Pencil cases


Eberhard Faber Lederetui 20

I think I should start this blog entry with a warning. If you expect this to be a pencil case review you might be slightly disappointed …there is a bit, but not too much, to be written about this pencil case, so to make this blog entry more substantial I will also talk a little bit about the Eberhard Faber brand and include a little bit of information about the pencils they offer in Europe. OK, let’s start:

When I was in Germany in April 2010 I bought this Eberhard Faber pencil case at the Müller store in Volkach, Lower Franconia. Müller is a drug store chain with shops in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and other countries. The Müller shops I have seen so far had a nice selection of stationery.

Keeping the size of the shop in Volkach in mind they had a rather big stationery section. All the common products and brand were stocked …those that you would find in most shops in Germany, i.e. mainly Staedtler, Faber-Castell and for mechanical pencils the common Japanese brands as well.

You will also find some Lyra pencils, but don’t get your hopes up if you are looking for niche products. You will certainly find sharpeners, but if you are want a specific model not from Staedtler or Faber-Castell, but from Dux, M+S  or Eisen you will be disappointed …but to be fair: not many stationery shops stock these brands anyway.

One of the reasons why I bought this pencil case was to get it while it is still available. Eberhard Faber was an American brand, but was sold to Faber-Castell. Since the 1990s Sanford owns it and as far as I know Eberhard Faber products disappeared more or less completely in the USA. If this is not the case and Eberhard Faber articles are still available in the USA I would be grateful if you could let me know. Not uncommon in such a case: another company held the trademark for another geographic area, in this case Staedtler continued to use the Eberhard Faber name in Europe1. Recently Staedtler sold the Eberhard Faber trademark, which now belongs to Faber-Castell. My understanding is that current Eberhard Faber products will not completely disappear, but will instead be sold under the Staedtler name in the future.

Eberhard was the brother of Lothar von Faber, the great-great grandfather of Count Anton Wolfgang, the current CEO of Faber-Castell. Originally Eberhard managed the subsidiary in New York and later  he established his own company under his own name (see page 8 of the 2 / 2007 issue of Faber-Castell topics).

If you want to know more about the Eberhard Faber brand: page 5 of the 1/2010 issue of Faber-Castell topics has a great article about the history of the Eberhard Faber brand.

Back to the pencil case. The pencil case was €14.99 ($19.90, £ 12.45) and is filled with 17 pencils (all of them triangular shaped), an eraser, a ruler, a sharpener, 6 ink cartridges and a timetable. The material of the pencil case is real leather, but unfortunately the leather is rather thin. Four of the pencils are the Tricki Dicki highlighter pencils in neon colours: yellow, orange, green and red. The pencil case was available in three different colours: tan, black and maroon, the one I bought. Just for your information: In Germany maroon is usually referred to as “Bordeaux red”.

Eberhard Faber Tricki Dicki highlighter pencils

Although possibly not the best choice of name for English speaking countries, these pencils work very well, but like all highlighter pencils they cover written or printed letters to some extent. They look very similar to the Staedtler textsurfer dry, so I assume the Tricki Dicki and the textsurfer dry might actually be the same pencil. The circles, stars and triangles printed on the Tricki Dicki pencils can also be found on Staedtler’s new learner’s pencil. I could not find a direct equivalent to the other colour pencils from the pencil case in Staedtler’s product range. The most similar pencil seems to be the Staedtler ergosoft, but unlike the ergosoft, the Eberhard Faber 1410 colour pencils do not have ABS coating.

Eberhard Faber colour pencils 1410

The sharpener that comes with the pencil case is the Möbius+Ruppert double hole magnesium sharpener 0211. The white eraser that you get does not have anything printed on it.

Möbius+Ruppert double hole magnesium sharpener 0211

The Eberhard Faber Lederetui is a tri-fold pencil case with the fold-out part containing a timetable on one side and the ruler, the ink cartridges and three 1210 pencils on the other side.

I am not sure whether there is an equivalent pencil that is being sold under the Staedtler name. If there is one it might be the triangular Noris Club.

The Eberhard Faber 1210 pencils are very nice indeed, rather dark and not scratchy. They do however look relatively boring and I have to admit that I am less of a fan of triangular pencils than most other people.

Eberhard Faber 1210 - Faber Castell 9000 - California Republic Palomino

Eberhard Faber 1210 pencil

Conclusion:

The Eberhard Faber Lederetui is great value for money. You get quite a few pencil and a nice sharpener for your money. Compared to high-end pencil cases like the Sonnenleder Lasse it does however feel a bit flimsy and the leather, even though it is real leather, feels quite plasticy. This pencil case is being sold to school children, therefore the thin leather makes me wonder whether the pencil case will survive very long in the real world… Nevertheless I am sure it will last for a long time if you look after it.

Links:

Staedtler press release about selling the Eberhard Faber trademark to Faber-Castell

Price: April 2010

Exchange rates: August 2010

  1. This reminds me of Grundig, I mentioned them recently in another blog entry []

Sonnenleder pencil case Berit 17

Today you will get to know my pencil case. I only bought it recently, beginning of April this year, but it is my favourite pencil case so far. I bought it after having used another pen case from the same company for over a year (pictured in the background) and being extremely satisfied with it.

This case, called Berit, is one of many Sonnenleder pencil cases available and is made from cow leather. The leather is tanned using traditional, herbal methods and the cows came from the Allgäu region at the foot of the Alps (I used to go to the Allgäu region in winter). I bought the new pencil case in a small book shop after contacting the manufacturer, Sonnenleder, who gave me the address of this book shop. When I asked about shops that sell their products they also told me that they would ship to me free of shipping costs, because there are no shops near Preston, where I live. I was positively surprised about this because I live in the UK, but they are based in Germany. I assume they will send their products free of charge within Europe, maybe world-wide if there is no shop selling their products nearby, but I have not confirmed this.

The material used is really fantastic. Not only the leather, also the metal zip. The craftsmanship is excellent, too. Unfortunately the case is not exactly cheap. The Sonnenleder cases were actually quite cheap in the past. I bought my first one from Manufactum, but the £/€ exchange rate has changed a lot since then ..it dropped by about 30% and is only slowly recovering. If the exchange rate gets better again I am sure I will buy a third pen case 🙂