Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Three and a Half Patterns of Note

It’s possible to spend a lifetime just assembling a collection of metal Eversharp pencils.  Any more, I only pick them up when there’s something really special about them.  Lately, a few have turned up that have definitely fallen into that category – one pattern that’s just hard to come by, two that I’ve never seen before, and a half of a pattern that ... ok, we’ll get to that one in a minute.

Starting with the hard to come by one, both of these turned up at the DC show:

The longer tips and the ribbed clip on the full-sized one indicate these are post-1924, and the patterns are groups of eight lines, with an intermittent wave of the four in the middle every so often:

Not surprisingly, Wahl called the pattern “Wave,” and it shows up in the 1925 Wahl Catalog.  Here’s the page, from the PCA’s online library (if you haven’t joined, you mooch, ‘tis time to do so):

Wave pattern pencils just don’t turn up that often.  What’s really interesting is that while the ringtop I found is silver filled, just like it is pictured in the catalog (model number 35SW, for those who need to know such things), the catalog doesn’t show the pattern in gold filled, and it’s the first one I recall seeing.

Now onto the one’s I haven’t seen at all before.  This one I’ve had laying around for quite some time, trying to make heads or tails of it:

The short tip and flat clip identifiy this as a first generation (through 1924) Eversharp, and the entire barrel is chased with something that looks almost like chain mail:

If the metal looks a little different, it’s not due to lousy photography.  The richer color is due to the fact that this one is 18 karat gold filled:

I’d never seen one of these before, but it does show up as Eversharp’s “new Barleycorn pattern” in the 1921 catalog (again, from the PCA’s library).  Unfortunately the quality of the scan is pretty low, but I’m fairly confident those aren’t supposed to be merely lines on the barrel – that pattern, called “Colonial” by Wahl, is listed elsewhere in the catalog:

My second new-to-me pattern find came to me from the DC show, where this turned up on the last day of the show in a junk box:

This little guy practically jumped into my hands.   What stands out immediately is the imprint – or rather, the lack of one.  Although the short tip suggests 1924 or earlier, there’s no imprint at all to indicate whether this is Wahl or pre-Wahl:

For those who would say it might be a foreign counterfeit, note that inside, it’s clearly all Eversharp:

But what had this one standing out from the crowd, long before I noticed the absence of an imprint, was the engraving.  Some early Wahl-made Eversharps had floral engraved panels separated by groups of lines (I think it was called “Hamlin,”), but this one is fully jacketed.

The only fully floral engraved Eversharps I’ve seen like this are solid gold – initially, I thought this one might be, but under magnification in better lighting than in the DC ballroom (for example, under the kitchen table or in a deep, dark hole), I now see some slightly worn areas where the brass is showing through from underneath the gold fill.  Pre-Wahl?  Possibly.  The engraved pattern is different from what you’ll see on comparable Wahl sterling silver examples, so I don’t think it was part of Wahl’s regular lineup.

That makes three patterns, and I promised you three and a half.  This last piece came my way last year at the Michigan Pen Show, from Paul Erano:

Doesn’t look like much, does it?  Look closer:

It took me a little bit of time to figure out what was going on with this one.  No, this isn’t some ultra rare lined pattern – but I do think it’s ultra rare.  Ever wonder how all those sterling hand engraved Eversharps have exactly the same pattern on them?

That’s because before they were engraved, the basic outlines of the location of flowers, leaves and vines were etched onto the surface of a plain barrel.

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