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September 2022: The 30th release in Blackwing’s Volumes series, the Blackwing 7 is a tribute to animation and the incredible stories it lets us tell.

DEC 2015 The 3rd release in Blackwing’s Volumes series, the Blackwing 1138, features a silver imprint and black eraser, the soft graphite found in the Palomino Blackwing and the first silver ferrule on a Blackwing pencil.

 

June 2022: The 29th release in Blackwing’s Volumes series, the Blackwing 55 celebrates the Golden Ratio.  It’s a reminder to slow down and savor the beauty around us.  These pencils sport a balanced lead.

December 2017: The 11th release in Blackwing’s Volumes series, the Blackwing 16.2 is a tribute to mathematician, writer and visionary Ada Lovelace. The pencil features a matte white finish, matte black ferrule, and firm graphite.

JUL 2016 The 5th in the “Volumes” series of limited edition Blackwing pencils, the Blackwing 56 pays tribute to the Yankee Clipper during the 75th anniversary of Joe DiMaggio’s infamous streak. The pencil features a firm graphite core…ideal for scoring a ballgame.

March. 2022: The 28th release in Blackwing’s Volumes series, the Blackwing 200 is a tribute to coffeehouses like Caffe Lena and the creative culture they help cultivate. This pencil features a metallic copper design inspired by classic copper coffee roasting machines found in many coffeehouses during the 1950s and 60s. It features a firm graphite core that, along with a good cup of coffee, is the perfect tool in your hand when drawing inspiration at your local coffee shop.

In 2015 the California-based Blackwing company, then known as Palomino, introduced a new line of pencils which immediately caught the attention of writers, illustrators, and pencil collectors alike. Featuring the iconic adjustable tip eraser made famous by Eberhard Faber a generation ago, the modern era Blackwing Volumes pay tribute to “the people, places and events that have defined our creative culture.” Every three months a new Volume is released. However, because they are produced in limited quantities and have grown steadily in popularity, some of the early models are downright impossible to find today.

I’ve ranked each Blackwing Volumes limited edition pencil on a scale of 1 to 10, based on how rare and therefore desirable I believe it to be (1 = most rare). Prices shown here are for a single pencil and will often, but not always, correspond with rarity. Pencils are listed by release date, newest first.

Updated October, 2022. This list is refreshed on a regular basis, so check back often to see what’s changed. — Bobby

