Author Topic: The Pen-man's paradis - Flourishing, scanned engravings from 1695 by John Seddon  (Read 5575 times)

Offline Brush My Fennec

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John Seddon was born in 1644 and died on the 12th of April 1700 in the 56th year of his age.

He was hailed by contemporaries as being the greatest ornamental penman amongst the English and it was specifically in flourishing that he shone. Although his education and early life is unknown, he became the master of John Johnson's free writing school in Priest's court, Foster Lane, Cheapside (in London) holding that post till he died.

He published several engraved books, the best known and best being The Pen-man's Paradis which was engraved by John Sturt. The Pen-man's paradis contains 34 plates + an engraving of Seddon himself and the main attraction of the work is the extraordinary flourished figures and flourished alphabets designed and made by Seddon. Seddon's flourishes were imitated into the 1850s and, e.g, The Penman's Repository by Wm. Milns (pub. 1795) paid homage to Seddon's designs re-using some of them.

When Seddon died, an epitaph written for him by a fellow penman went:

Princes by birth, and politics, bear sway,
But here lies on of more command than they ;
For they by steady councils rule a land,
But this is he, cou'd men, birds, beasts command
Ev'n by the gentle motion of his hand.
Then penmen weep, your mighty loss deplore,
Since the great Seddon, can command no more.


For the love of calligraphy I have scanned a copy of the Pen-man's paradis and I have uploaded the scans to flickr and have put a .zip file of the scans on megaupload so that you can, if you want to, download all the scans at once. Please feel free to re-upload the scans, to spread them around where you please and do as you wish with them for personal use.

The megaupload is here:

https://mega.co.nz/#!PF1ChARC!H61QOnEieFUpPWsWJIA0JiInAltpWbvyTX9BEDDq_RA

The scans on Flickr are here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157644104898692/

Here are some reduced in size images as a sort of preview:






« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 06:39:11 PM by Brush My Fennec »

Offline Roseann

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Thank you so much!!
Roseann

The world is so full of a number of things, Im sure we should all be as happy as kings.   R. L. Stevenson

Offline Erica McPhee

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Astonishing! I always wondered why there wasn't more flourishing of other animals - why always birds! So I love seeing these. Those letters - wow!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline joi

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wow, i mean WOW, those images INSIDE the letters omg!  and that large dragon...i soooo want to be able to do that!  amazing!
thanks for sharing!

Offline JostenD

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My mind is blown away by the flourishes and how beautifully and cleanly done they are. This is one of the reasons why i continue to love calligraphy more and more. Because there's always something new to see.
Instagram.com/JostenDooley

Offline AndyT

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This is really fascinating - there are all kinds of influences going on: Dutch, Italian and yet there are still strong traces of Secretary hand.  I was also struck that there's a German text exemplar which is almost identical to the alphabets found in Victorian copybooks and American engrossing (I'd assumed that it was a 19th century pseudo-mediaeval concoction).  As for the flourishing, it's wonderful ... and bespeaks some serious quill cutting skills too.

Offline Brush My Fennec

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I was also struck that there's a German text exemplar which is almost identical to the alphabets found in Victorian copybooks and American engrossing (I'd assumed that it was a 19th century pseudo-mediaeval concoction). 

What the British called German text (as opposed to the British or Square Text) appears as "fractuer" in Jan Van der Velde's "Duytsche Exemplaren van Alderhande Gheschriften" (pub. 1620 if I recall rightly):



And it was appearing in British calligraphy books by the 1660s, here in "England's Pen-Man" by Edward Cocker (Cocker was definitely familiar with Velde's work since he paid tribute to him by using some of Velde's flourishes in his own books):



And German text was being used as late as 1921, here on an indenture:


Offline AndyT

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Thank you for that, very interesting.  I can't find the reference, but remember reading in one of the old American penmanship manuals that German Text was regarded as a somewhat quicker hand than Old English, and therefore preferable for diplomas and the suchlike wherever possible.  It certainly appears to have been a firm favourite.

And German text was being used as late as 1921 ...

When my father died earlier this year I inherited his draughting paraphernalia, including the nicely made German silver set shown below - not something he'd have used professionally, but he found it pleasing (as do I).  Under the flap were three little scraps of paper including the delicately written German Text initials, the work of a previous owner no doubt.  There's no way to date it, but if pressed I'd hazard a guess at the 1920s.

Offline Roseann

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I've been researching.  Does any one know the name of these capitals?
And is does anyone have a full exemplar to share?  I'd appreciate any other information on this particular example. 

Roseann

The world is so full of a number of things, Im sure we should all be as happy as kings.   R. L. Stevenson

Offline Brush My Fennec

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including the nicely made German silver set shown below - not something he'd have used professionally, but he found it pleasing (as do I).  Under the flap were three little scraps of paper including the delicately written German Text initials, the work of a previous owner no doubt.  There's no way to date it, but if pressed I'd hazard a guess at the 1920s.

Very interesting pictures and the text. As an aside, I saw a 19th century American draughting instruction manual which has a lot of information about, and about using the tools in that box:

https://archive.org/stream/manualpractical00incgoog#page/n15/mode/2up

The author mentions that German Silver instruments are the best ones made.

Another one here:

https://archive.org/stream/studentsillustr00pembgoog#page/n14/mode/2up

I've been researching.  Does any one know the name of these capitals?
And is does anyone have a full exemplar to share?  I'd appreciate any other information on this particular example. 

I'm not sure what they'd have been called in Dutch or German, perhaps just fractuer capitals. German text capitals in English, there are examples of them here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12601373055/in/set-72157641139333033

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10695197423/in/set-72157637352002756

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/11383673546/in/set-72157638694372886

http://www.iampeth.com/books/palmer_budget/palmers_budget_page83.html
http://www.iampeth.com/books/palmer_budget/palmers_budget_page84.html

I like those of Wm. E Dennis best of all though:

http://www.iampeth.com/books/dennis_pen_art/dennis_pen_art_page27.html
http://www.iampeth.com/books/dennis_pen_art/dennis_pen_art_page28.html


« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 03:23:43 PM by Brush My Fennec »

Offline AndyT

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As an aside, I saw a 19th century American draughting instruction manual which has a lot of information about, and about using the tools in that box ...

Many thanks for those links.  I've been snapping up ruling pens whenever I see them for years, but it's only just recently that I found out they're sought after by some calligraphers who use them on their sides, rather like folded pens.

Offline Heebs

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I became obsessed with ruling pens about a year ago culminating with the acquisition of the newer brass ruling pen made for expressive calligraphy. I can easily say its one of the most fun tools i've ever used.

Thanks for all of the info/links Brush My Fennec!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Very interesting! I took a class with Thomas Hoyer on writing calligraphy with a ruling pen on its side. Very fun and interesting results.
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline AndyT

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I'd love to see some examples of your work, Erica and Heebs, if you fancied starting a ruling pen thread.

Offline Faeleia

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Wow I'm starting to learn broad pen, so this is helpful, thanks for sharing these! and I'm so sorry to revive a 3 year old thread. The good thing is, calligraphy is better the older it is :D