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


1 The only recent source for the ornaments that is at all comprehensive are the excellent facsimile reproductions of the first editions done by the Swedenborg Institut of Switzerland; unfortunately however these include only nine of Swedenborg's twenty-five theological first edition volumes. Swedenborg's ornaments have recently appeared here and there as decoration: for instance, in J. Durban Odhner's self-published Catechism for the New Christian Church (1996), and Swedenborg's Conversations with Angels (Swedenborg Foundation 1996). For beautiful use of an ornament from Swedenborg's pretheological publications see the cover and title page of A Scientist Explores Spirit (Swedenborg Foundation 1997). Although that book does not identify it as such or cite its origin, I see that ornament on Swedenborg's Principia (Dresden and Leipzig 1734) 444.

2 Many more adorn his pretheological publications.

3 Not included in this study are the many oversized undecorated capitals boxing out two or three lines of text to begin lesser divisions. These appear throughout Swedenborg's highly ordered publications.

4 Swedenborg himself calls them asterisks and uses them to point readers of Apocalypse Revealed to its memorable relations, suggesting they read them first. "In the same work are inserted various Memorable Relations of my intercourse with the Spiritual World; they are separated from the text of the work by asterisks, and are to be found at the end of the Explication of each chapter; as they contain several remarkable particulars, they may probably excite the reader to their first perusal" (Swedenborg, Letters and Memorials 611–12).

5 I am also grateful to Erik E. Sandström, Curator of Swedenborgiana at the Swedenborg Library, for giving me access to the First Editions collection for the purpose of research and giving Amos Glenn access to Swedenborgiana's scanning equipment.

6 This sequence of publication for the five works published in 1758 follows Swedenborg's sequence given both in the preface of Doctrine of the Lord and on the last page of Conjugial Love in the first Latin editions.

7 In the following notes the word "English" means fourteen point type, "Pica" twelve point, and "Long Primer" ten point, as they were known in Swedenborg's day. For a complete table of size names in different countries see Updike vol. 1 p. 27.

8 Compare Line Ornaments 13, 23, and possibly 08, and elements in Headpieces 05, 07, 11, 12, and 13 with Fleuron Anthology p. 29.

9 George F. Dole and Robert H. Kirven, A Scientist Explores Spirit 14.

10 Journal of Dreams 2d ed, Swedenborg Scientific Association: Bryn Athyn, 1989, nos. 194 and 195, emphasis mine. As Swedenborg had these dreams on May 4th and 5th 1744, old style, presumably his "work" here means The Animal Kingdom. Thanks to Lamar Goodenough for bringing these passages to my attention.

First Page: Ornaments