|Fournier, Pierre Simon. Manuel Typographique, utile aux Gens de Lettres, & à ceux qui exercent les différents parties de l'Art de l'Imprimerie. Tome I [-II]. Paris, the Author, J. Barbou, 1764/1766 [actually 1768].|
Two volumes, 8vo, pp. [iv] two engraved frontispieces, xxxii, 323,  errata,  privilege, and 8 folding engraved plates; [iv] frontispiece and title, xliv, [ii], 306, and 8 folding engraved plates, pages 177-186 as fold-out pages with printed music; type specimen printed within decorative border; contemporary full calf, spines decoratively gilt, with two gilt-lettered labels and numbering pieces, sides with Greek rule, gilt dentelles, all edges gilt.; a little rubbing to joints, front free endpaper removed; a fine copy, with engraved book-plate to front pastedown.
First edition, a fine copy, of Fournier's masterpiece, a magnificent type specimen, which is regarded as 'the most important book on French eighteenth century typography' (Birrell & Garnett 37). His types dominated European printing for fifty years (PMM II, 112). It includes 186 pages of specimens of type and 101 alphabets, ancient and modern, and was 'intended to explain to the layman the intricacies and nuances of the typographic art' (Jackson Burke 527). This copy also includes the portrait of Fournier after Bichou, which is often missing.The very attractive type specimen shows Roman, italic, Greek, and Hebrew fonts, with many additional exotic type faces, such as Syriac, Arabic, Coptic and Armenian. It presents the amazing repertory of Fournier's foundry, ranging from the tiny 'Parisienne' and 'Nonpareille' sizes to the grand size of 'Grosse Nonpareille', an unusually large face for cast type. A further highlight of this type specimen is the extensive choice of ornaments, which was clearly designed to be composed into a great variety of combinations and patterns.Fournier's contribution to typography cannot be overestimated. 'His grasp of typography was so complete and so firm that he could venture into every corner of it, its literature, its history, its relation to greater things, writing, architecture, music.' His first contribution had been his 'table des proportions qu'il faut observer entre les caractères', an attempt to standardize type sizes by a point system - a standard which is still in use today. He was a great innovator and moderniser of type faces, and his type specimen gives ample proof of this.Fournier had planned this work to consist of four volumes, but died before its completion.Audin, 55,56; Bigmore & Wyman I p. 228; Birrell & Garnett 37; Jackson Burke 527; Printing and the Mind of Man (Exhibition Catalogue) II, 112; see Updike, Printing Types, 1951, I, pp. 250-266 with numerous sample pages.
|Location of Origin: Europe|
|Medium/Materials: binding of contemporary full calf.|
|Dimensions: two volumes, bindings: 165 x 104 mm|
|Primary Classification: Antique Books, Manuscripts, and Maps : Other Books for Sale|
|Secondary Classification: Antique Books, Manuscripts, and Maps : Prints, etchings and lithographs|
|Audin, 55,56; Bigmore & Wyman I p. 228; Birrell & Garnett 37; Jackson Burke 527; Printing and the Mind of Man (Exhibition Catalogue) II, 112; see Updike, Printing Types, 1951, I, pp. 250-266 with numerous sample pages.|
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