40-Line Antique Condensed (?)
This recent purchase has the J. G. Cooley, New York makers mark. This places the date of manufacturing between 1859 and 1868.
I told my Sister in-law that I’m now going to expect to find letterpress type every time I come to visit. Last visit I picked a few sorts at an antique store near her house. Prior to this visit she struck gold and found the “Bonanza”. Part of the lot was a small set of 60pt Cheltenham Condensed bold caps lead type. Pretty abused. We’ll have to see how well it prints. On the surface it looks like a few pieces might have been dropped, flattening a few serifs. Then there is about a 4A set of 10-line Gothic wood blocks that look pretty old. A decent amount of Tuscan sorts, but some are fragile and have cracks, if not already split. It was nice to find a matching letter “J” among my sorts. This batch truly showed that it was a barn find (see below). The feature of this find is the John G. Cooley 40-line Antique Condensed, circa 1868. This is a large set. Multiples of every letter except the “Z” and the “M”.
The above sorts includes some unique letters. You have to love the lowercase Tuscan Condensed “g”. Who wouldn’t want an entire set of Antique Double Outline Shaded? I’ll settle for a beat-up old “W”.