Page 6 - August 2014
P. 6

Victor Hammer                                   He set up a press at his family home in
                                                Florence in 1921 and in 1923 he designed
by Mike Elliston (1613)                         Hammer Uncial for Klingspor in Offenbach.
                                                He built his wooden press in 1927 with the
                                                help of local FlorenƟne craŌsmen based on a
                                                press in the LaurenƟan Library. (In 1960 this
                                                LaurenƟan press was found be a copy made
                                                in 1818. When he closed his studio in 1933
                                                the press was put into store. In 1954 it was
                                                moved to the University of Kentucky where it
                                                has been in use by the King Library Press since
                                                1959.)

VICTOR HAMMER WAS BORN in Vienna,               The press was moved to a large villa in 1929,
Austria in 1882. At the age of 15 he began      the Villa Santuccio in Florence which press
an apprenƟceship in architecture, but in        he named Stamperia del Santuccio. During
1898 he transferred to the Academy of Fine      1930-1934 he took a number of talented
Arts Vienna, which he leŌ ten years later.      young men as apprenƟces including Paul
Whilst iniƟally he was a portrait painter he    Koch, the son of Rudolph Koch. The first book
experimented with a number of other graphic     that was printed at this Ɵme was Milton’s
techniques, with a parƟcular liking for the     ‘Samson Agonistes’ in 1931, using what would
mezzoƟnt. He also experimented with cuƫng       be known as his Samson Uncial type; punches
on wood and metal for printmaking which led     for this type were cut by Paul Koch in 1930-31.
to his becoming a printer. His interest in the  His own son Jacob Hammer was acƟve in the
alphabet first appeared in the use of leƩering   establishment of this press as well. His third
in his painƟngs.

6
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11