Friday, February 27, 2015

Goin' to Hell

I love comments from readers, good or bad. Since I try to maintain a mix of stuff here, it’s inevitable that one week Reader A will be fascinated while Reader B sees the first picture and decides to go cut his toenails or something – two days later, with something else on tap, their roles may well be reversed. When I hear from A or B, it’s because I posted something they liked.

And then there’s Reader C, who takes deep personal offense to an article – not because it says anything about them, but for the sole reason that I didn’t write about something that interested them. "Your blog is going to hell," one particular reader said after the article concerning the 1936 Olympics souvenir pencil was posted. "I can’t believe you’re writing about those pieces of **** now. You must have run out of anything good to write about."

Well, Reader C – kudos to you for your passion. I’d give you your money back, but I didn’t charge you anything to read the article. Spoiler alert: you might want to change the channel now, because here comes another one along those same lines:

The thinner example is the one I posted about here about a month ago in "A Very Convincing Disguise," ( The other one showed up in an online auction about the time my article on the 1936 Olympics pencil posted and I was put on notice to write about something better . . . or else.

This new one also shares that same mechanism found on the Brown and Bigelow Redipoint pencils and, like the other example shown, it has some nice enamel work, this time on both sides:

Like the thinner example, this one also has a "filigree" barrel. This example is a little bit less ambiguous with respect to how it was made, and I think I’m right when I tell you these were cast, rather than cut out:

My seller claimed it was sterling and it appears to show some tarnish, but the pencil isn’t marked and I’ve got doubts about the metal content – no worries for me, since I wasn’t buying it for the intrinsic value of the materials. The clip is a bit over the top, with what is probably not a real pearl set in the tang. However, note what went into making it: it features the same open work as the barrel, and the way it is mounted to the pencil is insertion through a slot in the barrel -- yet another variation on the manner these were constructed:

I figure if there’s nothing I want to write about here at the blog about a pencil, there’s no reason for me to buy it.  It’s great if the Reader Cs of the world made it to the end of this article and saw maybe a glimmer of something interesting here . . . and believe me, it’s nothing personal against you if you didn’t.

If not, oh well . . . I liked it and I shared it. Go yell at your TV.


vintage pencil enthusiast said...

Hey Jon,

Thought I'd get my two cents in here. As far as I am concerned, no one out there writes about all aspects of pencils with more enthusiasm and compassion than you. And while I'll have to admit, sometimes my eyes glaze over when you detail the relative merits of some obscure brands, its nevertheless always enjoyable. Also, for a late-to-pencils guy like me, the education is priceless. So don't let the "Reader C's" of the world get you down, keep up the excellent work.

Jim Carpenito

Jon Veley said...

Roger that Jim - no, it doesn't get me down . . . I just knew I was going to hear it when I posted about this one!

Martha said...

Wow, filigree is not my favorite , but these are gorgeous!

And, as to Reader C, what Jim said!

Anonymous said...

Great article love them keep them comming.

Jon Veley said...

Yeah, Martha, I really like these, even though they go against everything I normally go for -- not American and unmarked as to maker. The Brown/Bigelow connection really has me intrigued.

And Anonymous, there's much, much more to come. I haven't even started with the Mother Lode yet!

Martha said...

There was filigree jewelry with spots of enameling in the 1920s/1930s--I remember my great aunt had a butterfly brooch. I googled the jewelry and saw that some had been made in Norway & Sweden--there were certainly many immigrants in Minnesota from there. Hope you can discover more!