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Dave Offline OP
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Does anyone which of the old German fonts was used for the motto on the SA "Christmas" daggers ?

Thanks,

Dave

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Hi Dave ,

imho the fonts are rather Gothic than Sutterlin with any slight differences .

any more opinions ?

S+

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Dave Offline OP
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I have looked through the Internet for older German fonts and find nothing really close. One or two have those distinctive long tails on the A, d, s and h. Like "Alte Schwabacher Regular", but that's all I found.

Anyone else?

All help appreciated.

Thanks

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Just a opinion here, but could the makers have just went off some old Gothic font to fit the type of look they were to reach?
There are hundreds of different old Gothic fonts.
Very good study Dave.
Ed

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A font in the context of mottos or inscriptions as used on daggers would be a misnomer. Fonts were not used at all on blades as they are generally classified as mechanical type, rather the inscriptions we see on blades, including the style as used on "Christmas" daggers are hand lettered by a calligrapher or letter artist using a pen or stylus if on wax.

The category of lettering style is Gothic, but there are countless variations as the small anomalies we observe between motto styles is the work and individual penmanship of the calligrapher. There have been many fonts developed based on calligraphic style, like "Old English" for example, and they are routed in the classic style of penmanship. Eickhorn inscriptions for example have a typical "house" style, as do the calligraphy used by other makers, which usually relates to the finer details of characters, flourishes, decenders, etc. You won't find any exact match of motto lettering to any mechanical font, similar perhaps, but not a match.

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Redbaron
Well said. I would believe the makers and calligrapher were pressed for time to some extent, because the Rich wanted the daggers to issue, not take long times to design.
Ed

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Dave Offline OP
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Ed & Red,

That was what I had more or less thought but decided to ask the GDC membership as there is a lot accumulated knowledge here.

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Originally Posted by Redbaron
A font in the context of mottos or inscriptions as used on daggers would be a misnomer. Fonts were not used at all on blades as they are generally classified as mechanical type, rather the inscriptions we see on blades, including the style as used on "Christmas" daggers are hand lettered by a calligrapher or letter artist using a pen or stylus if on wax.

The category of lettering style is Gothic, but there are countless variations as the small anomalies we observe between motto styles is the work and individual penmanship of the calligrapher. There have been many fonts developed based on calligraphic style, like "Old English" for example, and they are routed in the classic style of penmanship. Eickhorn inscriptions for example have a typical "house" style, as do the calligraphy used by other makers, which usually relates to the finer details of characters, flourishes, decenders, etc. You won't find any exact match of motto lettering to any mechanical font, similar perhaps, but not a match.



Why is it your opinion that these daggers were hand lettered?? As you are incorrect on how (originals) may have been done... Yes there is a classic picture from Eickhorn shows a etcher doing a raised presentation by hand on a sword. But this is NOT how these would have been done..
Yes they did have lettering styles listed in the etchers notes. There are many period books on fonts for engravers and etchers..I have 3 different books between 1900 and 1939 And yes you will see (mechanical) fonts on etchings done later as I have the samples. these are the facts..
Typical misinformation on forums.

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Damast, unfortunately you are completely incorrect on the use of "fonts" in the etching of blade dedications, whether mass produced like SA, SS, NPEA or RAD, or personalised inscriptions.

If you are arguing that each inscription was not penned onto mass produced blades, you would be correct as the etching was done utilising wax templates. However, the master artwork of these mottos was first penned by a calligrapher, then used to create the wax templates. Each major manufacturer produced their own artwork, this is why there are distinct differences in motto styles between manufacturers, as each produced their own artwork, together with their maker marks/logos as applied to blades. If a standardised "font" had been used, there would be consistency of motto artwork common to all makers? this is not the case. In fact, you will note two distinct styles of SS motto just used by Eickhorn, the early style was deemed to be more traditional "Gothic", the latter more "modern", they fluctuated between both during their manufacturing period.

Another important fact is that penned mottos & inscriptions have small character differences and the way flourishes form and often integrate into the lettering. If you study lets say all the "a" and "e" "o" characters in a motto or inscription, you will see small differences in the penmanship of the calligrapher. While he tried to make each letter identical, they never are. Again, if fonts were utilised, they would be identical and uniform, they are not. You may also note that the lettering to create maker marks was also hand-drawn, even in this scenario, mechanical fonts were seldom used and the lettering often had to conform to ovals or shapes, which would be impossible using mechanical fonts as seen in books.

