While many of the upscale Victorian pen/pencil case makers in England used silver or gold for the majority of their pen/pencil casings, these same makers regularly experimented with, and offered finished products with, cases made of other materials. One of the more peculiar casing choices used at the time was the porcupine quill. There is a species of porcupine in Africa that has quills that can be over 30 cm long (one foot+). At some point African porcupine quills found their way to Great Britain, perhaps as souvenirs, or perhaps embedded in the backside of one of Great Britain’s intrepid explorers of the day. An enterprising soul eventually noticed how these quills were quite similar in size to existing pen/pencil barrels, and a new, creative option for pen/pencil case makers was “discovered”…
The second pencil is the rarest of the quill pencils, being a triple-barrelled slider pencil. It does not have a maker’s name but is a very similar design to a 3 barrelled pencil made by Mordan.
The quills have been cemented together and the cap and pencil tip are both sterling silver.
It is 8 cm long when closed and 10 cm long when extended (3.25″/4.0″).
Porcupine quills have traditionally been used for a great variety of purposes and they are still widely used (there are many sources of both North American and African porcupine quills on the internet for those in need), but as far as I have been able to determine, their use as pen/pencil case barrels was fairly short-lived. I suspect that the quills simply did not stand up to the rigours of daily use and abuse.