Printed illuminations
July 22, 2019 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Printed borders inside books predate moveable type, and briefly flourished alongside it. This is a short and sweet article about metalcut borders, a technology that was invented to be robust enough to use (and reuse, and reuse, and reuse) as part of a moveable-type setup.

Note: I Love Typography is full of delicious type- and print- and book- related rabbit holes. Previously in 2017, previously in 2015 , ... all the way back to previously in 2007. Here's the full list.
posted by janell (4 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Very interesting; thank you!

This delicate and busy moresque border populated with dogs, birds, a stag, entwined dragons, a unicorn, a lion, a bull, and some other creatures I’m unable to identify ...

I am so curious about the creature on the top right! A body more powerful than the bull, though similar, a very thin neck, ill defined head, with probable horn(s)?

I do see rabbits here and there, and a raven commanding center top position, a hyena (I think) center right near the lion, and a very wonderful bear on the bottom left whose stealing away with ... something? I would think a beehive, but the shape is wrong.
posted by taz at 4:02 PM on July 22, 2019

posted by cortex at 4:58 PM on July 22, 2019

Oh, that's nice. I was at a Pre-Raphaelite traveling exhibition yesterday and they had some of their bordered books.

Paper and parchment and printing were all so expensive; I'm surprised that all that area was handed over to decoration. Which means I don't understand what the decoration meant. If I go down the ILT rabbit hole, will it discuss whatever grim utilitarian change of heart made us give up the borders?
posted by clew at 5:00 PM on July 22, 2019

I didn't know about these -- thanks, janell!
posted by Zed at 9:18 AM on July 23, 2019

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