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Saturday, December 8, 2018

  Pencils as musical instruments here. Two Sampson Mordan mechanical pencils represented as the larger recorder and smaller flute. The writing units are deployed telescopically by the recorder and by twist action with the flute. Material is sterling silver on both pieces. Circa 1885. The larger recorder is 2 3/4 inches long in the closed position and 3 3/4 inches extended. The flute closed is 2 1/8 inches long and extended 1 3/4 inches. Classical music anyone?


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Producers of new things have always required a method of documenting the progress in their development One of those methods involves assigning development shop numbers at key points in progress. Here are examples of shop numbering from the Sheaffer's factory in Fort Madison, Iowa. All are mechanical pencils. Circa 1920's-1930's. Showing top to bottom is a Sheaffer's sub-brand Univer, followed by a Sheaffer's and lastly two Sheaffer's Wasp sub-brand pencils. Disclaimer: There are no bends in the pieces, just disappointing optics.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

I think this one's a real looker. It is an unmarked, metal, Victorian mechanical pencil. Likely made in England or possibly America. Lead diameter is thicker than usual. Circa 1895. Six inches in length.


Sunday, November 18, 2018



  A pair of cherry red Lifetime Sheaffer's mechanical pencils in shirt clip and ring top configurations. Circa 1920's.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

  Showing here is a three piece Victorian, mechanical pencil haul from the recent Ohio Pen Show. Top to bottom is a no name mummy, followed by a Mordan rowboat and -not very- and lastly, a nice Fairchild. Circa 1880 - 1920, with the rowboat being the oldest and the mummy the youngest. Great style points on the Fairchild.



Friday, November 9, 2018

  This contraption ran into me at a recent pen show. Insisted I take it home with me - so I did. Come to find out it's a very nice Parker, 1930's combination pen and pencil. Truth: when I saw it on a sellers table, an amount of money lept out of my hand in a blur. Great piece.



Monday, October 29, 2018

  A. T. Cross (Alonzo T. Cross), has been making mechanical pencils for a very long time. The name of course, was at some point shortened to 'just' Cross. Shown here are likely some of the company's earliest pencil efforts. Two or three of the examples showing are marked A.T. Cross. Two or three are inscribed with Cross patent dates for August 29, 1882 and April 8, 1884. More than one of these are unmarked but are very likely Cross. Materials are hard rubber and gold filled finished metal. The longest piece is 4 15/16 inches. Red hard rubber rules!