Help needed w/ valuation

I’ll apologize right now if I don’t use the correct terminology! I have had a crash course in printing presses and am admittedly overwhelmed with all the details.

Our family needs to sell a press for my grandma. She is downsizing out of necessity, having to move into some assisted living, and has sought my help in trying to sell a press that belonged to her father as her home is going on the market.

Thanks to this very unique and helpful website, I have identified her press as The Press Co. (Kelsey) 7 x 11[email protected]/4547871201/sizes/l/in/photostr...

There is paper still in the press dated 1918; looks like a church bulletin. No one remembers the last time it was operated but it is definitely in a non restored state.

There are boxes of “stuff” that I am assuming goes with the press. I don’t know what any of it is or if there is a market for it. I can email pics if you’d like to see. [email protected]

I’d like an indication if 1) This press is worth selling or if we’re betting off scrapping it 2) If it is worth selling, what is a reasonable price range to ask 3) Are the additional accessories worth selling along with it.

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. I keep going back and forth about what to do with this thing. It obviously needs to go so she can sell her home but if there is any value, I’d like to see her be as financially comfortable as possible.

I am so grateful to have found this site! What a great resource.

Log in to reply   8 replies so far

Unless it is a pile of rust it is worth saving. I’ve only had one occasion to use a Kelsey Star and thought it was more difficult to use than it was worth, but others have since told me they liked them. I certainly wouldn’t scrap it.

Price depends in part on location…so where is the press? Is it in a basement? A difficult extraction makes the price go down. Luckily this press isn’t too heavy, compared to some. If you’re patient, you can probably get a few hundred for it. Advertise it here on Briar Press. If you’re in a hurry, price it aggressively.

Unless your grandma needs the money, make some new young printer happy and make them a deal. Say $100 bucks for the whole deal and know that great-grandpa’s press is being used by someone who’ll love it.

Scrap metal is $75 for that press, are you saying that her granny doesn’t need the money? #*&^FU2! If you are, then all your presses should be worth about the same…..hurry up and give them away before you get in the nursing home so you won’t have to worry about what will happen. Jeez, have you been smelling to much type cleaner?

Could you please tell me where the press is located?

“A difficult extraction makes the price go down”
This is better then prime time television.

Bad typesetting?


Angel….. yes, the Kelsey Star is certainly worth saving. I printed on one for several years, and loved it. Because it’s not nearly as big and clunky as a C&P, it’s perfect for a smaller studio shop.

If you don’t mind me asking, where is the press located? (that does influence the value of of the press)

The press is in NW Michigan - approximately 5 hours north of the state line to Indiana/Ohio/Illinois.

We found another box of cutters yesterday that goes w/ the press. The accessories keep mounting!

Thank you for all the help. It is greatly appreciated.

Girl with a Kluge:

Indeed, I’ve never paid more than $200 for a press and gotten a number of them for free, including a large Vandercook, in part because I’m willing to extract them from basements and such where others have given up. And I’ve given a number of them away for free. I’ve also made a modest profit on some. I just picked up a Kelsey 3x5 for under $100 at the recent Great Northern and Midwest Printer’s Fair in Iowa (that particular extraction was pretty simple). I realize I’ve been very fortunate over the past 30 plus years I’ve been involved in letterpress and I try to pass on that good fortune to others.

Angel, I happen to be in Lansing, Michigan and have had a fair amount experience in moving letterpress equipment. I’m not really interested in the press, but let me know if I can give an assist/advise when you find a buyer.

Make grandma proud and sell that press for minimum $500. A letterpress newbie will be thrilled to pay that price. Look into the universities around where you live and see if there are printing or art courses, you could find your buyer there. You can also post an ad here or on craigslist. Just remember to post a bunch of photos. Good luck with selling it and don’t be low-balled. There are so many buyers out there looking for a press.