L is for Love Letters

15 line Antique Tuscan

Like French Clarendon, Tuscan is a subcategory of Antique. The first appearance of Antique Tuscan was in the 1849 Wells & Webb type specimen, it showed only capital letters. A lowercase showed up five years later, also by Wells & Webb. The design – originating as wood type, then adapted and copied by foundries casting metal type – is a modification of Antique in which curves are substituted for straight lines and the terminals of the serifs become concave. Not long after its appearance in the Wells & Webb specimens Antique Tuscan was available from all wood type manufacturers, and proved a popular design in both wood and metal through the end of the nineteenth century. The range of weights available grew to include, Condensed, X Condensed, XX Condensed, Expanded, and Extended.

My font includes capitals and some punctuation – wait until you see the sexy ampersand – but no lowercase. As far as I know this is the only font of veneer type in my collection; the face of the letters is cut from a thin veneer (0.1875 inches) of wood that is glued to a separate block to make it type high. Rob Roy Kelly believed Hamilton to be the only manufacturer to produce wood type by this method (I could not find an imprint on this font), though he describes the veneers as being 0.0625 inches. This method of production was so much cheaper than using end-cut type it allowed Hamilton to undersell its competitors, eventually forcing all other wood type producers to sell out to The Hamilton Manufacturing Company.