Tony Castello


Anton-Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell

What a sad occasion to write a blog post. As you have probably already heard: , our favourite count1 died today.

His influence on the pencil world has been immense: In 1978 he started running Faber-Castell and among other things he introduced the Perfect Pencil and the Graf von Faber-Castell product line.

A signed book from the count. I got it from Sean.

A signed book from the count. I got it from Sean.

Goodbye. I will miss you.

 


If you understand German and would like to know more about him and Faber-Castell: there is a 45 minute documentary from German broadcaster ARD online.

…and there’s of course also Sean’s amazing adventure in Stein.

  1. Usual disclaimer as mentioned previously: He is not really a count. According to Part 2, Section 1, Article 109(2) of the Weimar Constitution privileges based on birth or social status and titles of nobility were abolished in the Weimar Republic in 1919. Graf (Count) is just part of his surname. In reality no one seems to care about this rule though. []

Pencil Paraphernalia and a Pretty Pencil Pin Pendant 3

Today: pencil paraphernalia and a pretty pencil pin pendant.

My wife bought them for me last year in the Cumberland Pencil Museum shop.

Derwent Zincwhite

Pencil keyring and fridge magnet

Derwent Zincwhite surface

A closer look at the surface


If you have seen this year’s first Faber-Castell newsletter1 these two items might remind you of the fountain pen our favourite count2 received for his 70th birthday: the pen’s barrel looks rather similar3. Just like the Derwent pencils these two items are made in the North of England. The company behind the fridge magnet and the keyring is Zincwhite from Huddersfield4.

Nice!

 

  1. If you haven’t seen it yet: You’ll also find an article about our pencil community’s own Sean, who is the man behind Contrapuntalism and The Blackwing Pages, in the newsletter. []
  2. Usual disclaimer as mentioned previously: He is not really a count. According to Part 2, Section 1, Article 109(2) of the Weimar Constitution privileges based on birth or social status and titles of nobility were abolished in the Weimar Republic in 1919. Graf (Count) is just part of his surname. In reality no one seems to care about this rule though. I assume this rule hasn’t been broken in the latest book about Faber-Castell, when his wife is referred to as Gräfin (Countess), because adapting the “surname” to the gender of a person seems to be permissible. As you can see, the whole issue is rather complicated. []
  3. …but is probably made from Castell 9000 pencils []
  4. I certainly won’t be able to mention Huddersfield without mentioning that Professor Sir Patrick Stewart is Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield. []

Carl Barks and Faber-Castell

Faber-Castell Higgins Ink, used by Carl Barks (Image © Helnwein)

You might remember my blog post about Carl Barks. I just made an exciting discovery linked to Carl Barks that I’ve got to share with you….

If you follow Sean’s Contrapuntalism blog you already know about his visit to Faber-Castell’s headquarters. He was kind enough to get me one of these magazine, as they can’t be bought in shops. After travelling from Germany to the USA ‘my’ magazine made a trip back to Europe. This time to Great Britain.

In the ‘Tool for the Creatives‘ section the anniversary magazine is giving examples of artists who are using Faber-Castell products. One exciting discovery I made is that Carl Barks was using Faber-Castell products.

As far as I can tell this photo has been taken by Gottfried Helnwein. You can read about his talks with Carl Barks on one of his web sites.

 


The image of the Faber-Castell Higgins Ink has been taken from Faber-Castell’s 250th anniversary magazine. The magazine indicates that the copyright for this photo is with Helnwein. I believe that the use of this image in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Faber-Castell Videos 4

In their anniversary year Faber-Castell have been featured in a regional, Franconian television programme. The good news: you can watch these videos outside Germany. The bad news: the videos are in German and there are no English subtitles.

The GvFC Perfect Pencil I always carry in the pocket of my jacket.

 

This short video shows the factory and includes a few scenes showing how Faber-Castell tests the pencils for poisonous and unwanted components to make sure they are absolutely safe. If you like Lexikaliker’s museum posts you will be delighted to see some old catalogues and products in the video, too …and even our favourite count, Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell makes an appearance1.

Another video, similar to Lexikaliker’s old Staedtler video, gives a glimpse of pencil manufacturing 100 years ago. There is also a radio report about pencil manufacturing. The radio report mentions how Lothar Faber became a member of the aristocracy and why the name changed from Faber to Faber-Castell.

  1. I wonder whether his family got invited to the royal wedding. His niece is married to a relative of Prince Philip. []