2 large metal type cabinets-how to sell and for how much?

Hi friends, I have 2 large metal type cabinets I am looking to sell. I bought a whole set up with these two cabinets (all full of mixed up type), a tabletop press and a small type cabinet. I am keeping the tabletop press and small cabinet.

My husband just got a new job in Phoenix, AZ and we moved into an apartment from a house. Was planning on keeping everything and organizing it, but because of our sudden move to a smaller place,I have to get rid of it. I am having a really hard time finding any information about how to sell them or how much they are worth, since I am fairly new to this whole thing.

Any advice on how much to sell or where?

Also, is it “wrong” in the letterpress world to sell just the type cases? It seems like I could make a lot more money selling each empty case drawer for $40-50, rather than selling the cabinet as a whole. I hate the idea of separating the cases from the cabinet though. I just don’t know if this is frowned upon. Thoughts?

Attached are photos of the cabinets I have and the frames my husband built for easier transport, as well as some added shelves on the back, without hurting the original design.

Thank you!!

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I think that you are “dreaming” if you think the value of the steel-fronted typecases with the chrome-plated handles and fiberboard (yuck!) bottoms are in the $40 - $50 range. The old wood front cases with ornate iron handles generally might sell for something a little lower than that in antique shops. And….they are usually slow sellers simply because these have been available for the last forty or so years. At various craft fairs where I occassionally take printed pieces to sell, I might bring three or four nice antique type cases and offer them for $15 each. I am lucky if one or two of them sells over a weekend at that price.

Just a reality check for you. The cabinets w/cases would be of the most use and value to a lettepress printer. Someone else will have to chime-in and hazard a guess as to a fair value.

It will also be extremely helpful to potential buyers to know where these cabinets are located.


Looks like perfectly good living room furniture to me. I agree with Rick’s assessment and knowing what was included as type faces may be an incentive for someone to buy everything.


The type cases sell on Etsy for around $30-40 each.

btw, no wonder the type is mixed up…you aren’t supposed to store the type sideways! (smirk)

IMO if you sold entire cabinets, to a buyer inspecting in person, they’re worth $350-$650 each whole cabinet, depending on what is in them and the condition of the type and the condition of the cabinets/cases.

However, you’ll really have a hard time selling the cabinets themselves if you let go of individual cases. Because then someone will have to track down the damn cases to fit back into the cabinet. Really think it through before you sell individual cases.

I agree with HavenPress.

I just purchased numerous metal-front cases from a closing letterpress shop - $25-$30/each including type (properly sorted and named) for which the gentlemen selling was very happy since it was more than scrap value for the type and he didn’t have to pay to junk the cases. Definitely worth more to me and to other printers as a complete cabinet with cases. I’ve tried selling metal-front cases that don’t match my cabinets on eBay and they never net more than about $10-$15 each.

Selling letterpress takes a lot of time. Everyone wants it for FREE and for you to deliver it to them at your cost.

If you have a year or two you should be able to sell the whole set up at one time.

I tried for 18 months to sell my entire shop. No one wanted it at any price!