Movie block collectors face a multimillion bonanza

A heartening tale about the value of tangible print history comes with the US$10 million valuation of a collection of old letterpress printing blocks.

Friends Marilyn Wagner and DJ Ginsberg bought the collection of about 60,000 movie advertising blocks - most of them wood-mounted - for $2,000 when an Omaha blockmaker shut in 1999. A new short film records the process:

THE COLLECTION from Adam Roffman on Vimeo.

Now after 17 years cleaning the - vinegar worked well - and cataloguing the collection, a valuation has put them at between $8-12 million, with estimates that limited edition prints could raise more than $60 million.

The two friends don't know what they would do with the money, but hope a museum with resources to print from the blocks, might buy them. Meanwhile Dave Hughes of reports that the collection - which covers the period from silent movies to 1984 - is being offered at

For anyone who has ever discarded old print ephemera - I recall burning boxes of woodletter as a child, when my father cleared an old print shop - it's a chastening tale!

Peter Coleman

Read more from:
Comment   Email   Print
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: