If you haven’t been to the Thursday traders’ day at The Ohio Pen Show before, you should give it a shot next year. In years past, all the action has been confined to the smaller of the two ballrooms, with dealers being allowed one half table each, first come first served. That rule has relaxed quite a bit recently, and with the tables already set up in the hallway for the show proper, dealers and traders have gotten more comfortable, stretching out to occupy whole tables, and the activity spills out into the hallway.
Sure, we’ll spend the next three days wandering around and finding things we didn’t notice before, but I enjoy Thursdays the most. This year was no exception.
Next to me was a long time collector who had several boxed sets on his table. One of them REALLY caught my attention, so I asked what he wanted for it. “You won’t believe what I’m asking for that set,” he said. Oh no, I thought to myself. There goes a much bigger proportion of my weekly allowance for this show than I wanted . . . in the first hour of the show.
But when he told me his price, I looked at the other sets he had differently. “OK, then I’ll take this one . . . and this one . . . and this one . . . and this one . . “ And so it went until there were only two sets left and I paused a little two long. “I’ll take those last two then,” the guy standing next to me chimed in. I didn’t argue whether I was done – I’d been greedy enough.
They weren’t spectacular sets - mostly from lesser manufacturers - but they were all very clean and they fit perfectly into my collection. There was this great Eagle set in bright yellow, with a Magnum Pointer pencil - these came in more than a dozen different colors, but I didn’t have this one:
A yellow Eclipse set, complete with all the paperwork. I’ve got a few yellow Eclipses, but none in this configuration:
A Diamond Point set in black. I didn’t have one in black and I do like black pencils:
A gorgeous Thompson set in bronze and black. Thompson was a lower tier product, but this set was really clean, and I didn’t have one in this color. I don’t think the box has anything to do with the set, but it looks nice in there:
Now this next one is pretty special, although it isn’t the one that started all this. This Moore set is a demi set in some really unusual colors - grey and brown striped with grey ends. I’ve always lumped these in as part of the “Mastercraft” series, but if there’s a different name for them I’m keen to learn what it was. The great part about finding this set was that I had turned up the pencil in an online auction just a week earlier, and the seller had been . . . optimistic in describing it’s condition. This one, however, is perfect:
Which brings us to that last set I acquired that Thursday morning, the one which first grabbed my attention. As I suggested in yesterday’s post, it’s a Salz:
Note that the pencil has vertical lines on the cap, which was a feature fairly unique to Salz – I haven’t seen a cap like this that wasn’t gold filled. Also, both pen an pencil sport the patented Salz “windowpane” clip:
The April 14, 1925 patent date is a reference to patent number 1,533,466, issued to Ignatz Salz himself:
There’s also a pocketknife included - and even the ta;ng of the blade is marked “Salz Bros. NY”:
But the best part of this set is the box, with that label inside the lid identifying this as a “Three Musketeers” set:
And if you look closely, you’ll see that the Musketeers aren’t wielding swords - they are carrying, respectively, a fountain pen, a pocket knife and a pencil!