Jill Hind – Propelling Pencils

Propelling Pencils

In a completely random fashion my husband and I have both inherited silver propelling pencils. John has no idea where his, the larger one, came from, but I know mine was in my mother’s family.

Both are hexagonal in shape. The larger pencil measures 90mm when closed and has alternating bands of chequer and foliate design. It is not hallmarked. At the end is a piece of clear glass with a white backing.

Mine measures 40mm when closed. All sides have a feather like design and in the end is what looks like a piece of amethyst. This pencil has a hallmark. It was made in Birmingham in 1902 by Francis Webb, who owned the Pencil Case Works in Great Hampton Street, Birmingham. The very short pencil may have been for use when playing cards – I have seen small wooden pencils with tassels in a canasta set.