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Saturday, June 25, 2022

   I'm showing today a small group of Kaweco mechanical pencils. These were produced in Germany from the late 1920s thru the early 1950s. From a pencil sizing perspective, the slotted background is 7 1/2 inches long by 5 1/2 inches wide.



Sunday, June 19, 2022

  Sampson Mordan like many companies produced porte crayon pencils. Typically, a porte crayon pencil was designed to hold solid plugs of graphite in both ends of the device. Sliding circular compression rings tighten and hold the plugs in place for writing. This pencil is a bit unique in that it was designed to use wooden pencil inserts rather than the typical plugs of graphite.  Circa 1879-1909. The piece is almost exactly 4 inches in length without the wooden inserts.  





Friday, June 10, 2022

   I'm showing today a nice group of mechanical pencils from the 1920s thru the 40s. From left to right they are Parker, Parker, Salrite, Parker, Parker, Fyne Poynt, Parker, Eversharp, Parker, Wahl-Eversharp, Eversharp, and Holland.



Sunday, June 5, 2022

   Sampson Mordan of England produced this silver, figural mechanical pencil. It is styled as a cross with an anchor and heart. The heart represents charity. The cross represents faith. The anchor represents hope. F H & C. The writing section is deployed by pushing and pulling the heart-shaped button in and out along the connected channel. Circa 1880s - 1890s. The piece without the ring assembly is 1 7/8 inches long closed and 2 3/8 inches extended.




Saturday, May 28, 2022

   Demonstrator mechanical pencils were created by writing instrument makers to show the operations of their internal mechanisms. Cutouts and clear barrels accomplished the goal. Shown here are pencils from the 1920s into the late '50s. Salesmen might carry these around to retailers or retailers might show them to customers. They typically were not 'for sale' items. From left to right here are Sheaffer, Sheaffer, Pelikan, Wahl-Eversharp, Sheaffer, Sheaffer, Parker, Sheaffer, Eversharp, Wahl-Eversharp, Sheaffer, and Eversharp. Outside the box: Parker (above) and Eagle (below).



Saturday, May 21, 2022

   Victorian figural mechanical pencils were often styled as weapons. Known examples produced include handguns, rifles, swords, canons, and others. I'm showing today a combination mechanical pencil/toothpick built to resemble a long-barreled personal weapon (gun). The piece is unmarked. It was likely made in England around the 1880 period (give or take a decade or two). The pencil section and toothpick are deployed for use by button-controlled slider channels located on the underside of the barrels. They push the working sections in and out for use and storage. The device is about 2 3/4 inches closed and 3 1/4 inches ready for work.





Sunday, May 15, 2022

  Omas produced short celluloid mechanical pencils in Italy. The dates of production were the late 1930s into the 1940s. Pencils I'm showing here measure approximately 3 1/4 inches in length.



Saturday, May 7, 2022

  Thornhill of England produced this silver mechanical pencil fashioned as a mythical dolphin or maybe just a plain ol' fearsome sea creature. The material is silver. The writing section is deployed by pulling the whiskers away from the head of the beast. It was produced during the 1880 - 1895 period. Without the ring assembly, the pencil is 1 1/2 inches in length closed, and 2 3/4 inches ready to write.




Friday, April 29, 2022

Showing is a representative sample of mechanical pencils from various makers of the day. They were created and produced during the 1920s and 30s. From left to right are Triad, Parker, Chilton, Crocker, Montblanc, Crocker, Sheaffer, Parker, Carters, Zaner-Blozer by Parker, Wahl-Eversharp, and Waterman. For pencil sizing clarity, the box interior dimensions are 5 1/2" X 7 3/4". 



Saturday, April 23, 2022

  Today I'm showing a silver mechanical pencil styled as a lighthouse   It was likely made in the United States or England. Circa 1880 - 1890. The pencil without the ring assembly is 2 3/8 inches long closed and 3 7/8 inches extended.




