Archived entries for French Clarendon

24 line French Clarendon

5 line French Clarendon

24 line No. 95

A numeral was found carved into the bottom of this capital P.

And here is the Hamilton Mfg. Co. imprint stamped on the side of the capital A. This version of the imprint used 1889–91.

24 line French Clarendon

40 line French Clarendon (No. 95)

20 line French Clarendon

24 line French Clarendon

20 line French Clarendon


40 line French Clarendon (Hamilton No. 95)

The kerning job on this big-shouldered beauty  is clean and precise; probably accomplished by an experienced craftsperson using a printer’s saw (like the Hammond Glider).

Hyperbole For Sale, part 7

Etc., etc., etc.,

Printed onto 9 x 19.75 inch sheets of Mohawk Superfine, Smooth, White, 100lb. cover using (top to bottom) 20 line Antique XX Condensed, 20 line Tuscan Antique, and 20 line French Clarendon. The borders are No. 156 and No. 157, die-stamped wood type borders from the Wm. H. Page Wood Type Co.

Wood type borders locked-up on Vandercook SP15

Hyperbole For Sale, part 1

Last night I installed a small show at Alchemy. Lauren helped me hang twelve new prints, plus two completed last year. The main attraction of the show, entitled Hyperbole For Sale, is the immense “Super, Extra, Ultra, Mega!” At 19.75 x 27.5 inches, it’s easily the largest print I’ve made, and it was only possible because of the fabulous Vandercook SP20 at the Book Arts Studio.

Super, Extra, Ultra, Mega! on press
The first line is 30 line Grecian Condensed; second is 20 line French Clarendon; Ultra is set in 24 line Gothic X Condensed (the only type used for this piece not from my collection); and last but not least is 15 line Antique Tuscan.

All of the type used for this print is quite old and in pretty rough shape. The makeready took nearly eight hours, and still could have been better, but I had a show to hang!

Printing on the SP20, photo courtesy Lauren Huber

The first of three runs on the drying rack at the Book Arts Studio

Holding a copy of the finished print for human scale

Detail of the 8 line Aldine Expanded exclamation, printed in red

I decided to really emphasize the scale of this print by flanking it with two 5 x 7 inch prints.

5 line French Clarendon


picture and printed proof of 5 line French Clarendon wood type capital letter DDespite its diminutiveness, this font is part of a big mystery. The capital A’s are stamped “Page & Co., Greenville, CT” (see below).

According to Rob Roy Kelly, this version of the Page & Co. imprint was believed to be in use 1857–59. On the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection website, David Shields dates the first appearance of French Clarendon wood types to 1865. When I asked Mr. Shields for assistance with this puzzle, he replied that Kelly’s note regarding this stamp says “use of 1857–‘59 stamp on types not listed until 1870.” Shields guesses Page & Co. may have reused the 1857–59 stamp for a short time in the 1870s.

U Can’t Be Too Thin

40 line French Clarendon (Hamilton No. 95)

At just over 6.5 inches this French Clarendon is the largest end grain font in my collection, and the second largest line-height overall. Long before they came into my possession, a few of the characters had been used to print a split fountain and the ink allowed to dry on the surface.

B True

24 line French Clarendon

This style of wood type made its first appearance in 1865. The Clarendons were an extremely popular subset of the Antique wood type styles. What differentiates the Clarendons is a smoother transition between the stems and the serifs, called bracketing (indicated on the proof above with red circles), rounded counters, and more contrast between the thickness of the strokes. This four inch font was cut by The Hamilton Manufacturing Company sometime between 1889 and 1891, as indicated by the circular imprint stamped into the capital A (see image below).

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