A Single Leaf


Years ago I bought a single page from a book printed from Nicholas Jenson (1420-1480) (also written Nicolas Jenson). Having moved house twice since I bought the page, I cannot now find the details, but I did find that the watemark indicates likely dates of 1476 or 1501; I remember that it was printed by Jenson in Venice, so the earlier date is much more likely.

Nicholas Jenson is famous among typographers and printers for his Roman type design, but that was not used here. None the less, the page proportions and the actual font used are worthy of study, as are the Latin scribal abbreviations.

Today I would be less likely to buy a single page, but at that time I didn’t realise someone had probably cut up the book to sell the individual sheets.

[picture: Recto, unidentified eary printed page]

Recto, unidentified eary printed page

Printed by Nicolas Jenson in a black-letter type designed to imitate a scribe’s handwriting. The size given (280x430mm) is for the paper; the text area is approximately 175x280mm. [more...] [$]

[picture: Detail from verso, showing the letter-forms.]

Detail from verso, showing the letter-forms.

A small detail from the printed page, showing the shapes of the letters. [$]

[picture: Verso, unidentified eary printed page]

Verso, unidentified eary printed page

The other side of the piece of printed paper that I have from some time between 1470 and 1480. [$]

[picture: watermark: crossbow in circle]

watermark: crossbow in circle

Watermark from an early printed page. I found similar watermarks at the Gravell Watermark Archive suggesting plausible dates of 1476 and 1501 for the paper. [more...] [$]

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