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Silver pencil (Champagne Bottle) by Sampson Mordan.

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Posted 4 years ago


(51 items)

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 ;)


  1. walksoftly walksoftly, 4 years ago
    I'm sure B'buss will love this anyway.
    Maybe you should have put the apology at the top of your post Hems he may not read all the way to the
  2. Hems303 Hems303, 4 years ago
    Thanks for the "love" David, much appreciated! Hope You & Yours are all well!

  3. Hems303 Hems303, 4 years ago
    Re: your comment .1 .... You've got a point there...I really didn't think that through.. lol ;)
  4. walksoftly walksoftly, 4 years ago
    All is well here, all though I wish winter would come to an end!
    Hope all is well with you, have you been away?

    Re comment 1 I wonder what he will have to say?
    He may curse at both of us ;-)
  5. Hems303 Hems303, 4 years ago
    I'm sure Lucas will have a "pithy" retort in store for either or both of us (bless him....CW would be a lesser forum without him!) I seem to be away from home more and more recently (business). Regarding the weather ......the reason I'm at home, at rest, in my den and at my PC, is because we have a sudden "springtime" foot of snow drifting up to several feet in places!!!! Travel by plane, train or car is off the menu for present...long may it last!! (selfish I know) :)
  6. walksoftly walksoftly, 4 years ago
    It would take more than that to keep a Canadian

    A good chance to rest up non the less!
  7. Hems303 Hems303, 4 years ago
    Ahhh.. but in England...a foot of snow even in the depth of winter IS a major disaster!! lol
  8. kerry10456 kerry10456, 4 years ago
    snowing as we speak here, approx 1 inch on the ground in the last 1/2 hour, that groundhog needs shot. :-)
  9. walksoftly walksoftly, 4 years ago
    Yes Hems it's all relative to what your "normal" is.
    Even us Canadian's have our limits & it depends on what part of the country you're from.
    I'll be glad to see the snow go, but I think we'll be in for some flooding when it does melt.
  10. walksoftly walksoftly, 4 years ago
    @ Kerry, don't blame the groundhog the're no better than the weather man & they won't even fire them for getting it wrong! :-)
  11. Hems303 Hems303, 4 years ago
    Thanks for the "loves": Poop, inky, miKKoChristmas11,bratjdd, BELLIN68, Moonstonelover21, kerry10, AmberRose and walksoftly!

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