Does anyone recognize the markings ?

We just ran across this ornament recently. It looks like initials of the maker on one side.

Wondering if this was just a practice piece for someone.

Just unique with anything we have come across.

Thanks for any input you may have.

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Not a Pinmark, looks handmade, the half signature could be a Thompson caster

Thanks for your input typenut.

The last two photos show a pretty clear foot groove, usually, especially on old type, a sign of a type foundry’s work. Photo 4 appears to be the pinmark which seems to have been filled in with solder. The carving on the sides could either be doodling or an attempt to make a printable cut. The body looks like 72 point since a side view is square. If the pinmark was filled with solder, it might (!) have a lower melting point than the foundry metal and could possibly (!) be safely removed to see if the foundry could be ascertained. But it is a nice ornament and I would just print it and look for a match in old type catalogs rather than risk damage.


Thanks for your thoughts Bob. We will definitely hold on to this. It really reminds us of the history of letterpress that we are driven to preserve.

Ding, ding, ding!!!!!!! Winner, winner!!!!

I was looking for something else and ran right across this ornament in an 1883 catalog from Farmer, Little & Co., New York.

It is shown on page 12 and is part of a New Combination Border No. 26. There were 15 separate pieces to this border and yours is No. 1.

I am absolutely amazed to have spotted this and recognized it right away because of the recent posting here on Briar Press.


WOW Rick Thank you so VERY much. Amazing!! Thanks for your help!!!

Paul and Kim