I got a hot tip from a buddy, it must have been two years ago now, that there was a pencil in an online auction that was really rare, wasn’t properly described and might well go for a song. I remember that I paid more than a couple songs – more like half an album – but it was still a lot less than I expected:
It doesn’t look like much, does it? Well, here’s the thing. When Sheaffer introduced the Balance in 1929, there were a few variations that weren’t in the company’s catalogs, such as pencils which, instead of one plain band, had two deco engraved bands. Typically these are found on the oversized pencils, sort of an uber-manly, over-the-top touch. Here’s a couple I featured here at the blog a while back:
Call these double-banded Sheaffers "off-catalog" or what have you, that little detail is the difference between another run-of-the-mill Sheaffer and one that two serious Sheaffer guys will cost one of them a bunch of cash over.
What I’ve not seen before is a small "lady’s" ringtop fitted with these bands. I guess manly men weren’t the only ones interested in adding a little pizzazz to their pencils!