Old, Peerless Whittler, Mechanical Pencil Sharpener

This antique pencil sharpener, from the Burke Mfg. Co. of Syracuse, New York, is called the Peerless Whittler. Much more complicated than whittling with a knife, this mechanism has three rotating cutters. A pencil is inserted vertically into the hole in the top. When the crank is turned the pencil rotates as does the housing that has the three round cutting blades. As the blade housing pivots, each blade passes by a steel lever that catches on the gear that is in front of the blade, which in turn cases the blade to rotate. The action of the blades revolving slightly with each revolution of the crank exposes a new cutting surface to help keep the blades sharper longer. The lower body that houses the shavings drawer and the fence are made of steel with a black japanned finish with a simple, single line pin stripe detail. On the front is a brass plaque with the name and company information. The sharpener is screwed to a piece of painted wood.

It stands about 6 3/8” high and the metal base measures about 2 7/8” by 4”. The wood base measures about 4 7/8” by 6”. Overall the condition is very nice. The paint has good gloss and minor wear except for the paint on the drawer. The paint on the drawer, both the front and back panels and the inside, has considerable paint loss. This is probably due to poor preparation of the metal prior to painting when it was manufactured. The edge of the cast housing around the crank has a small piece missing which I have indicated in the photos (between the two red arrows). This too may have been a manufacturing flaw. The only other damage I have noticed is in the center of the housing around the three cutters where it is cracked and shown in the photo close-up. It does not inhibit the uses, it sharpens wood pencils quite well as the example shows. The paint is worn on the wood base.

The pictures are not shown at actual size. Please refer to the description for actual measurements.

Don't forget to check out the other collectible, old desk accessories in our shop including advertising paperweights!

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Item ID: 19192

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$825 USD

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Ogee's Antiques

Debra & Robert Helton, Eagle, ID   

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