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Fritz Mähler invoice, 1931

Contributed by Kat Gilbert on Jan 6th, 2017. Artwork published in
circa 1930
    Fritz Mähler invoice, 1931
    Photo: Kat Gilbert. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Invoice by Fritz Mähler, a painter and decorator in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, specializing in “modern home decoration”. Discovered at the Ostbahnhof Antikmarkt in Berlin. Unfortunately I’m not proficient enough to identify the many typefaces printed on this invoice, but hopefully FIU is up to the challenge :)


    • Koch-Antiqua



    Artwork location

    3 Comments on “Fritz Mähler invoice, 1931”

    1. Jan 6th, 2017  3:57 pm

      Hey Kat, thanks for your lovely contribution! The freestyle inclined Kanzlei complete with inline is spectacular. It has lots of peculiar details, like the sweeping descending ‘z’, a very asymmetrical ‘M’ with crossbar, wedge-shaped dots, and the Kurrent-like ‘a’ and ‘r’ with visible upstrokes. I’m sorry to say it’s not a typeface, but a custom lettering job. Most of the letterhead is drawn, including “Berlin W15” and the blue caps underneath the name. The invoice still qualifies for Fonts In Use, though: The bank details are set in Koch-Antiqua, designed by Rudolf Koch and first cast by Klingspor in 1922. The bold style used for “Rechnung für” as well as for the address is the rarely seen Koch-Antiqua fett. It completed the family in 1926 and, to my knowledge, hasn’t made it to digital format yet. Nice to have an in-use sample for it!

      The other detail I love about this is the subject — “3 rolls of wallpaper re-pasted in ladies’ dressing room” — and the handwritten comment below: “Wallpaper was bad!”

    2. Kat Gilbert says:
      Jan 7th, 2017  6:39 pm

      Wow! Thank you Florian for your in-depth knowledge of this obscure piece of paper. You’re absolutely right, the custom lettering is an eye-catcher.

      Such a shame that Koch-Antiqua Fett doesn’t exist digitally, though there does seem to be a closely related version (inspired by Rudolf Koch) produced by Monotype: Eva Antiqua Black SG

    3. Jan 7th, 2017  8:28 pm

      Kat — I stand corrected: Koch-Antiqua fett is indeed available in digital form. Thanks for the reminder of Eva Antiqua. This digitization was made by Jim Spiece and is available in two versions from Monotype and his own Spiece Graphics. They are basically identical, but the latter appears to be more up to date (e.g. it has the ‘€’). There is a third version by Bitstream, Kuenstler 165 Heavy. This independent digitization appears to be most faithful to the original, at least as far as the numerals are concerned. It has round instead of acute-shaped dots on ‘i’ and ‘j’, which is in tune with a post-WWII specimen — Klingspor must have revised this detail at some point. None of the digital versions features the striking compact capital umlauts or the ligatures for ‘ch’ (see “Rechnung”), ‘ck’ and ‘tz’.

      See also Paul Shaw’s remarks on Koch-Antiqua in “12 Overlooked & Underappreciated Typefaces”, Print Magazine, 2011.

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