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Edward Prince

English punchcutter active from 1862 to 1923, associated with seemingly the whole of the blossoming private press movement in England and America.

Notable work was for the Kelmscott Press of William Morris, and the Doves Press of Emery Walker and Thomas Cobden-Sanderson. For the Doves Press he cut the revivals of Jenson’s type that stimulated an interest in 15th century printing in the wider printing industry. (This Doves type was later thrown into the River Thames by an upset Cobden-Sanderson, over a protracted argument about its authorship.)

Prince’s major design failure is worth noting. He was commissioned by Emery Walker to design type for Count Harry Kessler’s Cranach Presse. The roman design was not a problem, for Prince had cut similar designs for the Kelmscott and Doves presses. The italic presented a new challenge though. Based on a type used in a 1525 work of Tagliente, this was the first attempt to recut a chancery italic. Despite help from Edward Johnston, Prince was seemingly unable to do interpret the design, and demanded finished drawings from Johnston, which the Englishman — in accordance with his views on the nature of craftsmanship — was not inclined to provide. It is instructive to note a confession Prince made to Kessler, characterizing himself as “a craftsman carrying out other men’s designs”.

Personal details

  • From: United Kingdom
  • Died: 1923
  • What he does: Punchcutting
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