Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lebolt

After the DC show, in the afterglow of my Cary and Heath leadholder finds, I was much more in tune to leadholders than I have been in the past. When this one popped up in an online auction, I thought at first I was onto another Carey or Heath:


This one is in sterling, with a fine engraved pattern that calls to mind a sterling engraved Wahl Eversharp:


But this leadholder is a different sort altogether:


"Lebolt & Company." The name didn’t ring a bell with me, but after a bit of digging I found that was only because I run in pen and pencil collecting circles rather than amongst collectors of fine silver. Lebolt was a very high quality silversmith operation founded in 1908, which continued in business with offices in both Chicago in New York until around 1925. The company manufactured all sorts of silver items, from flatware, bowls, pitchers, napkin rings and jewelry to – well, I guess now we know pencils, too. They did a lot of arts and crafts-styled pieces, including hand-hammered pieces that now fetch a small fortune when they surface at auction.

Given the striking similarity of this pencil to the Carey and Heath examples I’ve found recently, I would have been inclined to think this pencil was made between 1910 and 1915, but thanks to the engraving on the side, I can date this one even more specifically than that:


"To Ferd / From Emil / October 28, 1913." Right on the money, timewise! Now who says engraved names hurt the value of a pencil? I did find one other photo of a Lebolt pencil online, in gold fill, with a riveted clip that was marked "Pat App. For" in the same place as on the familiar Heath pierced clip. There are just enough similarities that I’m left to wonder whether there is a Heath connection here somewhere.

There’s just not much information out there regarding pencils made by Lebolt – I’m not finding any mention of them on the silver collecting websites I’ve looked at. Maybe those silver collectors need to start running more in the pencil circles!

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