Friday, November 2, 2018

Autopoint Roundup

I’m due to share a few interesting, later Autopoints which have turned up over the last few months.  This first bunch came from the DC show:


Eric Magnuson had arranged for the top two examples to meet me at the show; that red translucent one with white ends came from Frank Hoban’s table (note the imprint, for a machine shop in my home town of Newark, Ohio!) and the orange one?  Well, it came out of someone’s junk box, and I just recognized the color as a bit unusual.

Eric’s two bolted-clip examples at the top are the most interesting for me.  It takes a sharp eye to see that these aren’t actually black, but a very dark, translucent red.  As my hometown example indicates, translucent red barrels aren’t all that unusual, but . . .


I’ve not seen examples with matching noses and caps!

Speaking of things I haven’t seen before, Jim Ryan’s collection featured a few other unique items:


The most mainstream of these is the top example, although silver “Executive” trim (the special trim on the cap and nose) is pretty rare, and that’s the lightest translucent red barrel I’ve seen on an Autopoint Model 48.    The others?  They are unheard of . . . never have I ever seen gold filled or aluminum barrels on a later Autopoint like these!

This next group of three came in a box full of Autopoints I acquired from Howard Levy, principal in Bexley Pen Company:


Nearly all of the pencils in this box had one thing in common: like that lower example, all the ones that were marked were identified as sales samples for John E. Finney, district sales manager for Autopoint.  That probably explains why that lower example also has the unusual silver executive trim, and adds a bit of junk box provenance to the ultra rare model 48 with silver sparkles in the white plastic, as well as that exceedingly scarce clipless thin demi (note the round ferrule – see pages 145 and 146).  White is a tough, tough color to find in any model.

Last is this surprise, which also came from the Raleigh Show.  In the corner of the ballroom, a couple guys were liquidating a large collection for the family of a collector who died; it was the sort of feeding frenzy that sucks all of the activity (and cash) out of the room for hours, while dealers and collectors conserve their cash until the honey pot is exhausted.

I saw this one and extended an arm in between the throngs jostling for position in the front row:


It looked like a Cross Century that wasn’t quite right:


It has the same clip and the same lined barrel, but there’s an A in a circle on the clip, and instead of a black tapered top, there’s a black “jewel” inset into the top:


On closer examination, though, there’s an Autopoint logo in the center:


There was only one problem: Cross Century pencils are middle joint, rear drive pencils – turning the top half advances and retracts the lead.  This one didn’t appear to work, since turning the top didn’t do anything.  Then I looked a bit closer, and I noticed a second joint near the nose, and the lines in the barrel were interrupted:


I wonder . . .


I’ll be damned.  Typical Autopoint works adapted to a very, very Cross-like pencil.  I harbor no doubts Cross made the pencil . . . at least, everything but the nose.

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