Early Printing Type, Letter “p” 1 item

Almost all 15th-century printing materials have disappeared. A rare exception is this piece of type representing the letter “p”. It is one of several hundred early types discovered in 1868 in the mud of the left bank of the Saône by scavengers who were searching for precious metals discarded by Lyons goldsmiths’ shops that formerly lined the riverside. Most of the recovered types came into the possession of the Paris book scholar and avid collector Seymour De Ricci. At his death in 1942 De Ricci bequeathed his collections, including the precious Lyons types, to the Bibliothèque Nationale. But in 1933 William H. Scheide, a Princeton freshman, had travelled to Paris with his father, and De Ricci invited them to lunch in his apartment. He showed them the famous Lyons types, and presented them with one of the types, this letter p, possibly in allusion to their Princeton loyalty.