My next project is a beauty! It’s all about printing. But what about the bindings?
The most exciting part of this research is memory. I am looking at headers and letters. I could swear I’d seen some of them before? But have I really? I have come to wonder if they didn’t copy each other’s designs. Or maybe they swapped or sold type to each other. Sometimes the same design appears in different sizes. Easy to do with a computer today, but imagine having to make three or four sizes by hand?
In the blur of information, it seems that designs were used and recycled by printers. Could this be true?
In my research for The Perfume of Books, I came across James Flesher. Flesher, or Fletcher(?) was the son of Miles Flesher, printer, and father of Miles II, bookseller. He lived and worked in Little Britain, a part of London in around 1650. I had to look up Little Britain, because I have come across this term quite a bit lately, and of course there is the television series. I never realised it was a real street in London. I trawl the Internet for information, Wikipedia, the CERL database. Sometimes I am lucky to get a lot of information on printer’s lives. Sometimes there is hardly any. All I have at hand are books which Flesher printed. Many of Flesher’s books have red ruled title pages. The Criticri Sacri interestingly enough, has no historiated capitals. The letters are quite plain, as is the paragraphing.
The capital letters were all taken from the books below. If you look at the “T”, Flesher had many designs. The thistle appears quite a lot in this period, not just with Flesher, but with other printers as well.
1660 Ductor Dubitantium or the rule of conscience in all her generall measures RBq CLI 4226 (NLA)
1660 Critici sacri: give doctissimorum virorum in SS biblia RBq De Vesci 65 (NLA)
1662 Basilika: the workes of King Charles the martyr : with a collection of declarations, treaties and other papers concerning the differences betwixt His said Majesty and his two Houses of Parliament RBq De Vesci 1076 (NLA)
1665 The history of the Church of Scotland : beginning the year of Our Lord 203, and continued to the end of the reign of King James the VI ,RBq MISC 112 (NLA)
I am sifting through the thousands of photos I have amassed, and looking to complete alphabets. I’ll keep posting about printers, their bindings and their type.
Thanks for reading. Comments appreciated.