Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Is it a Waspy Sheaffer, or a Sheaffery Wasp?

Today I'm introducing a neat find from the Ohio Show (Dan Reppert's table, in fact) - one of those things I saw, walked right by, thought about, thought about some more, said to myself "now wait a minute, that's not right...," and then realized what I'd just passed up.  Fortunately, it was still there when I circled back around.  Before I introduce it, here's a picture to illustrate why this one is special:

Both of these are fairly common pencils.  The example on the left is a Sheaffer Balance with the "rigid radius clip," dating from the late 30s (page 138 of The Catalogue, if you have it handy).   The other example is a WASP (acronym for W. A. Sheaffer Pen Co.) Clipper from around the same time; the color was referred to as "grey pearl" by the company, but collectors have nicknamed the distinctive plastic used on this series the "circuitboard" pattern (these are shown on page 143 of The Catalogue).

With that background, here's what I found:

When you are walking by a few thousands of pens and pencils at a show, this is an easy one to miss, but it's the first time I've seen one like it.  It's made from Balance grey striped celluloid, but it's nearly identical to the WASP Clipper series.  It measures 4 3/4", just a bit shorter than the Clipper, and the clip is also just a hair shorter than that on the Clipper.  Instead of the metal top cap found on the Clippers, this example has a black cap (similar to that found on the later WASP Addipoints).

So how did this happen?  Did someone put a Sheaffer and a Clipper in a dark desk drawer, turn on some Marvin Gay and let nature take its course? 

If so, the honeymoon suite was in Niagara Falls, and not the New York side!  The imprint on our mystery pencil, shown at center here, reads "Sheaffers / Made in Canada / Pat. 1929 - 30 - 31".

1 comment:

Xander said...

Now that is a good looking pencil! I really should start picking these up from time to time!

Great blog btw!