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Sunday, December 30, 2018

  The Indian combination fountain pen and pencil on the far left might be the most recognizable of this bunch. Second and third from the left are classic fountain pen and pencil respectively - made by Waltham. All are properly marked on the shirt clips. The far right stubby pencil is unmarked. Some experts agree all were probably made by Waltham. The pattern came in 3 or 4 color combinations. Circa 1935.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

In the later half of the 19th century mechanical pencils represented as many diverse objects were popular. One of these groupings was creatures or animals. Figural pencils resembling fish, elephants, and many other things that moved, were created. Showing here are a pair of owl figural pencils. The piece on the left was produced in England by the Sampson Mordan Company. The right piece was likely made by the William S. Hicks Company in the United States. Both pencils deploy the writing tip via the magic pencil mechanism (pulling out one end simultaneously pushes out the opposite working end). Magic! Both were produced circa 1880. The Mordan is 1 1/4 inches long closed and 2 1/4 inches extended. The Hicks is 1 1/8 inches long closed and 2 1/4 inches extended. Who?

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wahl-Eversharp produced many metal mechanical pencils in the early part of the 20th century. Metal in the period was the primary pencil material. W-E's pencils were extremely popular. Mechanical pencils were sometimes referred to as eversharps. Much less commonly found today is the smallest of the brand - The Tiny Eversharp. Circa 1920's. Produced in the United States and England. The pencils are 3 1/8 inches long and no more than 1/8 of an inch in diameter. Tiny!

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!

Friday, October 26, 2018

  Waterman's Lady Patricia model mechanical pencils in sterling and gold fill overlays. Made in the United States. Circa 1930's. 4 1/4 inches in length.

Monday, October 22, 2018

  For some pencil people it does not get any better than this. Showing here is a metal store display sign, circa 1920's. The pencil featured is from the Sheaffer's Lifetime model lineup. The model design featured various sizes, materials and finishings. The sign is fifteen inches long. Thank you Daniel Kirchheimer!

  In the 1920's Sheaffer's, Cross, Grieshaber and maybe a couple other companies created hand painted (usually over metal), examples of their standard line of production mechanical pencils. Shown here are four examples of the Sheaffer's Lifetime, metal, short ring top pencil.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

  For some pencil people it does not get any better than this. Showing here is a metal store display sign, circa 1920's. The pencil featured is from the Sheaffer's Lifetime model lineup. The model design featured various sizes, materials and finishings. The sign is fifteen inches long. Thank you Daniel Kirchheimer!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

  Today I'd like to show a Sampson Mordan Muscovy duck head, figural mechanical pencil. To operate, pull the ring end away from the body and watch the lead nozzle simultaneously extend out the other side. The mechanism is referred to as a 'magic pencil' Circa 1880 - 1890. The duck is 2 1/8 inches long compressed and 3 7/8 inches in the writing position.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Showing is a slider mechanism, Victorian mechanical pencil. Featured is a bear holding a ball on top of the finial. Piece also features a perpetual calendar. No engraved makers marks. Circa 1885 -1905 Length in the closed position 3 1/2 inches and when extended 4 1/4 inches.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

  Two sizes of Esterbrook pencils from the early 1930's into the first half of the 1940's. The model was called the 'Dollar' pencil and fountain pen. The price was reflected in the name (probably for the pen - not the pencil).

Monday, September 24, 2018

  Sampson Mordan produced this figural mechanical pencil, represented as a hand held fan The primary material is British sterling. Circa 1880 - 1890. Dimensional lengths are 2 1/8 inches closed and 3 1/2 inches extended Sorry, the device is not designed to 'fan out'.  

Sunday, September 16, 2018

  Showing today are a pair of sterling, figural mechanical pencils produced in England. Both circa 1880 - 1890. The smaller sporting racket was produced by Sampson Mordan. It features a button driven slider mechanism which activates the nozzle/lead end. Length is 2 1/4 inches closed and 2 5/8 inches extended. The larger Thornhill racket uses a pull, single stage telescopic device to produce the working writing nozzle. Length on this one is 4 1/2 inches closed and 5 1/4 extended.

Monday, September 10, 2018

  I'm showing today two mechanical pencils. Both made in America. The top Eberhard Faber was produced in the late 1940's - very early '50's. 4 15/16 inches long. The bottom Autopoint was made during the mid-1930's. The Autopoint featured an exposed eraser. 4 1/8 inches long. Dig that crazy dollar amount on the Faber.       

Friday, September 7, 2018

  American figural pencils. Circa 1880 - 1890. Photos courtesy of Jon Veley.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

  As the name suggests, Carter's Ink Company of America sold tons of ink in it's day. The company also produced high quality fountain pens and mechanical pencils. Showing here are two examples of their earliest pencils (circa late 1920's - early 30's). The piece on top features silver plated trim. The bottom unit uses gold filled trim. Each piece is 5 1/4 inches long.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

As it was, sitting on top of a store display case in the mid-1930's. Scripto pencils were always affordable. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

  A nicely made engine turned sterling barreled, English mechanical pencil. Black trim. Time of production 1930's. Diminutive. Four inches long.

To quote from Kenneth Bull's fabulous Victorian pencil book 'The KB Collection Of Pencils', 'Hamilton and Co was one of the best known British silversmithing companies in India during the 19th century'. Shown here is a figural pencil by the company represented as a sterling storage barrel. Activation is by a 5 stage (including the nozzle), pull out telescopic mechanism. The piece is 1 3/8 inches long in the closed position and 3 7/8 inches in the fully extended position. Circa 1885'ish.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Just a nice Montblanc mechanical pencil from the 1930's. A skosh over 5 inches long.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

  Showing today is a silver, figural harp mechanical pencil. Probably British. Circa 1880. The writing tip is exposed by the push/pull collar on the vertical shaft. The piece is 2 inches tall and 7/8 inches across. It is 2 9/16 inches long in the extended position.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

  Sheaffer's produced it's first mechanical pencil in 1917. The model was named Sharp-Point. Shown here is a small sampling of those pencils. Specifically labeled in-store display cases were built and used to feature them.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

  Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth has produced many fine pencils during the last 200 years. The Koh-I-Noor and L.C. Hardtmuth names both produced wooden and mechanical pencils. The company was founded in Austria in 1790 by Joseph Hardtmuth. Today the company is headquartered in the Czech Republic. Their first patent for pencil lead was granted in 1802. Showing today is a later model 4095 B mechanical pencil produced during the 1940's, possibly the late 30's. This one features a propel/repel twist mechanism. It is 5 3/4 inches long. It was inscribed and marketed as L.C. Hardtmuth.