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Jubilee Pencil now on display in the Museum!

20/06/2012

Jubilee Pencil now on display in the Museum!

To commemorate Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Derwent, the fine art pencil manufacturers, crafted a very special Diamond Jubilee Pencil.

To commemorate Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Derwent, the fine art pencil manufacturers, crafted a very special Diamond Jubilee Pencil.
Only two of these dazzling pencils have been made and on Tuesday May 29th David Sharrock, General Manager of the Cumberland Pencil Company, makers of Derwent, visited Buckingham Palace to personally deliver The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pencil. The other pencil has gone on display at the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick for all to see.

Speaking about his visit David said ‘it was arranged with the kind assistance of Sir James Cropper, the Lord Lieutenant in Cumbria. I met the Chief Clerk, Christopher Sandamas, who accepted the pencil on The Queen’s behalf and promised to hand it to her the next day. I spent about half an hour at The Palace and the whole atmosphere was calm and unhurried despite there being a garden party for 8,000 guests in the grounds the same afternoon!’

The making of the Diamond Jubilee Pencils was a challenge for all involved. The body of the pencils were handmade by Clive Farrar, Derwent’s Production Services Manager, using archived Cumberland Graphite originally taken from the Seathwaite Mine in Borrowdale where graphite was first discovered in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. To make the pencils Clive had to revive traditional pencil making skills used by craftsmen prior to 1832 when the first pencil factory was opened in Keswick. ‘The biggest challenge’ said Clive ‘was to achieve an even thickness of graphite, just 2.6mm, from a single lump of material using a band saw!’ Once the time consuming job of fitting the graphite into the slats of incense cedar was complete Clive rigged up a small lathe to ‘turn’ the pencil barrels into perfect cylinders which were then sanded down by hand with very fine wire wool ready for painting with a black water-based paint.

The barrels were then embellished with elegant hand written calligraphy by master scribe Paul Antonio using the first new nib for dip pens designed and manufactured in 100 years. Speaking about the process Paul said ‘I used a script developed in England in the 17th century called English Roundhand; it is one of the most difficult hands to master and was made doubly difficult as the surface of the pencil was curved!’

Finally, the hand crafted pencils received their crowning glory, a sparkling white gold and diamond crown designed by jewellery designer Daniela Paladi and handmade by Mario Pietroluongo, a Master Goldsmith from Pforzheim, Germany’s gold city. The dazzling pencil crown is diamond shaped and holds 60 encrusted diamonds that sparkle in the light and are supported by white gold lilies to symbolise royalty.

Speaking about the pencil David Sharrock said ‘We were honoured when Her Majesty The Queen consented to officially open our new state of the art factory and head office in June 2008 and I was delighted to be able to present her with this magnificent hand crafted Diamond Jubilee Pencil to mark her 60 glorious years on the throne’.