Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Imperial Pocket Knife Pencil

This was auctioned as a ladies pocket knife with mechanical pencil.

Fifth Ave penknife mechanical pencil
The jewellery case appears to be original and has a label "Styled by Fifth Avenue" pasted over the top of the original printing on the satin lining.

A short thin screw action tip feed 0.9mm lead mechanical pencil fits into the knife body as shown.
mechanical pencil, penknife and Lamy 2000
In the picture above thats a Lamy 2000 for size comparison – it's twice as long.

penknife showing blades and mechanical pencil

blade markings
"Imperial Prov RI" and two patent numbers are stamped into base of the knife blades. Both of the patents were issued to Imperial Knife Co. of Providence, Rhode Island, the first in August 1939 and the second in June 1942, so we know it was manufactured after mid-1942. Wikipedia and other web sources tell me that in 1985 Imperial changed it's name to Imperial Schrade, and the Providence RI factory was closed in 1988. Anyway, these dates combined with the use on 0.9mm lead and it's general appearance make me think this penknife-pencil most likely dates from the 1950's to 1970's. Despite being auctioned as a ladies item, the double blades make think it was most likely intended for a gentleman...but then I don't really know much of what ladies carried in the 1950's and 1960's...any of you readers care to comment?

The events of 9/11 and subsequent restrictions on travelling with pocket knives badly effected Imperial Schrade and they went bankrupt in 2004.


Palimpsest said...

A delightful object! As usual your photographs are a real pleasure to look out and provide an additional commentary to your objects. Thank you.

Kiwi-d said...

Thanks for your kind words.

Anonymous said...

I have recently come upon an item slightly similar to this one. It is a small brass pocket knife that contains a twist lead pencil. Is there a way I could contact you and show you pictures? would you be able to give me any idea on how much its worth?

Kiwi-d said...

Q1 = Yes, there's contact detail on my Profile.
Q2 = Sorry, no.