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:
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 www.metaltype.co.uk reports that the collection - which covers the period from silent movies to 1984 - is being offered at http://hollywoodmovielegends.com/
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!
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