Penrith Museum seeks support to salvage Melbourne heritage

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The Penrith Print Museum is calling on generous lovers of print history to consider investing at the Melbourne Museum of Print auction, for the future of the Museum.

Up for auction: Wharfedale Stop Cylinder Press
Up for auction: 722 lots including this Wharfedale Stop Cylinder Press

The Penrith Museum has been steadily growing in stature, particularly since a renovation and relaunch last year, displaying a working collection of high quality, operational print equipment, print blocks, letterpress type and other exhibits, as well as a collection of more than 700 valuable books.

Yet although the museum is currently ‘bursting at the seams’ in its current premises, there are still significant gaps in the display that the Penrith Print Museum committee would ideally love to see filled in future.

“While we have an extensive and very interesting collection which is regularly demonstrated by our team of volunteers, there are a number of key pieces we’d love to add to our collection in future,” says committee member James Cryer. “The pending auction in Melbourne is a rare and amazing opportunity for us to secure some of those additions – but we can only do so with the assistance of the wider print community.”

The support the committee would like, Cryer explains, is for generous benefactors who value the history of the industry to consider buying high quality lots at auction, and then storing them on behalf of the museum for transport to Penrith or another safe location within the next two or three years.

“It sounds like a long time-frame, but the reality is that, while we are in discussions with the Penrith Council and our local politicians up there about securing larger and more appropriate premises, it is early days and any move is still some time in future,” Cryer explains, adding that transport costs for many individual pieces would likely be beyond the budget of the Museum.

“What we are hoping is that potential benefactors will consider investing in these pieces as a future donation to the Museum, and hold them for us – in their reception, perhaps, or out the back in the paper store – until we can organise to make up sufficient pallets for delivery to our new Penrith premises in a more cost-effective manner.”

Those interested in helping preserve the history of our industry in partnership with the Museum are asked to contact Cryer to discuss their intended purchases, to eliminate double-ups and ensure that their investment is able to be used in future displays.

“Of course, we can’t take everything – even in larger premises we will need to be selective – but our vision is to create a vibrant, engaging and comprehensive display which will be available to all Australians, and visitors, as a testament to the legacy, and ongoing value, of print.”

Gollant Auctioneers & Valuers is auctioning 722 lots, including an enormous variety of antique, vintage and collectable printing machinery, furniture, ephemera, literature and much more. Online bidding for lots 1-290 is already open, closing at 10am on Tuesday, with the remaining lots 300-722 auctioned on that day.

Click here for details.

Anyone interested in supporting the Museum in this way can contact James Cryer at or on 0408 291 508. To find out more about the Penrith Print Museum, go to

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