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Chas. Keene Pencil


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#1 DanDeM

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 20:08

Not quite a fit in this forum, but...

 

Charles Keene was a high-end jeweler with a shop established in 1881 on

what is now lower Broadway. Early in the 20th Century he had pens made

for him by Eclipse with the Keene name on the clip, lever and/or nib.

Much more can learned about Keene from Phil Munson's excellent research here:
http://munsonpens.wo...-fountain-pens/

This came in about a week ago and my snooping has drawn a blank.

 

fpn_1376855999__keene_12k_pencil_-_5.jpg

 



A three-inch long pencil that pre-dates Keene's Eclipse association. Hammered

in what appears to be a snail pattern, the barrel band nearest the cone is imprinted:

KEENE New York 12K 1/40

The snap clip that attaches the chain to the pencil also has a KEENE imprint.

The crown of the pencil rotates, with effort, but has no apparent purpose

other than providing a place to attach a chain. The lead holder does not

extend, retract or rotate.

The solid section at the business end of the barrel has no scratches or wear

to suggest that a nose cone ever fitted over or rotated on it.

This is what I've been trying to figure out.

1. Was this ever a mechanical pencil?
2. Is this merely a fancy lead holder?
3. Considering the quality of the overall workmanship, the notched tube

that holds the lead is remarkably crude, unfinished. Is something missing?

Can anyone shed some light on this? Would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

 



#2 Vintagepens

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 22:46

Looks as if the lead carrier is overextended and perhaps jammed in the forwards position. Reason it appears crude is that it should not be visible -- it should be retracted inside.

 

best

 

David



#3 DanDeM

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 00:01

Looks as if the lead carrier is overextended and perhaps jammed in the forwards position. Reason it appears crude is that it should not be visible -- it should be retracted inside.

 

best

 

David

 

Thank you.

Your thoughts suggest that this is indeed a mechanical pencil; that the barrel is

not just an empty tube, but houses some means to extend/retract the lead.

Therefore, since there is no slide on the pencil, there must be an internal driver.

Sure to be made of something that would rust, so an Ultra Sonic bath is inappropriate.

Think I'll try a drop of some benign oil - maybe warm it up slightly - to try and get the

lead holder to retract. It really takes away from the appearance.

Doubt if it will ever work again, though. Shame.

Thanks, again.



#4 jonveley

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 19:45

I have a Keene that looks something like this, and it's what I call a "leadholder."  As opposed to a mechanical pencil, which has an internal means of propelling the lead, a leadholder will only clamp down onto or release a piece of lead - it takes gravity or a finger to move the lead once released.

 

I'm wondering if that thing sticking out of the top isn't something that's been stuck in there that's unrelated to the pencil.  See if you can unscrew the top a bit and pull it out. 



#5 philm

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 16:50

Thank you for linking to my Keene research.  I appreciate it.  It fits with this being more jewelry and less pencil/leadholder.   Probably not a lot of thought went into its longevity as as a writing instrument, and more into its attractiveness and sale as decoration.

 

I hope you get it functioning again.  It is a beautiful piece.

 

Phil