Monday, December 1, 2014

My Quandry Is Resolved

I wish I could say things at the museum are as organized as they look in the pictures I share here. Sure, most of what’s there is in drawers or on shelves, and I can generally find everything when I try. But there are also little piles of stuff laying about – pencils in the queue to be photographed, pencils pulled from the shelves and grouped together for comparison, and sometimes just groups of pencils I pulled from different places because I thought they would look cool together.

Here’s one of those little piles:

These are all Sheaffers in "ebonized pearl" – in my opinion, one of the most distinctive and beautiful plastics produced by any company during the golden age. Most of the pencils shown in this picture are too special to just be laying around like this, with double band, jewelers’ bands and "fishscale" bands in the mix. Yet they’ve been sitting there for several months: I pulled them out of several different drawers of Sheaffers (I group my Sheaffer’s by year and trim configuration, not by color) because I wanted to see them all alongside two very special additions I’ve been meaning to write about:

The knife isn’t really all that special. I found it in a junk box for a couple bucks, and I couldn’t resist it (teeth marks and all) because it appears to be clad in the same ebonized pearl celluloid.

The golf pencil, however is another story, and it should be in the top five pencils by any manufacturer in a pencil guy’s collection. In the days when neither Joe Nemecek nor I had one, it was the only pencil we joked we would go to war over. Fortunately, by the time I had the opportunity to buy this example, no shots were fired – Joe already had found one.

However, after I lined up all my other ebonized pearl Sheaffers alongside these two, I realized there really wasn’t much of a story here. There’s been so much written about the fabled Sheaffer ebonized golf pencil online that all I could think to write is "Hey, I’ve got one too." If I didn’t have something more to share than that, it just didn’t seem worth doing. If only, I thought, I could add something to an article that would give me a plausible reason to circle back around to these . . .

I got that excuse last weekend, when I found this at the Don Scott Antique Show:

This lighted Sheaffer store display is the perfect backdrop for a couple family photos:

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