Types with ornaments cast on their face instead of letters. They are used for borders round jobs, cards, pages, and wrappers of books; and for other embellishments.
Luckombe, in his work on printing, gave many specimens of borders, head pieces, &c. composed of flowers by Mr. Hazard, of Bath; and lately, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Nichols have produced some large and elaborate pieces with this material, by combining an immense number of pieces of different patterns and sizes, to represent pillars and arches; but after all the ingenuity they have displayed, and the patience they have exerted, their productions are inferior to the effect of an engraving; and only tend to prove, in my opinion, that ingenuity and patience are misapplied.
Flowers are cast on bodies from a Pearl up to a Four Line Pica, and of a great variety of patterns. Of late years our letter founders have greatly improved their specimens by the addition of many new designs.
The practice formerly was to cut the pattern perfect on each piece, and many patterns had a line at the foot of each, so that when a border was formed, there was a continual line round the inside. I pointed out to the late Mr. Catherwood, of the firm of Caslon and Catherwood, the inconvenience of both these modes of cutting flowers: in the first case, when the pattern had a solid ground, the flowers joined in that solid part, and, after being used a few times, the angle became rounded, and always showed a separation between each piece.
I recommended that the junction should be in the most open part of the design, so that a little rounding of the angle would not be so perceptible: and in the second case, the same cause produced the same effect; for after being used a few times, the angles became rounded, and instead of a continued line, it became a series of short lines, separated from each other by intervals: to remedy this, I suggested to him to discard the line, and that a piece of brass rule should be substituted by the printer, which, being in one piece, would form a continued line, and not be liable to injury from the same cause. He adopted both these plans, and the junction of the flowers that have been subsequently cut has been much improved; but the abolishing of the line has not produced the neat effect I anticipated, for it rarely happens that the printer will take the trouble of placing a rule within the flowers; in consequence, many of the designs present, when printed, a meagre and unfinished appearance.