It really bothers me when Ebay sellers decide to auction off woodblock typefaces one letter at a time.
I’ve just started building my own workshop and I’m trying to gather some wood type, but I can’t afford it at $5 per letter.
Doesn’t anyone care about keeping the letters in the ‘family’ anymore!?
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Yes, all of the wood-type collectors, that I know, hate it, with a passion, and have told individual sellers our feelings. There seems to be no way that we can shame them into doing the proper thing, especially in a free world, where a person is trying to make a living. With that said, it is difficult to know whether a complete font has been broken-up and I do not object to someone selling orphan letters. There are still enough complete fonts out there, but the prices on them are not very low, either. I have not, and will not, ever break-up any font, but I will have no control over my heirs—but they know how I feel!
Sadly the taste of money is greater than the moral concience of some individuals. Breaking up a working font of beautiful wood type is akin to selling antiquities on the black market as i see it.
I have had several offers to sell all of my wood type, but learned that the buyers were eBay hucksters selling one letter at a time.
I refused to sell to them. Reminds me of the Pyramid looters in ancient Egypt.
Wood type should be reserved for people who will use it and try to keep it intact.
Since we are not in a perfect world you can only hope the individual pieces will reach a broad range of poeple and spark an interest of letterpress printing in someone that would have otherwise never had any contact with it.
I do see plenty of complete fonts that end up selling for $1.50 to $3.00 per character for the entire font on ebay. You should post a want ad on briarpress every once in a while and see if you get any hits.