12 and Count Alexander von Faber-Castell 7

Just a quick blog post for today’s 12th anniversary of the Bleistift blog:

One of Count Alexander von Faber-Castell’s estates, Wolfgangshof, maybe five miles from Faber-Castell’s headquarters, was recently used as the backdrop for a TV show about Franconian folk music (as far as I know the first TV show of its kind).

Wolfgangshof Anwanden (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license)

There doesn’t seem to be any geoblocking going on as I can watch this video here in the UK without problems. It is available from the BR Mediathek (from Bavaria’s public-service radio and television broadcaster).

Count Alexander von Faber-Castell was the first “Faber-Castell” Count – before his marriage he was known as Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen.

You can read more about him on Sean’s Contrpauntalism blog or in my blog post Schwanberg and the Pencil Cedar.

America Standards 6

Earlier this year, in Spring, I imported some pencils from the USA.

It won’t come as a surprise that they are painted in yellow/orange and that they are eraser-tipped.

The whole look of these pencils, including the name, America Standards, and the way they are printed makes them look like a ‘big pencil’ that you’d imagine to be available and sold all over the USA…
…but as far as I can tell the company behind the America Standards pencil is a small-ish company that registered a few trademarks and uses them to resells goods made by other manufacturers.

In the case of the America Standards pencils there is a big emphasis on the fact that they are made in Tennessee. I assume they are made by Musgrave, but they might, of course, also be made by Wagner or Moon Products.

I ordered the pack of 24 in a wooden pencil box, which doesn’t currently seem available, but you can still get the pack of 100. Previously there has also been the America Standards Mammoth pencil with a jumbo grip.

Importing into the UK always attracts customs and import duties, but the pencils are beautiful and the wooden case seem really special, so the extra I had to pay seems well worth it.

Lovely analog stuff 3

New Street in Lancaster

It must have been at least ten years since I’ve last been to Lancaster. I’m glad we went today to have a look at the Lancaster Festa Italia. The city centre was full of stalls, offering Italian food, drinks and more.

analop shop

On our walk through the different streets, just after the super car section where all the Ferraris were on display, we got lucky found a little stationery store that just opened a week ago: analog shop


The shop is run by Melanie and Sherry. They were very friendly and also insisted that every customer who enters should sanitise their hands.

Melanie, one of the owners

Next to the exotic smelling hand sanitiser was even was a box with face masks, presumable for customers who would like one, but didn’t bring their own. It’s great to see that this is one of a small number of shops that cares for the safety of their customers [1]Compared to other countries with much lower infection rates there isn’t much hand sanitising and face mask wearing going on here in the UK anymore.

On display was a great selection of the kind of stationery you don’t usually find in the UK high street chains: lots of Kaweco, Lamy, Rhodia (always the nice stuff from their range of course) but also smaller brands, like ANDSONS, a leather manufacturer from Rehau in Franconia.

Find the ANDSONS…

I walked away with a new £36 ANDSONS pen roll made from felt and leather.

The shop keepers told me that in another week the selection of stationery on offer will have grown even further.

ANDSONS pen roll

I’m not sure when I’ll get to go to Lancaster again, but I’ll make sure I’ll visit analog shop again.

ANDSONS pen roll


1Compared to other countries with much lower infection rates there isn’t much hand sanitising and face mask wearing going on here in the UK anymore

Lego, Uni and …Sean

In the last few weeks I came across a few interesting items I want to share with you.


Lego’s mechanical pencil, the one that looks uncomfortable to hold, has been discontinued. Some shops still stock it, though. If you want one you better hurry. I was able to resist (so far).

Image © Lego


(you might have seen this one on the Bleistift Twitter feed)

Uni Mitsubishi’s Emott series will see the addition of 0.9 mm Emott pencils on 24 September 2021. Three different ‘colour groups’ (refresh, tropical and nostalgic) will be availble at launch. To me these mechanical pencils feel a bit like a modern day version of Faber-Castell’s Colormatics.

The Fineliner pens from the Emott series have been available in the West for some time now. I hope the mechanical pencils make it here, too.

Sean Malone

Cynic released a tribute song for Sean, our dear pencil friend who passed away far too soon.

You can find out more at Loudwire. Thanks to Stephen for letting me know about this.

The images of the Lego mechanical pencil has been taken from the Lego web site. I believe that the use of these images falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

The erasables are back

Lidl UK has a few nice Staedtler offers in store again.

You can get a pack of Indonesian Minervas or German eraser-tipped Noris colour pencils, now called ‘Noris erasable’ (great for writing / marking text etc) plus many other items (including jumbos) for £1.99 or 2 for £3.