Figural Pencils

In the mid-1800's, once the need for pencils as a "tool" was met, many pencil makers expanded their offerings to include figural pencils. Designed as decorative, yet functional, items, they were made for the more upscale and/or souvenir markets. They could be added to watch chains in similar fashion to a charm bracelet, and like full-sized pencils, they were made from a variety of materials. Some even served multiple purposes (e.g. pencil/ruler). Most of these figurals date between the mid-1800's and early 1900's.

NOTE: You can click on the image to view it in full size.

Acorn 

Nice wooden acorn pencil with nickel plated trim work. Wood appears to be tiger oak. Mechanism is working. Extends to 1.75".

 

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Acorn - Fairchild

Novelty magic pencil by Fairchild, in acorn form. Near mint condition. Only the slightest wear to the gold on the extension sleeve; no wear on the acorn shell. Likely made for the UK market by Fairchild as it has the US patent info as well as the UK registration diamond lozenge for 1877, and the 28th day of an unknown month (imprint is too light to tell).

Body of the acorn has initials LWF (for Leroy W Fairchild); “Pat Sep 25 77” and the diamond hallmark lozenge.

Agate Horse Hoof

Appears to be silver although no markings. The hoof is carved out of agate and has no chips or other damage. Pencil is only 2.5" long when closed.

 

 

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Bagpiper

Appears to be silver although no markings. The pencil is a slider with a tiny slide mechanism in the back or the pencil.

 

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Bone Keg 

Figural pencil in the shape of a keg with what appears to be an ebony plug in it. Few of these fragile pencils exist, especially in this condition. It is just 1.25" closed and 1 5/8" when fully opened. 

 

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Bottle Pencil - Mackeson's

Very cool little bottle mechanical pencil. The top unscrews to reveal the pencil which is in working condition. A neat, rare novelty from Mackeson beer company (likely from 1940's or so).

 

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Bottle - Mordan

Champagne bottle shaped Mordan magic pencil. The mechanism (extensions and mechanics) are in working order. Tiny chip off the enamel label. It is 3.75" extended. Enamel label says "Louis Roederer" "Reims"

 

"S. Mordan & Co."

Bottle Pencil - Mumm's Champage

Mumm's champagne label on it. The pencil and label may have had a plating of some sort originally but this has worn off. Propelling mechanism works fine. Pencil extends to 3.75", and it is just slightly over 2" when closed.

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Bottle Pencil - Mumm's Champagne

Chrome plated with label for Mumm Champagne. Magic pencil mechanism is smooth and extends pencil from 2.25” when closed to 3.50” when opened (twist mechanism). Bought a pair of bottle pencils from seller in France; the second was the Vve. A. Devaux Champagne bottle.

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Bottle Pencil - Reim's Champagne

Reim's champagne label on it. A bit of the nickel plating has worn off (where it probably rolled around in a desk for decades). The mechanism is quite smooth opening and closing and the label and "gold" sections are in great condition. 

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Bottle Pencil - Veuve A. Devaux Champage

Chrome plated with label for Vve. A. Devaux Champagne. Bought a pair of bottle pencils from seller in France; the second was another Mumms Champagne bottle (smaller than the other one I have).

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Bulldog Pencil

Very nice pencil in shape of a bulldog. Red glass eyes, gold plated barrel and trim. Body of head appears to be silver but is unmarked. 

 

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Bullet - Goldie & MCCulloch

Corporate give away pencil from the early 1900's. Goldie & McCulloch, Galt, the predecessor to Babcock & Wilcox (bought out in 1923 so pencil is earlier than 1923). This one being in the shape of a bullet suggests it was a wartime giveaway between 1914-1917. You twist the tip and the pencil extends out of it.

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Bullet - Omdurman

Rare commemorative pencil from the battle of Omdurman, 1898. Believed to have been made by S. Mordan. I have seen others with "Mappins" engraved on the silver tip, which is a high end London Jeweller that sold a lot of Mordan pencils. Made from a spent .303 bullet case from the battlefield. A twist reveals the silver pencil inside. The brass case is engraved "OMDURMAN" and "Remember Gordon". The outer silver case has a couple of small dents, otherwise the item is fine and working. 3.3/8" excluding the swivel and closed. 4.3/8" open. The wear in the silver ring suggests that the original owner wore this proudly for many, many years, likely attached to his watch chain. One of the photos shows an article from the L.A. Herald, Nov. 6, 1899 regarding the Omdurman pencil.

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Bullet - Small Magic

A magic pencil shaped like a revolver bullet. It is only 1.25" long and expands to 2.25". Likely solid gold. 

 

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Bullet - South African War

Pencil  says "War Souvenir  South Africa" on the side. I'm assuming Boer War. as the bullet casing indicates it is a "303" caliber and that was a British army rifle during that conflict. The base has the telltale punch that indicates it is made from a used shell casing. There are also the following markings, all equally spaced around the base; "II", "5", "C".  

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Bullet - Trench Art

Appears to be an example of WWI trench art. The base of the bullet says "FA 11 13" and it appears to be made from an actual bullet with a pencil insert. Pencil opens from 3.25" to 5". Magic pencil style mechanism.

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Bullet - Trench Art

Trench art pencil, silver, likely WWI. The base of the bullet says "UMC 2-10" and it appears to be made from an actual fired bullet with a pencil insert. Pencil opens from 3.25" to 5".

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Bullet - Trench Art

Trench art pencil, likely WWI. The base of the bullet says "FA 1 05" and it appears to be made from an actual fired bullet with a pencil insert. Insert is sterling silver while the bullet is likely nickel. Pencil opens from 3.25" to 5".

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Cannon - W.S. Hicks

Figural in the shape of a cannon. Some gold plate loss on high spots & edges. 

 

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Cross

Cross-shaped telescoping pencil. No markings but has the look of sterling.  4-sided cross-hatch pattern.

 

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Cross - Mordan

Cross shaped slider is in near mint condition and the mechanism is working. It is 1.5" when closed and 2.25' open. 

 

Marked on side S. Mordan & Co.

Cross - Mordan

Cross shaped slider is in near mint condition and the mechanism is working. It has a rare line and dot pattern on it. It is 1.5" when closed and 2.25' open. Bought directly from a woman in England whose husband was starting to clear his collection and she didn't want to sell on eBay.

Marked on side S. Mordan & Co. and there is part of a registration lozenge on one side but it is worn and incomplete.

Deer Hoof

Pencil shaped like a deer hoof. Bone trim. The pencil works properly and the animal hair is still in good shape. 

 

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Deer Hoof - Stanhope

Pencil shaped like a deer hoof. It includes a stanhope but unfortunately the image is gone. The pencil works properly and the animal hair is still in good shape. Purchased from Bloomsbury at auction as part of several lots. 

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Egyptian Mummy

Egyptian mummy "Ushabti", a type of Egyptian tomb figure. These figures were intended to be servants who would magically come to life and do any chore the deceased might be called upon to perform in the afterlife. All the mechanics work fine and smoothly. This pencil is 2.25" closed and extends to an impressive 4.75" when opened.

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Egyptian Mummy

Egyptian mummy. The enamelling is in very good condition and there is no damage to the pencil itself although it does not extend properly. This particular one is also in the shape of a "Ushabti", a type of Egyptian tomb figure. This pencil is 2" closed and extends to 3.75" when opened.

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Egyptian Mummy

Egyptian mummy. The lead does not extend/retract properly. Appears to be solid silver with a gold overlay on it. It is a full 5" when opened. This pencil was owned by the seller's mother since the 1930's.

Unknown hallmark on the ring, consisting of two boxes containing a "Z" and what appears to be a "Y", with a dot to the left of it.

Egyptian Mummy

Egyptian mummy, in excellent shape overall. It extends and retracts properly and the lead mechanism is fully functioning. The pencil has hallmarks on the ring and appears to be solid silver with a gold wash on it (only visible under the loupe). 

Unknown hallmark on the ring; 3 boxes containing an "X", "U", and "Y", with a dot to the left of it.

Egyptian Mummy

Egyptian mummy. The enamel is in near mint condition; no dents or dings. There are silver markings on the ring that are hard to discern.  All the mechanics work fine and smoothly. This pencil is 2.25" closed and extends to 4.75". 

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Egyptian Mummy

Egyptian mummy. All the mechanics work fine and smoothly. The enamel is in excellent condition as is the gold which is often rubbed off. This pencil is 2.25" closed and extends to 4.75".

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Egyptian Mummy

Egyptian mummy. It is in almost mint condition; no enamel is missing, no dents or any damage.  This pencil is a tiny 1 1/8" closed and extends to 2.25". Rare to find a tiny one like this in such perfect condition.

Hallmarks on the small ring but very difficult to make out; the first stamp can't be read but the second mark is a very tiny "y".

Egyptian Mummy - Knife

Identical to several figural mummy pencils except that it is a small knife with two blades. Blades are intact with no chips. Enamel is in excellent condition. 

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Egyptian Mummy - Sheath

Egyptian mummy pencil that is a sheath style; rare. Purchased as part of a lot of "egyptian souvenirs". Tiny, at 2" long. The enamelling is perfect. It is stamped "800" on the base which indicates that it is sterling.

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Egyptian Obelisk

Obelisk magic pencil. Purchased from Australia. This pencil is 2.25" closed and extends to 4". It has what are believed to be French hallmarks on the ring; similar to other egyptian themed pencils in the collection.

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Egyptian Obelisk

Obelisk magic pencil. This pencil is 1.5" closed and extends to 2.5". It has what are believed to be French hallmarks on the ring; similar to other egyptian themed pencils in the collection. 

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Gavel - Mordan

Mordan figural gavel slider from mid-1800's. There are a couple of chips out of the gavel and a couple of hairline cracks; otherwise excellent condition. A rare and rather large example of a figural pencil as it is almost 5" long when extended.  

Marked S Mordan & Co.

Golf Club 

This pencil is sterling silver. Some damage to the end, preventing the mechanism from working. 

 

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Horse Head - Edward Todd

Edward Todd figural magic pencil in the shape of a horse head. No dents or damage, the stone eyes are perfect, it opens and closes easily, and the lead mechanism works fine.

