Monogramme zur Wäsche-Stickerei, Johann Merkenthaler catalog
3 Comments on “Monogramme zur Wäsche-Stickerei, Johann Merkenthaler catalog”
Thank you for sharing, Riccardo!
I came across the Merkenthaler brand in an exhibition at the Museum für Druckkunst in Leipzig in 2014, which presented a large specimen book with their stencil letters.
The company for stencil production and yarn wholesale was founded in 1870 by Johann Merkenthaler (1838–1906) in Nuremberg, and was still in the same business in the early 1960s. The factory was passed to Friedrich “Fritz” Merkenthaler (1874–1934), who succeeded in producing the stencils by machine. Later on, Fritz’s son Karl (1906–1970) joined the company. [Gieseler, gravestone at Johannisfriedhof Nürnberg]
Jessica Grimm has posted a scanned copy of a similar brochure. It has the same title and includes some of the same products. The typography uses Bernhard-Antiqua, Werk-Grotesk, Radium (Ludwig & Mayer), and Viktoria. It’s likewise undated, but the inclusion of Bernhard-Antiqua (1911), alongside some older Jugendstil designs, suggest a date in the early 1910s. Yours strikes me as slightly younger, but not much. Erbar-Mediaeval was first cast in 1913, so there’s that. If this brochure was published after World War I, I’d expect a more modern look. That’s why I’ve added a “ca. 1914” date. I can’t really rule out a date in the late 1910s or 1920s, though. Interestingly, Merkenthaler also issued a French version, titled Monogrammes pour la broderie du linge, also with Block and Erbar-Mediaeval on the cover.
While looking for clues, I came across another Merkenthaler advert, probably from the mid-1930s. It likewise uses a typeface by Jakob Erbar, together with one of the simplified gotischs of the 1930s.
Shown below is a box that appears to have been part of he equipment of a sales representative. In addition to some Jugendstil typefaces, there’s also Berthold Block.
… and one more eBay find: This Merkenthaler ad from 1906 features a wild mix of typeface styles, as it’s typical for the period. They already had telephone, though!
Thank you Florian for the extensive and thorough research on the subject!