Identify an antique printing press

I am trying to identify an antique press purchased in 1957 from the very back of a barn in England from an man who bought out estates. The current owners believe it is from the 1500s and a Gutenberg press. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

image: press reduce 3.jpg

press reduce 3.jpg

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It is a bookbinder’s press, not a printing press. Most definitely not from the 1500s.

I don’t even think this is a piece of bookbinder’s equipment. The supports do not look strong enough to apply very much actual pressure at all. I have seen something like this that I believe was used to press folded linens flat.

I would also estimate that it wasn’t old at all when it was purchased in 1957.


It could well be a plant press where you press plant specimens for your herbarium.

This is not a printing press, or a bookbinders press. it’s simply a linen press (you’re correct Foolproof 546), that could be found in the linen rooms of estates and country houses. Sheets would be folded and put under them to get them nice and flat. Probably from between 1850 and 1900.

Here’s a link to a site explaining the use of these linen pressing devices. There are many references to linen presses which are simply storage cabinets, but this site discusses the actual presses:

John Henry

Thank you so much. The wood does not look to have that kind of age and I could not see where typeset would have been put but I am not an expert. I appreciate this forum and your input. Now I will research the linen press-thanks for the info!