Fortunately, the fellow who had it was set up right next to my assigned table, so I was at least able to park my cart before I had a look. Of course I had to see it. Of course I had to have it.
Because, of course, I have no idea what to make of this thing:
If you’re wondering what that metal bar is on the side of the barrel, I am too. My best guess is that it exists solely to create enough friction to hold what’s inside:
There are, infuriatingly, no markings whatsoever on either the barrel or the sheath to indicate who might have made this. It has a faint “National Pen Products” kind of look, but all the long-short pencils I’ve seen screw into the sheath and aren’t held by friction. Also, that tip looks newer than the 1920s.
All I can do is throw this on the back of a virtual milk carton, ship it out there and ask if anyone else knows what this thing is.