First Published: July 2012
Revised (substantive): 17 March 2017
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B Y W A Y O F I N T R O D U C T I O N
This Web page will introduce a new section for databases, theories, and debates relating to English printers’ ornaments — part of She-philosopher.com’s growing collection of material on the history of print, design, type, and calligraphy.
Specifically, this section of the website will aggregate digital facsimiles, and catalog the uses, of decorative blocks in 17th-century publications. The hope is that scholars specializing in early-modern prints and maps, and other experts in graphic design, will be able to use this data to trace the actual transfer of woodblocks between English printers, from the late 1500s through the late 1600s.
It is my contention that the copying — and possibly even re-use — of trademark head-piece and tail-piece designs indicates that early women printers, publishers and authors were not the marginalized figures of the 17th-century scientific/technical book trade that many have suggested.
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• Ornament study: Head-Piece No. 1
• Ornament study: Tail-Piece No. 1