Monday, November 5, 2012

Another Dorky Pencil

My daughters have been coming to the Ohio Show with me as long as they can remember, usually just for a couple of hours (not much there to entertain them, since I’m pretty preoccupied throughout the show).

Several years ago, early in my collecting, my primary interest was in finding Eversharp Doric pencils. Many of the examples pictured in The Catalogue came from those early years. When my older daughter was maybe all of nine years old, she came to the Ohio Show and we spent some time roaming around and looking at all the pencils in the room. At one point, she saw an attractive pencil she thought I’d like and excitedly she pointed it out to me. "Daddy, there’s a really nice pencil!" she said.

So we looked at it together. I pointed out all the things I liked about it, and after we’d admired it for a little while, I put it back on the table.

"Aren’t you going to buy it?" she asked me.

"Sweetie, it’s a really nice one," I said, "but it’s not a Doric."

"But Daddy," she said without missing a beat, "I thought all your pencils were dorky."

There wasn’t a person within earshot that didn’t break out laughing at that one – myself included.

Anymore, I don’t buy Doric pencils very often. They are featured on pages 65 to 68 of The Catalogue, and any more I find it difficult to find one that adds much to my display. However, when this one came along, I had to bite:

I group Dorics into four distinct groups, differentiated by the center bands. Here’s the picture from page 65 of The Catalogue, showing from left, Type I (note that there’s two variations, a two piece band and a one piece band), Type II, Type III and Type IV.

This one, however, appears to be a Type IV without any cutouts in the band. There’s a full sized version of this pencil pictured on page 68, so here they are together:

In some online discussions, it was suggested that this might have been a presentation version of the Doric, and one commentator went so far as to suggest the trim was 14k gold. However, on close examination, slight wear on the corners clearly establishes that both of these are gold filled, as were the other Doric types.

However, the "presentation model"theory does make some sense, since both of these bear the gold seal denoting a lifetime warranty. While some of the last Waterman Patricians made from leftover parts had plain bands without cutouts, I don’t believe Wahl did something similar with the Doric; the last of the Dorics were repeater-style pencils, not twist action pencils such as these.

Since we’re on the subject, it’s interesting to compare the lavender Doric with a later Diamond Point pencil I picked up in DC:

Towards the end, Diamond Point seemed to go out of its way to imitate the look of pencils produced by the major manufacturers, such as the "DeLuxe" made from a plastic that closely imitated the Parker Royal Challenger. This one seems to be a fairly blatant copy of the Doric:

The clip’s angular lines certainly call the Doric’s clip to mind, and the celluloid is very close. Close, but as you can see, not identical.

And with the addition of a new example, coupled with this in-depth analysis of such an obscure Doric variant, I’ve got to admit my daughter is right:

her dad got a little dorkier today!

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