Friday, March 25, 2022

Sampson Mordan produced many figural pencils during the second half of the 19th century. Examples include elephants, tennis rackets, butter knives, and many more. I'm showing today a Mordan case clock mechanical pencil. The writing tip is deployed by the magic pencil mechanism. Pulling the top ring away from the body simultaneously pushes the writing tip out for writing. This one is circa 1880 The piece is 2 7/8 inches long closed and 3 1/4 inches extended.





Friday, March 18, 2022

I'm showing today 3 stubby German mechanical pencils. From top to bottom, they were made by Johann Faber, Kaweco, and Montblanc. The Faber and Montblanc are octagonally sided. The Kaweco is hexagonal. The Montblanc is marked with a model number 46 and features oversize diameter leads. The Faber and Kaweco take the smaller standard diameter leads of the day. All are 3 3/16 inches to 3 11/16 inches in length. The pencils were produced from the late 1920s into the early 1940s. They range in length from 3 3/16 inches to 3 11/16 inches. All 3 companies continue to be major players in the writing instrument market to this day.



Saturday, March 12, 2022

Sampson Mordan produced many cedar holder pencil models in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pure cedar holders hold a cedar pencil (obviously?). A ring then pushes the pencil in and out for use/carrying. Some cedar holders accept threaded end refills. Some do not. Pure cedar holders all work the same. The pencil shown here has elements of cedar holder and porte crayon. With the porte crayon, the ring moves in a channel tightening and loosening the inner diameter of the barrel. Simply, that tightening then holds the medium (lead), in place for writing. The porte crayon design goes back hundreds of years to when a hunk of graphite (the British call them wads) was stuffed into one end of the device and simply tightened down by the collar. Mine shown here features the functionality of the much earlier designed porte crayon and the newer technology of an easily replaceable wooden pencil. Remember, the wad pre-dates the wooden pencil by hundreds of years. The piece is hallmarked sterling, London, and 1898.





Friday, February 25, 2022

  Four Sampson Mordan silver mechanical pencils from the 1st quarter of the 20th century showing today. The top piece is sided. The others are rounded. Three were heavily tarnished. The cloth missed some places. 😀




Friday, February 18, 2022

Tunbridge ware is an inlay woodcraft style produced in England during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, desktop storage boxes in this style from that time are fairly common - pencils not so much. Many months ago I showed my lone example - a four-sided Tunbridge ware pencil. All sides of this piece feature distinct mosaic patterns. Three new pencils have found their way into my stash. All are shown here. The new prize of the bunch is the rounded full inlay piece (second from the top). Pieces three and four use the Tunbridge ware inlay only on the tops of their caps. All are 3 1/2 to 4 inches in length. The time of production is the 1850 vicinity. The pencil third from the top was never sharpened.
Wikipedia elaborates on this type of inlay methodology: The decoration typically consists of a mosaic of many very small pieces of different colored woods that form a pictorial vignette. Shaped rods and slivers of wood were first carefully glued together, then cut into many thin slices of identical pictorial veneer with a fine saw. Whew!




Friday, February 11, 2022

 Three Parker Duofold flattop mechanical pencils. Circa 1920's. Great!



Saturday, February 5, 2022

   Today's posting is a silver figural mechanical pencil produced by Sampson Mordan of England. The piece possibly represents Fagin, the Dickens character. Circa 1880 - 1890. The material is silver. The writing section pulls out telescopically from the base. Without the ring assembly, the piece measures 1 3/8 inches long in the closed position and 2 1/2 inches in length extended.




Saturday, January 22, 2022

   I'm showing today a silver figural seal (animal), mechanical pencil. The pencil is marked MacMichael, (a known London jeweler, silversmith). The writing tip is simultaneously deployed from the mouth of the animal when pulling the rear section away from the body. People in the hobby refer to this deployment type as 'magic pencil'. It's actually just fancy internal gearing. Circa 1880'ish. The piece is 1 7/8 inches closed and 2 3/4 inches extended.