TV show and auction

As described in the Classifieds, Briar Press has been contacted by Evident Entertainment for advice and assistance with the sale of a 12x18 Chandler & Price Old Style job press. We will try to answer any personal inquiries, but due to the time restraints, please post any public questions here, but if you don’t hear from us. please understand that we always appreciate the interest and participation of the Briar Press community.

Log in to reply   31 replies so far

Why didn’t they choose a press that has some actual value, like a Vandercook?

The press was a donation and the producers accepted it with the thought that it was an interesting old item and would be appropriate for the show.

WHAT? a vandie is the only press that has some actual value??? It’s a proof press….an uninteresting rectangle… for the show….don’t you think something like an OS C&P with it’s curves is just a little more exciting IMHO

The curves on a c&p always gets me excited

“an uninteresting rectangle” - haha.

Spot on, but I like rectangles.

I hate these TV shows, because they will take an item that has a real street value of $200 and talk it up as it worth $2,500 or more.

People will see the show and now want to sell their printing press worth $250 to $500 for 10 times that amount. And get upset that no one will pay that type of money for it.

The reason I say this is I opened a model train business for a few years selling new N and Z scale model trains.

People would come in every week with a train set that purchase 15 to 20 years ago at a toy store wanting to sell it to me for hundreds of dollars.

When the real value of the train set was $20 tops.

These TV shows take an item and talk about it as it is so rare that it a one of a kind item and it worth millions.

Yeah, what got me was the idea that someone would travel to BID on one. Not traveling to pick it up, but traveling to have the chance to buy it. Then you’ve got to figure out how to move it, too. It’s a pretty press ( I have one and admire it every day) but the dollar and time value just isn’t there.

Now, a Vandercook — that’ll get some action.

We have just received notice that the press will be moved at no cost to the buyer, within four hours of Osage Beach, Missouri.

I agree with most of the above about C&P press pricing.
I made a sincere effort in yesterday’s interview to discuss just how crazy wide the pricing currently is.
Anyone who appears on these shows is at the mercy of editing. They primarily wanted to use our facility for the visuals. They could have chosen an actual expert rather than just another guy who has several times had to get a jobber running….and I told them so. Just the same I was delighted to have Inkknife Studio get some cable coverage.

The producer and crew were entirely professional and gracious. They seemed to be striving to tell a straight, no B/S story about a printing press refurbishing & transaction.

I know of cases where a C&P—complete & in sweet, new-roller, running condition has gone for $1200-$1600…. but those sales may have been driven by an immediate need or the buyer’s inability to accomplish the restoration himself. Most folks I know shop around first. Last month I watched as a fully functioning, treadle op, new synthetic rollers, 8x12, NS C&P gaveled out at $410. I know the buyer and was glad to see him get a deal but I gotta think that all the money and time I’ve invested in my presses wouldn’t be (if needed) recoverable.

Even if (and with the best of intentions) any media source gets a story wrong about fine printing or vintage printing equipment, it doesn’t hurt the printing community’s interest to have letterpress & letterpress equipment highlighted as something of importance.

Calvert Guthrie
KC Center for the Ink & Paper Arts

Thanks Calvert. Briar Press is just a go-between. It’s good to hear this from someone directly involved. My sentiments exactly. No matter what the drawbacks, exposure for letterpress is good for all.

The producers are doing their best to make this press attractive to bidders and have now offered to cover the moving expenses to a destination within four hours of the auction house. If the destination is farther than four hours, a potential buyer can elect to pay for the extra time.

Let’s do it

The press will be available for inspection next week in Kansas City, Missouri, and in Osage Beach, Missouri. Exact times and location will be posted as soon as we receive them.

We’re making good progress but we’re now dealing
with a few additional road blocks.
1/ We need to find or fabricate a decent motor mount.
—-Are there any spare motor mounts out there for
a 12x18 OS C&P? Call me.
—-I normally I just hang a hinged board on the bed pivot pin.
—- Are there any solutions or diagrams more elegant
than my straight-ahead, meatball solution?
—-Are there any bits of standard Hardware that work
particularly well as hinges or as hinge hooks.
2/ What size & HP motor is recommended for this press?


I can be reached at 816 803 1515.

