Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The LeBoeuf Post

Looking back through all the pictures I’ve taken and haven’t posted yet, I was surprised when I ran across all my LeBoeuf pictures that I haven’t run an article on the company yet. The company, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, remains well-known (rightly or wrongly) for popularizing the use of brightly colored celluloids, which the company introduced in the early 1920s.

LeBoeuf pencils suffer from what I call “matching pen syndrome,” by which I mean that the prices they usually command are influenced heavily by the high asking prices for the pens they accompanied.  Most of the LeBoeuf pencils I’ve seen – with the exception of the celluloid barrels – were made by Cross, which manufactured identical pencils under the Cross “Alwrite” brand.  Here’s a selection of the thinner side clip ones:


And here’s the ringtop version - note that the tip is a two-piece affair, and the tips are notorious for coming off and going missing:


A few months ago, I picked up three of the more scarce oversized models.  Even though these might be Cross rebadges, the sheer size and beauty of these pencils can’t help but cause me to stand up and take notice:


At the DC show last year – or was it the year before – Mike Bloom had these two on his table.   I’m equally certain these can be attributed to Cross, although judging from their construction and the barrel material used, I believe these were a little earlier:


The price stickers don’t hurt:



This next one I’m having difficulty attributing to Cross – it has a very C.E. Barrett look to it with that generously wide triple band, and the plastic looks almost like modern acrylic.



But the crown jewel in this pencil collector’s LeBoeuf section – or any LeBoeuf pencil collection – has to be this one:


This is one of the only examples of a magic pencil made with a celluloid barrel:



In fact, there’s only one other manufacturer who was manufacturing magic pencils into the mid-1920s, when these were probably made . . .


Yep.  That would be Cross:





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