This is a wonderful antique Victorian Gothic revival writing slope in figured walnut with wonderful cut brass decorative mounts, by Sampson Mordan & Co. dating from Circa 1870.
The neo-gothic mounts incised with scrolling foliage and the sides with decorative bracket-shaped carrying handles.
The slope front opening to form a writing surface fitted with the original tooled and gilt red leather skiver.
The barrel-topped pen box opening to a fitted interior with inkwell, vesta case, gilt brass paper knife, agate-handled pencil and pen and two covered stamp compartments with stationary slots behind. The decorative gilded lock plate is marked S. Mordan & Co.
With working lock and key.
There is no mistaking its unique quality and design, which is sure to make it a treasured piece by any discerning collector.
In really excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 18 x Width 36 x Depth 27
Dimensions in inches:
Height 7 inches x Width 1 foot, 2 inches x Depth 11 inches
Sampson Mordan (1790 – 9 April 1843) was a British silversmith and a co-inventor of the first patented mechanical pencil. During his youth, he was an apprentice of the inventor and locksmith Joseph Bramah, who patented the first elastic ink reservoir for a fountain pen.
In 1822, Mordan and his co-inventor John Isaac Hawkins filed the first patent in Great Britain for a metal pencil with an internal mechanism for propelling the graphite “lead” shaft forward during use, as an improvement on the less complex leadholders that merely clutched the pencil lead to hold it into a single position.
Mordan bought out Hawkins and entered into a business partnership with Gabriel Riddle, an established stationer. From 1823 to 1837, they manufactured and sold silver mechanical pencils with the marking “SMGR” After the partnership with Riddle dissolved, Mordan continued to sell his silver pencils as “S. Mordan & Co.”, adding many other types of silver and gold items to his product line. Mordan often made his pencils in whimsical “figural” shapes that resembled animals, Egyptian mummies, or other objects; like his other silverware and goldware, these pencils are now highly collectible.
Upon Mordan’s death in 1843, his sons Sampson (junior) and Augustus inherited the firm. “S. Mordan & Co.” continued to make silverware and brass postal scales until 1941, when their factory was destroyed by bombs during the London Blitz.
Our reference: A3379