Another exemplar of the Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602. It’s an older version, but one that brings new questions:
This Blackwing belongs to what I call the “early” group, that is to say, those with a shorter overall length and whose imprint doesn’t have the stylized oblique logo. The gilt ferrule with black band suggests it was made a little later, but there is something unusual about it: a small notch at the end on both sides, which makes it a little easier to pull out the eraser:
This is the only Blackwing I’ve seen with this ferrule. In fact, I haven’t seen any other clamp-style ferrule with this notch in it. When was it made? I don’t know, but my guess is the 1940s based on the packaging, and that the clips which hold the erasers are consistent with the oldest versions. The imprint is unusually bright and foil-like, in contrast to other early versions which seem more like they were silkscreened:
I wouldn’t go so far as to say this was some kind of special edition but it certainly stands out from the others. The packaging is slightly different as well, compared to a box from the same era:
I believe the one on the bottom is older than the one on top, and there are several differences worth noting:
- The first obvious distinction is the gilt finish found on the newer box.
- The title “BLACKWING” is one word on the newer box.
- In the first sentence of the body text on the newer box, the text “needing scarcely any pressure” is emphasized.
- The typefaces are similar in style but are different families. Notice that the apex of the “W” in the title of the newer box is uncrossed while in the body text it is crossed, and that the reverse is true of the lower box.
- On the newer box, “EBERHARD FABER” comes closer to being a logo than that on the older box.
- On the newer box, “No. 602” can be found on the side:
This notched ferrule is interesting—I haven’t seen it before on any other pencil, in an advertisement, or in a catalog (including the ones I just saw at Faber-Castell in Stein). I wonder for how long it was available, and for what reason(s) it was discontinued.