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Typographic.  All lettering; no design elements present. Said of a numismatic item with one or both sides exhibiting only letteringlegend or inscription – with no other design elements. Opposite of anepigraphic (all design and no lettering). Most often found as typographic reverse where the obverse has a pictorial device and the reverse only lettering concerning that device. Sir Edward Thomason in his three series of medals had the compulsion to issue medals in these series with cramped, crowded, all lettering reverses. An early example of both sides typographic is a Salisbury Parliamentary Elections Medal of 1832. A 20th century example of typographic reverse is the Harvard Tercentenary Medal of 1936 by Graham Carey. In cataloging, or in comparison with other types, an all-letter piece is called the inscriptional type.  See also lettering.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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