Christmas in Mongolia


With Christmas only seven months away it seems entirely appropriate to post about this Eberhard Faber Mongol. If you look closely, you will see it is an XMAS Mongol:


What kind of lead does an XMAS Mongol have? Some see it as being half green. Others tend to see it as half red:


Will Mongols never cease?

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12 Responses to Christmas in Mongolia

  1. memm says:

    What an unusual pencil. Do you think they called it that because of the Christmas tree colours or did people use it to write Christmas cards?


    • Sean says:

      That’s a good question. I would think that kids were more the target, but yet it’s housed in the standard Mongol casing. Probably just some kind of novelty item.


  2. Wait —this is real?


  3. Sean says:

    For the XMAS Mongol Humbugs:

    I even sacrificed the factory sharpening for this photo.


    • Sola says:

      Really. It doesn’t look as if it can produce green and red separately, I guess it wasn’t for coloring but to write festive Christmas messages?


  4. Gunther says:

    What an unusual and beautiful pencil! Do you know how old it is?


    • Sean says:

      Based on the typography, it could be from the late ’40s to the early ’50s. There were so many Mongol products (which is why I joked “Will Mongols never cease?”) that I’m not sure how long this product was available.


  5. Sean says:

    (With apologies to the Warren Commission…)

    The conspiracy-minded wonder how a pencil could write in two colors, as if the switch occurred in mid-air, yet the line resumes in a perfect and fluid manner. The “magic fluid theory”, as it has come to be known, is but one at the center of the XMAS Mongol.

    Conspiracy buffs also contend that it is impossible for a bi-colored lead to emerge in such good shape having gone through so many sharpener blades. This “pristine lead” theory is bolstered by another: that two photos were combined to make the one image. Usually I’ll stack some reading material on the table for a make-shift mount; this cool book repository gives me every angle I need to shoot the pencil. It’s true though that I sometimes use a small metal vessel as a perch for the camera, but despite the fact that I own only one camera some conspiracy buffs have extrapolated that there must have been a second shooter up there on the brassy bowl.

    Photographic experts have suggested that the shadow isn’t correct in the updated photo I posted. Why, if it was noon, is the shadow back and to the left? I’ll repeat that: Back, and to the left?

    Back, and to the left?

    Further, some have wondered why the head of the pencil looks one way at the beginning of the shoot, and another way after the shooting. The simple answer is that it was sharpened with a $15 hand-cranked sharpener. Many “experts” have now testified that no human being could get off 6 rotations of the sharpener in that short a time. In an effort to replicate the results, the world’s best sharpeners have been tested and no one could duplicate the results.

    We may never know the truth though, because with a bi-colored lead you can’t predict what’s going to come out, so when it was all said and done I had to use a vintage Eberhard Faber eraser to remove what I had done. Being old and crusty, sometimes they won’t do jack—but Ruby rubbed it out.


  6. Sean says:

    Gunther: I’d be ready to believe just about anything concerning the Mongol; from Mongol pocket pencils to the XMAS pencil, and everything they could think of in between!


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