Glossary

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Type

Synonyms: pattern, reference, model.
I
n absolute terms, “Type” refers to the marking tool from which all examples (copies) of a mark, obtained by transfer, printing, stamping, etc., derive. It may therefore be a stamp, openwork vignette, matrix, seal, block, punch, etc.
As printed multiples from the same “Type”, labels constitute a special case.
As a rule, images of the original marking tools have not survived. On this site, “Type” thus refers to (one of) the most complete, clear, and legible copies made by a given tool; this specimen can then serve as a reference for deciphering or completing less legible examples. The type is assigned a catalogue number in the form “GL-Belot-M-1”. It is characterized by a shape, dimensions, a text or “letter,” occasionally by a pattern or motif, which taken together constitute a single type.
Several apparently identical types may only be distinguished by differences in scale, and they may constitute different versions or variants of the same image: hence the importance of dimensions in the cataloguing project.