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Bastarda type in Fry's Pantographia

Bastarda or bastard was a blackletter script used in France, the Burgundian Netherlands and Germany during the 14th and 15th centuries. The Burgundian variant of script can be seen as the court script of the Dukes of Burgundy. The particularly English forms of the script are sometimes distinguished as Bastarda Anglicana or Anglicana.

The first Bastarda type was based on the Chancellery manuscript hand which was in use mainly in manuscripts in vernacular languages.[1] Early printers produced local versions of the script in typeface. These varied in design as regional versions[2] which were used especially to print texts in the vernacular languages, more rarely for Latin texts. The earliest bastarda type was produced by the German Gutenberg in 1454–55. The main variety was the one used in France,[citation needed] which was also found in Geneva, Antwerp and London. [further explanation needed] Another local variety was found in the Netherlands; Caxton's first types were a rather poor copy of this.[citation needed] The French lettre bâtarde passed out of use by the mid-16th century, but the German variety developed into the national Fraktur type, which remained in use until the mid-twentieth century.[3]

British typeface designer Jonathan Barnbrook has designed a contemporary interpretation titled Bastard.

See also


  1. ^ Febvre, Lucien; Martin, Henri-Jean (1976). The Coming of the Book : The Impact of Printing 1450-1800. London: Verso. p. 79.
  2. ^ Derolez, Robert (2003). The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books From the Twelfth to the Early Sixteenth Century. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-521-80315-1. Retrieved 7 January 2024.
  3. ^ A.F. Johnson, Type designs, their history and development. Third edition. (London: 1966) pp. 21–23