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Blackwing Eras 2023, Set of 12 Pencils
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About This Product
Blackwing Eras 2023 Pencils, Set of 12
This special edition is an homage to another discontinued Eberhard Faber product, the Van Dyke 601. The Van Dyke 601 used a very similar square ferrule to Faber's Blackwing series, but with a more classic yellow-and-silver finish.Blackwing Eras 2023 updates the Van Dyke formula with modern graphite and fresh design choices.
Gift box of 12 pencils, made in Japan with California cedar. Yellow lacquer; pink replaceable erasers. Firm graphite (same as the classic Blackwing 602.)
What makes Blackwing pencils so special?
Blackwing pencils are one of the most celebrated products in our industry, with a complex story spanning nearly a century: from their introduction in the 1930s, through the 1990s and 2000s when they were not manufactured, to a modern re-introduction in 2010. Originally manufactured by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Blackwing developed a reputation as the smoothest, darkest pencils on the market. Their square, replaceable, repositionable erasers became a sought-after feature.
Then, Blackwing was discontinued. In the 1990s, during the beginning of the really bad years for office-supply companies, a series of mergers and acquisitions killed this beloved pencil. But, oddly, demand never dried up. Secondhand prices gradually rose until artists had to pay as much as $40 per pencil from the old, leftover Eberhard Faber stock. Professional animators were particularly attached to Blackwing, and many saw it as an indispensable tool.
The savior of Blackwing was another American company, this time on the opposite coast: CalCedar, the world's leading supplier of pencil wood. High-quality pencils around the world are made almost exclusively of incense cedar from forests in California and Oregon. CalCedar was already in the business of making pencil slats (uncut sheets of pencil bodies) for other manufacturers, and they were encouraged by the success of their Palomino pencil brand. So, they purchased the rights to the name and Blackwing design and set about making a worthy successor.
We have never used an original Eberhard Faber Blackwing, but we have used virtually every other pencil sold today. From that experience, we can definitely say that today's Blackwing is in the top class of pencils worldwide. Made in Japan, home of the finest pencils in the world, with a proprietary graphite formula and an American incense cedar body, Blackwing pencils are luxurious and reliable. Artists and writers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief; they've been back since 2010, and they're back for the long haul.