Thieme 1830, printer’s type specimen


Thieme, Letterproef der Boekdrukkery. Arnhem, 1830.

A fine and rare printer’s (rather than typefounder’s) type specimen in the original printed boards.

Please do get in touch if you would like to purchase this or would like more information:


THIEME, Carl Albert

Letterproef der Boekdrukkery.

Arnhem: Carl Albert Thieme 1830.

Folio, 44 leaves comprising the titlepage, 28 leaves of type specimens including music; 5 leaves of ‘Bloemen’ (fleurons and rules); 1 of numerals; 1 of algebraic symbols and fractions; 3 of coats of arms of the Netherlands; and 5 of vignettes. The titlepage has a factotem vignette showing three boys in a printing shop.

Condition: 320 x 205, a good clean and fresh copy. 

Binding: Original grey printed boards, the title on the upper board and a Stanhope press on the lower, both within fleuron borders. Spine very worn and rather clumsily lettered in manuscript, sides and corners somewhat soiled and worn.

Provenance: ‘L. H. Eberson’, contemporary signature on titlepage. 

Apparently the only edition. References. 

A fine and very rare printer’s type specimen, showing the range of types and ornament in a Dutch printing house in the early nineteenth-century. A wide range of both display and book types is shown as well as a large stock of ornaments. The  firm was founded by Herman Carel Anton Thieme, from Wesel in Germany, in 1792. The business was continued by his four sons, two in Arnhem and two in Zutphen. Carl Albert was his grandson and operated as a bookseller, printer and publisher in Arnhem from 1815; he was the publisher of the Arnhemse courant. On the database his active dates are given as 1834–1843, which we can now extend back by 4 years to 1830, the date of this specimen. It was not known to Bigmore and Wyman, Davis and Orioli or Jammes. OCLC  locates only a single copy at Amsterdam University Librarary. In fact there are two copies there, one in the original boards (my thanks to Astrid Balsem for checking the collation of the Amsterdam copies which are identical to the present copy).