Wood type souvenir

On our third day in Paris, we came upon an unplanned flea market happening right along the Canal St-Martin. There happened to be a vendor selling old woodtype and letterpress paraphernalia. When my eyes landed on these, I couldn't resist buying them.

These antique woodtype letters (that are actually carved metal - lead?) measure about 4" x 4" each, and feature a gorgeous, chunky slab serif typeface. Perfection.

The nicks and scratches are incredible - truly making them a piece of printing history.

Fortunately, my dear friend Tanya offered to let me ink them and run them through her press – a Morgan Line-O-Scribe – to see how they looked printed. (Below image credit: Tanya Roberts)

We had to do a bit of padding and adjusting (weirdly enough, they we taller than standard North America letterpress letters), but in the end, the results were stunning. More photos on her blog here.

Thanks again Tanya for letting me print these two pieces that I will treasure forever.