Introducing “Vintage Monograms” Collection by C.7 Design Studio. Here you will find fully customizable gifts, designer apparel, custom stationary and postage, footwear, souvenirs, office products, greeting cards, skateboards and pet clothing, featuring unique vintage “AB & BA” initials, stylized as combination of hammered iron and polished antique silver.
A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, used as recognizable symbols or logos. A series of uncombined initials is properly referred to as a cypher (e.g. a royal cypher) and is not a monogram. Monograms first appeared on coins, as early as 350BC. The earliest known examples are of the names of Greek cities who issued the coins, often the first two letters of the city's name. For example, the monogram of Achaea consisted of the letters alpha (Α) and chi (Χ) joined together. Monograms have been used as signatures by artists and craftsmen on paintings, sculptures and pieces of furniture, especially when guilds enforced measures against unauthorized participation in the trade. A famous example of a monogram serving as an artist's signature is the "AD" used by Albrecht Dürer.
Monograms of the names of monarchs are used as part of the insignia of public organizations in kingdoms, such as on police badges. This indicates a connection to the ruler. However, the royal cypher, so familiar on pillar boxes, is not technically a monogram, since the letters are not combined.
Royal monograms often appear on coins, frequently surmounted by a crown. Countries that have employed this device in the past include Great Britain, Russia, Sweden and many German states. Today, several Danish coins carry the monogram of Margrethe II, while the current Norwegian 1 Krone coin has the "H5" monogram of Harald V on the obverse. The only countries using the Euro to have a royal monogram as their national identifying mark are Belgium and Monaco. An individual's monogram is often a very fancy piece of art used in heraldry, for stationery, for adorning luggage, for embroidery on clothing, and so forth. These monograms may have two or three letters. A traditional 3-letter monogram has the initial of the individual's last name (surname) set larger, or with some special treatment in the center, while the first name initial appears to the left of it and the middle name initial appears to the right of it. For example, if the individual's name is Mary Ann Jones, and Jones is the surname, then the arrangement of letters would be thus: MJA, with the surname initial set larger in the center, the M for Mary to the left and the A for Ann to the right.
Married or engaged couples may use two-letter monograms of their entwined initials, for example on wedding invitations. Married couples may also create three-letter monograms incorporating the initial of their shared surname. For example, the monogram MJA might be used for Michael and Alice Jones. However, monogramming etiquette for the married couple varies according to the item being monogrammed. Linens, for example, typically list the woman's given initial first, followed by the couple's shared surname initial and then the man's given initial (AJM).