We have here, courtesy of Jonathan Hoefler, a sample of a pixel font from 1567.
The struggle to adequately render letterforms on a pixel grid is a familiar one, and an ancient one as well: this bitmap alphabet is from La Vera Perfettione del Disegno di varie sorte di ricami, an embroidery guide by Giovanni Ostaus published in 1567.
If I’m counting correctly, the letters are 17 pixels high, and up to 17 wide. Of course, in context, it’s not all that surprising; it makes sense to use a pixellated font for embroidery. The resemblance of the font to Garamond (to my unschooled eye, anyway) is also not all that surprising: Claude Garamond died in 1561.
via John Gruber