Page 7 - August 2014
P. 7

uncial design was Pindar, a liƩle smaller      In 1948, Hammer reseƩled in Lexington,             փ¦› ϔ: «ƒÃÛ٠çđ®ƒ½ ƒÄ— փ¦› ϕ: ϒϖ Ö㠃Ûٮ‘ƒÄ çđ®ƒ½
than Sampson and with capitals added.          Kentucky and was arƟst-in-residence at
Hammer then moved to Kolbsheim in              Transylvania University, a post he held unƟl
Alsace in 1934 where he designed and           reƟrement in 1953. Here he established the
built a chapel on an estate for a friend,      Anvil Press and cut two addiƟonal sizes of the
but from 1936 to 1939, Hammer lived in         American Uncial, an 18 point with capitals
Vienna, where he served as professor at        and a 48 point without capitals. These were
the Akademie der Bildenden Künste (the         iniƟally for Klingspor but were later cast by
Academy of Fine Arts). Because of the          Stempel.
impending war, he fled Vienna in 1939 and
emigrated to the United States with his first   He cut another uncial face in 1958 for his
wife Rosl (née Rossbach).                      Anvil Press which was cast in 10 point only
                                               by Deberny & Peignot. This was called
This took him to Wells College in Aurora, New
York, where he taught unƟl 1948. He and his                          Andromaque, a lighter
son Jacob established the Wells College Press                        and more cursive design,
at work and the Hammer Press at his home.                            reminiscent of Hammer’s
Deprived of his earlier types, in 1943 he cut                        handwriƟng. Victor
punches for yet another uncial font with                             Hammer died in Lexington
capitals: American Uncial for the Dearborn                           on 10 July 1967 and is
Typefoundry of Chicago. This was to become                           buried a cemetery near
the best known of his five typefaces; it was                          Versailles, Kentucky.
cut by Hammer and the punches struck by Mr                           However two further of
Nussbaumer, owner of the Dearborn foundry                            his designs have been
in 14 point.                                                         produced since his death.

                                                                     The first is Hammer
                                                                     Sampson Uncial, a revision
                                                                     of Sampson by R Hunter
                                                                     Middleton (who has
                                                                     designed many faces for the
                                                                     Ludlow system) in about
                                                                     1970 for a private casƟng.
                                                                     The second is a revision of
                                               Andromaque, again by R Hunter Middleton,
                                               which was cut and cast by Paul Hayden
                                               Duensing at his private press and typefoundry
                                               in the 1980s.

                                               The two names Hammer Uncial and American
                                               Uncial are oŌen confused. Hammer Uncial
                                               refers only to the original 14 point cut in 1923.
                                               Technically American Uncial is only the later
                                               post-war designs but I bought my examples as
                                               American Uncial from Stempel in 1975 in 14,
                                               18 and 48 point.

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