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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.