(x) East-European elegant serif - Erbar Mediaeval {Mircea (self)}

A couple of years ago I posted samples of a elegant serif font. Nobody identified it, and in the mean time the old posts dissapeared. Here are the samples again ...


I have a specimen titled "Erbar Mediaeval Schriften", it's from Ludwig & Mayer, beautifully letterpressed. It contains text faces, titling/display faces, ornaments, borders and examples of use, it's printed in black, red and yellow. I bought it and another specimen (that one's from 1936, I couldn't date this one) at our local market here in Hungary, for about 20$.

The text you have posted is definitely set in Erbar Mediaeval. There is another version of the capital "T" in my specimen, with the terminals angled outwards, not parallel.

I don't know why I cannot insert the images from the first time ...

Well worth looking for - do you have any publication details.

Ask the TYPO magazine boys (and girls).


Now I see my old post is still available on Typophile, the link is http://typophile.com/node/1878. The samples there are double size. People then proposed Meidoorn or other font of Sjoerd Henrik de Roos.

Publication details: all are Romanian books. For the three samples here, respectively:

1. Vladimir Lvov - Viata lui Albert Einstein (eng. Life of Albert Einstein), Bucharest, 1960.
2. John Braine - Viata in inalta societate (eng. Life at the top), Bucharest, 1965.
3. A. K. Vlasov - Curs de matematica superioara (eng. High Mathematics course), Bucharest, 1950

Wow.... since 10/23/2003 and still looking? :)

The design looks like been made between 1910 - 1925. Since the body text is the same design, it could be available on a type setting machine. The bold seems to have the same wide like the roman, so my guess, its a linotype matrice. In this time range, the First Hungarian Type Foundry has produced lots of typefaces and matices for this region. Berthold AG, D. Stempel AGand Bauersche owned this foundry. Hope this helps.


Really does have the de Roos look from the twenties - Thinking Grotius etc. Looking for reference in that vein.

Very nice page. The font there seems to be Erasmus (1923). And in the same flavour is Hollandse Mediaeval (1912).

Many people pointed me to that period ... it's a starting point.

Erasmus from Red Rooster designed by Pat Hickson has some similarities.

Finally, I found it. On the page http://www.klingspor-museum.de/Kuenstler.html there are a lot of pdfs about type designers. And in this pdf about Jakob Erbar there is this wonderful font named Erbar Mediaeval.

Below is a sample from the document :

Regarding the A: I see Erbar made alternates for various leters, but in this sample the regular weight A is the same with the alternate. I think the A from my samples is the main version.

Wow. So has this been the longest-running (solved) type ID in history?


> Wow. So has this been the longest-running (solved) type ID in history?

Probably. I was lucky to have this idea, to look in all pdfs from http://www.klingspor-museum.de/Kuenstler.html, because a de Roos related document was there. Now I'm looking for other samples on the Net ...

So - are you going to digitise it?

Nope. I leave that to more experienced people. But I think that will not happen soon, if ever. I cannot find other references of Erbar Mediaeval on the net, leaving aside the samples. Somehow this font get lost in transition ... I found out that Ludwig & Mayer was sold to Neufville. I wonder if the matrixes still exist ...

The matrices almost certainly do not exist. I've been told that L&M matrices could theoretically still be stored as reference at Neufville in Barcelona, but if they don't have any, you are sadly out of luck :(

Frankfurt and its greater area (including Offenbach) were a hot-bed of typefounding before the second World War. This was an industrial area, and was virtually destroyed during the war. There is very little in terms of remaining materials, sadly.

Various museums or collectors would have printed samples of L&M faces. I think that these serve as better models for digitizing anyway. Matrices are a little thin, because they took into account that ink would spread on paper, creating the final letter image.

Good point Dan. Maybe I should open a separate thread about Erbar Mediaeval to see who has specimen samples or in which other areas was used. I think this font deserves a better fate, maybe some digital foundry will decide to revive it.