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La escritura y la caligrafía inglesa, por Dámaso Sanz Martínez

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Inked botanicals:
Thanks to a fellow member of the Forum, I got my hands on a beautiful Spanish book about calligraphy. My idea was to scan it for all of you to have, but it was not as old as I though, so the book is not yet on public domain. But, what I can definitely do, is writing a comprehensive review, adding some interesting info I have found about the author and post some photos as example. Erica, please, if anything I do is against the Forum rules, do tell, delete or whatever you need to do!

The book itself is very beautiful, full of exemplars and some theory on the first pages. As the cover says, it was a method used for teaching. Dámaso Sanz Martínez created this method, and he was a Calligraphy Professor in a National School in Santander. Those kinds of schools were where future teachers learned how to teach children. You have on attachments photos of the cover and the inner title.

On one of the first pages of the book, along with the usual information about author and title, there is an official text describing the book and certifying it is good enough and has some law requirements for its use in teaching.

Then, there are several pages describing the correct posture, how to hold the pen, how to angle the paper, how to do the exercises and what materials to use. It recommends a nib called Perry 701 extrafine. I have not been able to find it, the most similar name I found was a Perry & Co. 7011. Have no idea if it is the same. There is no photo of the materials on the book.

The rest of the pages are exemplars and exercises. First there are some monoline drills and letters, and then it gets into copperplate. It is interesting to notice that the author says several times that calligraphy should be teached only to those interested on it. And the important thing was for everybody to have a nice penmanship. He says that the teacher should inspire the students to have a beautiful and readable everyday penmanship, and only if a student manifests an interest on it, he should be teached the complete copperplate calligraphy, or English cursive, as we called it here. So, it would be ok for a student to only do the monoline exercises, and the rest were considered advanced level.

I like most the last page; it is a beautiful exemplar as well as the last piece of advice. You have a photo on attachments. An approximate translation is:

“If you have came here with hard work and good mood, you will understand, seeing the pretty penmanship you now have, that in calligraphy as in every other areas of the human knowledge, that it is just necessary a strong will for enlightenment to be crowned by success. Congratulations.”

The book is from 1929. But searching for the author I found a very interesting fact. I found a catalogue of calligraphers from 1920 that says that Dámaso was a calligraphy teacher in the school of Gijón, my city! It also says that Dámaso was born in Hortigüela (Burgos) on august 15th in 1886. I also found his obituary on the newspaper. He died on May 23rd in 1962.  You have on attachments a pdf of the newspaper page with the obituary.

The Editorial of the book was the Taller de Artes Gráficas Viuda de F. Fons. The owner was Carmen Diestro Gener and she was the widow of Francisco Fons Velarde, founder of it and dead since 1897. She had also a bookstore that was lost on a fire in 1941. The Editorial was active until half of the XX century.

As another interesting fact, I found an official document from the government that says the salary of the calligraphers in 1943. You have it on attachments. There are listed 11 teachers in three different categories. Amongst them is Dámaso, in the second category and with a total salary of 6000 pesetas each year. I have absolutely no idea of how to convert that number into something about how much it would be today. The only data I can provide, is that when we changed pesetas to euros in 2002, this was the change rate: 1 euro = 166.386 pesetas.
Also I found some economical data that says that 1000 pesetas in 1945 were the equivalent of 82914 in 1999. But nothing else from there. Anyone with economical knowledge here?

valerie a.:
Seems like a beautiful book, thanks for sharing!

Beautiful calligraphy, thanks for sharing!

That was so interesting, Alba!  Wow.  Thank you for posting. 
The cover of the book is especially beautiful.

Inked botanicals:
Glad you like it!  ;D There are more reviews on its way, the package that was sent to me contained 4 different books and a nice little book with a program of calligraphy as subject in schools. All of them so interesting!


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