Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Koh-I-Noor Mephisto Writing 465

I got a half gross of these on eBay for 99¢. hard to pass up a vintage deal like that. To my surprise the erasers are still quite soft and pliable.

All of the original packaging is in place and it includes a rather unique "pencil shaker" feature where you lift a small flap on the inner and outer boxes and get a sharpened pencil.

Instead of the typical box with two rows of six these boxes have three rows of four.

I like this box setup because it seems to me that the pencils are better protected from warping. I am not positive what year these were made but I am guessing circa 1970-80s simply due to the packaging style and the fact that this Czechoslovakian company no longer manufactures pencils in the USA.

The pencils are made of incense cedar and have a very strong (almost sexy) aromatic quality to them. For their age the cedar oils have definitely stuck around.

I really like the Kolor-Koded red tops on these. They stand out as being very different looking than the typical yellow #2. I have not been able to find any other hardness levels of this pencil to compare the top colors to but the idea of being able to readily assess the hardness without reading the pencil is pretty cool.

It is hard to see in the pictures but the presharpening follows the hexagon shaping of the pencil. You can see that in comparison to the Turquoise 4B (my favorite comparison pencil) this writing pencil is very dark. The led lasts very long keeping a sharp point longer than I expected.

I am so glad I stumbled upon these little gems and I am quite surprised there isn't a bunch of pencil lore for them the way the Blackwing and others have. I mentioned that the erasers on these are still soft and pliable. On a vintage pencil I normally would not plan to put the erasers through a test but these are fully capable of holding their own.

The paint is not as smooth as I like but it is somewhat glossy. Overall this little writing pencil is a treasure that unfortunately has been lost to the Made in USA fans.


  1. Very cool! I just googled "Mephisto Writing pencil #2" and your site popped up. My Mephisto is a blue/black and No2A. I found it on my classroom floor! Love it but it's almost gone...

  2. I was just thinking about ways I might make my wife happy by reducing the amount of pencils I have laying around. Send me a private message Dalallen and I will mail you a few of these beauties.