>>> Can anyone tell me why and how the ligatures "ct" and "st" came about?
>>> I've read about all the other ligatures but find nothing of these two.
>> These ligatures are very old (CAxton, 1476, Alde Manuce, Garamond, etc.
>> used them). At that time, they was more ligatures (actualy bigrammes
>> and trigrammes) than single letters, like in Gutenberg character set,
>> as scribes were used to use them. This habit desappears during the XVI0
>> century. They are what we call "aesthetic" ligatures, nothing else.
[log in to unmask] (Ken) wrote:
> When I was in school, a chemistry teacher who did not claim to know much
> about letters as such, suggested that in the electroplating process, some
> degree of economy was probably achieved by plating two letters together
> wherever possible. Any historical reality in that idea, Jacques?
Well, I'm not Jacques, but I can say that the ct and st ligatures
predate the (19th C.) use of electroplating by several hundred years.
I'm not aware of electroplating in printing in any conjunction other than
gravure, where the letters were drawn by hand.
I can look up at the wall above me and see a page from a hand-written
manuscript page, with st (using tall s) written joined up. In this
sanspederes writing (is that right? without feet, i.e. no serifs on the
bottom of the letters, a late form of blackletter) sc isnot joined.
Since the modern form of ess was generally only used at the end of a word,
and sometimes at the end of a fragment of a longer compound word, whence
we obtain the German doubless ess-zett ligature (tall s followed by short s),
the st ligature is reltively modern, as far as I can tell, and an affectation.
Caslon used it, though, I think, and probably many of the Dutch fonts.
The ct is purely decorative as far as I know, but is probably fromn the
_lettres b[a^]tarde_; I can't find an example, though, after a couple of
minutes' of looking.
If you are particularly concerned, you could post to comp.fonts, and you
might, if you are very fortunate, solicit a reply from Chuck Bigelow, who
has some knowledge in these matters.
Liam Quin, SoftQuad Inc +1 416 239 4801 [log in to unmask] <URL:http://www.sq.com/>
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