Author Topic: Comparisons: Copperplate (English Roundhand) & Engrosser's Script  (Read 4227 times)

Offline Estefa

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Re: Comparisons: Copperplate (English Roundhand) & Engrosser's Script
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2016, 12:13:31 PM »
Love you examples as alway, @Ken Fraser !

Regarding the issue with the pen lifts, I found this in the New Zanerian Alphabets:

"Raise the pen often; as often as indicated. These plates were prepared for the purpose of revealing rather than concealing pen liftings and joinings. For that reason they appear broken and unfinished, but they tell the truths of execution." (page 6)

I think that means that the little gaps on the baseline and between parts of letters are for explanation – and not meant to be written like that.

I also think it does not matter how often one raises the pen – as long as the outcome is beautiful. As different as people are, as different their way and method to produce beautiful letters may be. There are also different ways to develop a rhythm in writing, @Masgrimes – I personally find the pen lifting on a downstroke only helpful when it's a stem (like the first downstroke on a "n"), but not in an oval or a compound curve (like the second downstroke in the "n"). Like Ken said, for me it also disrupts the flow and feels just weird and uncomfortable.

Regarding the use of the words Roundhand or Engrosser's Script … I find that Mr. Zaner uses them interchangeably, and he does say it has historical roots:

"Reviving interest in Round or Engrossing Script means that some things are good even if they are old. This style of writing attained a very high degree of perfection in beauty and skill in the sevententh century. During the first half of the present century it was superseded by our light-line, semi-commercial hand. But the latter proved too weak for true ornament and too difficult for practical purposes […]." (page 12)

"Roundhand is the highest art in the matter of script forms. […] No style is so widely admired by educated people as Roundhand. It has continued in use with but slight modifications for three centuries." (page 5)

So maybe we can all just settle on that these are variations … some people like the one form more, others prefer the other, or the style the Spanish calligrapher Valliciergo developed from Roundhand as his "Caligrafํa inglesa". And there are so many other variations of Roundhand over the centuries, from French, German, Dutch, Italian etc. writig masters … I don't like to put one over the other as most pure or true. Except maybe that the Universal Penman laid the ground for all the later styles ;). Which does not mean that everybody has to like it the most.

Sorry for the rant ;D.

Maybe I finish with that quote by Zaner, which I probably like the most:

"Experiment. Do good work in your own way, learning as much as possible from this and other sources." (page 8 )
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline AndyT

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Re: Comparisons: Copperplate (English Roundhand) & Engrosser's Script
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2016, 02:38:06 PM »
I don't like to put one over the other as most pure or true.  [...] Which does not mean that everybody has to like it the most.

Now that's a statement I go along with entirely.  Whereas:

"Roundhand is the highest art in the matter of script forms.

Pfft.  That's all those old Italian guys told, then.   >:(

Offline Estefa

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Re: Comparisons: Copperplate (English Roundhand) & Engrosser's Script
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2016, 03:21:51 PM »

"Roundhand is the highest art in the matter of script forms.

Pfft.  That's all those old Italian guys told, then.   >:(

I hope you know that I would never say something like that, @AndyT :)!!! I was just quoting to show what Zaner thought about Roundhand.

I don't like these sorts of exclusionary statements. We are talking about aesthetics here, and they are subjective. How boring if everyone thought the same kind of script the most beautiful. Also how boring if no scribe had ever changed the exemplar that was given to him by a teacher – we'd have but two or three scripts in Western Writing since Roman times ;).
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Offline AndyT

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Re: Comparisons: Copperplate (English Roundhand) & Engrosser's Script
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2016, 03:58:36 PM »
I hope you know that I would never say something like that.  :)!!!

Of course I do!

There's always room for a bit of good natured teasing, but the whole hierarchy of scripts thing is so 14th century.   ;)

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Comparisons: Copperplate (English Roundhand) & Engrosser's Script
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2016, 06:52:45 PM »
Reviving interest in Round or Engrossing Script means that some things are good even if they are old.

Nice of him to acknowledge that something might be good, even if its old!! :o

Offline Estefa

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Re: Comparisons: Copperplate (English Roundhand) & Engrosser's Script
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2016, 02:11:34 AM »
Reviving interest in Round or Engrossing Script means that some things are good even if they are old.

