A Mongol Cabinet, and a Sailboat


This is a 1909 advertisement for a Mongol display cabinet from Eberhard Faber. Looking at the image of a sailboat in the center, it made me think of the box for an early version of the Blackwing.

Cabinets2 DSCF0957

The design of this Blackwing box has always seemed out of place to me because it doesn’t comport with the vast majority of Eberhard Faber packaging designs from the 1930s and ’40s. In general very little imagery was used, and when it was, it usually was an aspect of the pencil itself (there are a few exceptions). And though the idea of sailing might represent something that is “smooth”, the advertising for the most part was much more direct than metaphorical. Put another way, the advertising department likely didn’t want to worry whether the consumer “got it” or not.

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