Sunday, September 18, 2022

My New, Very Old Eberhard Faber Pencil Stand


Nearly a century old and now on my desk. When I purchased it, the Eberhard Faber pencil stand came with several vintage and affectionately hacked pencils from the seller.

Despite my obvious love for vintage colored pencils, I’m not a collector or hunter of antique furnishings or other objects. In general, I stay out of antique shops to avoid temptation (though occasionally I can’t resist). Apparently I always have one eye open, though, for special items that are exactly right.

One day in the Erasable Podcast Community Facebook group, a member posted photos of a vintage Eberhard Faber pencil display stand that he was selling. A 1923 Eberhard Faber catalog shows the pencil stand, which means the model is nearly a hundred years old. As soon as I saw it, visions of pencils danced through my head: It’s the perfect display for some of my favorite vintage pencils! In fact, it’s exactly what I’d been looking for, although I didn’t know it until I saw it.

Image from Pen Collectors of America

The advertisement for the Eberhard Faber Diamond Star “No. 29 Mahogany Stand With Assortment of High-Grade Items” indicates that it was a retail display. (What?? Consumers didn’t display pencils in their homes this way??!) Here’s what it says about the stand, which came with pencils:

The mahogany stand is an extremely useful advertising display piece, as well as a handy “silent salesman.” It is a high-class stand, with high-grade articles, and the finest stationery stores of the country will be proud to display it.

Imagine walking into a stationery store (sadly, such stores are becoming increasingly rare) and seeing “high-grade articles” displayed this way! Indeed, that “silent salesman” wouldn’t have to work very hard on me.

With some signs of age and wear, the pencil stand has many stories to tell. I could clean and polish it if I wanted to, but I think I’ll hear those stories better if I leave it as is.

Of course, I had initially intended to fill it with vintage colored pencils; in fact, I have several Eberhard Faber sets I considered. But the rack had probably been sitting in a dark storage unit for years, despondently without purpose. It deserved to be put to daily use as well as admiration.

With 72 holes, it was almost perfect for my favorite Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle pencils. After weeding out duplicates and some stubs too short to fit in the stand, my Museum Aquarelles fit beautifully – with a couple of holes to spare. The Eberhard Faber Diamond Star retail display is once again both high class and functional.

Still functional and beautiful after all these years.

Two empty holes after filling with my Museum Aquarelles.

Nicks and wear have a hundred years of stories to tell.

Museum Aquarelle stubs and duplicates

Incidentally, the seller was Ali Serra, owner of the Etsy shop Ernest Theodore, where I have made fun and inspiring purchases the past few years. He’s local, and we had met last year at an in-person pencil meetup (yes, there is such a thing). Shortly after I had made the purchase, a few Erasable members got together for another meetup. With my pencil peeps admiring my new acquisition, it was an appropriate handoff for the old Diamond Star.

A parking lot transaction. 

Although we would have preferred to chat about pencils over a table of food or beverages, we settled for a tailgate meetup at a Tesla charging station (where one member had to make a quick stop while breezing through Seattle). With me are Ali, Julia, John and adorable Ernest Theodore, the namesake of Ali’s shop.

A new home for the No. 29 Diamond Star display


  1. What a cool, fun way to display your pencils!!!

  2. This looks fantastic! And fun to pick up

  3. Oh my GOODNESS!! I am so drooling! So much more classy than Boba straws;-). Anne HwH

  4. Thank you all for your comments! I'm tickled to have found this fine piece!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks! I wish it could speak and tell me all the pencil stories it has!

  6. Great story and an item I have coveted forever!

    1. I saw one on eBay recently, so they are still out there! Good luck!

  7. Really Nice!
    I have one that's in really fine condition lol
    Also, I think I've been here before talking about the black Aquarello and Mongol colored pencils ha ha

    1. I hope you are enjoying yours as much as I am mine! :-)


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