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Typeface on a late 18th century book (Ruggiero e Bradamante …)

Marco Comastri

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Marco Comastri

Hello everyone,

I’d like to know if anyone has some pointer to who might be the punchcutter/foundry behind the typeface used in the preface of this book printed in Modena, Italy in 1780.


I know for sure that from the second half of 17th century the printer used to cast (and maybe even cut) some of its own type, but the book is printed about thirty years after the foundry supposedly shut down so it should be bought somewhere else.


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Kevin Thompson

Looks to be an Italian variation on Garamond.

The name of the printer was Bartolomeo Soliani, yes? Not finding much online about the company, but given Modena’s location in the north of Italy, a French-style typeface isn’t a huge surprise.

Metal type had a fairly long shelf-life, especially in that era since books were printed in comparatively small editions in the 18th century (compared to the tens or hundreds of thousands printed per edition today). The fewer impressions, the less wear on the type, and the longer it lasts.

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