Posted 8 months ago
A "Jewel in the Crown" of my collection! Strangely enough we do not know by who or when it was made. There is no Makers Mark, no Hallmarks, no nothing! All I know is that it came from the estate of a 98 year old lady in Herefordshire (England) and it belonged to her parents when they lived in that beautiful Georgian Spa Town of Bath. She recounted to her daughter (who sold it) that it had been "specially made" for her parents.
This propelling pencil has been very carefully tested, so as not to do irreparable damage, and it tests for at least 14 carat gold. As the "standard" most common in Victorian England was 15 carat, it is 99% certain to be 15ct. The construction and engraving is typically English Victorian and was probably made in Birmingham or Chester as the family had it's business and social "sphere" entirely in the Western reaches of England, which precludes London, the other centre of excellence for objects such as this. (Supposition based on circumstantial evidence)
Antique 15ct Gold propelling pencil and reversible dip pen. The double-ended section carrying the propelling pencil and dip pen, very crisply slides into and out of the body section with a well engineered interference fit. This whole section, which ever implement is chosen, then slides into the body using the slide ring decorated with the very finest worked acanthus leaves I have ever seen. It is an absolute tour-de-force of the jewellers skill. I had never handled such exquisite work! I saw it and just had to buy it. It has a striking un-engraved yellow/orange semi-precious stone seal on the finial in the shape of a double recurving shield. Extended Length is 13cm. Retracted Length is 9cm. Weight is 13.2g
The pencil tip is marked with an "M" which many people think denotes "Mordan" as the maker; as in Sampson Mordan. This is not true, it denotes the type of lead applicable to the pencil. It is true that this protocol or specification was laid down by Mordan in his Granted Patent, but it does not mean he made it, as many other Makers adopted his "standardisation of leads" system.
See my post below for the Patent that laid down the lead nomenclature:
See the 4th photo (the far right photo):