on: I Love Typography:
Large sheets of paper printed on one side and known as broadsheets or broadsides were, from the earliest days of printing in Europe, printed in the tens of millions. They were used for everything from official government pronouncements and announcements to letters of indulgence, propaganda, news-sheets, ballads, almanacs, and even proto-typographic posters.
Although broadsides are often described as cheap and ephemeral — and indeed many were — not all were short-lived. Many were handed out for free, and soon discarded or recycled; but many other broadsides lived longer lives. Some were engraved by accomplished artists and even hand-colored, and their artistic merit, curiosity value, and price ensured their survival. Today we’ll take a brief look at several curious examples.