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Not after an ID for a typeface but looking for a source of freely available fonts of true Victorian ornamental typefaces, especially some Tuscan's or other slab-serif families. Very much prefer true and original faces and not pseudo-Victorian faces.  I'm looking for what appears in Nicolete Gray's Nineteenth Century Ornamented Typefaces or Rob Roy Kelly's American Wood Type, 1828-1900. These are to be used as section headings or headlines in a newsletter devoted to circus history.

asked by (103 points)
By “freely available,” do you mean free? While many Victorian typefaces have been digitally revived, not all are available as freeware.
What is available for free? I only want to use it for about 5-8 headlines of 3-8 or so words in a newsletter. Perhaps one family for each of our quarterly issues. Hence, the probable  investment to purchase several is just not worth it. Any suggestions?

2 Answers

0 votes

Recommended, but not free:

HWT Unit Gothic
 (based on Hamilton’s)


Champion Gothic
(loosely based on Nesbitt’s Gothic


Antique Wells Extra (based on Wells’ Antique)


Material (based on Figgins’ Antique)


HWT Archimedes
(based on Page’s No. 121)


(based on Page’s Aldine Expanded)


Antique Tuscan
(based on Wells and Webb’s)


Gothic Tuscan Condensed
(based on Wells and Webb’s) or Cottonwood 


French Clarendon
(based on Page’s)


(based on Page’s French Antique)


 (based on Vanderburgh, Wells, and Co.’s Celtic No. 1)


Zebrawood (based on Wells and Webb’s Doric Ornamented)

answered by Champ (4.1k points)
edited by
0 votes

Dick Pape digitized a number of these faces over the years, and since 2013 they have been hosted on Luc Devroye’s type site.


His American Wood Type collection can be found here.

answered by Expert (3.5k points)