I'm looking for a kind of font, to capture some of the vibe of delightful atlas maps from the 1800s. The examples I snagged are on wikimedia commons, scanned by user Olhaus . His page of uploads has quite a lot of maps. These seem to be mostly German cartographers - I don't know how widespread the exact font and style were.

I've googled among the universe of free fonts, and on boards like Typophile. Closest I could get with Identifont is Linotype Modern, which is still a pretty modest serif. Best general description I would give is Roman, very long serif. Some tend to be straight, others toward pronounced upcurls on the trailing end. I know - the best way to duplicate this is with a Speedball no. C2 nib and a bottle of ink. I could probably do that, eventually - I once had a fair calligraphy hand - but the sheer amount of lettering on such a map is daunting. At my age and amount of spare time, I need to find shortcuts, not the scenic route!

To capture the whole style I'd need upright, italic, and reverse-italic (nice standard once used to denote water features). Anybody know where I could find such a font or fonts? Truetype or Opentype, free would be good, or not terribly expensive -- this is for fun, not for sale, and my budget is limited.

Some examples - all hand-lettered, rougher toward the top, closer to typeset toward the bottom.

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Here's the exact maps these are snipped from, same order top to bottom.


I know it's not an ideal cartographic font - the long-serif bit gets illegible quickly. But it's a cool look, and one that I'd like to try to duplicate. And particularly if it's a bit irregular, it screams Period Stuff, Hand-Done!