The idea of enclosing a thin graphite lead in a wooden casing is several hundred years old; it was not new when my ancestor [Kaspar Faber] founded a pencil factory in 1761. But my great-great-grandfather Baron Lothar von Faber, who took over the family firm in 1839, was the first to turn the pencil into a genuine quality product — and the world’s first brand-name writing implement. He laid down standards for the length, diameter, and hardness of pencils; standards which apply to this day. He also created a series of fascinating products which continue to set an example of simplicity and design.
My grandfather, Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen carried on this tradition. The Faber-Castell company, which takes its name from my grandfather’s marriage to Lothar von Faber’s granddaughter Ottilie, is not only the oldest manufacturer of wood-cased pencils, but also the world’s best-known name in graphite and colour pencils. And they still look very much as they did 150 years ago.
Inspired by selected writing instruments produced by my ancestors, I saw it as a personal challenge to rediscover these past products and use modern technology to transfer their timeless design to the present day. In 1993, my ideas took shape as the Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Collection. Various types of unusual wood combined with precious metals, and also painstaking craftsmanship, are what make the collection so unusual. The whole Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Collection embodies an awareness of quality represented by a harmonious combination of selected materials, excellent functionalism, and appealing aesthetics.
So writes Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell, direct descendent of cabinet maker, Kaspar Faber, who founded the 18th century pencil factory that would ultimately become the oldest continuously operating, and still extant, manufacturer of chirographic instruments in the world. In 1978, after the death of Roland Count von Faber-Castell (1905-1978), Anton Wolfgang, his son and the 8th generation, took over as sole Managing Director.