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Antique Typographic Design

The peculiar influence of local association upon styles of ornament, which we have already noticed in the case of arabesques, may be traced with equal facility in the best typographic and xylographic illustrations of the early printers. Thus, in the ornaments, Figs. 4-7, 9-16, Plate XC., taken from the celebrated "Etymologion Magnum", printed at Venice in the year 1499, the forms of the ornament, and the almost even distribution of the "pieni" and "vuoti", have been evidently based on the style of those Oriental or Byzantine fragments in which Venice was so pre-eminently rich.

Ornaments from Printed Books
Ornaments from Printed Books, Plate XC.

Many of the Aldine initial letters in the last-namned plate appear as though they might have been engraved by the very same hands that ploughed out the damascene patterns in the metal-work of the period. The Tuscan Bible of 1538 presents us with endless conventional renderings of the ordinary Cinquecento sculpture, which abounded in the churches of Florence. Nor are the specimens of the Parisian press less worthy of the veneration of the virtuoso.

Typographic Ornament from one of the productions of the early Parisian Press
Typographic Ornament from one of the productions of the early Parisian Press. (Stephans' Greek Testament.)

In the productions of the Stephans (Fig. 29, from the celebrated Greek Testament), of Colinaeu his pupil (Fig. 3), of Macé Bonhomme of Lyons, in 1558, Theodore Rihel of Frankfort, in 157' Jacques de Liesveldt of Antwerp, in 1554, Jean Palier and Regnault Chauldiere of Paris, may be found many agreeable and interesting illustrations of local differences in ornamental detail of semi-antique character.









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