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Mathematical Combinations

This is the name given by Messrs. Thorowgood and Besley to a number of ornamental designs for letter-press printing, which they were, in the first instance, the means of introducing into England from Paris, these being the invention and execution of Mons. Derriey, a French artist. In England, they come under the denomination of what are called Flowers; but Messrs. V. & J. Figgins style them Changeable Borders.

The flowers in the English founderies have received little improvement or addition during the last hundred years, and are not remarkable either for their beauty or taste: the consequence is, that they are seldom used, hardly ever indeed in fine works. It is difficult to account for this apathy of our letter founders and artists, for the few improvements that have been introduced, have generally been copied from French patterns.

The borders in question are a great improvement, and will, by exciting emulation, most probably lead to others still greater. They are of various patterns, formed of straight lines, as well as of diversified curves; the corners are also formed of angles and curves, so that they may be combined into an almost innumerable variety of forms; in addition, there are many detached tasteful pieces, which, when judiciously used, will add greatly to the effect; but unless the workman possess judgment with some taste, it is doubtful whether he will be able to produce a border, or any other subject, that will be gratifying to the eye.

That the reader may himself form an opinion of these borders, I have given two pages in which several of these pieces are arranged so as to show their effect. Those who are desirous of seeing all the varieties, may find them in the type founders specimen books, where there are a number of borders of different forms and patterns, which are combined in such a manner as to convince the beholder of the superiority of these ornaments over our old class of flowers.

As the French and German type founders, when they produce any new devices, sell matrices of them as articles of trade, the ornaments that are now introduced into England, have consequently all been manufactured from the same punches.

Letterpress borders with floral designs and birds
Letterpress borders with foliated designs and birds Enlarge

Letterpress borders with texture pattern
Letterpress borders with texture pattern Enlarge

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