How much for a 1909 10” x 15” C&P clam shell letterpress

I have a family friend who owns a 1909 10” x 15” C&P clam shell letterpress in working condition who wants to sell. I am new to this world, how much should I be expecting to pay? Any and all info would be very much appreciated. Thanks.


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Anywhere between $200 and $1,000 depending on overall condition and whether or not it has good rollers. Another big part of the price will also be access to the press… press in a basement is usually far less desirable (and less expensive) than the same press in a ground level shop/garage/studio.


Brad’s range above sounds good to me. It all depends on the situation. As an example, I got both my two presses (two different types of 7X11 presses, in unrestored but decent condition, one needing no parts and one with a broken off roller hook similar to the single roller hook on a C&P), for less than $200 total. What I gave each owner, I almost had to force on them. They didn’t want any money but just wanted them to go to a person who would use them and give them a home.

Why don’t you ask your friend what they would be happy with? Or, tell them that you have been told $200-$1000 would be fair. If they are a family friend, they probably wouldn’t say $1000.

Is there any other stuff with it? Then the price might go up depending on what you get with it.

Brad is right on. I purchased my 1903 8x12 OS in 2009 for $400. It had perfect rollers and was in a ground level garage. I’ve also seen them go for up to $1000 when they had to be moved from a basement and needed a new set of rollers. I also received an 1867 Golding Pearl and a Wesel proof press for free from someone who just wanted them out of the basement of their building. Sometimes it’s just being in the right place at the right time.

In a perfect world, 200-1000 would be a good range. However, I see many presses in the 1000-2000 range and they seem to sell well. Don’t let anyone set a price range for you. The main things to consider: Geographical location - The northeast has many more presses than other parts of the country. 2 - Rollers or no rollers. 3 - Rigging and shipping. 4 - How much do you want it?

Thanks so much for all the feedback!

First off I know really nothing about letterpress, I am a Art Director who happend to come upon this opportunity and thought it would be great to own one. I have always loved the end result. That being said, I guess I need to know what kind of questions to ask the owner to make sure I am not driving 16 hours round trip in order to get it home and not be able to use it.

What are some questions I can ask to ensure this is a good machine, in working condition. He tells me it works, but he is an older man and I’m not sure when the last time he used it was.

Thanks again!