"There has been a dramatic increase on antiques over the last few years.
However, writing equipment, other than fountain pens, has been slow to gather momentum. Until recently this was particularly the case for pencils, which was excellent for collectors but difficult to understand. We emphasize this because a gold or silver hand engraved outer case containing a novel working pencil mechanism, with an exquisite seal stone terminal may well have taken days to make in the C19th and yet, such items can still be purchased today for less than f 40.
Pencils are desirable collectibles for a number of reasons:
1. They represent the wonderful craftsmanship of yesteryear;
2. They are mysterious in their mechanism and hoe they work;
3. They are practical and can be used;
4. They can be exquisite adornments;
5. They are still relatively inexpensive.
However the potential collector must be made aware of four caveats:
1. the mechanisms are often delicate and fragile and consequently repair is a specialist task and expensive;
2. a non working pencil is worth very little;
3. the variety of makers in the C19th was so great that there was little standardization of nozzle threads even after 1860;
4. Although some old size leads are available it is still difficult to find 0.8 mm or 1 mm (H or M). Consequently you can have a wonderful pencil but no supply or leads."