René Ponot - Classification Typographique

Briefly, I'm doing some lite research working with a number of documents I can't actually read...
Don't let the name fool you, I'm no francophone; and while I can't actually read any of these Czech, French, Italian and German articles I come across, Google has been helping me suss them out with some degree of reliability.

What I'm really looking for is further information about the first footnote of this article by René Ponot:

1. Martin-Dominique Fertel, La Science pratique de L'imprimerie (The Practical Science of Printing), Saint-Omer, 1723, 502 p. Index.

I've found multiple printings of Fertel's work online, and despite page numbers suggesting otherwise, they all seem to appropriately terminate around page 350 or so... I thought the footnote might have been transposed in some way, but I can't seem to find the information I'm looking for.

As I've Google'd-out the translation from Ponot article, I'm under the impression that there is some specific typographic advice regarding Jenson types... and I wonder what it is... on this missing/transposed "502 p."?

{The need for classification has not been required since the invention of typography, as the number of types was once insignificant. In the first treatise of known printing (1723), Fertel 1 provides advice reserved to one type of character, established three centuries earlier by Nicolas Jenson...}

Any help with this appreciated, please... I must know.

For extra credit, I'm looking for a copy of Novarese's 'Alfa-beta' - in Toronto that I could purchase/borrow or otherwise acquire a fewlegible photographs of.

best always.

DTY's picture

I suspect the "502" is a typo, perhaps for "302". This is a bibliographic statement of the length of the book, not a page reference to specific information. As I understand the sentence by Ponot that interests you, he is simply saying that Fertel did not provide any classification of types because he restricted his discussion solely to the style of type created by Jenson (i.e., old style Roman).

brockfrench's picture

Okay. That is certainly simple enough. I suppose I expected that there would be a passage where Fertel would have referred to the Roman form directly in some manner - not in terms of classification, or some commercial name, but in some other antiquated parlance...

DTY's picture

Depends what you're looking for. On a quick skim through the first chapter of Fertel, which appears to be the main section devoted to the particulars of type, he discusses sizes of type, arrangement of type cases, and copyfitting, as well as the use of various specialized kinds of type like Greek letters, quads, drop caps, italics, and ornaments, but I didn't see anything about letterforms as such.

brockfrench's picture

Great! Thank-you.

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