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  • The right type family at the wrong time and place

    The publisher Bertuch brought Justus Erich Walbaum to Weimar and was an influential advocate for the use of roman typefaces—such as Walbaum-Antiqua—for German texts. But the type family still didn’t became successful at that time. The German printers who wanted to use roman typefaces were still in the minority and many had already bought their roman fonts from Prillwitz. And the attempts to establish, what was being understood as “French typography”, ended with the war between the Fourth Coalition and Napoleon’s French Empire during the years 1806 and 1807. Napoleon decisively defeated the Prussians in an expeditious campaign that culminated at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt on 14 October 1806, just a few kilometers away from Weimar. Walbaum’s workshop was plundered and the movement to emulate “French typography” in German books lost its momentum. 


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