A famous printing press went up for auction last week. An Improved Albion Press No. 6551, a hand fed and operated printing press weighing over 2500lbs is estimated to sell at well over $100,000. This press is famous for printing the Kelmscott Chaucer – a 17 x 11 work of art from the late 1800’s. Each page handcrafted by designer William Morris with decorative borders so realisted they almost climb off the page.
This book is like no other –
“To say that the Kelmscott Chaucer is ornate is like saying that a peacock has tail feathers; true enough, but something of an understatement.”
The current owner of the Press, Prof. Jethro K. Lieberman of New York Law School, is hoping someone will purchase the press to put it back into service. Jethro’s parents were no the original owners of this press – “They purchased the Albion in 1960 and called it the Kelmscott/Goudy Press, honoring Morris’s shop and Frederic W. Goudy, a celebrated American designer who had bought the press in 1924 and had it shipped to New York.”
“The Liebermans, who lived in White Plains, N.Y., intended to print with the Albion. But they quickly learned how taxing it was to do so. Though too cumbersome to employ, the press was also too precious to leave behind, so it traveled with the family three times, finally settling in Ardsley, N.Y., in 1997.”
For more information on this awesome printing press, or the history behind the book, click here.
and the auction listing can be found here for any of you interested –
~Source: NY Times
UPDATE: PRESS IS SOLD! $233,000!!!!!!!!!