Rare book of specimen type borders and ornaments offered for sale by the most famous of all British letter founders.
Large octavo bound in speckled paper covered boards with new acid-free endpapers. Title page with decorative border (with spotting) followed by Caslon’s 1838 ‘Prices of Printing Types’ with tissue guard. A single leaf of letterpress advertisement precedes the plates, a 4cm closed tear creeping in from the head of the gutter, not coming close to the text of this leaf. A large foldout plate of ‘Caslon and Livermore’s Specimen of Great Primer Dashes’ precedes 4 plates of Rules, the last also being fold-out. 55 leaves of ‘Cheques’, ornaments including a leaf of Railway Carriages follow with a double page spread of ‘New Flowers’ with 31 further leaves including individual vignette-like ‘Cast Ornaments’ and concluding with a fold-out leaf of ‘Inn Signs.’ In total 91 plates, mostly near fine condition. OCLC locates this volume in NYPL and Columbia only - JISC confirms no copies in the UK.
William Caslon’s typefaces were immediately popular from their first appearance in the early eighteenth century and used for many important printed works, including the first printed version of the United States Declaration of Independence. Indeed his types became so popular that the expression about typeface choice, ‘when in doubt, use Caslon’ came about. This Specimen book dates from a period of revival for the company when it began trading again as Caslon and Son after a phase as Caslon, Son and Livermore - their names still present at the tail of the many of these plates. Produced for the printing trade these books are both scarce and sought after.