Author Topic: French Roundhand Exemplars?  (Read 556 times)

Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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French Roundhand Exemplars?
« on: June 03, 2019, 08:12:35 PM »
Been way too long since I've posted here.

Lately I've been so addicted to French RH.  The first exemplar came from The Zanerian Manual (1924),
the others i just found via google image.

Does anyone know where to look for more exemplars of French RH?  Would love to see!

« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 08:19:33 PM by Daniel Mastrofski »
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Offline KristinT

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 10:32:38 PM »
What a handsome hand!  I'm afraid I have nothing to contribute aside from my appreciation.   ;)

Offline Masgrimes

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2019, 02:41:13 AM »
A great question would be: are you interested in the style you see in the Zanerian Manual, or are you interested in the historical hands that influenced it?

If the latter, you might enjoy this volume by Louis Barbedor.

https://paleography.library.utoronto.ca/islandora/object/paleography%3A527
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Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2019, 03:14:59 AM »
@Masgrimes wow, David! Thank you for that share:) lots of drooling over that book!
To answer your question I am interested in both the Zanerian style and the historical equally. 
Can you recommend anything further? Thank you much!
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Offline Masgrimes

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2019, 05:26:05 PM »
I'd be remiss not to thank Sybille from https://pennavolans.com/ for her help compiling resources for me. I'm glad you like the book!

My interest is more in the 20th-century adaptations of the hand, as those are the American styles that you see in Zanerian Manual, except they're not actually American—they're likely German. C. W. Norder, the gentleman who penned the specimens you've been reviewing in the ZM was a vocal proponent of Soennecken broad nibs and likely worked directly from the workbooks of F. Soennecken

Here's a link to one of them. You'll notice quite a few similarities.

https://books.google.com/books?id=mgkIAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
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Offline marilyns

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2019, 05:07:23 PM »
I would be interested in a ductus for the French Roundhand--or similar--as shown on the Exemplar in The Zanerian and suggestions for a currently available nib that would achieve that look.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2019, 10:36:56 AM »
Been way too long since I've posted here.

Lately I've been so addicted to French RH.  The first exemplar came from The Zanerian Manual (1924),
the others i just found via google image.

Does anyone know where to look for more exemplars of French RH?  Would love to see!
You might consider looking for a digitized copy of works by Thomas Peter Verharne, if they exist. The books themselves are quite rare, and can be found via Worldcat. Start your search here, if you like:
https://www.worldcat.org/wcidentities/viaf-288271454




« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 10:43:08 AM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2019, 05:29:28 PM »
Here's a small piece of my French Roundhand
My apologies to C W Norder, but I don't like it backhand  :P
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 05:32:26 PM by Ken Fraser »

Offline sybillevz

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2019, 11:12:17 AM »
The French Ronde was originally a modern evolution of the gothic french handwriting from the 15-16th centuries. It became one of the official french hands when the French Parliament decided around 1633 that only 3 hands would be allowed to be taught and used for official documents. The Ronde was the formal one, it was never (meant to be) used as an every day handwriting style; in the 19th century it was mainly used for official documents like passports or birth certificates (for titles, mainly). They used a lot of weird variations for end of word / beginning of word letters, which makes some examples hard to read...

As David pointed out, the French models don't really look like the American models. All I can add to this observation is that the Italian copybooks from the 19th century show models of this "german-american" variation. German-looking styles became official in Italy back when Austria was ruling part of the country... My guess is that the style was inspired by the French models (there was this german-speaking region in France, which may have played some part is making the style more popular in Germany?), tweaked to fit the German aesthetics around the 1820-1850's and made simpler by getting rid of the "illegible" variations. I don't think that this was ever something else than a "ornamental" hand in Germany : they had Kurrent as their own handwriting style before they tweaked the French Ronde.

Soennecken is actually credited for inventing round-writing, and he seems to have published quite a few manuals on the subject in several languages. But I have trouble accepting this information, as he was only born in 1848 and the hand (or a very similar one) is already around in Italy in the 1830's...
He also manufactured a nib specifically to write this style.

Anyways, Soennecken's examples are wonderful @Masgrimes, thanks for sharing !

Offline Estefa

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2019, 11:50:25 AM »
@sybillevz It also confused me that Soennecken claimed to have »invented« Rundschrift (round script), when it's clearly an adaption of the French Ronde … quite cheeky! But then I guess in pre-internet times it was much easier to claim something like that  ;D
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Offline sybillevz

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2019, 03:34:40 PM »
@Estefa I've come to believe that things are never simple when it comes to the evolution of scripts : every single calligrapher has his own style, some are just more quiet about it than others.... Soennecken saw an opportunity to market this script (which I think bears more "gothic" characteristics than the French ronde you can see in Paillasson's exemplars), he wasn't quiet about his own style and probably sold many nibs thanks to his marketing skills.
The thing is, the official French Ronde that was used in late 19th- early 20th century is closer to Soennecken's examples than to Paillasson's...

This is something that we can still see today : some calligraphers will make minor tweaks to a standard copperplate and call it their script... Maybelle Imasa is a name that comes to my mind today but there are others. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, though. I'm happy for the calligraphers who manage to make a living out of their craft, whoever they are ;)
... I'm just not a good marketer  ;D

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2019, 10:37:14 PM »
Several German companies made pens for this and similar styles of writing.  The Brause #5 “Rustica” is one which is still fairly easily found. It’s a stub dip pen cut at an angle. The Rustica is really for a different style, but it seems similar to the diagrams on how to cut a quill for “Ronde” writing.

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Offline RD5

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Re: French Roundhand Exemplars?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2019, 05:27:06 AM »
The French Ronde was originally a modern evolution of the gothic french handwriting from the 15-16th centuries. It became one of the official french hands when the French Parliament decided around 1633 that only 3 hands would be allowed to be taught and used for official documents. The Ronde was the formal one, it was never (meant to be) used as an every day handwriting style; in the 19th century it was mainly used for official documents like passports or birth certificates (for titles, mainly). They used a lot of weird variations for end of word / beginning of word letters, which makes some examples hard to read...

As David pointed out, the French models don't really look like the American models. All I can add to this observation is that the Italian copybooks from the 19th century show models of this "german-american" variation. German-looking styles became official in Italy back when Austria was ruling part of the country... My guess is that the style was inspired by the French models (there was this german-speaking region in France, which may have played some part is making the style more popular in Germany?), tweaked to fit the German aesthetics around the 1820-1850's and made simpler by getting rid of the "illegible" variations. I don't think that this was ever something else than a "ornamental" hand in Germany : they had Kurrent as their own handwriting style before they tweaked the French Ronde.

Soennecken is actually credited for inventing round-writing, and he seems to have published quite a few manuals on the subject in several languages. But I have trouble accepting this information, as he was only born in 1848 and the hand (or a very similar one) is already around in Italy in the 1830's...
He also manufactured a nib specifically to write this style.

Anyways, Soennecken's examples are wonderful @Masgrimes, thanks for sharing !

An important thing to know about Soennecken is that he was very involved in the Fraktur- Antiqua debate, on the Anitqua side. Of course, Fraktur was always a bookhand, and few people wrote it then, so the common written hand was Kurrent, but basically, the debate over writing styles was part of the debate over printing styles.

I haven't read Soennecken's works on the subject, so I can't claim expertise, but he could be seen as an activist and a reformer as well as an inventor and businessman.

I think, in this light, he intended his round hand to be the basis of an everyday script.

Of course, now the style of nibs he designed are used to write fraktur or other blackletter.