(x) Post-WWII "broken" italic - Balzac {Ben Archer}

This might be a tough one.

It's the only usage in a small German book of that title (which means what, btw?) printed in Stuttgart in 1952 (the copyright date). I've included the subtitle in Palatino to remind us how effete the digital version is - just look at the "s" and "t"... Speaking of Zapf (and maybe this is a clue) some of his captivating calligraphy can be seen on the cover of the book:



Hrant! Maximum 600px wide! :^D

that's very lovely

> Maximum 600px wide!

You forget you're talking to a lover of the horizontal scroll bar.
(Although I admit the second image is wasteful in that respect.)


BTW, here's another possible clue: the "k" seems to be a cheap splice job. If so, it probably replaced that funky blackletter form - which might have been seen as too old-fashioned (and/or, this being post-WWII, probably too German) especially in light of the "progressive" lower-casization in the subtitle.


Wow—that is a really nice bit of type there Hrant! I wish I could help you with it. Are you digitising it??


Nah, I just want to mine the rest of it for ideas.


The full inscription:

Schri kunst schri und klag dich sehr / dein begert jetzt niemer mehr / so o we 1431 / 
Lukas moser maler von wil/ meister des werx bit got vir in.

Cry, art and bewail yourself, because nobody cares about you anymore, so Oh Woe, 1431. Lukas Moser, painter from ( Weil-der-Stadt; or, Rottweil) , the master who made this work, Pray God for him.

a yearbook of old and new art

--Nah, I just want to mine the rest of it for ideas.

Wow! sounds pretty cool mate. Keep us posterd!


Hi Hrant

That one sent me diving for the script section of the Jaspert, Johnson & Turner Berry 'Encyclopedia of Typefaces' (1958). If you've got a copy, the following image appears on p.306. Your example above, IMHO looks like a cleaned-up version of the same face (I think there are structural similarities between the two). There again, I could always be wrong... don't think there is a digital version around of this either.

" .... don’t think there is a digital version around"

There are at least three digital versions of Balzac out there. There's Balthazar from Fontbank, Balzac on the 24 Bold Script Display Fonts CD from Dan Solo/Dover and Brendel's version of Balzac.

None of these are well made and, of course, Balzac is not really a match. I know of nothing closer, though.

Thanks Mike
I stand (or sit) corrected. The cleaned-up version that Hrant is showing at top is far tastier anyway; does anyone think it'd be worth Hrant's while to quiz the archives at Stempel to see if there was ever an alternate 'smooth' Balzac produced?

Man, some people will digitize anything.

Ben, thanks for finding that - I do have the Jaspert. Balzac must be it: it has that distinctive bad "k", and the date & location make sense. The difference of finish we're seeing between my book's setting and the Jaspert sample is most probably due simply to scale: irregularity gets more diluted the smaller the size, both optically and mechanically (ink gain). They probably relied too heavily on the pantograph, ending up with a "size-ignorant" finish - unlike in the case of masterful Mistral, shown here (size normalized) in a large point size and a small: