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Calligraphotechnia By Richard Gething

copy book italian hand secretary hand gothic blackletter court hand chancery english england richard gething

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#1 Columba Livia

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 18:28







(The first plate above says "Bartholomeus it is meete and most convenient" etc etc)


Richard Gething was born in Herefordshire, perhaps in 1585, and at some point in his life travelled to and worked in London. Massey describes him as being in the company of the "heads and fathers" of English calligraphy and that he deserves our "highest commendation".


You might have heard of or read Sir Ambrose Heal's "The English Writing - Masters and Their Copybooks 1570 - 1800": this copy of Calligraphotechnia once belonged to him and has his bookplates and some notes by him written in it. This book also once belonged to one Nathaniell Adams, who wrote his name in it in 1654(? not sure about the last digit). Note the elaborate knot which is part of his signature. There is a specific name for such a knot, but I forgot what it was.


Short biography of Richard Gething here:




A .zip containing all the scans is here:




And I've uploaded the scans on flickr here:



Edited by Columba Livia, 25 November 2013 - 18:41.

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#2 HDoug


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Posted 25 November 2013 - 21:23

I'm unfamiliar with this period of handwriting history and because of that most fascinated by it. Of particular interest to me are the many examples of cursive in this book written with a pointed nib but not fully looped like later hands.


Thanks much for posting. I downloaded the images for close inspection.




P.S. I think that knot is called a "cadel"? 

#3 Columba Livia

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 00:28

P.S. I think that knot is called a "cadel"? 


I looked in "The Later Court Hands in England" by Hilary Jenkinson, he has a page devoted to them, they're called "paraphs". From that same book, is a diagram giving a loose outline of the development of handwriting (in England):




At the time Gething's book was published, most people would be using secretary hand or a mixed hand as their everyday handwriting.

#4 MisterBoll



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Posted 04 December 2013 - 00:42

Thank you! Much appreciated post.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: copy book, italian hand, secretary hand, gothic, blackletter, court hand, chancery, english, england, richard gething

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