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By Igino Marini
STANLEY MORISON, in his “THE ROMAN ITALIC & BLACK LETTER bequeathed to the University of Oxford by Dr. JOHN FELL” (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1951), began this way the description of the FELL TYPES: “”The Oxford Printing house holds the oldest punches and matrices surviving in England, material not only treasured but used; types cast therefrom being employed for the composition of books and other printed matter.””
It’s essentially the inheritance of the will of John Fell, D.D. who died on 10 July 1686, aged 61, Bishop of Oxford and Dean of Christ Church. Since 1668 he spent his life creating a ‘learned press’ in Oxford, endowed with invaluable equipment, setting a high standard for the future of his publishing.