The early period books on German and Gothic fonts illustrated the variety of mechanical fonts available in reproduction, printing & publishing. These were sometimes used as reference for lettering artists, but certainly were not used for mottos and inscriptions.

Also, you need to appreciate the difference between mass produced blades and personalised inscriptions. The calligrapher preparing artwork for personalised blades would typically use border templates for flourishes and patterns, again per the manufacturer's house style. The inscription itself would be applied using an acid resistant "ink/wax" that would be penned directly onto the blade before final masking and etching, this is what you are observing in the classic picture to which you refer.

I'm a typographer by profession, so yes I study typefaces and forgeries. I studied typography under a German master typographer who served his apprenticeship in the Eickhorn art department. I spent some time with him again some years ago once I developed an interest in this subject, where he related some of the processes and personal experiences he had during the war, right down to a small power struggle between the head lettering artist at the time and some of his subordinates who disagreed on some of the smaller lettering details used at the time by Eickhorn, specifically in the use of Roman style numbering and punctuation versus Gothic style.

So to summarise, mechanical fonts were never used to create blade mottos, typical misinformation on forums

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Last edited by Redbaron; 12/17/2019 12:43 PM.
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Of
Many not all, inscriptions were also done double triple size and than reduced by photography. I own thousand of original art panels for etching some almost 6 feet long before reduced..
yes I understand the whole process completely as I also own many old etching plates.. Yes there would make etching plates even for one of a kind etchings also..
There was a large three generation freelance etching Family in Solingen.. The last died about 5 years ago and I bought the entire archive.. from 1880s to 2008
All early SA dagger were NOT done by hand.. I template was used..
Sort of neat as we may know same Eickhorn Etcher...
As I also have many original period Masterbuchs with all samples of etching.....
Picture below is from one of many original period masterbuchs showing etching from the 20s to 40s..
Update deleted picture as I do not want it out on internet for fakers..

Last edited by DAMAST; 12/17/2019 04:49 PM. Reason: deleted picture as original pattern (fakers)
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I'll prepare examples to prove the Eickhorn SA motto was hand lettered, in addition to the information I gathered from my discussions with my typography professor, the Eickhorn artist. He also cited other interesting facts about SS mottos and Himmlers direct input with Eickhorn re Gothic style after the Rohm purge. The artwork I have is also at a large scale, probably at 200% enlarged, which was photo mechanically reduced for final production. Of interest one can still see signs of ink and white paint retouching to perfect the letter forms, mine is also for the SA motto which as far as I know, Eickhorn only used one pattern post the "prototype" pattern.

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Gentelman
With all respect, as you both know what seems to be the most of this topic, I know nothing.
Would not the first etching plate have to have at least a paper hand done sample of what the plate was going to look like???
To me, as a interested party in the conversation, I believe you both are talking about the same process. I mean plates are hand made.
Super info from you both, Redbaron and DAMAST, thank you both.
Please go on.
Ed

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[quote=Redbaron]I'll prepare examples to prove the Eickhorn SA motto was hand lettered, in addition to the information I gathered from my discussions with my typography professor, the Eickhorn artist. He also cited other interesting facts about SS mottos and Himmlers direct input with Eickhorn re Gothic style after the Rohm purge. The artwork I have is also at a large scale, probably at 200% enlarged, which was photo mechanically reduced for final production. Of interest one can still see signs of ink and white paint retouching to perfect the letter forms, mine is also for the SA motto which as far as I know, Eickhorn only used one pattern post the "prototype" pattern. [/quote]




Used a form of whiteout when working with master art..
In addition in the etchers archives was a book from the old fachschule in Solingen on different fonts or style of lettering taught at the trade school for etching and engraving by Paul Voss of Campany Hugo Pott fame in later years.. trade school started in 1904 and has closed..


Yes of course original (Master )art for etching was hand done.. That is a given.. Even the short run of Xmas SA daggers was not each hand lettered.. Yes special presentations may have been hand lettered.. For example SA high leader daggers were not each hand lettered.. Yes the original art was hand done to make template but NOT each dagger blade.. I have conception drawings done in pencil to the artwork done in pen and ink to the master template. The early SA damascus Eickhorn SA were NOT done in house. As I can tell you how many they did out of house and on what day and price..
Also later they did use stock lettering post 1940s from transfer sheets to make presentations.
I also believe we ARE TALKING SAME LANGUAGE BUT I THINK WE MISUNDERSTAND EACH OTHER.
info@superiormachineworks.com As I do not want to post original art here and original musterbuch samples please e-mail..

Last edited by DAMAST; 12/17/2019 06:06 PM.

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