From the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, hand presses and movable type were used for book printing. The knowledge of historical lead-based types, from a material point of view, is relatively scarce. The conservation of type in the Museum Plantin-Moretus (Antwerp) drew attention to the corrosive behavior of some types. To investigate the relation between the type compositions and the environment, contemporary literature on type alloying and casting was compared with analytical research on a selection of historical type. As a conclusion, lead alloy compositions with high concentrations of antimony and low tin levels were the most subjected to corrosion and are to be preserved in appropriate conditions.

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Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Storme, Patrick. (2016). Historical Type in the Collection of the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp from a Metal Conservator's Point of View. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 19(2), 1–13. doi:10.18146/2213-7653.2016.265