American Velvet

A pencil I know nothing about, from a manufacturer I am relatively unfamiliar with – but one I find unexpectedly beautiful.

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It has many of the characteristics commonly found in other pencils of that time (I’m guessing pre-WW2, possibly earlier), such as a slightly thicker core, sharp edges and luxurious ferrules, but the unpainted body came as a surprise. It’s coated with only a thin layer of varnish, which shows off the caramel color of the wood wonderfully.

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The opposite slat is of a darker coffee color. A fine line is visible where the slats meet; I only hope the cedar will live up to its reputation and keep from splitting.

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One of the loveliest ferrules I’ve ever seen :)

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15 thoughts on “American Velvet

  1. 무장해제. 졌습니다. 지르고 말았습니다. 더불어 다른 것도. (엉엉)

    오늘자로 여사님께 작별을 고해야겠습니다. (엉엉엉)

    + 저는 글자 수를 좀 줄여보았습니다 ^^

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    1. 진 게 아니라 함께 윈윈하는 거죠~^^
      잘하셨습니다. 놓치기엔 정말 아까운 연필이예요.

      “필기감은 이글이랑 에버하드 파버의 중간쯤이다”라고 쓰려다가, 지나치게 주관적인 것 같아서 그만두었어요. 까랑다쉬랑도 통하는 데가 있는 것 같기도 하고… 그런 묘사는 연진님이 더 잘 하시니 나중에 필기감이 어떤지 자세~히 써주셔요^^

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  2. “the caramel color of the wood”, “opposite slat is of a darker coffee color”.
    One of the most poetic pencil descriptions I’ve ever seen :)
    Beautiful.

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    1. My words were just a factual description, all the beauty was in the pencil itself :)

      It’s possible that the varnish has darkened over the years, resulting in a more interesting hue. It’s really a delectable shade of caramel!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m guessing we purchased from the same seller. I bought two boxes, a week apart. Each box contained 11 perfect pencils and one with a completely oxidized ferrule – it was tarnished black while the others looked brand new. Did you also experience this?

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    1. That’s interesting – all 12 of my pencils were in more or less the same condition. I wonder if some pencils were redistributed among the boxes? If they had been stored together I don’t think one ferrule only would oxidize.

      Do you mean you bought another box because you liked it? I can well understand, I felt the urge to stock up too but in the end I wasn’t sure about the hairline split. But it is a gorgeous pencil!

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      1. I purchased a second box because I thought it was a good deal and I wanted a few “extras” to try yet still have a full box of 12. I don’t know how many for sure, but I believe there were four or five boxes total sold by this person. I think the first box I bought was a single sell. The second box was sold as one of four. If they redistributed pencils from one bad box throughout multiple boxes, I’d expect you would have also seen one of the bad ferrules.

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      2. Correction: he said 8 *more* boxes from the estate (at the time I had already bought mine), so no telling how much there were in the beginning. It’s quite a find for such an old pencil :)

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  4. I never thought I’d find myself reading a blog about pencils, but it is beautiful! I’ve been obsessed with coloring and I’m interested in some caran d’ache pencils. Do you know if they are cheaper in Switzerland than in the US? Because I’m going to Zurich next month.
    Anyways, your website is a joy!

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    1. Hi Rox, thank you! I know, I never thought I’d find myself writing a pencil blog either ;)

      Zurich would be a wonderful place to stock up on CdA. I do know some of their graphite pencils retail for less than $1 there, whereas stateside the cheapest CdA pencil costs at least a dollar. But I think that, regarding Caran d’Ache, the question is always more about availability than price – not enough shops carry them. Enjoy your trip and hope you score many lovely pencils! :)

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  5. Hello, fellow pencil lovers. I also scored one box of these beautiful Velvet pencils recently! I love mine and like the look of the wood too. One of the nicer ferrules of my different vintage pencils I collect. Nice to be part of the club :^)

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  6. Beautiful pencil, the ferrule looks very much like the 1st run Eberhard Faber Mongols. I gotta keep my eyes open for one or two of those!

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    1. I do hope some more boxes come up on eBay – I really like them and recommend them unreservedly. The lead is quite strong but smooth. I bought a box of 3557 Venus Velvets for comparison and the lead was totally different (they wore away like Japanese pencils). Good luck with your search :)

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