Bulfinch border

I was cleaning a case with Bulfinch border in it today. Does anyone know when it was designed? Who designed it? Is there religious significance? It looks more like a Greek cross than a Roman cross.


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Hi Heather,

Bulfinch Oldstyle was designed in 1903 and intended for the exclusive use of Curtiss Pubishing’s Ladies Home Journal magazine. By 1905 ATF was offering it for general sale to printers.

Your Bulfinch Borders were first shown in ATF’s 1906 catalog. The designers of borders were not commonly acknowledged in that era.

I seriously doubt if there was an intended religious significance to the proportions of the crosses in the two individual design pieces for this border. You may be trying to read too much into this.

A lot of people have been surprised to find swastika border designs in the old catalogs. The swastika was even advertised as “The sign of good luck” in some catalogs! It is truly a shame that this traditional geometric design has probably been forever tainted because it was adapted as the symbol of the Nazi Party. For centuries it had been used by many cultures on many continents.


Thank you, Rick. I like the border; it’s got a good rhythm to it.

It is a great border and I have it in several sizes. Just a single “book” piece can make a nice accent on a printed page or sheet.