Faber-Castell Since 1761 (3)


520 pages, 600+ illustrations, and published by Collection Rolf Heyne in Germany.


A4 hardcover with green cloth boards, the publisher’s name is embossed near the bottom:


Among the many (exquisitely printed) plates are pages from a 19th-century A.W. Faber catalog, which Faber-Castell has scanned and posted online. Seeing these in print—even reduced in size—convinces me how great a printed facsimile edition would be (is it too soon to ask for another book?). Even something A5 in size, similar to the Graf von Faber-Castell catalogs, would have a wide appeal and could be a premium with a very long shelf life:


A small selection of products offered by Johann Faber:


Some of the many iterations of the Castell 9000:


Imagine this as a pop-up book:


This English edition, like the German edition, is organized chronologically and provides a timeline for the Faber and Castell families, alongside contemporaneous events in world history:


There are chapters devoted to each of the eight generations of Fabers and Faber-Castells:


There are a few pages about the Eberhard Faber Company in America, including a Blackwing cameo:


Faber-Castell Since 1761 is less a compendium of pencils, pens, and slide rules as it is the “history of a pencil dynasty.” In other words, a great deal of attention is devoted to people and places along with the products—including lengthy branches of the family tree. In my estimation though, tracing through those branches helps to better understand the roots—of the company, and how they supported over 250 years of growth.


Special thanks to Faber-Castell for sending a copy ‘Faber-Castell Since 1761’. 

This entry was posted in Pencils. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Faber-Castell Since 1761 (3)

  1. Pingback: „Faber-Castell since 1761″ (2) – Lexikaliker

  2. Gunther says:

    Wow – your photos are wonderful!

    By the way: It's funny that the publisher has answered no to my question if there is an English version of the book. Could it be possible that is was printed for Faber-Castell exclusively?


    • Sean says:

      Thanks, Gunther. I just noticed that I photographed a few of the same pages as you did!

      This book must have been tremendously expensive to design and print, much less in two languages (I ordered a German version through Amazon in the U.S. but it turns out to be a distributor based in the U.K., so it will be a while). I’m not sure what the answer is re: the English version, but I can think of a few possible explanations.


      • Gunther says:

        The perspective of your photos is great, also the background. I like that old wood!

        Yes, it must have been a very expensive venture, and I assume that there has been a csonsiderable allowance from Faber-Castell to offer it for this price (it's 58 Euro in Germany which is very reasonable in view of the book's design and finish).


        • Sean says:

          Thank you — I like the wood too, and it will feature prominently in the next few posts, as it has in the previous few. 🙂 Hard to get the color right on the book cover.

          I’m curious too about the print run. I would imagine a project like this one, which is essentially a reference book, would usually get one large push and a single print run — if only because of the immense size and scale of the project. For example, look what happens with a book like this one: very small audience (music theorists), high cost for translation and for specialized music-analytical typesetting.

          But who knows, perhaps a year from now a thinner volume in paperback could be released; I guess it all comes down to the company’s intentions for the book in the first place. Either way I would bet that the company would like to have copies available to them for many decades to come, so I’ve got to think there was a pretty large print run.

          You’ve got me really curious now. Perhaps if someone from Faber-Castell were willing to share even an approximate number of books printed they might do it here? Otherwise, it may be something a bit past courtesy to ask (though, I’d even accept “a whole bunch” as an answer). 🙂


  3. Stephen says:

    Wow, remarkable. And a secret translated edition as well. I really like the page featuring the Castell 9000.


    • Sean says:

      I think if you look on page 28 of the anniversary magazine, the 9000s are the contents of that display.

      I wonder if there mightn’t be a really tricked out edition, presented to the family — something along the lines of this wood and gilt volume in the castle museum:


  4. Sandra says:

    Hello everybody, indeed, the English version is for friends and customers only, and not for public sales unless we find a distributor who is interested in selling it. I am glad you like it. The first print run of the English version is small and there are not many books left. There will be a Limited Edition of the book, coming in a linen box with magnetic closure, including a Perfect Pencil (Castell 9000).


  5. Sean says:

    Thanks, Sandra!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.