Monday, July 8, 2013

One For the Fourth Edition

Here’s another one John Coleman is sharing with us:

Before you Autopoint guys get any ideas, no – the nose is not removable. This great flattop has "Guild" written in Old English script, both on the clip and just above it on the plastic:

And what’s more, John even had a lead container with the same script:

But the name, "Guild Products," wasn’t particluarly helpful when trying to figure out who made this one. When John asked if I’d ever heard of the "Guild," I said that I had, but the ones I was familiar with didn’t look anything like this one. Here’s a Guild, shown at top next to a Mabie Todd "Fyne Poynt":

I was so convinced that this Guild was a Mabie Todd product that in The Catalogue I included it with the other Fyne Poynts on page 97, and the only entry under "Guild" is a reference to Mabie Todd. The only difference between these two pencils are the tops (note how closely the Guild top resembles a Boston-made Chilton) and the names stamped on the clips:

John’s pencil is nothing like this, and I was drawing a blank. The closest thing I could think of were those strange Conklin flattops that were such a departure from the other pencils Conklin made, which shared the general lines of John’s pencil (at least at the top end), complete with an intricate imprint above the clip (see "Anywhere Else, It Would Take A Sharp Eye" on January 20, 2013 –

And then I remembered something – that I had access to anything I wanted to know about Mabie Todd, since on my bookshelf I have a copy of David Moak’s book, Mabie in America: Witing Instruments from 1843 to 1941 (3rd Ed.).

The Mabie Todd "Guild" pencils are discussed in David’s book on pages 97 and 98, and he shows three examples; two of these are consistent with the one I found, but the third is a sterling example pictured at the top of page 98, which has the same Boston-Chiltonish flared cap. Even better is that the sterling example has its original box and instruction sheet, both of which bear the word "Guild" in the same Old English script found on John’s pencil. At the bottom of page 98, David discusses another example "that is made of plastic and is very like pencils made in the 1930's."

It does make sense, and maybe John’s pencil isn’t as foreign to the Mabie Todd line as I originally thought. Yes, the barrel is much larger in diameter and the color isn’t something I’ve seen on a Mabie Todd before, but the clip is similar to the one found on other lower-tier Mabie Todds, such as the Swallow and the Starling.

There’s no question in my mind that this John’s pencil is in fact a Mabie Todd.

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