Art: The King of Typography

Christopher Plantin, a leather tooler of Antwerp, was making a late delivery one night in 1555 when thugs set upon him with swords and deeply pierced his shoulder. Thus crippled, Plantin had to turn to an easier and less muscular occupation; having made many leather bindings for books, he chose publishing. The same year he printed a small volume on etiquette called The Instruction of a Girl of Noble Birth—the first publication of what was to become the greatest printing house of the 16th and ryth centuries.

The old presses still run at Plantin's establishment in Antwerp, but only to print souvenirs...

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