Sampson Mordan (1770-1843) established his business in 1815. Sampson Mordan is renowned for his development of the mechanical pencil, patented in 1822. He entered his first mark with the London Assay Office in 1823, consisting of an 'SM' in a rectangular surround. Between 1824 and 1836, Mordan entered a partnership with Gabriel Riddle, registeing a new mark of 'SM.GR.' Following the dissolution of this partnership, Mordan continued the business as S. Mordan & Co until his death in 1843. Throughout the 19th century, Sampson Mordan gained more than 160 patents for mechanical pencils, which sold exceptionally well. As well as the pencil side of the business, Sampson Mordan specialised in small silver and gold items, such as vesta cases, menu holders, claret jugs, vinaigrettes, scent bottles etc. Pieces to sell exceptionally well at auction include beautifully enamelled vesta cases, silver owls with glass bead eyes, silver topped scent bottles and countless other novel designs with a timeless appeal to collectors. These pieces were supplied to retailers such as Asprey, and Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co.
After Sampson's death, the business was taken over by his sons Sampson (Jr) and Augustus who ran the company for the remainder of the 19th century. In 1898 the company was renamed S. Mordan & Co Ltd, with the rights to the propelling pencil business given to L.G Sloan Ltd and the liquidation of the company in 1952.
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