CALLIGRAPHY BICKHAM PENMAN C1741

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George Bickham's, Universal Penman was a highly influential and useful book published at a time of rising English importance in commercial enterprise and development. The writing masters at the time produced many well trained clerks who wrote in an even, round flowing hand. This facilitated commercial correspondence by making their writing style legible and quicker to execute, compared to their European counterparts.

In 1733 he decided to undertake a mammoth task and publish a collection of English writing styles which were sold on a subscription basis. The subscribers received altogether 52 parts containing 212 beautifully engraved plates over a period of 8 years. Twenty-five penman appear to have contributed specimens for him to engrave, men such as Austin, Bland, Chambers, Champion, Clark, Morris and Aux.

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