Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Tale of Three Clips

In a recent online auction, I couldn’t help but chase a lot of pencils, because I saw the center one in this picture lurking in the bunch:


They are just so nice looking that I couldn’t help myself, although I suspected strongly that it was a duplicate of one of these other two, but it isn’t:


The top example has the ball clip cataloged since 1927 and a round ferrule at the top end with a round top cap.  The center one has a two-faceted clip, meeting in a flat “ball” sort of area at the end; note that it also has the round ferrule, but it has the “diamond cut” cap introduced by Autopoint in October, 1937 (see http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2016/09/maroon-my-butt.html).  Is this a mismatch?  I don’t believe so.  I believe during the depths of the Depression no leftover parts were wasted, so even if the faceted upper band was introduced to match the new diamond cut caps, I think the old ferrules would have been used up first.

But note something else about the clip in that lower example: It lacks the flat area at the ball end of the clip, terminating instead with two facets all the way to the end.  And the middle clip lacks any imprint, while the bottom example has an Autopoint imprint.  Is that always the case?  No:


These two “speckled green” pencils are particularly desirable among Autopoint fanatics – the color doesn’t come along that often, particularly with the matching colored ends.  But for this article, what is most interesting is the clips:


A chrome plated faceted clip, and a gold filled one with the flat ball area – and both with Autopoint imprints.

Speaking of wild colors, this one slipped under the radar online:


The plainish looking top and exposed eraser make it look later than it is, but I’d date this one to the mid-1930s.  It was cataloged in that same 1936 catalog I talked about in my last article on this as the model S-76 (I didn’t show you this page of the catalog earlier, though):


The oversized incarnations with the bolted-on clips these are hard to find . . . . let alone in a really wild bright blue!  All of these are marked only on that upper ferrule:


Which, I suppose, makes it irrelevant whether or not the clip is marked.  However, this family yields the wildest variety of these bolted clips:


From the top, a ball clip with script “Autopoint,” plain ball clip, two of the flat ball clips without imprints, a flat ball clip imprinted “Autopoint,” and a faceted clip.

Note: tomorrow’s article adds a couple of footnotes to this story.

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