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Ultra Rare Sampson Mordan writing set

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Pencils73 of 1111825 Sampson Mordan Dip Pen & Pencil:2nd: Sampson Mordan Victorian silver pencil set
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Posted 5 years ago


(51 items)

I have just aquired this superb and very rare Sampson Mordan Sterling Silver engraved Pen, Pencil & Page Marker cased set. Hallmarked 1890:

Retailed by Hardy Brothers. Goldsmiths & Jeweller. 13 Hunter Street. Sydney. Australia. Hardy Brothers were founded in 1839. Their current Sydney address is 60 Castlereagh Street, they now have several outlets elsewhere in Australia. (See Company history below)

The Pen, Pencil and Page Marker are grouped together in a leather effect presentation case. The case has a profiled tray that cradles each of the three pieces in midnight blue velvet. The upper lid is lined in midnight blue silk that bears the retailers name in gold leaf. All of the box furniture is in brass which is expected for the time. There is some slight wear to the leather effect and the velvet in places, which is entirely commensurate with its age and normal use down the years.

History of Hardy Brothers of Australia:

Hardy Brothers, Watchmakers and Jewellers, 13 Hunter-street.—This business, which is the leading one of its kind in Sydney, was established in 1839 by Mr. John Hardy and his brother, Mr. Samuel Hardy, who remained the home partner up to the time of his decease, when he was succeeded by his son, who has since retained that position. Mr. John Hardy is assisted in Sydney by his eldest son, who was admitted into partnership a few years ago. Their stock consists of all articles of the very best quality embraced in the jeweller's and watchmaker's trade; and as a proof of their standing in public appreciation, although the business is conducted upstairs and without show windows, all visitors of note to the city view the establishment before leaving. Their stock of diamonds, jewellery, and gems is held to be second to none out of London; their watches are only of the best makers, and their silver plate would satisfy the most fastidious. The manufacture of plate and trophies, and the setting of gems is all carried on by a staff of workmen and assistants, numbering generally from twenty-five to thirty.

Source: The Aldine Centennial History of New South Wales - W. Frederic Morrison - 1888

Hardy Brothers; Goldsmiths & Jeweller; Subsequent History:
In 1929, Hardy Brothers of Australia were appointed jewellers by Royal Warrant to His Majesty, King George V. As holder of the Royal Warrant, Hardy Brothers have served all sovereigns since George V, including the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The circumstances leading to the issuing of the much coveted Warrant were that from the late 1800s Hardy Brothers had been under vice-regal patronage, serving the early Governors of Australia and later the State Governors and Governors-General, and at times, visiting royalty. The originator of the Australian business, John Hardy, worked hard at establishing the right contacts to gain him entree to the Governors' social circles and it paid off handsomely. As well as their personal patronage, the early Governors requested John Hardy's assistance with the presentation of State dinners and receptions at their official residences. Then, in the mid 1920s, Hardy Brothers were invited to supply `Yarralumla', the Canberra home of Australia's Governor-General, with their silver, china and glassware appointments. They have also supplied similar items during the years to the Prime Minister's Canberra residence, The Lodge. One of their early impressive royal commissions as holders of the Warrant was to supply an 18-carat gold cup for the running of the first King's Cup horse race in 1927, now the Queen's Cup.
Members of the Royal family who number among Hardy Brothers' famous customers include Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, Australia's favourite royal Princess Alexandra, and also the late Lord Louis Mountbatten, who while on tour here once wandered into the Sydney store to get his broken watch-chain repaired and to buy a few trinkets. The conspicuous royal figure was hurriedly ushered into a back room and looked after, before any curious crowds could gather.
Queen Elizabeth II owns a magnificent yellow and white diamond wattle brooch, designed and made by Hardy Brothers as a gift from the Australian Government. But it was the Queen's uncle, the late Duke of Windsor, who is perhaps the most remembered of the Royal customers. As Prince of Wales, long before his notorious abdication from the throne to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, he visited Australia on numerous occasions, often staying at his horse property, Windybanks, outside Tamworth in New South Wales. It was during those brief private visits to his property that the Prince became quite a frequent customer at Hardy Brothers. And history relates that most of the Prince's purchases were gifts for young women friends.
Another of Hardy Brothers historic Royal commissions was to design and supply the gold mallet and trowel for the ceremonious laying of foundations at the site of Australia's Federal capital, Canberra.
What is the Royal Warrant? Royal Warrants are a mark of recognition to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services for at least five years to certain members of the Royal Family. They have always been regarded as a mark of excellence and quality, and are highly prized.

Further Reading:
“By Appointment: The History of Hardy Brothers 1780-1980.”
(By G. Franzmann). (Melbourne 1980).


  1. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Magnificent cased writing ensemble, and wonderful description!! I do not have access to the cited reference works, and so your account is doubly welcome. Thank you for all the time and effort it took to produce this splendid Show and Tell entry! Try not to feel guilty that it prevented you from tinkering with the tank.
  2. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    The Ferret is all finished thank goodness, miKKO! No more tinkering until the next thing falls off of it! Many thanks for the comment re: my post description, I try to give plenty of info (that I usually log down anyway, for my own reference, from my researches, so why not share it with fellow CW members). Glad you found it useful. Thanks for the "love it" and to Kathycat and officialfuel.
  3. inky inky, 5 years ago
  4. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Thanks inky; for the kind comment and love! Glad you enjoyed the post.
  5. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Thanks to AR8Jason who loves this and vetraio50 who also loves this. :)
  6. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the "love it's" from Manikin and walksoftly! Appreciated. :)
  7. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Hi Sean, thanks for your usual kind support, and uplifting message! I've been away on business for a week, but I'm back now...with some nice items that I'll try and post over the next few days, for you and the others to look at!
  8. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    chevy59 Many thanks for the appreciation! :)
  9. Hems303 Hems303, 4 years ago
    Here is a link to my CW Post dealing with Lead Refills for Antique propelling pencils, especially Mordan examples:
  10. Hems303 Hems303, 4 years ago
    Kerry; Thanks for the "love", very kind of you!

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