I admire these early dip nib/pencil combinations. They are beautiful, clever and practical. This one probably dates to 1880 or thereabouts, though they continued to be made until 1920. It was made by Edward Todd. The pattern is elegant and the gold nib is especially beautiful.
I would guess that due to the difficulty (though not impossibility) of carrying ink, the pencil would be more used than the pen.
Probably gold plated (but it’s possible that it’s solid gold) and so beautifully decorated, this little instrument, as well as its eminent practicality, spoke of its owner’s taste and wealth. There are inexpensive extending pencils in base metals but I have never seen a cheap, early combo.
This little combo has survived in outstanding condition. It invites both use and admiration.
With thanks to Mario Kaouklis