They certainly don't make alphabets like this anymore! The 'A' above is an excellent example of ornamental typography, as designed in 1730 by Mauro Poggi in his book 'Alfabeto di Lettere Iniziali':
The capitals are elaborated with scrolls and flourishes and then inhabited by satyrs, mermaids, Medusa heads, birds, cats, dogs, snakes, and other creatures. The letters were designed by Poggi, drawn in ink by Andrea Bimbi, and engraved by Lorenzo Lorenzi.
BibliOdyssey has more (from Poggi and other 18th century designers) : Link