Author Topic: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century  (Read 859 times)

Offline AAAndrew

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The writer, an elegant lady who lived from mid-1700s to early 1800s, English born and educated, was said to have an elegant "narrow Italian hand."

I'm trying to get an idea of what that may have looked like. I have read that Italian hands went out of style when roundhand became more popular, but it seems she was still using it, and Shelly included it in some of his books alongside roundhand, so it couldn't have been completely supplanted.

Anyone have an example?

Thanks,
Andrew
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2024, 03:54:02 PM »
The writer, an elegant lady who lived from mid-1700s to early 1800s, English born and educated, was said to have an elegant "narrow Italian hand."

I'm trying to get an idea of what that may have looked like. I have read that Italian hands went out of style when roundhand became more popular, but it seems she was still using it, and Shelly included it in some of his books alongside roundhand, so it couldn't have been completely supplanted.

Anyone have an example?

Thanks,
Andrew
Hi @AAAndrew

Might this be what you're looking for?
From "The Universal Penman" by George Bickham, c. 1740.  Joseph Champion, scripcit
« Last Edit: January 17, 2024, 04:08:29 PM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2024, 04:28:52 PM »
@AAAndrew

Here's a little more "elegant" example if you will, from "Verharne's Useful Penmandhip, c. 1825, by Thomas Peter Verharne.





Offline Zivio

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2024, 06:26:59 PM »
Doing some random research I encountered this: 

Quote
"Several 18th-century manuals like John Seally's "The Running Hand" (1770) showcase the narrow Italian style."

But I have no way to vouch for its accuracy. It may be possible to locate an online or digitized copy, but I failed to locate one. Many larger public library systems support "Interlibrary Loans" and then there's WorldCat® online. From WorldCat® I wasn't able to find the exact title, but there was Seally's "New running hand copies : designed for the use of schools by John Seally, Master of the Academy in Bridgewater Square, London. 9 leaves, engraved throughout." 

For what it's worth, you may be able to gain access at WorldCat® through a local university or other organization.


https://search.worldcat.org/title/642301622
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Offline Zivio

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2024, 06:29:03 PM »
Oh, one other resource which possibly describes visual characteristics can be found here:

https://g.co/bard/share/591d59872662
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Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2024, 11:26:22 PM »
Y'all are, as always, the best! I like the idea that "narrow" meant that the letterforms are more oval than round and a longer ascender and descender relative to the body of the letter.

The writer lived from 1748-1841. She was married to my 7x great grandfather who fought in the Revolutionary War. She was born in Virginia, I just found out, but educated in England.

The letter my cousin wants to approximate was written in 1829. I will use one of my steel pens that approximates a quill as best as possible. (my quill-cutting skills are just not up to the task)

Oh, and I found a copy of Seally's "The Running Hand" on archive.org. It's not a fantastic copy, but better than nothing.

https://archive.org/details/bim_eighteenth-century_new-running-hand-copies_seally-john_1770/mode/2up
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2024, 02:35:57 PM »
First - great to see you @AAAndrew ! We’ve missed you! Second - fascinating info. Third - @Zivio I never would have thought to check an AI - so resourceful!!!
Warm Regards,
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Offline Zivio

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2024, 07:08:31 PM »
... Third - @Zivio I never would have thought to check an AI - so resourceful!!!

You may learn to regret having said anything about this* -- it is an autodidact's dream, and I've been on a huge jag lately! There are many ways to use it, and I've only recently learned that there is something to be said about "prompt craft," that is, understanding and becoming proficient at getting the most effective knowledge access. There are even "Prompt Engineer" positions becoming a thing, which is very surprising to me because just about any search a person might have for typical search engines can also be posed without requiring any particular elegance. 

If you or others are interested, two excellent free resources are Google Bard, or Bing Copilot. Bard is my personal preference, but Copilot is also good. They each have pros and cons, so I select the one most useful for the task at hand:

https://bard.google.com/chat
https://www.bing.com/search?q=Bing+AI&showconv=1&FORM=hpcodx

* I warned you.  And this probably belongs in another thread, but did I mention I WAS EXCITED?!  ::)
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Offline JanisTX

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2024, 09:20:22 AM »
I just went down the rabbit hole!  WHY did you send me on this little mission??!!

Janis

Offline Zivio

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2024, 09:40:21 AM »
I just went down the rabbit hole!  WHY did you send me on this little mission??!!

Janis

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Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2024, 08:14:26 AM »
I just went down the rabbit hole!  WHY did you send me on this little mission??!!

Janis
As a foreigner, what does it mean to go "down the rabbit hole" ???

Offline Zivio

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2024, 09:47:33 AM »
[As a foreigner, what does it mean to go "down the rabbit hole" ???

Like Lewis Carroll’s Alice (in Wonderland) following the white rabbit, it means becoming curious about one thing which leads to another, then leading to yet another, to the point of distraction, often resulting in losing track of time … without necessarily answering one’s original curiosity or interest. Janis used the idiom to describe her (first?) experience with exploring ChatGPT, artificial intelligence for answering questions. Believe me, I have chased that A.I. rabbit down the hole more times than I’ll admit!

Would you say “getting sucked in” for something like this? Logophile that I am, I’m interested to learn if there may be an equivalent colloquialism in the UK.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2024, 09:52:46 AM by Zivio »
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Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Looking for an example of a "narrow Italian hand" from the 18th-century
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2024, 03:42:59 AM »
Thanks for the explanation, Apparently, it is used here, I just hadn't heard it before.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2024, 10:19:15 AM by Ken Fraser »