Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection
The Collection
History Publications Specimens Details
American Wood Type
Production Manufacturers Bibliography
Contact & Links
English sign painters in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century developed a bold lettering style used on signboards and other announcements. This style of lettering was the precursor to the Antique style. Vincent Figgins showed the first typographic Antique in his 1815 Specimen of Printing Type. Egyptian was another name used to describe this style, and was coined by William Thorowgood in his 1820 Thorowgood, (late Thorne,) Letter Founder. These types had block-like rectangular or slab serifs with unbracketed (abrupt right angle) joints and a heavy, uniform stroke lacking significant contrast. The Antique, or Egyptian, was widely used and immensely popular during the first half of the nineteenth century, and was quickly elaborated into a wide range of designs including French Antique, Grecian and Latin.

The first instance of the Antique in wood type was in the first wood type specimen book ever produced, Darius Wells’ 1828 Darius Wells, Letter Cutter. All manufacturers of wood type produced a range of Antiques throughout the nineteenth century.
Antique Light Face Extended
Antique Light Face Extended Reversed
Antique Light Face
Antique Light Face
Antique Extended
Antique Extended
Antique Extended
Antique
Antique
Antique
Antique Condensed
Antique X Condensed No 3
Antique XX Condensed No 1
Antique XX Condensed No 2
Antique XXX Condensed
Antique XXX Condensed
Egyptian No 2
French Antique
French Antique No 1
French Antique No 1
Grecian
Grecian Condensed
Grecian X Condensed
Grecian X Condensed
Grecian XX Condensed
Grecian XX Condensed
Latin Extended
Latin Extended
No 131
No 131
No 129
Antique Egyptian
cap A is missing from collection