What a great introduction to this bizarre little typeface! The set I have is a little mismatched, but most of the blocks seem to come from this Number 514 typeface, first seen by Page and Setchell in 1887 (many thanks to the Rob Roy Kelly Collection site, as always!). The font in the RRK collection is die stamped, and this set might be as well, I haven’t seen evidence of a router yet. This is one of the strangest letterforms I have encountered, though when you look at it with the complete set, the round appendage seems to be a trend. I love the triangular serifs on the block, and the concave cut out in the top bar of the F. It’s a very interesting combination of straight lines and curvature. I love how the right side of the stem has a serif at the top, but just curves out at the bottom.
This block hasn’t been printed or cleaned by me yet, so it’s very filthy. You can just barely see the wood grain on the round swash. The lower right side of the stem has been damaged, and there’s another wound near the top left. Because of all the gunk, it’s hard to tell how the block was produced. A fascinating block and typeface, I look forward to using it!
Style: Number 514
Style first appeared: 1887
Size: 8 line
Manufacturing Method: Die Cut?
Is it part of a complete set? Not Yet