A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

PROPELLING PENCIL
MECHANICAL PENCIL

A mechanical or propelling pencil is a pencil with a replaceable graphite lead not bonded to the outer casing that can be mechanically extended as its point is worn away.

The first patent for a "metal pencil with an internal mechanism for propelling the graphite 'lead' shaft forward during use" was obtained by Sampson Mordan in 1822 (his co-inventor was John Isaac Hawkins).

In 1823 Mordan bought out the rights of Hawkins, entering his mark as "smallworker" in London Assay Office on 9 June 1823 as most of his production was made in precious metal.



silver propelling pencil: maker Sampson Mordan 1825



Sampson Mordan was the first and most renowned maker of silver propelling pencils, but many other British manufacturers of late 19th and early 20th century were involved in the production of these artifacts.

In late 19th century the fashion of "novelties" led to the production of pencils in "figural" shapes as animals, tennis rackets, flasks and other oddities.

These items are now highly researched and appreciated by collectors.


silver propelling pencil: maker Sampson Mordan 1825 silver propelling pencil: maker Sampson Mordan 1825


silver propelling pencil: maker Francis Webb 1887 silver propelling pencil: maker Francis Webb 1887
silver propelling pencil: Chester 1911 silver propelling pencil: Chester 1911

silver 'novelty'  propelling pencil silver 'novelty'  propelling pencil
silver 'novelty'  propelling pencil silver 'novelty'  propelling pencil

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