I found a copy of this beautiful book today as I was looking through some old belongings of my late father, who was a printer and typefounder. I was amazed by the artful beauty and craftsmanship of this work. It is said to be a masterpiece of the art of letterpress printing.
Are others familiar with this?
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Yes, it’s a gem. There are similar specimen books by other founders, but the ‘23 ATF is a classic. You should see “Achievement in Photoengraving” from about the same period — also some beautiful work.
Fortunately there were tens of thousands of copies of this book printed. Almost every commercial print and typography shop had a copy of this edition. Enough have survived that many letterpress printers have their own copy today. It is the last of the BIG books produced. BB&S produced their last large book in 1925 in two versions (one includes presses and equipment and the other is without them). After the 1923 ATF and the 1925 BB&S, future catalogs are much much thinner and not as impressive at all.
Earlier volumes by many of the foundries are actually larger than the 1923 ATF book.
There was a ‘23 ATF in the Hallmark Lettering Library.
The cuts & the letterforms were good research
for the ornament & font design that went on in-house.
As I remember it had a Henry Bullen exlibris
inside the front cover.
Also a two volume Peignot from the 30’s.