Typecases & equipment

How do I know how to look up the value of my father’s typecases & type? On the handles of the typecase, they say “Keystone”. Is that a brand? I’m having a hard time trying to find values on the machinery & equipment. I’ve done a million searches for the brands, used printing equipment, used presses, antique (for the Heidelberg) press. I just want to make sure that I have a reasonable idea of what things should sell for. Thanks!

image: Typecases, furniture (Small).JPG

Typecases, furniture (Small).JPG

image: Cuts-Emblems (Small).JPG

Cuts-Emblems (Small).JPG

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Yes, Keystone is a brand, but not one of the larger or more common suppliers. I have over 900 cases here and only a very small number from Keystone. Oak cabinets such as Hamilton will bring a good price, but any hardwood case or cabinet is more desireable than metal. The prices on these can range dramatically depending on who has them. Antique dealers want an arm and a leg for them, while printers tend to be more fair and reasonable. A double-wide, slant-top cabinet with type can go for $200 - $1000 depending on who might want it and what you have in the cases.

Keystone is the name of the Type Foundry that probably sold the type and type cabinets your father had. They were one of the ATF foundries, located in Philadelphia. If you look on some of the pieces of type and see a keystone shape, a rectangle with a top wider than the bottom, that will confirm that you have ATF Foundry type from Keystone. Look for the pin mark, in a circle on one side. See library of penmarks here on Briar for more information.

The Keystone Type Foundry was NOT one of the numerous foundries that consolidated to form ATF in the early 1890’s and remained an independent entity into the early 20th Century, issuing its own foundry catalogues.

The “true” value of what you have lies in what someone is willing to pay for it, and in the situation of the type in the actual cases themselves, that is highly dependent on the specific typefaces contained therein and what kind of shape (condition) they are in. Unusual or antique faces in good condition are obviously much more desireable and valuable than worn-out mundane run-of-the-mill faces. You would do well to have someone that really knows about these kinds of things take a look at what is actually there and give you their best advice.

Where are you located? If we knew that we could possibly suggest knowledgeable people in your area.

It looks like your dad had a collection that is probably worth something with a little information about it. The second picture shows a group of symbols for a foil-stamping machine.


Thanks for the correction. I don’t have all my books and my 1906 Keystone catalog in front of me and my memory is suspect.