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“Empfehle prima lebende Karpfen” and other paper signs for restaurants

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Dec 29th, 2020. Artwork published in
circa 1930
.
    “Empfehle prima lebende Karpfen” and other paper signs for restaurants 1
    Source: https://www.ebay.com demetri1987. License: All Rights Reserved.

    An assortment of paper signs for the use in restaurants and pubs, produced in Germany probably around 1930 and later.

    “Empfehle prima lebende Karpfen” (“Recommend first-class live carp”) and “Bestellungen auf Gänse werden jetzt schon erbeten” (“Orders for geese are requested already now”) use condensed rounded grotesks in two sizes. The smaller one with squarish letterforms and the pointed tail in a appears to match the Schmale runde Grotesk as cut at J.M. Huck & Co. around 1885. It was later cast by their successor, the AG für Schriftgießerei und Maschinenbau, see this specimen from circa 1910. The larger one might be a poster cut of an equally generic name, cf. the rounded sans serifs shown in a wood type specimen by Klinkhardt from the end of the 19th century. The carp advert is enhanced with a formidable manicule.

    “Das Behängen der Fenster sowie das Belegen der Tische u. Stühle mit Kleidungsstücken ist verboten” (“It is forbidden to cover the windows or occupy the tables and chairs with articles of clothing”) uses a bold weight from Schelter-Antiqua. This family was issued by Schelter & Giesecke between 1905 and 1907. The schmal fett was available in poster sizes up to 24 cicero (288 pt), with the larger sizes cut from wood. The typeface used for “Der Besitzer” (“The owner”) is Etienne schmal (1880).

    The more concise variant “Das Belegen der Stühle und Tische mit Garderobe ist nicht gestattet” (“It is not permitted to occupy the chairs and tables with clothes”) features the most modern type: This sign is set in two weights from Erbar-Grotesk (1926). It includes a credit that reads “Gaststättenformular-Zentrale Kurt Leffler, Erfurt-Stotternheim — Dr1 / PhKE”. The latter abbreviation stands for Druckerei Philipp Kühner Eisenach. Its inclusion suggests that at least this sign was produced at a later date. Such printer identification codes were introduced in the GDR in 1951.

    The signs measure between 29.5×21 cm and 39×25.5 cm.

    “Empfehle prima lebende Karpfen” and other paper signs for restaurants 2
    Source: https://www.ebay.com License: All Rights Reserved.
    “Empfehle prima lebende Karpfen” and other paper signs for restaurants 3
    Source: https://www.ebay.com demetri1987. License: All Rights Reserved.
    “Empfehle prima lebende Karpfen” and other paper signs for restaurants 4
    Source: https://www.ebay.com demetri1987. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Typefaces

    • Schmale runde Grotesk
    • Etienne schmal
    • Schelter-Antiqua
    • Erbar-Grotesk

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    1 Comment on ““Empfehle prima lebende Karpfen” and other paper signs for restaurants”

    1. Talking about Schelter-Antiqua: Oliver Weiss of the Walden Font Company just released a digital revival of the regular style of this significant typeface family. It’s available as part of the Art Nouveau Printshop Vol. 1 collection.

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