Lithographic hand press, miniature

Description (Brief)
This miniature lithographic hand press was made by Benjamin J. Warner, about 1850. It includes a lithographic stone to scale, and a print from the stone. The press is made of wood, steel, brass, and ivory, and is mounted on a wooden plinth on a circular wooden base. It has a height of 5 inches, a width of 3.75 inches and a length of 4 inches. The stone measures 1.5 inches by 1.25 inches.
Benjamin Warner, the London watchmaker who made this press, also made two miniature steam engines that he exhibited at the 1853 Crystal Palace exposition in New York. Warner’s delicate lithographic press is of a top-lever style known in England around 1840. The scraper was forced down by an eccentric wheel on the lower end of the lever. The sides of the model are moulded brass, the handles and wheels are of turned ivory, and the bed is black velvet. The scraper is suspended by rubber bands, not original and now dried out. The stone, which is too thick to fit under the scraper, carries the image of a prancing horse. The press has been enthroned by a later owner on the circular wooden base of a nineteenth century glass display dome, and the glass itself is now missing. The dome base is nailed onto a three-footed, veneered, circular block.
The family of Mrs. Jones, the donor, descends from Benjamin Warner. In 1976 Mrs. Jones also gave Warner’s two miniature steam engines to the Museum’s Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering.
Donated by Mrs. Ellen R. Jones, 1976.
Citation: Elizabeth Harris, "Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection," 1996.
Currently not on view
Date made
ca. 1850
date made
ca 1850
Warner, Benjamin J.
place made
United Kingdom
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
steel (overall material)
brass (overall material)
ivory (overall material)
limestone (overall material)
overall: 5 in x 3 3/4 in x 4 in; 12.7 cm x 9.525 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Ellen R. Jones
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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