Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Visitor From a Fiery Other World

Sometimes I get hit squarely in my blind spot, and today’s pencil is one of those instances.  When this one showed up in an online auction, I bid hot and heavy because I’d never seen one in this color:

It doesn’t look much like it, but it’s a Conklin from the All-American series – the same series from which the Conklin-made Guild pencils were derived (see http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-last-two-nails.html).  The color is even more dramatic when the pencil is viewed from the side:

I knew I’d see Conklin specialist Alfonso Mur at the Chicago Pen Show, so I made a point to pack it in my show and tell folder, hoping to find out some information about this color, which I’d never seen before.

Pen collectors are well familiar with the color, which is known as “flame” and which is also one of the most desirable colors in Conklin circles, overshadowing even such desirable colors as the “halloween” and “zebra” colors I’ve written about here.  Pete Kirby let me shoot a picture of my pencil next to a Conklin All-American pen in flame – I didn’t have my photography stuff out at the time, so forgive the lousy cell phone picture:

Yet all this was news to me for one simple reason: I don’t collect pens.  Since the color is so rare, and no one else recalled seeing a pencil in flame, either, that explains why I never had cause to learn about this before.  What the heck – if I knew it all, this hobby would have bored me a long time ago!

So here’s the new family portrait of this class of Conklin All-Americans:

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