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Following up on last week's listing of Victorian dip pens, here is a selection of Victorian mechanical pencils.
11936: Addison extending pencil: no content mark, but silver of at least .900 fineness, good clean maker's mark, 8.1 cm closed, 10.5 cm long extended, made by Thomas Addison of New York City; excellent quality, characteristic steel nozzle tip, uses standard 1.1 mm lead, most uncommon to find such an early American pencil in such clean condition.
DATE: c. 1845 • CONDITION: exc • SOLD
11974: Fairchild magic pencil: large and striking, 8.4 cm long closed, 14.1 cm extended, finely ribbed body alternating rose gold filled and black (celluloid?) rings. Fully marked, including "PATENTED JUNE 22.1869" (Rauch's US patent 91,665), nozzle marked "9", uses standard 2.0 mm lead. Stress hairline in front cap opening, dents at end of extending shaft, otherwise crisp with relatively little wear.
DATE: c. 1875 • CONDITION: VG-fine* • $275
11957: Fairchild (?) magic pencil: unmarked gold filled ringtop of good size, 6.3 cm long closed, 12 cm extended, black lacquered bands and fluted center for a sculptural effect, attached badge for Delta Omega Sigma in low carat rose gold; uses standard 1.1 mm lead, mechanically perfect noting hairline crack in front cap (see detail).
DATE: c. 1895 • CONDITION: fine* • $125
11928: Hicks magic pencil: gold filled ringtop, 6.7 cm long closed, 11.7 cm extended, black chased hard rubber barrel sleeve with March 21, 1871 patent date (Hicks' US patent 112,917); smooth action, uses 1.05 mm lead.
DATE: c. 1880 • CONDITION: fine-exc • $90
12019: Mordan novelty pencil: sterling silver ringtop figural in the shape of a top, 3.6 cm high closed; 6 telescoping sections, plus band at end turns to extend and lock nozzle (uses 1.05 mm "M" lead). Thornhill retailer marks, English registry marks, but a Mordan design.
DATE: c. 1880 • CONDITION: fine-exc • SOLD
11925: Sheldon compendium: scarce and desirable Birmingham-made combination dip pen, pencil, coin gauge, toothpick, wax seal, and letter scale (British weights and rates), 10.3 cm long closed, sound condition noting polishing wear to imprint, slight nick to tip of pencil nozzle; February 1842 patent date fully legible.
DATE: c. 1850 • CONDITION: VG-fine • SOLD
11930: unmarked extending pencil: miniature in coin silver, 5 cm long closed, 7 cm extended, uses 1.05 mm lead, unusual size for early American production, with characteristic steel nozzle tip, sliding suspension fitting, and all-metal crown.
DATE: c. 1850 • CONDITION: exc • $95
11953: unmarked extending pencil: early slide-action with brocaded barrel reading "FORGET ME NOT", 11.2 cm with nozzle extended, amethyst-colored faceted seal stone, uses 1.0 mm lead, construction appears to be a mix of gold filled and solid gold components, well-worn but mechanically sound, probably American manufacture.
DATE: c. 1860 • CONDITION: G-VG • $120
11931: unmarked extending pencil: sterling silver with brocade pattern, "FORGET ME NOT" motto almost completely effaced; 7.8 cm long closed, 9.9 cm extended, amethyst-colored faceted seal stone, characteristically American steel nozzle insert; mechanically sound, only significant wear to the barrel brocading, uses 1.1 mm lead.
DATE: c. 1860 • CONDITION: VG • $95
11952: unmarked extending pencil: sterling silver, English manufacture, hexagonal shaft, 7.6 cm long closed, 11.3 cm extended, shield-shaped moonstone seal stone, unusual with extra section of telescoping hexagonal shaft. Uses 1.05 mm "M" lead, fully functional noting nick to nozzle tip, small stress crack at front of slider slot, and absence of one of the two pins securing the sliding collar.
DATE: c. 1870 • CONDITION: G-VG* • $80
11927: unmarked pencil: heavily chased sterling silver twist-action ringtop, 8.5 cm long closed, 11.4 cm with nozzle extended, uses 1.8 mm lead; American-made, very high quality with extensive hand work.
DATE: c. 1880 • CONDITION: fine-exc • $220
11943: unmarked pencil: slender, barleycorn pattern with what appear to be traces of gilding (material appears to be solid silver and not plate), 9.3 cm long, uses 1.4 mm lead, probably American.
DATE: c. 1890 • CONDITION: exc • $70
11937: unmarked extending pencil: sterling silver ringtop, twist-action, 7.5 cm long closed, 9.9 cm with nozzle extended, marked only "STERLING", fine quality, uses 1.5 mm "VS" lead.
DATE: c. 1895 • CONDITION: exc • $65
11944: unmarked magic pencil: gold filled ringtop, 4.45 cm long closed, 8 cm extended, nice relief design with flower and lucky horseshoe; uses standard 1.1 mm lead, advances and retracts lead, small test mark on back.
DATE: c. 1900 • CONDITION: fine • $75
11948: Crown eyedropper-filler: early black hard rubber straight-cap, 13.5 cm long, over under feed, two-step section, imprint at end of barrel reads "WORLD'S FAIR/CHICAGO./CROWN PEN CO." Moderate fading, scorch mark to front part of barrel (see detail), very flexible nib is missing its tipping, not functional as is, a scarce datable early Chicago-made fountain pen.
