Letterpress Ornament or Dingbat Quads for Printing Stamping and Clay Stamping

+ $6.50 shipping

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+ $6.50 shipping
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This is a very nice collection of letterpress dingbats/ornament quads (4 pieces to a unit). This 1 1/4" x 1 3/4" box is crammed full of vintage type pieces that range in size from 6pt (1/8") to 24pt (3/8").

Not suitable for metal stamping


There are basically 4 types of letterpress type – wood, brass, foundry and aluminum. In this shop I sell predominately foundry type that is from the late 19th to mid 20th century.

Foundry type is made from a combination of tin, antimony and lead and each foundry has slightly different “recipes” for their type. Lead as a solid is not toxic, and in fact you probably get more lead exposure from working in your garden than you would from working with or wearing lead type. I have worked with it nearly every day for 20+ years and the only time I use precautions is when I am drilling out type…..then I wear a mask and use an exhaust fan. So, as long as you don’t grind it up and eat or snort it you’re good. Briarpress has some good information on this but I love the take from the Ladies of Letterpress http://ladiesofletterpress.com/forum/topic
s/is-lead-type-dangerous .

While foundry type is great for printing, clay stamping, ink stamping and hot stamping it is too soft for most metal stamping. For that you need to seek out special stamps (steel) made for stamping on metal. When using letterpress type like a “rubber” stamp I recommend that you stamp on a surface that has a slight give to it – like a firm”ish” mouse pad. Even then, don’t expect your results to be just like those you get when using rubber stamps. I often like a bit more of a rustic look, but that depends on the job.

While I like to leave the type with it’s residual ink and patina, I do polish the typeface on the small pieces that are drilled out to wear. You can maintain that polish by rubbing the typeface on any jewelry polishing cloth from time to time. If you want to clean your type more extensively I recommend a product called Never Dull, probably difficult to find in your local hardware store but try an auto parts store or online.

If you would like to know more about the history and/or styles (font) of type I recommend American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century by Mac McGrew.

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