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suspire
02-11-2010, 10:48 PM
I've been doing research on a classic printer's mark used since the mid 15th Century that is based on alchemical symbols and I'd like to confirm some of my findings with you guys.

Here are some examples of the mark
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http://jgilman.net/files/printers_mark.jpghttp://jgilman.net/files/printers_mark0.jpghttp://jgilman.net/files/printers_mark1.jpg
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My research tells me its a mark for Salt of Antimony or Cinnabar.
http://jgilman.net/files/cinnabar.jpg
http://jgilman.net/files/antimony.jpg
http://jgilman.net/files/antimony2.jpg

I've read a few things that suggest it was used by printers in their mixtures for lead type and as a red ink.
Eventually it became a general mark for printers with lots of variations.

My questions are:

Why is there an extra cross bar?
Is it to symbolize that is was used as a powder (pulvis)?
http://jgilman.net/files/pulvis.jpg

Why would a printer use this mark?


Thanks guys.

Awani
02-12-2010, 04:58 PM
Not here to answer your questions, more raise some new ones.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h18/deviadah/forum/450px-San_SilvestroJPG.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_cross)
Papal Cross (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_cross)

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h18/deviadah/forum/399px-Denmark_globus_cruciger.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globus_cruciger)
Globus Cruciger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globus_cruciger)

I have always thought Christianity if ridden with alchemical imagery...

http://jgilman.net/files/cinnabar.jpg

:cool:

suspire
02-13-2010, 04:04 AM
They do have a history of laying claim to what they find and calling it their own.
Pagan solstice and equinox holidays for example.

antimony cinnabar
http://www.symbols.com/encyclopedia/41b/41b9.html

solomon levi
02-13-2010, 04:22 PM
I can only guess that it may have had something to do with antimony's
use as a type metal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_metal

suspire
02-17-2010, 06:11 PM
I can only guess that it may have had something to do with antimony's use as a type metal.

I think you are correct.
I've found lots of early printers marks that are clearly derived from alchemy symbols.

Based on that wiki link, they made type from Antimony, Lead and Tin.

What I can't figure out is what combination of these symbols make the printer's mark?

Antimony
http://jgilman.net/files/antimony0.jpg

Lead
http://jgilman.net/files/lead.jpg

Tin
http://jgilman.net/files/tin.jpg

My best guess goes back to the Cinnabar link as I've found some evidence that Cinnabar is commonly found with Stibnite, the compound that Antimony was harvested from in Italy around the 15th century when the mark was made.

Thanks for the help Soloman