Doing It All By Hand

Found this from at an old commercial Chinese print shop that's (slowly) packing it in. Apparently Jim Rimmer himself played with these and begged the owners to let him buy one, but they held on. (The owners said Jim also helped keep their Monotype casting equipment running.) Would have been in much better hands with Jim than HM, but at least it's safe.

Sent a picture of the thing to John Randle of the Whittington Press, who passed it on to Stan Nelson of the Atelier Press, asking for any information on what exactly it is (beyond obviously being a hand mould for casting type). His reply:

"This is a duplicating mould. With ideograms it is common to run out of a sort.  So you put a character in this mould (coated with soot) and pour in soft alloy type metal which forms a matrix. Then after breaking off the jet and cleaning up the foot you soot this mat and put it where the model type had been and pour in molten metal. One can cast a number of adequate types in this manner.

"There are duplicating moulds in the West such as the Unicast or Typofix. But made in a somewhat different manner. They weren't great to use."

Stan knows all about this stuff; check out his short film on casting.