The press can be inspected Monday and Tuesday this week in Kansas City, Mo. Call Calvert 816-803-1515.

The press can be inspected before the auction in Osage Beach, Mo. Sept 22 after 12:pm. Bryant Auction, Hwy. 54 & Y Rd.Osage Beach, MO 65065. 573.346.4777

For questions relating to the auction, contact Conall at

Volunteers working on grime removal

Clean and gleaming

Motor mount being built

Delivery board

image: CP919c.jpg


image: CP919b.jpg


image: CP919a.jpg


image: CP919d.jpg


It’s working well.
Still trying to wrangle a motor &
the blacksmith will deliver the treadle tomorrow.
Thanks, Elizabeth.


image: The new pressLR.jpg

The new pressLR.jpg

image: MotormountLR.jpg


The press was picked up today but I’d neglected to recharge my camera. A photographer at the auction company in Osage Beach, Missouri got these shots.

The treadle that George Rousis fab’ed out of steel is very elegant
and unlike any custom treadle I’ve used—but you can barely see it here. George’s other work can be seen at
I got to try the treadle and the balance is perfect. GR even attached a grease nipple to the rear hinge. I’d thought that a 12x18 press would be too large for a treadle. I was wrong. (Cyclists may want to alternate legs to keep their riding cadence consistent.)

I grabbed a flat belt earlier this week but we’ve had difficulty locating a motor of the right specs so we can use the flat belt pulley we have. We have a lead and I may have a motor by tomorrow morning.

Eric Lundquist ran off some prints with it last night.
The press came with good alignment
so EL got a good impression
with very little make ready.

The photos don’t show the feed table which I made a mite oversized.

New tables are tulip wood.
New motor mount is cottonwood.
New flat belt drive
Reddington counter works.
C&P Ink feed works.
Three chases
Custom/Artisan treadle & hook
New drive belt
New rollers
Good trucks
Well lubed & maintained as it came to us
Free delivery within 4 Hours of Osage Beach, Missouri.

If the gavel price doesn’t reach at least 2K, this transaction will be a considerable give-away.

BTW: The last lube could have been a bit less liberal. After all the cleaning we did I hated to see the oil streaks running down the sides as it was getting lifted off the dock, out in the daylight.

Auction is tomorrow evening in Osage Beach, Missouri
at the Bryant Auction Company.


image: IMG_0620.jpeg


image: IMG_0619.jpeg


image: IMG_0626.jpeg


image: IMG_0628.jpeg


image: IMG_0622.jpeg


image: IMG_0621.jpeg


Just an update about the auction and TV show. The auction was held yesterday. Sounds as if it was a win-win situation - an exciting auction, a success from the production point of view, and a delighted buyer from the Briar Press community.

Thanks to all who responded with hard work, parts and enthusiasm. Will post more information closer to the date of the TV episode in January. Should be an interesting show.

Just noticed that the History Channel has announced the premier of the series Sold!. The series will run two shows back-to-back, starting April 11, from 9 - 10pm EST. No word yet about which episode will have the letterpress auction, but as seen below, for anyone in the area there will be a premier party on April 13, from 6-9pm CST. Hope to receive more information shortly.

image: party.png


image: sold.png


(There may have been some confusion between what the producer told us and what the History Channel scheduled. If you want to see this episode, check the History Channel for reruns.)

The History Channel letterpress auction segment of SOLD! will be aired on Wednesday, May 9, 9pm Eastern and Pacific/8pm Central and Mountain. Received the following from the Executive Producer:

“…There is a moment in the auction where folks start to collect money for the bidder who will ‘keep it in Missouri’ (the press is from a newspaper that was based in Pacific, Missouri). I’ve never seen anything like it at an auction. Everyone was caught up in the drama.

In addition to the actual auction there’s the entire refurbishing of the press! Wow. What they were able to do was amazing to me…maybe you all see it everyday but I thought it was exciting. Especially the new, hand forged foot treadle. And when that press came back to life it was like watching a beautiful ballet!”

Don’t know if anyone has been watching the previous episodes, but from the buyer who is a registered member of Briar Press, and from others involved, this should be an intriguing segment of the show.

image: letterpress1_found.jpg



image: letterpress2_refurbished.jpg


Reviewing this topic
I can see that I neglected to acknowledge & thank
all the help that we had from Briar Press
and its contributors.

