Monday, December 27, 2010


Gluckstadt is a little town in Germany, north of Hamburg. It lies on the Elba river close to its mouth. It is the region of Schleswig-Holstein; today it is Germany, but at the time this inscription was written it was a part of the Danish kingdom. The inscription is not dated, but the ornament around it suggests it is from late eighteenth century. It is also the time when this style of calligraphy appeared on monuments. This style is usually known in English as copperplate; normally it is characterized by a very narrow line, which clearly is not the case here. One can guess that the calligrapher used a thicker line here so the inscription could be legible from a distance. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

St. Bees

St. Bees is now a small village on the coast of Cumbria in England. Its name comes from an Irish princess named Bega, who founded a convent here. In the church there are Gothic tombstones with an image in the middle and inscription in Lombardic capitals around. This is the early Gothic style, later Gothic tombstones have inscription in the lower case, i.e. textura.