The Figgins TF (London) was the first in Great Britain to show this face (Tuscan Ornamented). Austin/Wood & Sharwoods showed it as Prussian in 1841. Nicolette Gray also notes a German specimen dated 1840.¹

In 1834, the Molé TF (Paris) published Prix des caractères et des matrices de Molé jeune [Prices for type and matrices, the “master” for casting type]. In 1835, E. Tarbé issued a catalog as “Sucessor to Molé”; in 1839, as Fonderie Génerale [FG], “Sucessor to F. Didot, Molé, Crosnier et Éverat.”

The earliest specimen personally examined is shown as Vénitiennes in Tarbé 1835, so the design probably originated with Molé before 1835. It was shown again in Tarbé 1839 and by consecutive FG successors Laboulaye in 1853 and René in 1858. In 1912, Fonderie Génerale was absorbed by Peignot, which merged with Deberny in 1923.

Because the first-known tradename Vénitiennes is easily confused with that of other worldwide typeface designs, Prussian (W&S 1841) is selected for convenience of distinguishing among them.

¹Gray, N. (1938): XIXth Century Ornamented Types and Title Pages, page 198. Faber and Faber Limited, London.
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