Letterpress Shop Auction

I just have to comment on this auction. When I read about the sale and looked over the inventory I could tell this was a good quality shop. The thing that stopped me from even wanting to bid was the fact it was in a basement, interior steps, three doorways, etc. I had contacted Ms. Nevin and told her I thought the estate would be lucky to get a bid and I think she somewhat agreed. Now I see that it sold for over $5800, I’m amazed! I was beginning to think Letterpress was now dieing off as a hobby, but this shows it’s still strong.
I feel a little better about my vast collection of “Stuff” and can’t wait to show my wife the results of the sale. Thanks Briar Press for keeping Letterpress alive!

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Updated. Jerry,

A word of advice: you might want to rethink educating your wife as to the value of your letterpress collection, lest you come home one day to find it all on eBay.


Seriously, though, I envy the buyer! What fun it’ll be to rummage through such an assortment of yummy letterpress goodies!


Jerry, I just want to add some information to your comment so that people will understand the background for my response to you. In your inquiry to me you said that you didn’t know if there would be a bid at $1,200 because of the work involved in getting the shop out of the basement. I did “somewhat agree,” but in my response I also mentioned some of the background that may help others understand my position and perhaps guide them in selling their own equipment.

The print shop was part of an Estate that was being handled by a law firm. The house with the print shop in the basement, was being sold and the lawyer wanted the shop removed ASAP. Briar Press has frequent requests to help out in situations like this. As time permits we assist by holding these auctions as a free service, to keep this equipment in the hands of those who use/preserve it. It is very time consuming so we do not accept auctions with a high starting price or reserve.

The lawyers did want to start at a higher price. I explained that I would not put my time in on an auction like this unless I felt confident of a reasonable financial outcome. However, I emphasized for reasons stated below, that there are no guarantees. Although there is significant value in the shop, I had to convince the executors that given the time constraints, my opinion was that the benefactors would probably appreciate selling the shop for $1,000 rather than having to pay two or three times that amount to have it carried out of the basement and hauled to the dump - a double tragedy. An additional concern is that disposing of lead can be very costly and difficult because of environmental concerns and regulations.

It is important to get this message clear for people who may need to move print shops. The selling price was not excessive for the amount of type and equipment in this shop, but the value of a shop depends on a number of factors. To name a few: how fast does it need to be moved, how difficult it is to move from its location, what is the cost of moving, who wants it at a given time, and how much someone is willing to pay. I am happy the auction made some money for the benefactors. I am happy that the buyer was able to purchase this shop. and I am happy that Jerry feels better about his collection of “stuff.” Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share this information.

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to take your words out of context. I couldn’t be happier with the result.
This is a wonderful testiment to Briar Press and your willingness to help out in what was, probably, a difficult situation for the family.

No apologies necessary. I was happy to have the opportunity to elaborate further on the subject, although it really needs to be aired more thoroughly in a new topic, or maybe I should address this in the Help Pages. I receive many requests to assist in disposing of print shops. It is not an easy task, especially if there is only a short time period and the seller expects top dollar. I am happy to have been able to start the conversation on this subject which I should address elsewhere.