Saturday, 24 November 2012

Treasure night at LEN

One of the things I love about the letterpress enthusiasts that I have met is that they seem to have the capacity to get really excited about new developments, like people creating their own type, or experimenting with technique, using old technology in new ways, but also to light up at the sight of old forgotten bits of type that they stumble across.  This happened this week when Lucy, one of our LEN members (or LEN-ners as we seem to be saying) brought in a fraction of a collection that she has discovered at a publishing house where she works.

So what was in this magic haul that made us go a bit giddy?

Having teased us a couple of weeks ago with a giant E, this week it was outdone by an even more massive M (hard to see scale here but approx. 40cm high).


And 2 boxes of printing blocks, including logos, letterheads, symbols, and some that appear to be from  a catalogue - 2 diamond rings, 2 toast racks, and a cruet set!  As far as we know the collection originated in the North East, and many of the companies identified have a Newcastle address.  Some of them were not in great condition but we have found in the past that many blocks will print better than you would think, so we decided to set each box as one sheet and print them to see what sort of results were possible and to get a record of what was there.

Here is the first box of blocks locked up in the press, looking a bit fresher after a bit of a clean.  This one included an order form for silk jumpers, a label for tea, a banner for the Order of the Sons of Temperance, company logos, a pool table, and a portrait of a bearded man.

Now unfortunately the wild stormy weather got the better of us and we had to pack up and leave in rather a hurry, so no photos yet of the printed results, we'll have to mark this one to be continued....

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