PencilRelease
Date
BNP
Price
Rarity
Rank
Blackwing Volumes 7  Animation

Sept. 2022$4.0010
Blackwing Volumes 55  Golden Ratio

June 2022$4.0010
Blackwing Volumes 200  Coffeehouses

Mar. 2022$4.2510

Blackwing Volumes 93  Corita Kent


Dec. 2021$4.5010

Blackwing Volumes 651  Bruce Lee


Sept. 2021$4.0010

Blackwing Volumes 64  Comic books


June 2021$4.2510

Blackwing Volumes 223  Woody Guthrie


Mar. 2021$4.2510

Blackwing Volumes 6  Small businesses


Dec. 2020$4.509

Blackwing Volumes XIX  Voting rights


Aug. 2020$4.509

Blackwing Volumes 3  Ravi Shankar


June 2020$4.509

Blackwing Volumes 840  Duke Kahanamoku


Mar. 2020$4.758

Blackwing Volumes 155  Bauhaus School


Nov. 2019$8.506

Blackwing Volumes 42  Jackie Robinson


Aug. 2019$4.758

Blackwing Volumes 10  Nellie Bly


June 2019$4.757

Blackwing Volumes 811  Libraries


Mar. 2019$10.505

Blackwing Volumes 4  Mars


Dec. 2018$7.506

Blackwing Volumes 33 1/3  Vinyl records


Sept. 2018$8.506

Blackwing Volumes 10001  Miyamoto Sensei


June 2018$6.756

Blackwing Volumes 54  Surrealism


Mar. 20185

Blackwing Volumes 16.2  Ada Lovelace


Dec. 2018$7.756

Blackwing Volumes 1  Guy Clark


Sept. 2017$8.256

Blackwing Volumes 73  Lake Tahoe


June 2017$12.255

Blackwing Volumes 205  Silk Road


Mar. 2017$14.005

Blackwing Volumes 530  California Gold Rush


Dec. 20165

Blackwing Volumes 344  Dorothea Lange


Sept. 2016$19.004

Blackwing Volumes 56  Joe DiMaggio


July 2016$15.005

Blackwing Volumes 24  John Steinbeck


Mar. 2016$21.004

Blackwing Volumes 1138  Science fiction


Dec. 20153

Blackwing Volumes 211  John Muir


Sept. 20151

Blackwing Volumes 725  Newport Folk Festival


June 20152
PencilRelease
Date
BNP
Price
Rarity
Rank

Dec. 2021: The 27th release in Blackwing’s Volumes series, the Blackwing 93 is a tribute to Corita Kent and her message to slow down and find the gratitude in the everyday.  Each pencil features one of the six colorful brushstrokes that make up Corita’s iconic “rainbow swash.”  Commissioned in 1971, the rainbow swash painting adorns a 140-foot-tall natural gas storage tank along Interstate 93 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The pencils contain soft graphite and feature six different color designs.

Choose your favorite color, or save 10% when you buy the full set of six.

The perfect gift! Now is the time to stock up and save on rare and collectible Blackwing Volumes edition pencils that are no longer in production. Long gone, in fact! Five different value packs are available for sale here at BNP.

Soft graphite Blackwing pencils

The Blackwing Volumes SOFT value pack includes five pencils: Volumes 73 (Lake Tahoe, June 2017), Volumes 4 (Mars, December 2018), Volumes 155 (Bauhaus School, November 2019), and Volumes 6 (neon open signs, December 2020).

Balanced graphite Blackwing pencils

The Blackwing Volumes BALANCED value pack includes four pencils: Volumes 1 (Guy Clark, September 2017), Volumes 33 1/3 (vinyl records, September 2018), Volumes 42 (Jackie Robinson, August 2019), and Volumes 840 (Duke Kahanamoku, March 2020).

Firm graphite Blackwing pencils

The Blackwing Volumes FIRM value pack includes four pencils: Volumes 56 (Joe DiMaggio, July 2016), Volumes 205 (jadeite, March 2017), and Volumes 16.2 (Ada Lovelace, December 2017).

Extra firm graphite Blackwing pencils

The Blackwing Volumes EXTRA FIRM value pack includes four pencils: Volumes 24 (John Steinbeck, March 2016), Volumes 530 (Sutter’s Mill gold discovery, December 2016), Volumes 10 (journalist Nellie Bly, June 2019), and Volumes 3 (Ravi Shankar, June 2020).

Four graphite varieties of Blackwing pencils

And finally, here’s a pack of four different graphite hardness levels: Volumes 24 with extra firm graphite (John Steinbeck, March 2016), Volumes 344 with firm graphite (Dorothea Lange, September 2016), Volumes 1 with balanced graphite (Guy Clark, September 2017), and Volumes 73 with soft graphite (Lake Tahoe, June 2017).

Here we have four Blackwing Volumes pencils with ONE OF EACH graphite. Buy the set and save some $!

Volumes 24 with EXTRA FIRM graphite (March 2016): The 4th release in Blackwing’s Volumes series, the Blackwing 24 pays tribute to Pulitzer Prize winning author John Steinbeck and was designed under the guidance of his son, accomplished author Thomas Steinbeck.

Volumes 344 with FIRM graphite (September 2016): The 6th in the “Volumes” series of limited edition Blackwing pencils, the Blackwing Volumes 344 celebrates the 80th anniversary of this historic photo and the artistic legacy Dorothea Lange left behind.

Volumes 1 with BALANCED graphite (September 2017): The 10th in the “Volumes” series of limited edition Blackwing pencils, the Blackwing Volumes 1 is a nod to Guy Clark and his perfectly imperfect style.

Volumes 73 with SOFT graphite (June 2017): The 9th in the “Volumes” series of limited edition Blackwing pencils, the Blackwing 73 celebrates Lake Tahoe and other landmarks that have had a comparable impact on arts and society.

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