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older western or circus font



This is a reverse weight font, i.e. the strokes are thicker at top & bottom than at the sides, with "Detroit" or "Mansard" serifs. A couple of fonts with a similar but wider design:
Red Dog Saloon by Font Mesa:
57 Rodeo by Baseline Fonts:
I trust that there is also an exact match, but I didn't come across it during my quick check.

Thanks Don. It's vexing because I know I have seen that font before.

You're welcome Barry. IIRC I have seen it too. Perhaps it can be found by digging though all the fonts called Tuscan, Western, cowboy etc.?

Got the original name. The font is http://Helvin (Black) by William H. Page in the 1870s.

Actually, on the same page of the Solotype Catalog (24) as Helven/Helvin is shown Mansard - which has the correct letter widths and middle bar on the E. The Solopedia website indicates it exists digitally as Photolettering/Novel.

Seeing what I can find ...