I have been very wary of buying printing items on eBay, where the prices are often very inflated and one takes a risk. However, in the last week I have purchased two items that are really special. The large decorated initial B is a very old piece of type, cast by Caslon and is 11ems square. As you can see from the image below, it prints beautifully, even if it is very slightly damaged. With such a deep image, it will print and emboss at the same time, provided the correct soft paper is chosen.
The other block is an old ‘Manicule’ or Printer’s Fist. These original blocks are hard to come by. The word ‘manicule’ derives from the Latin manicula (little hand) and these pointing hands were particularly used on posters and advertisements. The detail on this block is superb.