Hybrid wood/metal type - French?

I was given these peculiar pieces of ornamented type recently.

As you can see they are made from what looks to be brass or copper inset into tall wooden blocks. I set a type-high block in front to show the height difference.

There are just a few pieces from different type designs. They look somewhat crude, but whimsical. The ornamentation is quite delicate.

Can anyone provide some information on these types or the process?


image: TallornametedType2.jpg


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BTW, this is a little Albion press that came from the same place (was under the basement steps). It’s about 20” tall. I think all the parts are there. There is a threaded pin at the top where it looks like a finial (or bird) may have adorned the press. Any info on this would be helpful too.


image: LittleAlbionPress2.jpg


image: LittleAlbionPress.jpg


The letters in the top image and the top of the second image were used for garment printing, which was usually done by hand. The bicycle cut was made for machine printing and was made through the eclectrotype process.

Albions had no bird or finial at the top, the screw is accessible in order to be able to tighten or loosen the spring inside the cap which allows the rate of return to proper platen height. Most presses had information cast into the face of the press, or a plaque riveted to some part, and usually two numbers inscribed in different places, one being a serial number and the other the date of manufacture. If this press has none of the above then one would have to compare body styles of similar presses with identification. Especially with the smaller presses it seems that they were cast by separate foundries, and sold to whatever firm would buy them, then identified as such.