Posted 4 years ago
An excellent example of a Victorian Silver Propelling Pencil. It has an octagonal, fluted body. Each concave face of the body is decorated with two different but complementary alternating styles.
The tip is marked with “VS” which indicates the type of original leads required.This is not a Sampson Mordan example, but he published the protocol for lead sizing: In his “ Directions For Use”, which was adopted by many other makers: It says; “The V.S (very soft) is largest.........Very black for deep shading”. (See my previous Collectors Weekly Post's for details of Mordan's History, his lead specification and his Patent) The Lead has been measured and is 1.49mm which correlates to the accepted 1.5mm (nominal modern equivalent) size for this type of lead.
The pencil is 90mm long when closed, 118mm when open. It weighs 11.3 grams.
There are no hallmarks but that is not unusual with pencils of this period. The pencil has tested as silver. As is the norm; this does not extend to the internal mechanism that always had to be made from harder wearing metals. There is some slight deformation from use and its age, along the slide slot in the body. This also is often present in these antique and used pencils, and does not detract from it.
The “Seal” finial, sometimes called the "capstone", is the real “jewel in the crown” with this pencil: It unscrews for lead storage and is set with a perfect, facet cut, sky blue Topaz of 8mm diameter. The Topaz reflects and refracts the light beautifully. Because of the cut of this gemstone, it is unlikely it was actually meant to carry an engraved seal monogram, it is purely decorative, and it certainly stands out in my collection, as one of the best.