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Sunday, December 29, 2019


Sampson Mordan of London, England created this figural mechanical pencil; represented as a sword with sheath. Material is silver. The pencil dates to the 1880's period. The writing section is deployed by pulling the pommel (ball) away from the body. This extends the two stage telescopic writing section. The piece is then ready to write. Pushing in on the pommel returns things to the carry position. Sheathed the piece is 4 1/2 inches inches in length. Extended, the writing section is 5 5/8 inches long.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Today I'd like to show a figural mechanical pencil presenting the Budda in his classic sitting position. The piece was produced by the Leroy Fairchild Company of New York, New York. Circa 1880, give or take a couple years.. The pencil mechanism is deployed by pulling the ring away from the body. This action simultaneously induces an outward push of the tip section to the writing position. Magic pencil is the descriptive name for instruments of this type. The pencil is of all metal construction. Lengths without the top ring unit are 1 1/8 inches closed and 2 1/8 inches extended

Sunday, October 20, 2019

  I'm showing today an English black enamel over metal mechanical pencil. Disguised as a walking stick but a little short. The writing tip is fixed position. The handle pulls out from the pencil body to reveal an attached metal toothpick. Circa 1880'ish. Almost exactly four inches long.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

  For your possible viewing entertainment I'd like to show a metal, grape cluster magic pencil. Likely sterling. Not for wine production - yet. The piece is unmarked. Well made. Likely English but possibly American. Circa 1880'ish. Length dimensions are 1 1/8 inches closed and 2 1/8 inches extended.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

What we wrote with in the 50's and 60's. The ballpoint pictured was less common then the pencil.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Today I'd like to show an early mechanical pencil in the style of an African Assegai spear. A design lozenge inscribed on the metal tip dates the piece to 15 March 1879. The body is wooden with silver functional style points. The piece is 4 3/16 inches in length. Thin, nicely made and a keeper.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Today for your listening pleasure I'd like to show a Victorian mechanical pencil. Of course, it is disguised as a deck of cards The body is enamel over metal. Nozzle deployment is via the magic pencil system - pull out the ring and as if by magic the nozzle simultaneously pops out the other end. The piece is likely English, with a large undecipherable hallmark. Circa 1880. Measurements in the closed position are 1 1/8" by 3/4" by 5/16" .Circa 1880.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Showing an unmarked Victorian mechanical pencil today. Styled as a horse head. Likely made in England or America. Material is silver finish over metal (possibly sterling). Heavy. Features a twist activated propel / repel lead mechanism Piece is 2 1/4 inches in length. Circa 1880.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Showing today are four Victorian slider mechanism, mechanical pencils. Finishes are silver and gold. Circa 1830's - 1860's. From the top are a Riddle, Mosley, Bramah and Rauch. All were produced in England with the except for the Rauch, which is American. Lengths in the closed position range from 1 3/4 inches to 3 1/2 inches.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Sunday, May 19, 2019

  A.W. Faber Company likely produced this mechanical pencil in Germany circa 1890. The piece is oversize and features an extra thick lead. Six inches in length. The accessory clip was probably supplied by a third party maker.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Two sterling mechanical pencils produced in Birmingham, England. The cylindrical piece is twist activated and made by Francis Webb. Hallmarked 1894. The squarish piece is slider button activated and maker marks are wear obliterated. Hallmarked 1906-1907. The new stock, standard size wooden toothpick is shown for size comparison. The smooth piece is 1 inch long in the closed position and 1 1/2 inches long ready to write. The chased piece is 1 9/16 Inches long closed and 2 1/8 inches long opened. Exceptionally tiny and very well made.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

  Today I'm showing a well made mechanical pencil probably produced in the Far East. I would date the piece to the first half of the 20th Century. It is a heavy, almost solid metal silver finished device. The pencil is 5 5/16 inches long. The high relief engraving is exceptional.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

  As yoots we used to find shells like this in the woods along tall creek embankments. Those fossils were calcified and crumbled in the hand. This one is a little less brittle. Made by Sampson Mordan of England. Material is sterling and it works as a mechanical pencil. Mechanism deploys telescopically. Circa 1880. Closed length without larger ring 2 1/2 inches. Extended 3 3/4 inches.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

  For your listening pleasure, a Conklin All-American Combination (fountain pen and mechanical pencil). This one also includes a feature to remove the pencil part and add a multiple selection colored cap. The system was called Entente. Circa 1930's. The large capped pen/pencil unit is just under six inches in length.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

A nicely turned early pencil. Circa 1880 - 1900. Origin a guess. Materials are likely bone and brass. 2 7/8 inches in length.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

  No commas Ma! A no dent and blemished metal gravity based button activated dropper mechanical pencil. Germany. Circa 1900. Dimensions ringless are 4 inches closed and 5 1/4 inches extended.

Monday, March 18, 2019

  Shorter Pelikan mechanical pencils from the 1930 - 1940 period. Each features a push activated lead mechanism. Pencils are approximately 3 3/4 inches in length.

  Pelikan mechanical pencils from the 1930 - 1940 period. All feature push activated lead mechanisms.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sampson Mordan of England produced this figural mechanical pencil during the late 1840 - early 1850 period. Very nice gold finish. The tip extension mechanism operates in a channel with push / pull activation button. Piece is 2 1/2 inches long in the carry position and 3 inches long with the writing tip extended.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Recent additions to a Chilton mechanical pencil stash. Circa 1930's. Country of origin United States.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

  I'd like to show today a pair of 19th Century writing instruments. First off (bottom position in first picture), is a metal, silver finished pen with telescopic case. Yes, nib's or tips were referred to as pens in those days. The second piece - same material - is a slightly more conventional mechanical pencil. Both feature an inscribed United States, February 13, 1883 design patent protecting the three chased ring design. The patent assignee was Eberhard Faber (today known as Faber Castell). The pen with case in the carry position is approximately 4 1/8 inches long. Unextended and ready to write the pen is 5 3/8 inches. With full extension to write the piece is 6 7/8 inches. The pencil is a solid 4 1/8 inches long. A picture is included to show the double ended pen outside of it's case. The pen of course could have been produced by a third party.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Eclipse Fountain Pen Company of New York City also produced mechanical pencils. Showing here are four examples from their 1920's lineup. Each piece is shrouded with a gold filled filigree overlay. The largest comes in at 5 1/2 inches in length The three shorter examples are 5 1/4 inches.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

  Part of the unique experience in collecting old Victorian pencils is the ingenious, sometimes unique ways the devices work. Clockwise from the top are five distinctly designed champagne bottle mechanical pencils, each using a different tip deployment method.
From the top is a solid mounted push / pull telescopic
followed by a bottom ring twist activation mechanism
followed by a push / pull activated magic pencil
followed by a button activated gravity based dropper
Center position is a pull out / push in external collapsible
All pieces are silver based metal and were produced circa 1885 - 1895 .
Sizes closed range from 1 3/4 inches to 2 3/4 inches.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

  Note books have certainly become a bit more utilitarian down through the years. Showing here is an earlier example by Sampson Mordan of England. Hallmarked 1897. The case is hallmarked sterling and heavily engraved. This one is unused. The outer shell is approximately 2 inches across by 2 1/4 inches tall by 1/2 inch deep.