What is this?

I once bought some quoins, and this object was thrown in. Does anyone know what it is?

I wonder if it is associated with letterpress printing at all…thanks!

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What are the inner dimensions? The ball bearing retainers remind me of a quick-change chase for holding slugs, perhaps in a foil stamper.

Interesting. The inner dimensions are 5.75” wide by .75” high in the top opening, same width but around .25” on the smaller one…

Thanks for the reply!

Well, that width doesn’t fit with standard linecast slugs. Ludlow would be 3.75” or 4.125”, Linotype typically 5” but some models capable of 6” or 7”.

It does look like a quick-change chase for slugs, but I have usually seen these used in flatbed proof presses or clamshell platens. The little nubs on the inside are actually spring-loaded to apply enough pressure once the slug is inserted to hold it in place for a single print. The only time I have ever seen these used were specifically for imprinting graduate’s names on diplomas. I assume the thinner side is for a single slug and the wider side for multiples?

The slugs were simply lifted out and another put back in with each impression to imprint the diplomas.

I doubt these would have been used for foil-stampers because 1) they might drop out coming down vertically and 2) they probably would not have enough time to heat up and release the foil.