12 Heidelbergs up for auction

I received an auction brochure today from www.thomasauction.com listing 12 Heidelberg platens and what is described as “Original Heidelberg 2-color Press s/n KSL306022, Litho Letter Press 15” x 20.5”. This takes place on December 3 and it is the PrintPlace.com LLC located in Ft Worth and Grand Prarie, Texas. It is an on-line auction only. It seems bizarre that there are 12 platens listed and a cylinder, but the catalog on-line shows only 2 platens and no picture of the cylinder, and no descriptions of these presses, as though “and then there’s this junk as well.” The on-line listing is:


This may be worth looking into.

This appears to be a down-sizing rather than a liquidation or bankruptcy auction. They offer an interesting video touting their printing, but the video dwells on the lock up of a die for a Heidelberg 10x15 which is seen briefly, and very little about the offset and high tech stuff:


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They must be confused by a KSZ, the two-color version of the KS cylinder, which is 15 x 20.5, but in no way a litho press. I think the first Heidelberg K-offset was the KOR about 15-3/4 x 22.

……..12 Heidelbergs, eh?………should this inspire notions of the Twelve Days Of Christmas?……

The Thomas web site says that more information will be forthcoming and maybe there will be a better explanation of what’s being put up for sale. Twelve Heidelbergs in one operation is not extreme—there is a greeting card plant in New Jersey that runs 30 Heidelbergs and something like seven Linotypes in daily work. Dave Seat is working there right now on an extended visit tending to the Linotypes during the pre-Christmas season.

I have been to two of these Thomas auctions, yes they are on-line bidding only, “went” refers to going to pick up bought merchandise. In my experience the photo gallery and auction brochure only show some of the items that are for sale, the best way to find out if there 12 Heidelberg’s for sale is to wait till the auction starts. Which is usually a few days before the lots start closing.

On a side note, if your lucky enough to live close to one of the auctions it is a great way to pick up shop supply’s, ink, paper ETC sometimes for pennies on the dollar.

I just checked the Thomas auction site on this auction and there is no further information, but I did take a closer look at the one picture showing 2 of the platens. These look like they have been parts presses. The inking systems have been removed and they look on the rough side. With out further information or explanation, this may well be an auction to avoid, especially for someone who knows nothing about these presses. There are a number of printers who buy additional presses like these just to be parts presses, knowing that there is a finite supply and parts from Heidelberg or the two major dealers are very pricey.