Vandercook #17 - with automatic inking system


This press is a Vandercook #17, the first model Vandercook introduced with a fully automatic inking system. Some information on this model is available here:

I have more photos, including before/after photos from the restoration process, if you are interested in seeing them, as well as an image of the original sale card (with thanks to Fritz from NA Graphics).

We acquired this press out of a basement in San Francisco; it has an interesting mythology to it which we are happy to share in person. It was in a very dirty, neglected state when we received it, as it had probably spent time outdoors (pre-basement), and had not been used for printing since perhaps the late 1960s, but we lovingly removed layers of gunk and rust and got it in printing shape again. With information and help from Paul Moxon’s Letterpress Commons and from other #17 owners across the country, we got it printing and outfitted it with fresh new form rollers and a newly fabricated oscillating roller (the original one was lost).

The press is located in Berkeley, CA, in a ground-floor unit. It would be ideal to have it out by June 1st, but we are flexible. We are offering it for sale for local pickup only, and can help to arrange both local moving services and freight shipping (cost of moving and shipping is not included in the price), though we prefer a local buyer as we would prefer to give you a demonstration. I have moved out of the area (couldn’t take it with me), but will arrange to travel back to meet the buyer or arrange freight shipping. The press weighs just shy of 1800 pounds, so professional riggers/press movers are recommended.

The cylinder on this press is much larger and heavier than on the most common Vandercooks, so it is best operated by a strong printer who plans to use it for short-run art prints/posters, or woodcuts. It may also be of interest to letterpress historians and collectors. Because of its large printable area, we think it’s ideal for art prints.

We’ve created a video to show several aspects of the press’s operation which are different from the more common Vandercook models, and highly recommend viewing it if you are interested in the press. View it here:

I am also happy to answer any questions about the press through briarpress messages, or via e-mail at [email protected].

The press has a visible serial number and is registered on the Vandercook census. When you buy it, we ask that you update the census to reflect its new owner.

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image: v17 cylinder.JPG

v17 cylinder.JPG