There were some queries about a particular pencil shown in the previous post. That pencil of interest is the Graf von Faber-Castell Guilloche pencil.
Recently introduced, it is a round pencil with a diameter of about 8.15mm, with a very intricate finish.
It is presented in a modest but pleasing cardboard box:
For those seeking the pencils, they are formally (at least in English) called “superfine pencils with guilloche finish”, and the model numbers are “11 86 21” for the brown, and “11 86 20” for the black.
I find them to have a very pleasing and subtle sophistication. My only complaint is that the factory sharpening shows an unpleasant rough scraping of the wood. Although that’s very common with modern pencils, the original ribbed, silver-capped Graf von Faber-Castell pencils don’t have this problem, and these newer pencils in the same line shouldn’t either.
The caps display a crest and crown.
The official product page is here.
Pencil Boxes (II) – Graf von Faber-Castell (pencil talk – February, 2008)
Graf von Faber-Castell pencils. (pencil talk – July, 2006)
15 Replies to “Graf von Faber-Castell Guilloche pencils”
They are certainly a mighty fine looking piece of wood.
They look fantastic and seem to be slighlty cheaper than the No. III pencils. The coat of arms on the cap looks great, thanks for the nice photos!
Stunning! Unfortunately, the only source I have found from the USA is through Skripta-Paris, and the combination of Euro exchange and shipping costs makes these pencils prohibitive. ($102 for 12 pencils…)
Very nice and fine the Guilloche work on a pencil is elegant, but I have to see the cardbox to give an opinion about the box.
No words to express the beauty and kraftmanship of these pencils…
I just received my order of these from cultpens – took almost a month to get them delivered – would love to find them stateside. They are wonderful pencils – thanks for turning me on to them. If anyone knows where to find these in the US, I’d love to know.
Thanks for saying where you found these as I had been scouring the globe without success.
Strange how Faber Castell does not distribute some of its finest products in the USA; perhaps because of the exorbitant prices of some of these items?
Perhaps Faber-Castell might be observing some of these comments and consider expanding their market? But it is also perhaps a question of finding retailers.
Adair, I appreciate the many comments you’ve made at this blog, and if you’d like, I’d be happy to send you a pair of these (and some other) pencils. Just send me an email.
If I ever get the chance to visit Versailles this is the pencil I shall carry into its hallowed halls. This is the pencil Jean-Paul Marat would have written, “Off with their heads,” if he had one to use at the time. This is the pencil that makes one crave baguettes, cheese, wine and frilly clothes. This pencil also speaks of the style of the 60’s of Pucci, Ferrero Roche, and those makeup mirrors with way too many light bulbs. A pencil that one can easily envision a James Bond Heroin carrying for nefarious purposes. Let us not forget the very name itself, Guilloche, reminds us of the finer aspects of craftsmanship of the industrial revolution. What a pencil and what a history it invokes.
Thank you for that bunch of positive responses. That was my project at FC and it is very motivating for me to read your comments.
at least on of the R&D staff at FC read it…
W., congratulations on the excellent work!
We hope to see more great Faber-Castell pencils in the years ahead.
wondaa, fantastic work. I’m not sure it evokes the same things for me that it does for Seamus, but I do find the brown guilloche pencil to be one of the more beautiful and elegantly understated writing utensils I’ve seen on the web (along with the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Urushi). Although I am not normally very fond of FC’s tendency toward harder/lighter-marking leads, I’d pick some of these up in a heartbeat if I could find them anywhere near me.
I actually bought a set of these. I think I ordered directly from the von graf official website. They were expensive (I think around $40 USD for 5).
They are as beautiful as any handcarved wooden implement could be. (I think they are made by machines, however). They are a bit thicker than a “normal” hex or round #2. The lead is good, not great. It’s a bit hard — 2B feels like F to me. The wood, however is the best I’ve ever seen on a pencil. It looks and smells like some exotic cedar. The person who suggested the sharpening wasn’t as precision as formally seen might have received an unusual set because mine are impeccably sharpened to the point that only a very special machine or device could have pointed them so well.
The paint and the crest and the intricate “scroll work” carving is top-notch. Truly a work of art. Flawless. The box itself is cardboard, but very attractive (modern, chic.)
I’ve begun using them for everyday use because I just as well get down to my last one, enjoying their fine style and getting fantastical compliments on them (I am a designer by craft) at that point I’ll evaluate whether it makes any sense to indulge on such a folly again.
I am a Tombow wood pencil and Koh-I-Noor 800 Series lead-holder person, usually.
font9a, thank you for the detailed comment. I regret that I didn’t discover it idling in the moderation queue for over a day.
Regarding the factory sharpening, I wrote “My only complaint is that the factory sharpening shows an unpleasant rough scraping of the wood. Although that’s very common with modern pencils, the original ribbed, silver-capped Graf von Faber-Castell pencils don’t have this problem, and these newer pencils in the same line shouldn’t either.”
I stand by this – I am not talking about the graphite being pointed (and in fact I would prefer to buy unsharpened pencils), but rather the scraped appearance of the wood. The original pencils don’t have this flaw. It is a minor detail, I can live with it, and only mentioned in the context of the pencil’s extremely high standards.