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Universal Penman [Hardcover]

George Bickham

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Hardcover CDN $28.13  
Hardcover, June 1941 --  
Paperback CDN $16.87  
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Book Description

June 1941 0844647128 978-0844647128

"Very welcome . . . magnificent." — Graphis
"A valuable addition for art directors." — Advertising Age
This is the only complete edition available of one of the most famous and most useful books of commercial art ever printed. George Bickham, a noted engraver and calligrapher, first compiled this work back in the 1740’s, from the best specimens of 24 of the leading calligraphers of his day. Unfortunately, Bickham published his work in 52 separate parts, over a period of eight years. In Bickham’s own day it was difficult to get a complete set of the Universal Penman; today, apart from this edition, it is virtually impossible, for most surviving 18th-century copies lack certain rare plates. This Dover edition, however, contains every plate which Bickham engraved, and each is reproduced from an original so remarkably clear that these modern plates are actually better than most 18th-century originals.
This book contains more than 210 full-page plates, each crammed full of beautiful and interesting material. To list only part of its contents:
• Over 125 pictorial scenes, clear copperplates of drinking scenes, family scenes, commerce, rustic festivities, duels, more.
• Over 200 script pictures, male and female heads, busts, cherubs, griffins, birds, fish, etc.
• 19 complete alphabets: round hand, round text, Old English, florid, foliated, and others.
• 275 lettered specimens, overlaid with fine flourishes, swirls, spirals, featherings, volutes, etc.
• Over 100 panels, frames, cartouches, and other effects
Over 950 lettered specimens, with thousands of words that can be lifted right off for reproduction.
Individual items in this book are permission-free, and may be used (up to ten items per use) without permission, payment, or credit line. Calligraphers find Bickham the best source for English round-handwriting; commercial artists, advertising directors, and designers all find Bickham first-rate as a source for immediately usable pictures and script that suggests antiquity, quality, and reliability. Craftspeople have found it rich in unusual ideas and motifs, while libraries and art historians find it a wonderful collection of 18th-century pictures illustrating art-life.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! March 15 2008
By H. Sutcliffe - Published on Amazon.com
This book is amazing! I bought it for a school project my daughter was working on in school about Colonial America, to show the kind of book people used to write from back then. It is beautiful and the calligraphy is amazing. As a historical item it is definitely worth buying, however, if you are wanting to LEARN how to do it, there are other books that are better. Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy, a Step-by-Step Manual is one good choice.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for calligraphy lovers Aug. 13 2008
By Juan C. Lopez Alvarenga - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a reprint of cooperplate writing from XVIII century.
If you like calligraphy you will enjoy it!
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Example of Engrossing Jan. 12 2005
By anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The "Universal Penman" is an excellent example of 18th century engravings. The engravings are amazing. The talent of the artists inspires both the beginning and advanced student of penmanship.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously a beautiful book. July 17 2014
By Clare - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
As Philip Hofer writes in the forward, "Altogether, there are many reasons why every intelligent person should take a renewed interest in good handwriting." Even if you're not a calligrapher, you should buy this book simply because it is BEAUTIFUL. The work done by George Bickham inside is stunning--both the artwork and calligraphy. Seriously, if you have any interest whatsoever in lettering, you will love this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference May 21 2014
By Reading Angel - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The Universal Penman is a wonderful book to pour over when you want to see a variety of flourishes and Copperplate script. If you do any calligraphy, then this book is a great addition to your reference library. You can dissect the examples and see how to incorporate them into your own work. Or you can just admire the sheer beauty of the handwritten word.

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