I love mechanical pencils of all kinds, but especially Mabie Todd Fyne Poynts. It’s sad, but mechanical pencils don’t sell well; they’re an even more niche interest than fountain pens.
I love the variety of vintage pencils. There are ones to suit every pocket and taste, from the cheap ones that resemble wooden pencils but aren’t, all the way to very opulent pencils like this one.
This pencil was made throughout the 1920s. It’s intended for a watch chain or chatelaine, neither of which are in fashion now. I like the security of the stirrup fixing. The mechanism is the Mabie Todd propel/repel type that remained unchanged as long as these pencils were made. Why change what works so well?
This gold-filled pencil has the same sparkly pattern as the immaculate pen and pencil set that I wrote about recently. Almost a century old, this pencil shows hardly any wear.
Coming back to their comparative unpopularity, I do understand it, to some extent. Repairs, where they’re needed, are harder than in fountain pens in my opinion. At their best, they lay down an unchanging grey line. Many people are attracted to fountain pens by the endless variety of inks available. There are coloured leads that can be used in old mechanical pencils if you can find the right size, but it isn’t really comparable.
If you love mechanical pencils as I do, you do so on their own unique terms. You love their variety and ingenuity, their quality and their endurance. The term ‘small objects of desire’ applies very well here.