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Charles Bukowski Printing Blocks (1 Viewer)

Pogue Mahone

Officials say drugs may have played a part
What do you guys make of this?

$(KGrHqJ,!rYFG-llUoTCBR1dSvGNGw~~60_57.JPG $T2eC16FHJIQFHHjSU75cBR1es2)5ww~~60_57.JPG

$(KGrHqZHJCoFHKdg6n22BR1dStdodw~~60_57-rotated.jpg $T2eC16dHJGoFFu7I17RDBR1es4o+ug~~60_57-rotated.jpg
cool, but i think they'd do better separately.

those are the actual blocks that the books were printed with?
Those are the actual blocks.

I can see them being of some interest to some people, but if someone say, made clamshells for some of those books, a person like that might find a use for them.

But they look pretty trashed. I'm not surprised he listed them as a group. Only a couple dozen would ever sell if he listed them individually.
Only a couple dozen would ever sell if he listed them individually.

true, but i'd guess that the combined bids of the most desirable ones - buk, fante - sold individually would be more
than all of them sold in one lot.

but i'm guessing and i don't know what i'm talking about and we'll never know so...

they are pretty cool as unique collectibles, though.
Yes, a letterpress printer / Clamshell maker would need those.

Just sayin,


p.s. Most of these are magnesium printing plates. I stopped buying them as they deteriorate pretty dramatically. They oxidize and you lose detail. Sometimes they last decades, and sometimes they are shot after a year. Copper is twice the price, but lasts forever. I also use plastic (photopolymer) which is half the price of magnesium and 1/4 the price of copper, but that will almost never last more than 6 months.
Go for it Bill. It's amazing they didn't end up in the scrap yard with the price of metal these days.
You can see how fucked up these can get here. These are not only unprintable, but would not even work for blind debossing.http://www.ebay.com/itm/Robert-Kell...566?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4610bf55fe

These plates are a very thin layer of magnesium on a much larger piece of wood. If you removed all the magnesium, you would have a hard time getting a few cents. My guess is that all of these blocks magnesium adds up to less than 2 pounds.
Just another example of why I shouldn't say shit when I don't know what I'm talking about. How would they work as a paper weight?
Don't get me wrong. If I get these, I will probably send a bunch of them (Bukowski included) to members here once I have seen if I can print them. They look cool sitting on a bookshelf.
p.s. Most of these are magnesium printing plates. I stopped buying them as they deteriorate pretty dramatically. They oxidize and you lose detail. Sometimes they last decades, and sometimes they are shot after a year.
Bill, one can easily preserve magnesium plates by layering a thick coating of wax, petroleum jelly or thick oil and then wrapping air-tight in plastic wrap. If one wants to actually use them for decorative purposes, a coating of spar varnish would serve the dual purpose or water-proofing AND preservation. I myself do prefer copper over aluminum (or magnesium) for etching, and have always used it despite expense. It does last forever AS LONG as you don't over expose it to the elements. I've seen copper break down with acidic water exposure; same applies to brass and bronze. For truly "forever" elements, look at gold and platinum. (Yeah, right.) Plastic is fine for short runs and not much else. Maybe that's different in your techincal world, Bill, but for intaglio, it is very limited.
You are right about plastic. Not only can you not really do a run of 100,000 with them, but they do not hold minute detail like copper does. If I am letterpress printing a book with text (mostly) and doing 200 or even 1000 copies, plastic is the way to go. If I am printing a piece of art then copper is what I do. I may also hand set it in lead, but that is a whole other discussion.

Do you have an etching press? It is one more thing that I;d love to have and my wife would hate fore me to have...
Do you have an etching press? It is one more thing that I;d love to have and my wife would hate fore me to have...
Yes, indeed I do have an etching press, albeit a small one - one of the last to be manufactured by Charles Brand, in fact. Here is a link to a little pictorial that I created, in an effort to explain the complex etching process.

I must say, etching is a painstaking affair - definitely a labor of love. So many things can go wrong during the long and complex process - and people don't seem terribly interested in acquiring etchings. My press is, at this very moment, laying dormant and neglected in the tiny garage of Rafael Buñuel (for those of a certain age - yes, he is related to the late surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel - one of his two sons; the other son, Juan-Luis, lives in Paris). Perhaps one fine day I will have space to set up shop again, although I must admit that a whispering voice keeps telling me not to even THINK about such a thing.

BTW, I did mention, a few years back, that I did collaborate on two photogravures with Michael Montfort. We created the plates using half-tone exposures with a service that probably is no longer in business. And then I went through the laborious process of printing both plates in VERY small editions of only eight. I spit the edition with Michael, who eventually moved to Prague. I still two or three prints of each image (from my half of the edition; I have no idea of what became of his).

Here is one of the images...


And here is the other...


It was dumb of me to not take ANY photos of our collaboration process. We were, alas, too busy quaffing beer in every spare moment. I did, however, snap a photo of Michael perusing the Fante biography that Stephen Cooper had recently given me...

Montfort looking at Fante bio at Havana on Sunset in LA1.JPG
Relisted, Buy It Now Price: US $10,000.00

Previous listing had a start price of 0.25 cents...
you get the feeling someone has had a word in his ear, given his write up says:

man with pile of rusty blocks said:
I don’t know if there were 100s of these made or if this really rare or what the deal. It looked rare to me so I picked it up. Some of the press plates are in poor condition and have lots of grime, corrosion and dirt all over them. They were probably left outside in the rain or something!

it's a good selling point for $10k though, providing it's rain that once fell on Buk's head.
In my opinion, the change in price is complete bullshit and against ebay policy. Then again, I am complete bullshit of a smaller kind (900.00 or less). It is what it is...

Once you have bids in, you should be locked...
Yeah, I had bids on all of the auctions, so I'm not happy. Plus, there is no telling what he'll do when he does not get his $10,000 (plus a few thousand for the other lots.) I'd love to print with these. I suppose they have a bit of value as Bukowski collectables. That being said, in his 500 piece lot, I believe that he is counting wood "furniture" in that number as well as miscellaneous stuff that has no collectable value. Being a Bukowski collector and letterpress printer, I would not pay more than about $10 for the interesting blocks and a dollar a piece for the less interesting ones.

The funny thing is that he is asking $500 for the Robert Kelly blocks and not only is he not the most sought after author, but those blocks are well past any use and are ugly to look at. I would not take them in they were free*.


* I would take them if they were free.
Looks like the seller also broke up the blocks from other authors into separate listings. All of you lucky John Wieners and Sherril Jaffe fans can get your sets for only $500 each.
They were always separate lots. He just raised them from a $.25 starting bid to $500 buy it now.

Also, it should be noted that the 500 block lot for $10,000 includes little dingbats that may or may not have been on BSP books. I;'d love these blocks and could do something cool with them, but they are being offered at 10x their value on a good day..
Maybe when they don't sell after multiple rounds he'll lower the price to something realistic. Those should be in your hands, Bill.
Lowered to $7,000 and now to $3,500. Soon back at my starting bid of $0.25! If I get them for under $100, I'll first send them to Bill to get funky with 'em in honor of this thread!
that dope should just list them with no reserve.

that way he'll find out exactly what they're worth.
Not me. They are cool, but not worth that amount of money. I suppose if you parted them out, the Bukowski and Fante ones MAY make that much back on ebay.
That's funny. $1600 for those and no bids on these. Go figure.

I wouldn't have paid more than a couple hundred bucks for those (and probably not even that, honestly), but I guess I just don't realize their true value.

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