Beautiful antique hallmarked c1909 (Edwardian) Birmingham sterling silver propelling pencil holder. Featuring beautifully crafted Edwardian hexagonal style, original hallmarks on side and is in excellent used and working condition.
Length: 7.7 cm
Hallmarked c1909 Birmingham
History of Pencils & Holder
Graphite was discovered and quickly became widespread with the discovery of a large deposit in Borrowdale, England in 1564, attracting artist and alike. It was soft and brittle, and required a holder and the graphite sticks were firstly wrapped in string, late into hollowed wooden sticks, which were similar to those used today.
The metal pencil was first patented in 1822 by two business partners Sampson Mordan and John Hawkins. The metal pencil with an internal mechanism for propelling the graphite shaft forward during use, is now known as the propelling pencil.
Now that the casing could be metal, most commonly gold or silver and appeal to the increasingly affluent middle and upper classes people in the 19th century in Britain.
Soon after various whimsical patterns were introduced like dog, cat, pig, owl and fish-shaped pencils for their propelling pencils.
Between 1820 and 1873, there was more than 160 patents various mechanical pencil designs in Britain. The first spring-loaded mechanical pencil was patented 1877 and in 1895 the twist-feed mechanism was developed. By this time some mechanical pencils where able to feed the graphite through the pencil, as it wears down and some still only hold hold the graphite in position against gravity.
These mechanical pencils are still in demand today bay artists, architects, draughtsmen, collectors and alike.
History of William Vale & Sons
William Vale & Sons was registered in 1883, and continued to make silver pencils and novelties etc until 1932, when the factory was bought out by Dawson Ltd. Unfortunately there is very little information a bout the history of William Vale & Sons.
Please refer to our photos as they form part of the description.