Saturday, September 1, 2012

I'm Glad the Name Didn't . . . Stick

Andy Beliveau is one of those that’s great to have a drink with. He’s had an interesting life; he’s seen it all, heard it all, done it all, and best of all, he’s made meticulous mental notes about it all and can spin a great story. And spin stories he did, over some great Thai food at the place around the corner on Friday night!

Saturday morning, I noticed Andy had this one on his table. It was part of a set, but he was all right with peeling off the pencil for me:


The pencil’s got a unique feature at the top: a clear ambered dome mounted on top of a slightly oversized ring:


I hadn’t seen one with that amber dome before, but I have seen similar Moores with a cloudy, greenish pearl top. They appear on page 101 of The Catalogue, and here they are posed next to the new addition:


There were similar pencils (and pens) made by Morrison with that cloudy, greenish pearl top, and one nearly got me into trouble a few years ago. See, when we collectors don’t have a factory name for a color or a pattern and are left to our own imagination, unfortunate nicknames are sometimes coined. So when I was selling one of these – a Morrison pen – to another dealer in one of those end-of-show, I’d-rather-take-home-someone-elses’-junk-than-mine swaps, I’d made the offhand comment that it had a "snot top."

Next thing I know, it’s offered in the dealer’s catalogue in exactly those terms: as a Morrison Snot Top.

Great, I’m thinking to myself. My contribution to the hobby involves mucous.

Fortunately, the name didn’t – well – stick, partly because they don’t come around often enough for it to get imbedded into our internal glossary, but mostly (I hope) because it’s just plain gross. So now when I look at this new Moore, I’m thinking of something that describes it in a more favorable light. As I’m sitting here writing this with a glass of single malt Scotch by my side, I can’t help but notice how the color is almost exactly the same:


So maybe Scotch top?

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