The other day, while picking through my typography RSS folder, I stumbled across a marvelous link. Originally shared by Johno of “I love typography”, it pointed toward a late 18th century title called “Early Venetian Printing.”
The book is a collection of illustrated pages from 14th and 15th century works printed in Venice. They cover all of the masters in addition to a few individuals I hadn’t ever heard of. It shows examples of their work and discusses the principles that early typesetters followed. Additionally there are printers’ marks, water-marks, examples of music printing, and alphabets upon alphabets of initials. It concludes with a section on the art of Venetian binding.
The book is a beautiful volume, and one that I desperately would love to have in my own personal library. Unfortunately, that will never happen. Early Venetian Printing is an extremely rare book that’s been out of print for decades.
Here are a few of the images, just to whet your appetite. The full text can be found here.