Help ID cyrillic linotype matrices set. font? date?

Thanks in advance for any info, I’ve had a tough time finding anything on them via the computer. I purchased them a couple years back at an estate sale of russian born family hear in the US. It looks to be a complete set in the original box (unused). Unfortunately the box label is pretty rough. You can just make out Russisch-Excelsior 10 tri 8268R. I’d be greatful for any advice or info on them. font, date,rarity. Thanks Chris

Log in to reply   6 replies so far

The face would be the Cyrillic version of the news face Excelsior, and manufactured perhaps in Germany. I used to work at a Russian-language newspaper which converted from hotmetal in the late 70s. One major reason to convert was the last source of Cyrillic mats (only used mats were available by then) in Germany had nothing left. They are something of a rarity, but only of value to someone doing Russian composition.
Phil Driscoll on LetPress would know more.

Thanks for your info parallel_imp. So help me understand better, the font would be considered news face by Excelsior? Any idea on when they were origanally produced? Would they also be of interest to a linecasting company producing lead for others if they are scarce? Possibly a collector of linotype bits? Thanks for the heads up for more info at LetPress. Would Phil mind if I used his name as to an inquire on the forum/discussion over there? Any input is greatly appreciated.

Linotype made a number of typefaces designed specifically for newspaper use, such as Excelsior, Ideal, Textype, etc., referred to as news faces. You have a version of Excelsior in Cyrillic character set.
The four numbers after the triangle are what suggests German manufacture to me, since mats for other late (1960s) Linotype faces were made in Germany, I think by the Stempel typefoundry, and these all had four numbers where American Linotype mats didn’t usually have more than three numbers after the triangle.
I think if you just re-post the original question to all on LetPress, others may chip in but I think Phil the most likely to respond. He is more interested in foreign-language than others. The last person I remember doing Cyrillic Linotype composition is Glen Goluska in Canada, and I don’t even know if he is still casting. On the lists from time to time you hear somebody seeking Russian foundry type, but I don’t recall anybody looking for Russian mats for casting. If you put them up on eBay you may find a buyer; set a starting price above scrap value and hope for more than one bidder.

Christopher, I know that Ed at the Swamp Press and Foundry has access to quite a few Russian & other Cyrillic linotype mats in various fonts. You might ask if he has come across the Cyrilic Excelsior. Their email address is [email protected]. Otherwise, Phil’s advice to scour the letpress discussion group is your best bet. Good luck. - Denis

Sorry, Chris, It’s early a.m. and b.c. (before coffee) and I missed the subtle white space between “Chris” and “topher” - and the second “l” in Cyrillic as well! - D.

Thanks Denis, I’ll try and contact him sometime today. Maybe he”ll be able to shed a little more light on the subject to me. I’ve posted it at LetPress already aswell. From the look of the box I would have guessed they were older than the late 60’s.Between the two I should hope to get the info I’m looking for. When I do I’ll be sure to update the thread. Thanks for your help. Chris