Please help identify the typefounder of this Wedding Text font

Hello Briar Press friends,

I have a good-size font of 12-point Wedding Text that I will be selling at the Los Angeles Printers Fair next month, and I’d like to know whether it’s foundry type and how it was cast. Here are links to larger photos:



image: Wedding Text sort, pin mark, small file.jpg

Wedding Text sort, pin mark, small file.jpg

image: Wedding Text sort, foot, small file.jpg

Wedding Text sort, foot, small file.jpg

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Check the lowercase ‘v’ (vee). The design of the ATF Wedding Text has a small stroke extending up above the x-height, making it resemble the ‘w’. The Monotype version does not have this stroke, making it resemble the ‘u’. If it has the Monotype-style ‘v’ then it was made from Monotype matrices.

(But if it does have the ATF-style ‘v’ that isn’t complete proof that it is ATF. Four matrix fonts (in four sizes) were electroformed from ATF Wedding Text for Typefounders, Inc. (of Phoenix). These mats then went to Los Angeles Type Founders, then Barco, then Skyline (not cast), then me (not cast). Why anyone would have gone to the trouble to make these mats when nearly equivalent ones could be purchased from Monotype is not known. They aren’t the same format as standard Lanston or English Monotype display mats; I’m not actually certain what machine they were made for.)

David M.

David, I am continually amazed at what you know. My v’s seem to be the ATF-style, with an initial stroke that extends above x-height. Do the pin mark and nick give any additional hints as to typefounder? I guess we’re down to ATF, Los Angeles, and Barco?




The simple resolution to your quandry is to find someone with a known-ATF font of 12 pt Wedding Text and see what the pin marks and nicks look like. My understanding is that ATF tended to run the same mats on the same casters (pivotal or Barth), so it is likely that you could tell on this basis.

What I’ll now proceed to do is to innundate you with a mass of semi-related facts from which few conclusions can be drawn.

First, here are the speciments for Wedding Text from ATF and Lanston:

I’ll also attach small versions of these to this posting, but I’m not sure where BriarPress will put them - and in any case you want the larger images because you can’t see a thing in the tiny ones.

Here’s a scan of the matrix for the lowercase ‘v’, 12 point:
It doesn’t show the depths of the mat very well, but it does show the surface nicely.

Here is a slightly blurry photo of the casting portion itself:

Now for the factoids…

The upward stroke on the ‘v’ is clearly visible. Even though these mats are marked “388” (the Lanston series number) they are made from ATF series 414 type.

These mats were clearly cast-from, so there is type out there made from them.

Sky is pretty sure that these mats were made for Charlie Broad (Phoenix), probably in Japan. Sorts survive of the 18 point cast with a Phoenix pinmark, probably in a Thompson (Phoenix had point blades made with custom pinmarks). So type could have been cast from these mats by Phoenix, LATF, or Barco.

The nick on your type is not from a Thompson, but that in itself is not conclusive - the range of casters at or available to Phoenix/LATF/Barco has never been documented.

It is interesting (to me, but perhaps nobody else) that the ATF mats for 12 point Wedding Text appear not to have survived - or at least they are not present in Greg Walters’ list of MF Benton matrices in the back of Patricia Cost’s book.

So I doubt that any of this helps you. Short of finding an example of known-ATF type for comparison, all that I would feel confident in saying is that it is the ATF Series 414 Wedding Text as cast either by ATF or, pirated, by Phoenix, LATF, or Barco - unless someone *else* was also crazy enough to make a set of mats for it!

David M.

The clue to this casting is the “diamond” nick-mark and the plowed-feet. It is definitely foundry type and was cast by the Hansen Type Foundry of Boston. They are the only company that used that nick-mark, to my knowledge.
My Hansen catalogs are 1903 & 1909 and do not show Wedding Text, so it may have been cast after those dates and may have had another name.

Dave Greer

A quick check of McGrew says that Hansen’s version was called, Society Text.
Dave Greer

What is something like that worth these days?

I agree with Dave. I was going to chime in and say the v-nick means it was cast by Hansen in Boston. Society Text is just another knock-off of Wedding Text. Shaw Text is another (see McGrew).

Well, it is fairly rare being a Hansen-cast face, but…… it is something I would consider a “dog” stylewise. Way too much Wedding Text floating around. I don’t think that anyone would tell the difference simply by a quick look at it. The differences will be subtle.


Wow, thanks, everyone, for this amazingly informative discussion. I was going to offer the font for cheap since it’s a common job face, hardly the best take on blackletter, and lacking all but one uppercase H. But now, since Hansen castings are fairly rare, I’d rather give it to someone who collects such things, if anyone does. Any ideas how I might find such a person?

Dave Greer. I’ve been staring at that name for two days. It’s listed in parentheses above the Wedding Text specimen in McGrew. :-)


Barbara wrote:
>Dave Greer. I’ve been staring at that name for two days.

Ah, but look at his splendid photostream on flickr, complete with pictures of his specimen books of the Lyons and other wood and metal type collections. It’s a great resource:

David M.