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The Pen-man's paradis - Flourishing, scanned engravings from 1695 by John Seddon

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Brush My Fennec:

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:!PF1ChARC!H61QOnEieFUpPWsWJIA0JiInAltpWbvyTX9BEDDq_RA

The scans on Flickr are here:[email protected]/sets/72157644104898692/

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

Thank you so much!!

Erica McPhee:
Astonishing! I always wondered why there wasn't more flourishing of other animals - why always birds! So I love seeing these. Those letters - wow!

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!

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.


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