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Terry Belanger: "Parallel Lines Never Meet: Dolphins and Anchors and Aldus / Book Historians and Numismatists and Roman Coins"

decoration09 Feb. 2012

In 1501, Aldus Manutius first used the motif of a dolphin wrapped around an anchor as his printer’s device, and he subsequently employed it many times on title pages and colophons - as did a variety of piratical imitators, publishers who also appropriated Aldus's handsome italic typefaces and convenient octavo formats. The dolphin-and-anchor motif was later adopted by William Pickering in 19th century London and Nelson Doubleday in 20th century New York, and it remains perhaps the best known of all publishers' devices. Aldus himself derived the anchor-and-dolphin image from a 1st century AD Roman silver coin, incorrectly attributing it to the reign of the Emperor Vespasian.

Terry Belanger's illustrated lecture explores the history of the motif and the various ways in which it was used - and misinterpreted.


09 Feb. 2012
10745 Dickson Plaza, 310 Royce Hall
Los Angeles
Terry Belanger (Founding Director, Rare Book School, Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia)
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