1940s lettering

1940s style lettering, name board of a shoe repair shop in Dacia area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

This is an original name board of a small shoe repair shop in Bucharest, which dates probably from the years of the Second World War. The lettering style is very evocative of that historical watershed period for the city and Romania in general. For me it suggests the streets of the city during the hot August 1944 days, when King Michael broke the disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany, arrested the pro-German dictator and joined the allied cause, saving the country from a looming catastrophic punishment invasion by the Red Army.

(I am grateful to Romulus Andrei Bena for pointing out this shop board, during a Historic Houses of Romania architectural walking tour in Dacia area, last year)

Art Nouveau lettering

The Art Nouveau style architecture is a bit of a rara avis in Bucharest. My periodical walking tour “Art Nouveau Bucharest” endeavours to survey an ample proportion of those elements embellishing the city. I thus feel rewarded when from time to time I find the odd Art Nouveau gem here and there, as is the case with the two letter rendering examples presented in the photographs bellow. The first one, with the name of the old Agricultural Bank, Banca Agricola or “Agricola”, as it was habitually known one century agao, was quite hard to spot, on top of a backstreet building façade in the CEC area of central Bucharest. The second Art Nouveau lettering example is on the floor of the western entrance of Amzei Church, a peculiar Art Nouveau – Byzantine design by architect Alexandru Savulescu in 1901. It welcomes the churchgoers with the saying “Sa fim credinciosi” (“Let’s be faithful/ believers”). Both examples are delicate signals to the indifferent contemporary passer-bys  from a long gone and beautiful epoch.

Art Nouveau lettering: the name panoply for "Banca Agricola" ("The Agricultural Bank") dating from the 1900s, CEC area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Art Nouveau lettering: "Let's be faithful" on the pavement at the western entrance of Amzei Church, dating from 1901, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

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I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

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If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

My architectural photographs published in the book “Lettering” by Andrew Haslam

I have been nicely surprised to discover a few days ago that a long awaited book containing two of my architectural photographs has been published! The work, entitled “Lettering. A reference manual of techniques” (Laurence King Publishing, London, 2011 ), is authored by Andrew Haslam, an authority in lettering and typographical techniques, who lectured  at the prestigious London College of Printing (now called College of Communication) and Central St. Martin’s School of Arts and Design in the British capital. My photographs depict the lettering displayed on the entrance pediment of “Liga Culturala” building (arch. Ion Trajanescu, 1929) and a fragment from the great frieze embellishing the courtyard of Central School (arch. Ion Mincu, 1890), which together open the section entitled “Rendered Lettering” of the book. I am of course very happy that a sample from the vast architecture of Bucharest, as seen through my eyes, has thus found an international outlet in such an elegant medium afforded by this volume. It is my second photo-mention in a book, after last year another of my architectural photographs was selected for illustrating a book publihed by a law specialist publisher from Oxford, UK, details of which can be seen at this link. I wish all the possible success to Andrew’s book and hope that Bucharest’s edifices and their decoration would start drawing attention to an as wide as possible public!

"Lettering: a reference manual of techniques" by Andrew Haslam (Laurence King Publishing, London 2011)

"Lettering: a reference manual of techniques" by Andrew Haslam (Laurence King Publishing, London 2011)

The author of this blog holding a copy of "Lettering: a reference manual of techniques" by Andrew Haslam (Laurence King Publishing, London 2011)

The two Bucharest letter rendering photographs in "Lettering: a reference manual of techniques" by Andrew Haslam (Laurence King Publishing, London 2011)

The two Bucharest letter rendering photographs in "Lettering: a reference manual of techniques" by Andrew Haslam (Laurence King Publishing, London 2011)

Acknowledgements section of ”Lettering: a reference manual of techniques” by Andrew Haslam (Laurence King Publishing, London 2011)

Acknowledgements section mentioning the Historic Houses of Romania blog and its author in "Lettering: a reference manual of techniques" by Andrew Haslam (Laurence King Publishing, London 2011)

***********************************************

I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.