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Sampson Mordan, gilt mounted red glass combination scent bottle, London 1880

Stock Code: 93786-201811091025


Sampson Mordan

Gilt mounted red glass combination scent bottle

London 1880

Measures 12cm in length

Sampson Mordan (1790 – 1843) was a British silversmith and a co-inventor of the first patented mechanical pencil. During his youth, he was an apprentice of the inventor and locksmith Joseph Bramah, who patented the first elastic ink reservoir for a fountain pen.

In 1822, Mordan and his co-inventor John Isaac Hawkins filed the first patent in Great Britain for a metal pencil with an internal mechanism for propelling the graphite "lead" shaft forward during use, as an improvement on the less complex leadholders that merely clutched the pencil lead to hold it into a single position.

Mordan bought out Hawkins and entered into a business partnership with Gabriel Riddle, an established stationer. From 1823 to 1837, they manufactured and sold silver mechanical pencils with the marking "SMGR".  After the partnership with Riddle dissolved, Mordan continued to sell his silver pencils as "S. Mordan & Co.", adding many other types of silver and gold items to his product line.  Mordan often made his object d'art in whimsical "figural" shapes that resembled animals, or other subjects and like his other silverware and goldware, these items are now highly collectible.

Upon Mordan's death in 1843, his sons Sampson (junior) and Augustus inherited the firm. "S. Mordan & Co." continued to make silverware and goldware until 1941, when their factory was destroyed by bombs during the London Blitz.

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