What a serious oversight!

Fritz out at NA Graphics came through at high speed.
The rollers were ready when we needed them.

I can’t find the name of the person who provided the trucks….. those were perfect & arrived on time.

Anyone else I’m forgetting, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth spent considerable time
in tracking down parts and information.
We could not have pulled this off without her.

Our members, volunteers,
artists-in-residence, & friends of the studio
contributed major kilowatts of effort & focus
to get that thing all red-up & running
in less than a week.

Ben Jones
Will Burnip
Eric Lundquist
George Rousis
Amos Ledger
Martin Rico
Matt Gladstone
“Skylab” Bob Atkins
Ben [?]

My apologies to anyone I omitted.

Kansas City

Calvert - You did omit one person, yourself, and it was a tough week for you, especially when I didn’t like the feed board you had fashioned! Many thanks for taking on this close-to-impossible task, but you pulled it off. And the trucks, Bradley Dicharry came through in the nick of time.

image: cg.jpg


Is this still airing tonight?

I went to set the reminder, but it shows American Restoration as airing at 9:00 p.m. :(

Depends on your time zone, Ray.
There maybe a few reruns, too.

That final gavel price may irritate some & excite others
but it was a freak situation and of course we had
George’s outstanding treadle to enhance
the C&P’s apparent value.

I recorded more than one plug for Briar Press
which didn’t make the cut.
The rolling credits may mention Briar.
I didn’t catch them this time.

The producers got most of it right but
there are maybe just a few bones to pick.
—No, it is not a newspaper press.
—No, I’m not an antique press expert.

And of course, it would have looked much better
w/ Elizabeth’s festive feed board.

Calvert Guthrie
Kansas City

Hi Calvert, I’m on the East Coast and the show just wasn’t aired.

A note on value.
Many of the people buying these machines are stepping up from a tabletop machine , therefore probably best described as hobbyist printers . I the effort of replacing the adana or what, they have to accept there are two values to an old press , First it is an antique and there are collecters of such in the auction room it only takes two that want to put it in the window of their emporium of antiquities to drive its price to proportions out of reach of the hobby market.
Second it is a tool ,indispensible to a printer in need of it , i have hand fed platens even an adana , they are tools and tools are expensive , i am producing glued envelopes on an adana at present ,i got this one for no cost but had i not done so i would pay whatever sensible asking price for one as without it i would not have this recurring job .
Everyone of us puts our own value on the stuff we have but what we pay to rebuild them is total loss if selling on to a printer who does not care what it looks like as long as it functions correctly .
My machines look awful but they work correctly and without awful squeaks and grumbles ,i am a bit funny about irritating noises, another printer will always take a surplus machine off my hands but no interior designer would put it in your hall !!!
Personally i think for more people to see the machine on TV in this fashion is a good thing ,the next generation of printers are going to see it , more people will become aware that we want them and the people who have one rotting in the barn will now dig it out and put it in the world of use and light .
Yes it may cause a bump in price you dont have to buy it you get to choose and there are a lot of people who will pay for it as they have a need or know what work they can do with it , I make my living totally with letterpress machines If i have to pay then so be it and i see no reason why these machines should be cheap other than i make a bit more over its life use .

I’m also on the East Coast, and I watched the episode (it was on 11:00 - 11:30 pm). There wasn’t too much about the press, but a there was a lot of footage from the auction (and what seemed like about 15 minutes of commercials!)

Perhaps they’ll re-run it or post a video of it on their web site.


re the value of the press - I didn’t see the episode, but will repeat what the producer said in an earlier post: “…There is a moment in the auction where folks start to collect money for the bidder who will ‘keep it in Missouri’ (the press is from a newspaper that was based in Pacific, Missouri). I’ve never seen anything like it at an auction…”

The work done on the press was amazing ! the press REALLY sold & it’s in use @ the buyers’ business. Anyone with any questions at all can contact me.
I loved picking the press! As for the price it brought at auction, the bidders ran it up & thats what it was worth to the winner.
Thank you so much for everything!

image: 174205_100000738430505_2146625890_n.jpg