pen tray

Pencil pot of the month – April 2023

The pencil pot of the month for this April is again made from concrete.

Like January’s pencil pot, it comes from Spanish company DOIY Design. I ordered it at the same time as January’s pencil pot. Due to lack of space, it is, for now, not on my desk – unlike January’s pencil pot which is now a permanent fixture between keyboard and the computer.

Like the other Scala pencil pot, it features ‘steps’, but is wide enough to work as a pen tray.

You can store items, like erasers, paper clips, etc under the tray. If you wanted to, you could also use the two parts of the pen tray separately, i.e. use the lid as a tray and leave the lower part permanently open.

No 10

A few days ago the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, reshuffled his cabinet. This kind of event is one of those rather rare occasions when you can see the government’s nice pen trays in the news.

I first noticed these pen trays when I watched the original House of Cards TV series from 1990. This led me to looking into this and I found out that the real life pen trays are very similar.

Have a look at Tony Blair’s cabinet table in 2001.

Blair's cabinet table in 2001. Picture © Getty
Blair’s cabinet table in 2001. Picture © Getty

The highest resolution photo of the cabinet table I could find was from the Jewish Chronicle. Below is a magnification of the pen trays. The pencils look similar to the Shaws pencils used for voting in the UK. By the way, the Lamy Al-Star (or is it a Safari?) is not Theresa May’s but Hilda Worth’s.

The pen trays under Theresa May. Picture © The Jewish Chronicle

If you want to see more of these pen trays, here they are…
under Boris Johnson
under David Cameron
under Tony Blair

The images in this blog post have been taken from the sources acknowledged under the images. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

Graf von Faber-Castell

I would just like to say thank you to Sean from Pencils and Music. He told me about several auctions where old Graf von Faber-Castell items were offered that are no longer available …and as you can see I managed to be the winning bidder for some of these items.

In case you wonder about the Castell-Bank paper block and paper clip holder: They are promotional gifts from the “Fürstlich Castell‘sche Bank”, a bank that belong to the Castell-Castell and Castell-Rüdenhausen branches of the Castell family. I had the paper block and the paper clip holder since the 1980s or the 1990s, so I doubt they are still available.

The Faber family, manufacturers of pencils, and the Castell family, one of Europe’s old noble families with roots going back to the 11th century, crossed paths in 1898. You can find more information about the Castell family in the Faber-Castell Topics newsletter 1/2008 and on the history pages of the Faber-Castell web site.