MSJ in July 1869, which is imprinted L. Johnson & Company while other pages are marked MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan. According to Annenberg [164], “Lawrence Johnson died on April 26, 1860, but the firm continued to operate and distribute type catalogs with his name until 1867.”
³Solo, D.X. (1992): The Solotype Catalog of 4,417 Display Typefaces, pages 29 and 180. Dover Publications, Inc. (Minneola, NY).
⁴Kelly, R.R. (1977): American Wood Type, 1828–1900|Notes on the Evolution of Decorated and Large Types, pages 38 and 297. Litton Educational Pub­lishing, Inc./Van Nostrand Reinhold Company (New York 1969). Reprinted by DaCapo Press, Inc. (New York)


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