 

Has the Edward Todd stamp on it and is marked Sterling Silver.

Key

Gold key pencil. Seller indicated solid gold and some pieces may be but the barrel appears to be rolled rose gold. In perfect working condition.


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Key

Cosmetically , this pencil is near mint. Unfortunately the solder connection has come apart so the inner and outer barrels do not function properly and the pencil has to be manually extended. It extends to 4.5". 

"Sterling" and "F" stamped on inner barrel.

MatchStick

Matchstick slide pencil by Gorham. It is in mint condition. No damage to the enamelling; no dent, dings, etc. Extends to 3". Quite rare figural from a well known high quality US silver company that started in 1831.

Marked "Gorham"

Nut

Not sure of the type of nut that was used for this one; too small to be a walnut. In very good condition although some worm holes have been filled with a coloured filler. Mechanism is working. Extends to 1.75".

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Sea Bean

These are known as "sea bean" pencils and were made around 1878. Although unmarked, Aikin Lambert was known to offer some lower quaality novelty items such as these (see photo ad). In perfect condition; no cracks or other damage. Mechanism is working. Extends to 2".

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Owl - W.S. Hicks

Owl magic pencil. Red glass eyes, gold plate barrel and trim. Body & head appears to be silver but unmarked. In near mint condition. Tip is stamped "Pat. March 21, '71" which is a W.S. Hicks patent date although the Hicks makers mark is not found on the pencil.

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Pig - Mordan

Mordan figural pig pencil. In excellent condition. From what I can make out, there appears to be the top half of an “S” in the year field (the “S” is the only letter with a left facing curved element in it). This would date the reg. mark to 1875.

"S. Mordan & Co."   It also has a registration “lozenge” (1875)

Pistol - Mordan

Very rare S. Mordan "Pistol" telecoping pencil. 1.5" closed and 2.25" when fully extended. It is in perfect working order and even has some of the original lead in it.  This pistol likely had a gold wash over the silver originally as there is still a fair bit of the gold showing.

Stamped "July 06, 1840" on one side and "S. Mordan" on the other. The number "353" stamped on top of the barrel near the tip.

Powder Horn

Powder horn. Fully functional; no damage. Opens to 2.75"


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Ruler - Mordan

Folding 6" Ruler & propelling pencil dating to around 1850-70. Slide action mechanical propelling pencil built into a 6" folding rule. In working order , silver end caps. Opposite arm of rule has a quill trimmer marked Rodgers. Quill trimmer is slightly damaged from use.

Marked S. Mordan & Co.

Screw

Screw shaped pencil. Opens to just over 2".  Perfect working condition. 
Purchased from Bloomsbury at auction as part of several lots. 

 

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Sea Shell

Pencil in a sea shell. In excellent condition. Extends to 2.25". Purchased from Bloomsbury at auction as part of several lots. 

 

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Toy Top - Mordan

Acquired through a trade with another collector. This pencil is fairly rare. Made in the shape of a top, it has 6 extensions when it opens up. It's fully open length is 3.5". The smallest of the extensions is loose and will need to be repaired. There is a internal metal ring that holds it it place and this has broken. Around the very top of the pencil is imprinted "S. Mordan & Co. No. 649". I'm not sure what the "No. 649" stands for.

"S. Mordan & Co."  and "No. 649".  Also has the registration lozenge dating it to Dec. 7, 1873.

Wood Egg - Stanhope

Egg shaped pencil, complete with little dots painted on the surface. No damage to the wood or the finish and the pencil is fully functional. In addition, there is a Stanhope built into the top of the pencil. The image is in perfect condition. Egg is 2" fully extended. Purchased from Bloomsbury at auction as part of several lots. 

Stanhope has 4 views of Sudbury, England; "Market Hill & St. Peter's Church",  "All Saints Church", "St. Gregory's Church",  and the "Corn Exchange and Friars Street".

Wood Flask

Wooden flask shaped pencil with silver plated trim work. Mechanism is working. Extends to 1.75".

 

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Wood Pipe

Wooden pipe shaped pencil. Mechanism is working. The pipe appears to be carved  from burled walnut or similar hardwood. The pencil is white metal, not silver, although it may have been plated at one time. It measures just over 1.75" closed and 2.5" when extended.

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Wood Pipe - Stanhope

Wooden pipe shaped pencil. No damage to the wood or the finish and the pencil is fully functional. In addition, there is a Stanhope built into the side of the pencil.  The image is in perfect condition. Pipe is 2.5" fully extended. Purchased from Bloomsbury at auction as part of several lots. 

Stanhope has 6 views of Cromer, England; "Hotel de Paris-Victoria House", "Pier Beach & Cliff", "East Street", "Church", "Esplanade Bath Hotel", "Lighthouse".

Wood Pipe - Stanhope

Wooden pipe shaped pencil. No damage to the wood or the finish and the pencil is fully functional. In addition, there is a Stanhope built into the side of the pencil. The images are in perfect condition. Pipe is 2.5" fully extended.

Stanhope has 6 views of Ilfracombe, England.

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