Nicolette Gray describes this face: “The serifs of the eighties are always small and neat, but often used to effect. They are pointed up or down as in Johnsonian [shown]; or attached only to the outer side of the stem as in Moslem, with a neat effect of alert mobility counteracting the regular parallel perpendiculars.”¹
She identifies it as Ornate, Marr/Glasgow Letter Foundry c1890 and as Johnsonian, Caslon c1891. The fact that these competing TFs both sold this face strongly suggests that it was imported, and Caslon’s tradename surely implies that it originated at MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan—as if in memory of Lawrence Johnson.
No such luck… I do not recognize this face and have found no other specimen of it. The published version of the two-letter mini-specimen shown here is relatively large compared to others on the same page—about 42 pt.
Can someone help to identify this mystery face?
¹Gray, N. (1938): Chapter VII, 1875-1890. In XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages, pages 68, 139, 207. Faber and Faber Limited, London.
This specimen is the wrong specimen, this is Lafayette, somehow Nicolete Gray must have gotten Lafayette mixed up with Johnsonian. Enclosed are some scanned images of Washington, Webster, Lafayette and Webster.
As usual, you nailed it… Your photolettering specimen of Lafayette includes the rare “missal style” M that my edition of Gray’s book illustrates. Who knew? YOU did, huh?
Lafayette was designed by Gustave F. Schroeder¹ for Central TF in 1889.² Like other Central faces after 1886, it was not patented—a target for plagiarism, especially abroad.
My hunch is that Gray did not “confuse” Lafayette with Johnsonian. When Caslon and Marr imported(?) copied(?) it, they renamed it to suit their marketing strategies. She simply reported what she saw in the UK specimen books.
Now that I know “what I’m lookin’ at,” it was easy to match it with this specimen in Caslon’s c1893 catalog… Or is this one Jefferson? OUCH!
¹Loy, W.E. (1898–1900): Designers and Engravers of Type. In The Inland Printer, December 1898.
²Mullen, R.A. (2005): Recasting A Craft|St. Louis Typefounders Respond to Industrialization, page 142. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.