Sunday, December 4, 2016

M Is For Mabie

In a recent online auction, I couldn’t resist this one, even though I thought it might not be an American pencil (I still strive mightily to limit myself to one country of origin, even though it’s been a losing battle lately):


At the nose, there’s a tiny hallmark: a block letter M within a square.


I was so sure that the piece was British that I was thinking Mosley, perhaps even Mordan?  But then I noticed how similar it was to another piece in my collection, one I bought a couple years ago and haven’t gotten around to photographing:


That same combination of gently winding flutes in the center section and snail work at either end couldn’t be just a coincidence, and the gold magic pencil is well marked:


“Mabie, Todd & Co. No. 3.”  So I posted the question online to ask whose hallmark consisted of an M within a square, and within minutes David Nishimura came back with an answer: Mabie Todd.

Good, I replied.  I was hoping you’d say that.

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