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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
Manufacturer: Hamilton?
Manufacturing Method: Die Cut?
Is it part of a complete set? Not Yet

4 Comments on “Bizarre F”

  • Glenn

    I’m curious about your process for cleaning a block that is this dirty. What kind of tools/materials/solvents do you use?

    04-01-10 » 6:04 am »

  • Bethany Heck

    Glenn, I usually just use a rag and lacquer thinner. I have been advised that super fine grade steel wool works well, though I am terrified to try it. I’ll use toothbrushes occasionally. I haven’t found a great cleaning method yet, so if you have any advice, I would love to hear it.

    04-01-10 » 8:28 am »

  • Joe

    This F freakin rocks.

    04-05-10 » 10:22 pm »

  • EndGrain » Altered 514 F

    [...] from an objective point of view, but it hurts me on the inside. This F used to look like the 514 F with the crazy round terminal, but someone knocked off the ornamentation and made it a more toned [...]

    05-26-10 » 8:41 am »

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