The Ornaments in Swedenborg's Theological First Editions
Jonathan S. Rose, M.Div., Ph.D.

Appendix on the Authorship of the Ornaments

Since these ornaments have not seen much daylight over the past two centuries I anticipate that readers may have questions about their significance, authorship, and origin. I am not yet in a position to address such issues with any thoroughness or authority but I would like to lay out the information and conclusions I have at present.

In my efforts to learn more about ornaments of the time period and to see whether these ornaments are unique or common I closely studied the following works:

Art of the Printed Book 1455-1955 (New York 1973)
Brenni, Vito J. Book Illustration and Decoration: A Guide to Research (London 1980)
Fleuron Anthology (Toronto 1973)
Goulden, Richard J. The Ornament Stock of Henry Woodfall 1719-1747 (London 1988)
Johnson, Henry L. Historic Design in Printing (Boston 1923)
Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut Five Centuries of Book Design (Columbia 1931)
McKerrow, Ronald B. Printers' & Publishers' Devices in England & Scotland (London 1913)
Plomer, Henry R. English Printers' Ornaments (London 1924)
Updike, Daniel B. Printing Types: Their History, Forms, and Use 2 vols. 2nd ed. (New York 1937)

The following are my notes on all matches and near matches between the ornaments in these volumes and those of Swedenborg's first editions.7


Headpiece Ornament 05

The second to bottom ornament of Elzevir's specimen sheet of 1681 (Updike vol. 2 plate 207) looks identical to the center portion of Swedenborg's Headpiece 05.

Line Ornament 03

Swedenborg's Line Ornament 03 has many parallels, and seems to have been a common ornament. I found parallels on specimen sheets of Caslon, both alone as in the lower right corner of his 1734 specimen sheet (Updike vol. 2 plate 262) and in combination with an ornament echoing Swedenborg's Line Ornament 11 (Plomer p. 235 item 134); of Baskerville (no date given) both in a larger (Updike vol. 2 plate 273) and a smaller form (Updike vol. 2 plate 274; see also Baskerville Ornaments 4 and 14 and Plomer's p. 237); and of Isaac Moore of Bristol (1766, Updike vol. 2 plate 276), namely his Long Primer ornament number 5.

Line Ornament 12

Swedenborg's Line Ornament 12 appears identical to Caslon's English ornament item 2 (Updike vol. 2 plate 266).

Line Ornament 13

Swedenborg's Line Ornament 13 appears identical to Caslon's English ornament item 1 (Updike vol. 2 plate 266) and is also identified as a Caslon arabesque used by Wilson (Fleuron Anthology p. 30 item 24).

Line Ornament 14

Swedenborg's Line Ornament 14 appears identical to Caslon's Pica ornament item 7 (Updike vol. 2 plate 266).

Near Matches

Line Ornament 09

The fifth ornament up on the 1681 specimen sheet of Elzevir (Updike vol. 2 plate 207) is strikingly similar to Swedenborg's Line Ornament 09 although the former is triply more elaborate.

Line Ornament 11

Something like Swedenborg's Line Ornament 11 occurs on the lower right corner of Caslon's 1734 specimen sheet (Updike vol. 2 plate 262). As mentioned above Caslon also had a version of it in combination with Line Ornament 03 (Plomer p. 235 item 134).

Line Ornament 17

Swedenborg's Line Ornament 17 is quite a lot like item 19 of Trattner's Vienna 1760 specimen sheet (Updike vol. 1 plate 96) except that Trattner's descenders have one pearl and a more open flower while Swedenborg's have two pearls and a blacker flower. They differ in several other details as well.

Caslon's item 2 is also quite similar (Updike vol. 2 plate 265) but his flowers curve under more than Swedenborg's.

Line Ornament 23

This appears to be a Caslon arabesque (Fleuron Anthology p. 29 item 15).

Line Ornament 32

Swedenborg's Line Ornament 32 is very close to the third item down on a sheet of Baskerville ornaments (Updike vol. 2 plate 274) but is not completely identical in that there is a dividing line on each figure in Swedenborg's that goes right through unlike Baskerville's (see also Baskerville ornament 10 on Plomer p. 237). A similar ornament frames a Madrid 1771 specimen sheet of Espinosa (Updike vol. 2 plate 244).

Although many ornaments in the collection of Henry Woodfall (Goulden) are somewhat similar in motif and approach to some of Swedenborg's none are at all identical. With the exception then of common graphic units like the various arabesques8 only in the case of four line ornaments and a single arabesque headpiece did I find identical matches between Swedenborg's ornaments and those in other collections.

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