Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(812 words)

A graphite pencil for writing and drawing consists of a lead core inserted or glued into a wooden holder. During the Renaissance, artists were already using an elongated writing instrument alongside chalk, ruddle, and charcoal: a pointed wire made of an alloy of lead and tin, curved at the top – a precursor of the pencil. In 1540 the Italian calligrapher Giovambattista Palatino provided an illustration of “all the tools a good scribe uses” – including dividers and metal pens, but no pencils [3. 49]. In 1562, in his Sarepta oder Bergpostill, a collection of 16 sermons preached …

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Reith, Reinhold, “Pencil”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 11 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017700>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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