From 1872 until 1890 at the A.W. Faber offices on Place de l’Opéra in Paris, a pair of extraordinary sculptures were on display, celebrating the Siberian graphite mine discovered by Jean-Pierre Alibert in 1847.
The top section appears to have been carved from graphite, or at least sections of graphite, and includes a medal toward the bottom:
The ‘body’ continues on with rough blocks of graphite and sculptured motifs. On the rim of the circular base are pocket-sized artist’s pencils—early leadholders similar to clutch pencils:
The base is decorated with banded dozens of Polygrade graphite pencils, as well as two packages of ivory-tipped A.W. Faber’s artist’s pencils:
Those pencils are similar to the ones pictured here:
The second display resembles a small shrine:
Complete with a triumphant arch made from banded pencils, the two corners feature a radiant display of single pencils and what look like waistcoat pencils and their holders:
At the center is another statue, with motifs similar to those found on the one above:
This base is less ornate, flanked by more banded pencils:
One can only wonder what became of them.