Author Topic: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy  (Read 255 times)

Offline Lucie Y

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Hi everyone!

I have been learning copperplate for 6 month and I have a bunch of manuals and exemplars. However, I have heard over and over that studying masters helps you improve and understand the script better, and I'm all for careful analysis!
There is a lot of material online but I'm looking for an actual book that compiles relevant works and tells the history behind it.

A few years back my husband gave me a calligraphy book with all sorts of scripts. Now there is like 4 pages about copperplate and no mention of Spencerian, but still I get more from staring at the five samples of copperplate work on two pages, than browsing a million samples on Instagram.

I feel like you focus differently on a book with less samples than you can turn to over and over. Thus my search for a good book reference.

Now these books are usually pricey so I really want to choose the right one.

So, do you have a pointed pen calligraphy "Bible" to recommend?

Have a lovely day!

Lucie
Oh crêpe!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2022, 10:03:43 AM »
There is a book called An Elegant Hand (Amazon affiliate link) which chronicles the history of American Penmanship and Calligraphy with examples from many past masters. It’s out of print and difficult to find.
Also, Tamblyn’s Home Instructor in Penmanship is excellent.

For Copperplate, don’t miss Dr. Joe Vitolo’s Script in the Copperplate Style or on his website: Zanerian.com.
Truly, Erica
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Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2022, 03:35:02 AM »
Three excellent recommendations ;D

Offline Estefa

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2022, 04:26:03 AM »
I also recommend @sybillevz’s wonderful website https://pennavolans.com/, where she has collected links to virtually hundreds of historical copybooks (with short introducting explanations), and is also a fantastic ressource for accurately redrawn letter variations (for a fee). There are also several articles regarding the development of the English Roundhand and Co. … sorry, it’s not a book though!
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline sybillevz

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2022, 04:59:29 AM »
Hello Lucie,

It all depends on what you want.
If you're specifically looking for copperplate exemplars, I suggest you go to this post on my blog. https://pennavolans.com/the-10-copybooks-you-need-to-know-about-if-you-study-copperplate-english-round-hand/
It's a list of my favorite copybooks on the subject. It should help you pinpoint the kind of copperplate you would like to work on (you'll see that the style changes from the Universal Penman in 1741 to 19th century French / Spanish / American interpretations of the hand).
I would just also add this book to the list, I don't know why it's not in there...: BECKER (George J.), Becker’s ornamental penmanship, 1854. (https://archive.org/details/ahn2554.0001.001.umich.edu/page/n5)

Once you know which style you like, I suggest you stay on the same site and visit the Bibliography (choose the time and place that fits your needs), where you'll find links to many more copybooks.


If you're looking for a mix of different hands, models to choose from..., then I suggest:
TSCHICHOLD (Jan), Treasury of calligraphy, 219 great examples 1522-1840
JESSEN (Peter), Masterpieces of calligraphy, 261 examples, 1500-1800
Both books were published by DOVER and are not published anymore, you should be able to find them on the secondary market.

If you're comfortable with French, I recommend Claude MEDIAVILLA, Calligraphie. It's a big book with nice examplars (although they're not very practical to use) and beautiful photos, there's also lots of info on the history and the penmen.
There's no mention of Spencerian in either of these books: you'll have to look for the book Erica mentioned, or Michael Sull's Spencerian script volume II (volume I is also interesting, but with less models).

Good luck!

and thanks @Estefa for mentioning Penna volans  ;) !

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2022, 12:58:54 PM »
@Estefa and @sybillevz are amazing historians of calligraphy! And @Estefa has written her own beautiful book which I believe is only available in German: Federflug. Thank you ladies for contributing - fabulous resources and we are so lucky to have your wisdom and input here at Flourish.  :-*
Truly, Erica
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Offline Estefa

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2022, 07:00:40 PM »
Thanks a lot, @Erica McPhee – my book is now also available in Japanese :). But sadly not (yet?) in English …
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline TeresaS

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2022, 09:19:55 PM »
Ooooo…I just took a peek.  That book looks gorgeous!  I took German in high school for two years, so I was able to pick a few words out….but not many…that was over 40 years ago.  Yikes!  Please let us know if an English version comes out!  Looks wonderful.
Teresa

Offline Lucie Y

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2022, 06:52:41 AM »
Hello!
Thank you all for the fantastic recommendations! I have been checking all the links and books on my phone but wanted to reply when I was finally properly sitting behind a computer.
This Penna Volans website is amazing, and I don't mind it being online material. I might print the material I need. The whole point being to have some physical material to muse on.
I'm excited to go through all of this. As for books, I might go for the book by Claude Mediavilla as I am French and thus comfortable with this language :) And I'll check the availability of the others since most are second-hand or a bit difficult to get a hand on from what I see.

Thank you very much all @sybillevz @Erica McPhee @Estefa
Oh crêpe!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2022, 01:57:09 PM »
Oh - if you can read French, don’t miss Recueil Methodique De Principes D’Ecriture by Par P. Merat. Incredible instruction and exemplars!
Truly, Erica
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Offline Estefa

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2022, 09:14:25 AM »
@TeresaS Thanks for your kind words! My publisher is still evaluating options for an English edition … but I guess the English speaking market is a bit saturated with calligraphy books, so maybe it will not happen.
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2022, 11:32:54 AM »
Aw, that is a shame to hear. While there are a lot of calligraphy books in English, there are few with excellent exemplars. I hope they will reconsider. Your book is beautiful and very well done - it would stand above most.  :-*
Truly, Erica
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Book recommendations for studying pointed pen calligraphy
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2022, 09:58:41 PM »
@TeresaS Thanks for your kind words! My publisher is still evaluating options for an English edition … but I guess the English speaking market is a bit saturated with calligraphy books, so maybe it will not happen.
I'll buy a copy.