Nice of him to acknowledge that something might be good, even if its old!! :o

Hehe, isn't it?! I guess it's a good testimony of the spirit of the times – industrialization, discovery of the American West, things new and exiting ;) ...
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Offline Masgrimes

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Re: Comparisons: Copperplate (English Roundhand) & Engrosser's Script
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2019, 02:09:39 PM »

Just a side note regarding Engraver's Script :-

I do think that it's unfortunate that, in the Zanerian instructions, no mention is made of its predecessor, English Roundhand. Although it's closely related to ER being descended from it  ::), it's as though the style emerged one day, fully formed from thin air!  :-\

Ken

Hey Ken!

Well, it's been several years since this thread was discussed, but I thought I'd follow up on it anyway. I'm just getting back into the forum. Please excuse my tardiness!

In regards to your statement quoted above: Both the first and second edition of the Zanerian Manual contain a plate from William Milnes' The Penman's Repository (1775) clearly establishing a pedigree for the Engrosser's Script as a derivation of its English counterpart. In my opinion, this is a full acknowledgment that the style had not 'emerged from thin air'.

p.12 The Zanerian Manual (1918)

In regards to Estafa's thoughts:


I think that means that the little gaps on the baseline and between parts of letters are for explanation – and not meant to be written like that.

I also think it does not matter how often one raises the pen – as long as the outcome is beautiful. As different as people are, as different their way and method to produce beautiful letters may be. There are also different ways to develop a rhythm in writing, @Masgrimes – I personally find the pen lifting on a downstroke only helpful when it's a stem (like the first downstroke on a "n"), but not in an oval or a compound curve (like the second downstroke in the "n"). Like Ken said, for me it also disrupts the flow and feels just weird and uncomfortable.


There certainly are different ways to develop rhythm while writing. Perhaps my previous statement is oversimplified. The benefit of lifting the pen is not to increase speed or comfort but to increase accuracy. My Engrosser's Script does not personally flow so much as it tumbles. Certain stroke combinations require less delay between lift and subsequent execution. The timing of stroke placement is not so much 1-1-1-1 as it might be 123--1234--123--1-12-123. Was this how historic penmen wrote? Likely not. Unfortunately the only instruction I know of that covers this type of theory is for practical writing.

I also think we should hesitate to utilize Zaner as a model for all things roundhand. The thinking/execution between Zaner's material and Lupfer's is significant enough that we should consider their words and plates distinctly. Vitolo (and indeed all of us that have stemmed from his influence) tends to write much more akin to Lupfer than we did to Zaner (Roundhand/ES, anyway.)

Considering your suggestion that the lifts are only visible in educational material, I can say from first-hand experience this is not the case. I have original specimens from Howe, Lupfer, Norder etc. that are all meant for professional reproduction or personal correspondence that all contain visible lifts. This was a hallmark of the style and a natural byproduct of the baseline lift.

For 'display' script (script to be prepared at size without reduction), these penmen would often retouch their materials prior to handing off to the engraver. This would include filling in small gaps at the baseline left as a result of the pen lifts.

Here are some clips of Lupfer's own words on these subjects.

https://i.imgur.com/UIvsRgn.png

https://i.imgur.com/4RkhVOY.png

That being said, I would no longer disqualify a non-lifted style from being deemed 'Engrosser's Script', I would simply call it a 'modernism'. Over the past few years, I have better formed my understanding of the baseline lift. It has three main benefits which are outlined simply as:

1.) The lift serves a role in the rhythm of creation and creates regular intervals for which shapes and lateral positioning can be evaluated and controlled.

2.) The lift serves to reduce the likelihood of nib turnover in which during a downstroke a fiber of the paper is captured between the tines and creates a line-quality issue upon the bottom turn.

3.) It protects and isolates the interior-angular-nature of ES, which Lupfer admittedly was not the largest proponent of, but we see clear as day in the more prolific Engrosser's Script penmen like Baird and Norder.

---

Anyway, just my thoughts on the subject. Hope you both have been enjoying your pursuits!

David
David Grimes
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