Finding the value of a Victor Press manufactured in Boston, MA

I’m in the process of donating a Victor platen press to a museum in Maryland. Problem is, can’t find anyone who will tell me how to value it for tax purposes. Saw a photo of one similar, but not restored at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Anyone have an idea how to go about this?

Log in to reply   6 replies so far

Try Alan at Excelsior Press in New Jersey, he has forgotten more about the press than most of us know, his contact info is in the yellow pages on this site.

Within the last year I have seen one unrestored, sold for $875 and one restored for $2200. I bought a restored Cook’s Victor for $1650 a couple of years ago. I agree with DickG on calling Alan at Excelsior, he can help determine which Victor model and value!

If you mean a Cook’s Victor, they were manufactured in Meriden, CT. Cook was the landlord of the building where Kelsey manufactured his presses. I have sold two restored Victor’s in the last year. They are fine presses in the same or better class as a Pilot. Both were sold for $2295 and can still be seen on my website to confirm we are talking the same press.


If it’s made in Boston, might it be a Craftsmen Machinery Co. (CMC) “Victory”? I believe they called their 4x6 press by that name for a while.

Gabriel -

Craftsmen Machinery in Boston reproduced many popular presses after their original manufacturers had ceased production. The CMC Victory is a reproduction of a different “Victor” press than the one under discussion here.

In fact, an interesting note on the Victor and Victory; I have an original Victor 4x6 here in my collection. The Craftsmen Victory looks exactly the same except for one interesting difference; it is approx 1% smaller than the original.

For example, my Victor chase would not fit into my students Craftsmen press, however her Craftsmen chase would fit into my original Victor. We discovered this when the Chase-Base I made for her - which did fit my press perfectly - would not fit her press until I trimmed a little bit off of the sides.

When we compared the fit of our chases in each others’ presses, we realized what had happened.

I have concluded that the 1% difference is the result of CMC having cast their parts from the original Victor - not from slightly oversized wooden patterns as the original designers had done.

Mya -

It was a pleasure to speak with you on the telephone just now and now that I found this thread, I will concur with what John and Dennis have reported.

The current value of your press depends mostly upon its condition. When presses are restored as Dennis’ press was by Lou Colvecchio - or as John Falstrom has done with his presses, the increase in value is apparent.

I think it’s fair to say that Dennis’ press has increased in value quite a bit since he bought it and that John’s recent sale price represents the current market for a well-restored press today.

However even an unrestored Victor has increased in value quite a bit during the past ten years as more and more people find out just how productive - and beautiful - a machine it is.

I purchased my Victor, for example at auction about 35 years ago - for $35 - when no one really wanted a small press like this. That same press as it sits today is probably worth $1500 more - unrestored & lacking new ink rollers. Cleaned up and set up for printing, it could be worth as much as the ones that John sold recently.

The real trick is to appraise such a machine in light of the current market - which keeps going up. But one thing is certain; over the past ten years, the value of these presses has increased dramatically, and since no more are being made, I think it is safe to assume that the value will increase to the point at which small printers and hobbyists can no longer afford the investment in light of other expenses in their lives. At this point the price will either stabilize or the presses will go to more affluent buyers.

For example; a cap seems to have been reached recently for the well-known Chandler & Price Pilot. At this time, a restored $2500 Pilot will sell quickly; at $3500, it will still sell, but not as quickly.