Empty Moxon Lower Case


This English typecase configuration matches that shown by Moxon: Mechanick Exercises on the Whole Art of Printing (1683) (as edited by Davis & Carter 1962, Dover reprint), and by Savage: A Dictionary of the Art of Printing (1841), Lockwood: American Dictionary of Printing and Bookmaking (1894), Legros & Grant: Typographical Printing-Surfaces (1916).

The typecase has 56 boxes, and its overall dimensions are 2ft 9in x 1ft 4.5in. The Moxon illustration shows it combined with an upper case, but his text refers to a pair of cases, the upper and the lower, each of equal size. Davis and Carter note that early illustrations (eg one of 1588) show the upper and lower together as a single case, but that English records always refer to them as separated pairs. The lay is Moxon Lower, and accommodates the long s character. The matching upper case is Moxon.

Smith, in 1755, shows an almost identical Lower construction, except that the four small boxes above the quad box are replaced by two boxes the same size as the adjacent q and w boxes.

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This page was written in 1997 by David Bolton and last updated 15 April 2009.