Mystery Metal Typeface

Identifont describes this as “Quaint Gothic” from the Dickinson Type Foundry in Boston, circa 1900. Also called Desdemona (which is what Dan Solo labeled it in his catalog).

Further research indicates that it was designed by John F. Cumming in 1886.
I have four sizes of the this typeface. It is quite distinct and I thought it would be easy to identify, but I don’t see it in any of the usual references.



image: Mystery.jpg


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Your face is just “Quaint.” It was cast in 7-sizes and, even though the first showing was in the late 1880s, it was still listed in my 1898 ATF Desk Book. I would discount names shown in Solo’s catalogues, since he gave his own names, not usually the original. If you are interested in a good reference, giving designer’s names and Design Patent Dates, buy Loy’s, “Nineteenth-Century American Designers & Engravers of Type,” 2009, Oak Knoll.

Dave Greer