Carbolic Smoke Ball Pen Holder


In stock

If you visit the 'About Us' page if this website, you'll see a small picture of an original 1893 Carbolic Smoke Ball. It was taken many years ago when this unique piece of legal history was sold by one collector to another at a handover ceremony in a London hotel, and a photo was taken as the deal was signed.

From the number of requests we get, it is clear that there is widespread fascination in the legal profession with the smoke ball. We get several enquiries a month from lawyers who wonder where they can obtain one. Since there seem to be no more originals in existence (contact us if you know otherwise!) we decided to have a reproduction made by a firm of craftsmen we know well - Original Book Works.

Original Book Works has a small workshop in Cirencester where they make high quality resin products, most famously their 'faux book' range. We showed them the picture of the genuine smoke ball, and asked them to produce something as close to it as possible. The result - pictured left - is unbelievably good. It is made of resin, not rubber, but otherwise it is completely faithful to the original.

The reproduction Smoke Ball is not just a conversation piece, though. We wanted it to sit on lawyers' desks, and we thought, while it's there, let's give it something to do. Fill it with acid and call it a cure for influenza, maybe? On second thoughts . . .

In the end we decided that it should double as that most simple and useful of devices - a pen holder. With complete confidence, we can say that if you buy one from us and it does not hold your pen (thickness ᄇ1cm) in place, we will refund your money and offer a reward of ᆪ100!

As a first batch, we have had 100 reproduction smoke balls made. Each measures 65mm width by 75mm high and weighs about 200g. The exterior is handpainted, and the underside of the base is felt covered. The smoke ball comes boxed.