Sunday, December 6, 2015

Freakishly Awesome

I’ve had a really hard time keeping my hands off Indian combos.  The plastics are just beautiful - I think they come in yellow (with other colors mixed in), red (with other colors mixed in) and blue (guess what’s mixed in), in patterns which call to mind Indian blankets.  Phil Munson did a nice write up of the combos in a two-part series of articles over at his blog (see for his yellow and green examples).

Photo courtesy of all-around good egg Phil Munson

As to who made them, I think they look enough like an Epenco to suggest Eagle.  Phil concludes Arnold, and that's an equally good theory.

There’s only one reason I haven’t pulled the trigger.  It may not look like it when you see the mess that is Pencil Central, but I strive valiantly to adhere to two self-imposed rules: it must be made (or at least marketed) in the USA, and combos are out – nothing against them, in fact, quite to the contrary, they are cool enough that I know if I started collecting combos, things might get out of hand.  My wife thinks they already have.

Since I write the rules, I get to bend ‘em.  These days, the rules are looking more like horseshoes than arrows.  English Eversharps?  C’mon in.   Foreign Eversharp copies?  Sure.  Combos with big fanged Gordon clips?  No way would I turn one down.   But the Indians?  Since they only exist as combos, they aren’t related to anything in my collection, so thus far I have remained steadfast.

Not so much now.  Joe Nemecek called me, excited as he is when he calls, to insist that I purchase this in an online auction:

I do have a third rule for my collection – if a pencil isn’t marked, it needs to be either (1) directly attributable to one that is or (2) freakishly awesome.  This one isn’t marked, but it gets high scores on both exceptions.  No question this is made by whomever made the Indian combos – that plastic isn’t found anywhere else.  And yes.  The judges are unanimous that this is, in fact, freakishly awesome.

Joe says these little ringtop versions of the Indian do come up from time to time, usually in the hands of those who have no idea what they are.  In this case, the crowd was on to this lot, and the bidding was as hefty as you’d expect on the combos.  The only thing really good about these is the plastic, and more than any other plastic, Indian plastics have a following.

I’ll probably relent on the Indian combos. . . now that they are related to two things in my collection:

I can’t write with the other one, though.

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