All specimens of this face examined by THP are numbered according to distributors’ cataloging systems, and none claims intellectual property rights. The apt tradename Burlesque may have been dubbed by Dan X. Solo.¹
Nicolette Gray associates this appealing tuscan in “booties” (check the cute R!) with both Figgins and Caslon in 1843 and documents German specimens in 1845.²
Her evidence that these leading English TFs first sold this typeface in the same year and that German TFs showed it two years later strongly suggests that the design originated in France.
Rob Roy Kelly illustrates a very slightly different wood-type copy first shown by Wells & Webb in 1849 and notes: “This design originated in Europe and was very popular in England during the 1840s.”²
¹Solo, D.X. (1992): The Solotype Catalog of 4,417 Display Typefaces, page 27. Dover Publications, Inc. (Minneola, NY).
²Gray, N. (1938): XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages, pages 181/200. Faber and Faber Limited, London.
²Kelly, R.R. (1977): American Wood Type, 1828–1900|Notes on the Evolution of Decorated and Large Types, page 288. Litton Educational Publishing, Inc./Van Nostrand Reinhold Company (New York 1969). Reprinted by DaCapo Press, Inc. (New York 1977).