Sunday, September 16, 2012

One Classy Find

The one thing about us rabid leadheads is that each of us knows and understands the feeling of seeing something in an online auction and actually having a feeling of panic that someone else might win the auction. Once in a great while, we will send a very short message out to our brethren who we know are probably also watching:

Dibs.

A while back, Joe Nemecek sent out such a plea for a particular piece that came up for sale. I did have it saved in my watch list, but hey . . . Joe called it, so I let it go and Joe did end up winning. There was, however, a small price for Joe to pay for me to sit on my hands: he had to bring it with him to DC so I could photograph it:



This is a "Monroe," not to be confused with the cheaply made Monroes that have trick features, such as a built-in level or a slider that gives you cocktail recipes. These Monroes were an uberbrand for Eclipse:



"Uberbrand?" Ok, I made that word up, but it’s a fitting way to describe it. Normally, when a manufacturer produces a subbrand that doesn’t bear its name, it’s because they are more cheaply made for a different market. The Monroe, however, far exceeded the quality of contemporary pencils bearing the Eclipse name.
I’ve only got one of these: the little ringtop that appears on page 52 of The Catalogue. This one is the real deal, a full sized and truly glorious example of art deco style during the Golden Age:

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