Mechanical Pencil Collection, ca. 1920

Value (2018) | $2,000 Insurance$2,500 Insurance
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GUEST:
My grandfather was from Blackfoot, Idaho, and he had a potato factory, and the people would come to visit him and he would ask them for a mechanical pencil, and that's how the collection started. But my grandfather died when my dad was 14 years old, so I never really got to know him or find out any of those types of things.

APPRAISER:
So you don't know his preoccupation with mechanical pencils.

GUEST:
Nope-- no, I don't.

APPRAISER:
It's just something that was handed down-- your father got it. How'd you get it?

GUEST:
My dad gave it to me. They used to be in a box in a plastic bag and so, when I finally got my house, I decided I'd like to put it up on the wall, and so I strung them up, basically.

APPRAISER:
So you're the one who put them in these boxes...

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Sewed them in. I mean, this took a long time.

GUEST:
It did take a long time, but not knowing my grandfather, to me, this is just... I don't know, it's just really special. It's like having part of my grandfather with me.

APPRAISER:
Are there any favorites that you have here? I mean, you have over 100 of them, so...

GUEST:
Um, I didn't even know I had 100 of them until you guys counted them.

APPRAISER:
That's what we do here.

GUEST:
Yes. Just a couple of the fun ones are the Coke and the Pepsi ones.

APPRAISER:
Right, the Coca-Cola one right here, with the little bottle on top, and the Pepsi over there.

GUEST:
The floating potatoes.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, I love the floating potatoes, because, you know, everyone needs... BOTH: A floating potato.

GUEST:
And I have two.

APPRAISER:
Mechanical pencils kind of came into vogue in the early 1900s. The pen market has always been way, way, way ahead of the pencil market, and I have people telling me all the time, "Everything is too expensive," they can't buy anything. And yet, pencils have just never taken off like pens have. Which is a good thing for a beginning collector, because it's something that they can build on and grow with. Now, some of the ones you want to look at-- the Coca-Cola and the Pepsis are probably about $75 to $85 apiece. Wow. The floating potatoes are probably just slightly less, because I don't think that market's quite as big as the Coke and Pepsi market.

GUEST:
Yeah, I don't think so.

APPRAISER:
But you never know. Overall, if you're looking at the entire collection and you're multiplying 125 of these by, say, an average of probably $20...

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
You're looking at somewhere around $2,000 to $2,500.

GUEST:
I don't think my dad realized what he gave me. (laughs)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Leila Dunbar Appraisals & Consulting, LLC
Washington, DC
Update (2018)
$2,000 Insurance$2,500 Insurance
Update (2012)
$2,000$2,500
Appraised value (1998)
$2,000$2,500
Event
Portland, OR (July 25, 1998)
Form
Tool

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