Identify the new treasure?

My antique dealer called me with a big find, and the new press came home yesterday. There are no identifiable markings, it weighs 140lbs, and has perfect rollers & movement.
It came with a 4 foot high, 10 drawer cabinet filled with type and emblems.

Looking through the press images, looks like the Excelsior? Perhaps the Mercury Model 5-8?

image: press1.jpg


image: press2.jpg


image: press3.jpg


image: press4.jpg


Log in to reply   11 replies so far

I just realized I cut off the handle in all the shots - it is a wooden spool-like handle over the steel.


It does look like it is in prime condition. I think it is an Ideal Press, possibly the Model #4 Ideal.

you are right, I think it looks like the Ideal much more than the Excelsior…


According to Dolce press blog - the weight denotes it may be the Ideal No. 5?

I’m so excited I may have both a big and a little Sigwalt?

That is a true treasure. You didn’t say where you are located, but the paint job may indicate that it is a late one — a product of one of the attempts in the 60s and 70s to revive the production of Sigwalts. Or, of course, it may be a renovation job. Does it have a number stamped into the bed just below the ink disc?

That my friend is a Sigwalt #5…. and a nice one, too! Looking at the paint in the pics, I’d guess that it has been repainted/refurbished fairly recently. All of the original paintjobs had fancy decals on the sides…. and you can see black peeking out under the grey. It is exactly like mine, except that mine is black.

As far as age goes, it could be as early as the 1920s or as late as 1962. From what I’ve learned researching mine, there is no way to tell… and it really doesn’t matter. They are all just about identical.

You’ll find while using it, that the Sigwalts are probably the smoothest, best built of the tabletop letterpresses. That is a great find!

Thank you all so much for confirming this…I cannot believe how lucky I was to get this beauty. Every comment I read about the “SI5” is glowing and positive.

I’m in Seattle :)
I will go look for the number beneath the ink disc.

My goal is to learn all I can and give this press perpetual life….especially as my kids are just as obsessed with our presses as I am - so someday these treasures will be theirs.

Off to build a care & feeding guide for this Sigwalt!

I have the same press and got it fairly cheaply because there was no name of a manufacturer on it. Thank you, thank you, Mr. Sigwalt!!! I think it’s a wonderful press! I particularly like the curved arm with the saddle handle.

What’s your chase (inside) dimension? That will tell you which number it is. looks like one of the larger ones- what a find! I hope it was also affordable :)

The chase is 6x9, and under the disk is a 5 (with a G or 6 after it).

It was definitely a deal, better than affordable……especially with the huge type cabinet and extra parts that all appear in preserved condition.

Been such a busy season, I haven’t played with it much. That will soon change!

I had one of these, as well as its earlier brother the Nonpareil, which has a round base. I still have the Nonpareil, and they both are the best small presses for all around work. You can print around the edges of as large a sheet of paper as you can hold — I did a book once that used a strip 4x38 inches printed on a diagonal and folded into triangles. There aren’t many presses you can do that with! You’re going to have fun with that press. Congratulations again on a great find.