Posted 12 months ago
On my travels I have just managed to acquire this nice little object for my collection of Victorian Writing & Drawing Equipment:
A Sterling Silver "Louis Roederer" Champagne Bottle Pencil by S. Mordan & Co. One of the more sought after “novelty” propelling pencils. This example, yet again, by the top maker (in my opinion) of such exquisite “jewels” in the writing equipment collectors circle. The “foil” neck of the bottle is gilded, whilst apart from the enamelled “label” all is polished silver. (Unfortunately there is some age related wear to the enamel “label”).
So ....condition: Fair with some wear entirely commensurate with its age (circa 1880). Weight: 16.2 grams. Length shut: 48mm. Length open: 97mm. The tip is marked “VS” for the type of lead refill (Very Soft), as laid out in Mordans' Letter Patent*. The extension action is smooth and positive.
The last picture is of genuine original Victorian (VERY rare!) lead refills that I managed to buy at the same time. (*See one of my other CW posts for the list of lead classifications)
There are many differing famous Champagne Makers being represented in these "wine bottle" silver and gold pencils, Louis Roederer is one of the more sought after.
In the main reference book (USA) on these items; “Victorian Pencils ~ Tools to Jewels” by Deborah Crosby you will find further photographic examples of the “Champagne Bottle” subject matter (on pages 102 & 103) with written references elsewhere in the book. The “Champagne Bottle Pencil” is listed as item 887 in the Sampson Mordan catalogue of 1898.
An example is presented on pages 42-43 of “Collecting Pencils” by renowned experts Sue Courtier, Jane & Jim Marshall.
Another fine example is in the seminal Collection of the late John Loring (see online), and yet another is in the V&A Museum in London
An identical pencil was in the recently auctioned Bramah Collection as:
“Lot: 1767 A VICTORIAN NOVELTY TELESCOPIC PENCIL in the form of a miniature bottle of champagne, the label enamelled “LOUIS ROEDERER REIMS...for GT.BRITAIN", suspensory ring, unmarked c.1880; 2" (5cms) high; 0.5 oz Estimate: £200.00 - £250.00 ($300 - $380)”
One of these features in the new but prohibitively expensive coffee table book “The KB Collection” written by Kenneth Bull the eminent Bond Street silver dealer who amassed his collection over decades of professional dealing, creaming off the best of the crop.................
Apology to fellow CW Member; blunderbuss2, who hates all my "waffle" and "Blah Blah Blah"....sorry mate but I haven't posted for a while and I just don't know when to shut up when it comes to my passion!!!...... anyway, perhaps someone out in worldly wide web land...might ...just might...... be interested in some of this "guff" not just the pretty pictures.....lol ;)