Years ago I started a series on initials and letters that Charles Ricketts designed for illustrations, for commissioned books or for his Vale Press editions and we almost got to the end, but I could not find any examples for X and the series was temporarily suspended.
|Initial X designed
by Charles Ricketts
I had overlooked the specially designed enlarged initials based on the Avon Type used for the title-pages of his 39 volume Shakespeare edition from 1900 tot 1903 as well as for the identically executed single-volume edition of Doctor Faustus by Marlowe. These series of initials came in two sizes that were combined on the title-pages. The larger ones were also used to introduce the first text line of each play.
X is for
|William Shakespaere, A Most Pleasant and Excellent Conceited Comedy
of Sir John Falstaff and the Merry Wives of Windsor (Vale Press, 1902)
The Avon Type was specially designed for the Shakespeare so that the lines were less wide and the pages could contain more text.
|William Shakespeare, The Excellent History of the Merchant of Venice
(Vale Press, 1902)
On these title-pages, we see idiosyncratic word breaks, the letters of one word are often in two sizes, even names are not sacred - like that of FALSTAFf - and quite often two smaller characters are placed on top of each other, or one is placed above an asterisk.