Friday, January 18, 2013

Every Color But None

Back on October 24, I announced proudly that with the addition of a stocked display card of Eversharp Skyline Press Clip I pencils, I’d finally completed a set of all the colors and sizes.

I was wrong. I forgot about one.

I’d seen it in Raliegh last summer. Pat Mohan had brought it to show it to me, along with that great display of Sheaffer pencils that he’d put together over the years. I took photographs of his Sheaffers, but when he showed me his Eversharp, apparently I was unable to compose myself enough to take a picture – all I managed to do was to tell him if he ever decided he wanted to sell it, to let me know.

And at the Ohio Show, Pat did exactly that:

Even though the barrel is completely unmarked, I’m confident it’s an Eversharp, and from the shape of it I also know it’s a Skyline. I lump it in with the Skyline Press Clips because the press clip families had this one piece barrel. An earlier, buttressed clip example would have a separate clip and derby assembly. The ribbed top button is another clue that puts this in the press clip series, although the button could easily have been scooted over from something else.

I’m not aware of any Skylines that were made with absolutely no trim rings and no clip. I suspect, given the many tiny stress cracks visible in the tip, that the clear lucite was too brittle to withstand the installation of a clip. It probably follows that since on the press clips the upper trim ring was no longer structural but was only decorative, if the decision was made to omit the clip the trim ring might just as well have been dropped.

I never knew until I saw Pat’s example that Eversharp ever made a demonstrator Skyline. And I never knew how cool a simple Skyline would look as a demonstrator, either!

I was grateful to Pat, and not just for this one – he also sold me a flattop Craig golf pencil like the one he’d sent me a picture of some time ago, as well as a large Eversharp cardboard sign that now hangs proudly in my little museum. Sure, I paid cash for all of these things, but I wanted to find something for Pat that he didn’t have, to return that little charge of excitement that he’d given to me. But what to give to a man whose Sheaffer collection is so comprehensive? My answer came in a bag of odds and ends I bought at some point on Saturday:

Yeah, it isn’t much, and it doesn’t work. Since I paid hardly anything for the whole bag, I had no qualms about just taking it over to Pat and giving it to him, for the man who has everything.

He didn’t have this. And he was tickled by it.

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