The desire to collect a record of places one visits, organisations one has belonged to is always strong. Pencils are one form of souvenir that can be purchased, often quite cheaply.
The passing 'cult' characters are often displayed on 'souvenir' or 'collectable' items and pencils are no exception. A collection of this nature marks the passing fads and trends.
A trend in recent years has been the declining production of the souvenir pencil, particularly from firms. Firms often give free items away advertising their Company. Pencils were a common item, but currently fairly infrequent in appearance.
Many young people receive 'named' pencils as presents and obtaining these from friends, pupils etc. provides a link to people that have otherwise disappeared from ones life.
The standard manufacturers pencils can also be a source of great interest, as well as sometimes being beautifully designed, as they record changes in world history and economic trends to mention a few points. The re-unification of Germany was noted through pencil designs being changed to state, GERMANY, not the older, WEST GERMANY. Other companies have changed production to countries with cheaper labour costs, for instance BEROL changing from ENGLAND to MEXICO.
Invariably, as one collects items, the collector starts to develop his tastes and searching for 'historical' exhibits occurs. With the pencil, an object that in use is consumed, one frequently finds that the only available examples are used and often in poor condition. It is only if one is lucky enough to trace one that has been kept by somebody else as a momento for themselves that one finds good quality specimens. The infrequency of finding these items in antique shops is a good indication of the difficulties faced by the collector.
Developing an interest in the item leads one into paths of research to discover how the pencil started, the companies involved and other aspects. Again the passage of time has not left many records about the humble pencil.
The accumulation of related paraphernalia begins to absorb the avid collector, including boxes, adverts, mechanical pencils and the like.
Consideration of the historical technical development of the pencil has also become important. From developments during the Wars, modern mechanical pencils, the use of paper instead of paint to decorate the pencil are all aspects under consideration.
The Collection as a whole therefore provides pointers to the collector of:
|ii)||Pencils with out-sized ends|
|iii)||Pencils in pencil boxes|
|iv)||Pencils in packs - flattish cardboard etc.|
The standard pencils are stored on corrugated cardboard 'trays' in drawer units, mainly two bedside cabinets and some other units. The rest are stored in A4/A3 cardboard boxes. Pencils are recorded and stored in date of accession to the collection and referenced by an individual number and the tray and drawer position as appropriate.
NUMBER TRAY TYPE NAME CONTENT POINT END SIZE BASECOLOUR PLACE OCCASION DATE COST
Code Name Example L Location Tower of London C Character Mickey Mouse M Manufacturer Staedtler F Firm (Advertising) Shell Petrol S Society Scout Association P Person Michael Grace E Event 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II R Religious Design or quote D Design No distinguishing name/mark T Twig Made from a twig A Arts (books,films etc) Back to the Future I Item non-pencil collectable
L Left R Right V Vertical N Non-pointed
A left pointed pencil is one where the point is to the reader's left as they read the text, an example of this most common form is given below.
____________________________________________ / < The text is written here! \____________________________________________
The next two are obvious. A non-pointed pencil is not an unsharpened pencil, but one on which there is no text or obvious design that requires you to look at it from a particular angle.
P Plain R Rubber, ferrule encased M Motif D Dangle, on a ribbon C Character, figure model on pencil S Specialized, design for a specific purpose P Pennant
S Standard 7" M Medium 8"
10" T Tiny <2" D Diary, specific design O Odd PROP Propelling pencil (ie non-wood) CASE Cased wood pencil, e.g. in a metal holder
R Round H Hexagon O Oval S Square W Rectangular T Triangular V Heart 8 Octagon X Star
The last few are to do with the purchasing of the item.
NUMBER 9999 TRAY 99 TYPE M NAME Faber-Castell CONTENT GERMANY SV [CASTLE LOGO]CASTELL[CASTLE LOGO]9000 HB(REVERSED) [JOUSTING LOGO]FABER-CASTELL//Water-based varnish Wasserlack HB(reversed) (text in gold, gold end band) POINT L END P SIZE S/H BASECOLOUR GREEN PLACE WH SMITH RAMSGATE OCCASION PERSONAL SHOPPING TRIP DATE 040596 COST œ0.45
The CONTENT uses some codes to simplify data entry.
 contain a brief description of a picture () contains a reference comment // means on the opposite side (on a hexagonal pencil).
The most useful part of this tool is the ability to search very quickly to identify whether or not a pencil I receive is a duplicate or new item. Any slight design change is taken to be a new addition and is recorded with a new accession number. It is these changes in design of manufacturers pencils which can be an indication of events of world importance. The best example is the change from pencils stating; WEST GERMANY to just GERMANY after the re-unification.
I hope you will find this information of interest. I would be interested to hear how other collectors have classified their collections.
Please contact me by Email at: SLCHeadIT@aol.com