While today’s party girl might not venture anywhere without her phone, her great-grandmother would have had very different ideas about what constituted a party essential; and high on that list would have been the humble pencil, in order that she could complete her dance card with a potential list of suitors.
A pencil may not seem the obvious choice for a gift, but those made by London silversmith Sampson Mordan (inventor of the first mechanical propelling pencil in 1822) were exquisite whimsical novelties, sure to delight any recipient from a blushing debutante to a pal on the golf course. With subjects including sporting equipment, animals, world famous landmarks, bottles of champagne and love tokens, virtually all tastes were catered for, and nearly all are represented in the 464 lots of The KB Collection of Pencils.
The collection was formed over a number of years, and is one of the most comprehensive collections of its type to come onto the open market. These exquisite collector’s items start with estimates as low as £100, and while most are made of silver there are also examples in gold, enamel, wood and base metal.
Highlights include Lot 76, a silver pencil of Egyptian military interest, Lot 425, a Tiffany & Co pencil modelled as the Metropolitan Life Tower, and Lot 210, a gold pencil from 1902 modelled as a frog.