To a self-confessed printing-press spotter like me, this Diadem treadle platen press, which belonged to Leo Bensemann, is quite simply an awesome machine.
I'll guarantee it could still produce as beautiful a printed page as it could when it was first used in the 1890s. It's pure heavy metal that if looked after and maintained properly will last for centuries – a wonderful contrast to today's throw away society.
Bensemann was one of the most talented letterpress printers/typographers to work in New Zealand during the twentieth century. He set up this press at his home in the Christchurch hillside suburb of Huntsbury prior to his retirement from The Caxton Press in 1978 and produced several books under the imprint of The Huntsbury Press, which are today extremely rare and collectible items. Examples of Huntsbury Press printing were included in a display case alongside the press in the exhibition Leo Bensemann: A Fantastic Art Venture just prior to the February earthquake.