Regal Italic (ATF)

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ATF. 1898. A plate gothic with a lowercase; may or may not have been lining (but probably was).

McGrew, in his discussion of Victoria Italic (in all its versions) says "In 1898 the Pacific States Type Foundry in San Francisco showed the face [Victoria Italic] with a lowercase as Pacific Victoria Italic and at the same time ATF showed Regal Italic with essentially the same lowercase." (McGrew, 327).

It seems likely that Regal Italic dates from 1898. It is not shown in the 1897 ATF Specimens of Printing Types or Handy Specimen Book . In the 1898 ATF Desk Book Victoria Italic appears on p. 388 and Regal Italic appears on pp. 388a and 388b.

Whether or not Regal Italic is a lining face I do not know. The face which seems to have started this line of development was Atlanta (Central, later ATF which was a lining face which lined in three positions (bottom, center, top) but which had no lowercase. The lining nature of its derivative, Victoria (Central, later ATF) are unknown to me. Victoria Italic (Central, later ATF) proved much more popular and was copied by several makers. In its Central/ATF versions, at least, it was an uppercase only lining face which lined in only one position (bottom).

Pacific Victoria Italic was a further derivative, adding lowercase. I have not yet seen a specimen of it, and do not know if it was lining; I am guessing that it lined in the bottom position, but I don't really know.

Regal Italic would seem to be a response to Pacific Victoria Italic (or vice versa?) It has, as noted, a lowercase. The specimens neither say nor illustrate anything conclusive about its lining behavior. One would guess that it was a lining face, but by the 1906 ATF American Line Type Book it had been discontinued and replaced by Lining Regal Italic No. 2 (so called on its specimen; indexed simply as "Regal Italic No. 2").

The emphasis on "lining" in Regal Italic No. 2 would seem to indicate, ambiguously, one of two this: either Regal Italic was not lining or Regal Italic No. 2 was the re-lining of Regal Italic into ATF's "American Line" lining system. [1] At present, my guess (only a guess!) would be the latter. That is, I would guess that Regal Italic was a lining face, and that when it was brought into ATF's American Lining System it was re-aligned. Designating it as a separate face would be important, as the re-aligned Lining Regal Italic No. 2 would not (if I am correct) line with the older Regal Italic.

1. Notes

1. Confusingly, the term "lining" can indicate either of two things:

A lining face may or may not be a part of a lining system.

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