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Spencerian Penmanship
about 1860

Calligraphic drawing of a pair of horses
This cursive ink drawing of two horses demonstrates the techniques of Spencerian penmanship. Developed by American calligrapher Platt Spencer, this form of penmanship became the most widely used system of handwriting instruction in the United States in the mid-1800s. It was based on the notion that all the letters of the alphabet can be made gracefully and rapidly using various combinations of a few basic pen strokes. As shown in this picture, Spencer's method of steady hand-movement was often taught by drawing from nature. Spencerian penmanship is making something of a comeback in today's world of word processors and e-mail.

Notes
13" high x 19" wide
Platt Rogers Spencer (died 1864)
Web display only

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