DATE: c. 1892 • CONDITION: G* • NIB: fine flex • SOLD
12052: DeWitt-LaFrance Superite: 1/20 gold filled all-metal lever-filler, 12.9 cm long, Boston-made, marked "PAT. PEND."; no dings, interesting patented lever mechanism later adopted by Carter; notable "S" marked nib.
DATE: c. 1922 • CONDITION: fine-exc • NIB: medium italic flex • $265
11941: Eagle glass cartridge pen: black lacquered brass, 12 cm long, one of the earliest cartridge pens made; barrel is fully imprinted, stating "PATENTED" but unlike later examples no citation of patent date of 1890; untipped brass nib is a smooth writerl, glass cartridge is fully intact but original rubber seal has shrunk, preventing use as is.
DATE: c. 1890 • CONDITION: VG* • NIB: medium flex • $120
12032: Mabie Todd Swan 42: special black hard rubber "Posting" lever-filler, 13.9 cm long, gold filled trim with elaborate cap banding, #2 New York posting nib is very fine and very precise, wonderful feel for those who like to write a fine line. Imprints are worn but legible, cap lip crack does not go past first cap band, stable inasmuch as the cap contacts the barrel much further back when posted. A handsome user.
DATE: c. 1923 • CONDITION: G* • NIB: extra-fine • $165
12029: Mabie Todd lever-filler: unusual black chased hard rubber model made for retail by Pittsburgh's Singer Pen & Gift Shop, known for having ordered a number of special models from Mabie Todd over the years; 13.3 cm long, nickel plated trim, plain clip, flat feed with #2 economy-line "M.T & Co." nib. Crisp and unfaded, nib is a little draggy if used at a steeper angle.
DATE: c. 1925 • CONDITION: exc • NIB: medium semiflex • $175
12031: Mabie Todd Swan Eternal 44: large jade green lever-filler, 13.6 cm long, gold filled trim, original sticker on barrel end, New York production, big #4 Eternal nib; very clean, has been filled, cap slightly lighter in color than barrel.
DATE: c. 1927 • CONDITION: near mint • NIB: medium fine • $350
12049: Mordan dip pen: marked "STERLING SILVER" but not hallmarked (typical for export), 17.7 cm long excluding steel nib, barleycorn body with long smooth taper with ball finial, only very light marks, good clean example.
DATE: c. 1890 • CONDITION: fine-exc • $275
12040: Parker 21: mottled hard rubber slip-cap eyedropper-filler, 14.2 cm long, gold filled trim, early Lucky Curve feed with widely-spaced lateral fins at the tip, a short-lived transitional design; #3 heart-vent Lucky Curve nib is a good writer, has been retipped. Good imprints and color.
DATE: c. 1904 • CONDITION: fine-exc • NIB: medium fine flex • $325
12042: Waterman 3: tan veined grey pearl "Steel Quartz" lever-filler, 12.7 cm long, chrome plated trim; strong imprints, notable flex nib is a responsive writer.
DATE: c. 1932 • CONDITION: fine-exc • NIB: fine stub flex • $200
12043: Waterman 3: black lever-filler, 12.8 cm long, chrome plated trim, like new but for some plating roughness on sides of clip base, smooth and calligraphic nib.
DATE: c. 1940 • CONDITION: fine-exc • NIB: medium stub semiflex • $175
12046: Waterman 3: tan veined grey pearl "Steel Quartz" lever-filler, 12.8 cm long, chrome plated trim; #2 nib is a medium flex, requires a bit of pressure to open but gives nice shading with normal writing. Matching pencil uses 1.1 mm lead, retains traces of price sticker on top, clip shows some plating roughness.
DATE: c. 1940 • CONDITION: exc • NIB: fine flex • $220
12045: Waterman 352: grey pearl lever-filler, 12.7 cm long, gold filled trim, original price sticker, some shop wear including loss of thin gold wash plating to clip rivet.
DATE: c. 1943 • CONDITION: near mint • NIB: medium flex • $150
12044: Waterman 512V: black vest pocket size lever-filler, 11 cm long, gold filled trim, English-made, notable #2A nib has a very slight oblique cut (similar to a Relief), sharp line width delineation, smooth writing.
DATE: c. 1946 • CONDITION: fine • NIB: broad oblique italic semiflex • SOLD
12041: Waterman Stateleigh Taperite: blue-grey slip-cap lever-filler, 13.5 cm long, 1/10 14K gold filled cap, hooded nib is a smooth writer but not the flex denoted by the original barrel sticker. Short-lived model made in imitation of the Parker 51.
DATE: c. 1948 • CONDITION: near mint • NIB: medium fine • $145
12039: Waterman Crusader Taperite set in box: burgundy lever-filler with hooded nib, 13.3 cm long, two-tone cap, matching injector pencil appears to use nonstandard 1.05 mm lead, works acceptably with 1.0 mm. Clean set, these caps are easily marred, only a few small marks, strong color.
DATE: c. 1949 • CONDITION: exc • NIB: medium fine firm • $165