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Hungarian Pens


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#1 pavoni

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 16:28

Dear FPNers,

Whilst I have completed my collection of Montblancs from 1934-1954, I am keen to develop another collection. I would very much like to know of any Hungarian brands worth collecting around the same period (1934-1954). The only brands known to me at the moment are, Tatra (a sub-brand of MB) and such brands as 'Duna' of which I know nothing. Any direction at all would be gratefully received. :embarrassed_smile:

Pavoni.

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#2 attika89

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 12:36

Hi Pavoni,

Honestly I haven't heard of Tatra before, but sounds interesting. I haven't found anything about it....
There are pens called 'Grácia' , they appear sometimes on the internet, but I just guess it should be Hungarian.
There was a penmaker (he made celluloid pens too)...he was called József Marosán. Haven't seen pens from him, just read about him.

I've read about a brand called Turcsány, but the only thing I know, that it existed.
Posted Image

Posted Image

This is what I could find so far, I hope it is useful.

#3 pavoni

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 15:53

Thanks Attila,

I suppose technically it would be inaccurate to say that Tatra was a sub-brand of Montblanc because the Simplo Filler Pen Co (as Montblanc was then called) used their subsidiary 'Excelsior' through which it entered new markets using pens without the 'Montblanc' or 'Rouge et Noir' brand names. Tatra was therefore a sub-brand of Excelsior, though it died out during or after the 1st World War.

Love the old photograph . Thank you also for the brands 'Garcia' and 'Turcsany', which I can add to my short list. The only one I can find information on so far is Tatra (expensive to buy when they show up).

Tatra
Orgea
Extra
Duna
Garcia
Turcsany

If anyone can shed light on any of the above brands, or add to this list of Hungarian fountain pens, I would be most grateful. :thumbup:

Pavoni.

#4 Khufu

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 22:55

Thanks Attila,

I suppose technically it would be inaccurate to say that Tatra was a sub-brand of Montblanc because the Simplo Filler Pen Co (as Montblanc was then called) used their subsidiary 'Excelsior' through which it entered new markets using pens without the 'Montblanc' or 'Rouge et Noir' brand names. Tatra was therefore a sub-brand of Excelsior, though it died out during or after the 1st World War.

Love the old photograph . Thank you also for the brands 'Garcia' and 'Turcsany', which I can add to my short list. The only one I can find information on so far is Tatra (expensive to buy when they show up).

Tatra
Orgea
Extra
Duna
Garcia
Turcsany

If anyone can shed light on any of the above brands, or add to this list of Hungarian fountain pens, I would be most grateful. :thumbup:

Pavoni.



Hello,

as far as i know Tatra FPs were made in Prague in prewar Czechoslovakia by F.J. Jedlička. It seems to be an independent company. Btw, word tatra originates in Czechoslovakia, too.
I hope to get more infos soon.
situation in Prague only, czechoslovak edition of MOOS register, from year 1934, Tatra is the last one mentioned, it is list of Prague FP producers and specialists:
Posted Image



regards

khufu

Edited by Khufu, 31 December 2012 - 13:05.


#5 pavoni

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 15:40

Hi Khufu,


Thank you for your input. Whilst it is clear that Tatra pens were made in Prague, I look forward to reading of any further findings you may have on the subject.

The Tatra pens, as made for the Hungarian market, that I refer to, are from 1912-1919. Given the period in question and the extremes of Austro-Hungarian influence on the wider region during this time, perhaps the pens were always manufactured outside of Hungary and imported in. My own crude methods of research have returned results worthy of my poor effort and as such, I have had to turn to my Hungarian wife's family in Budapest, in the hope they can gain access to the relevant archives.

In the meantime, I rely on my copy of Rosler's excellent book, in much the same way as the auction house below seem to have done in their 2006 advert:

Lot 218C

RARE SIMPLO [MONTBLANC] "TATRA" 6/7f, c1912-19
Sign In to see what this sold for
A SIMPLO "TATRA" 6/7f German for the Hungarian market, circa 1912-19
chased black hard rubber safety with "tatra" cap imprint and green cap dome, with Simplo Pen Co 7 New York nib, very good/excellent extremely rare.

***The Simplo Filler Pen Co decided to market their pens as brand products early in the company's history. However, many retailers wanted to carry their own exclusive brand rather than promote the Simplo, Rouge et Noir and Montblanc models and so Simplo pens often reached the customer disguised as a shop brand with a slightly different name or appearance during the firm's first decade or so of manufacture. Excelsior Fullhalterwerke was established in 1913 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Simplo to conceal from the public the direct link between Montblanc and these 'own' brands, enabling the supply of a large number of Simplo products under numerous different names, of which Diplomat, Reflex and Monte Rosa are best known today due to their longevity. There were a greater number of sub-brands before the first World War, of which the "Tatra" pen produced for the Hungarian market was one. Hungary, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and an affluent country at that time, would have been a market with customers for a pen like this with its expensive New York-made 7 nib. The survival rate, however, of these pens is very small, suffering as has Hungary herself, from the vicissitudes of the interwar years, the depredations of the second World War, and the cold hand of communist rule followed by the icy-steel grip of Soviet control. Literature: Jens Rösler: "The Montblanc Diary and Collector's Guide" Christians Verlag, Hamburg, 1993 pp31-33. .


Pavoni :thumbup:

#6 Khufu

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 16:00

Hi Khufu,


Thank you for your input. Whilst it is clear that Tatra pens were made in Prague, I look forward to reading of any further findings you may have on the subject.

The Tatra pens, as made for the Hungarian market, that I refer to, are from 1912-1919. Given the period in question and the extremes of Austro-Hungarian influence on the wider region during this time, perhaps the pens were always manufactured outside of Hungary and imported in. My own crude methods of research have returned results worthy of my poor effort and as such, I have had to turn to my Hungarian wife's family in Budapest, in the hope they can gain access to the relevant archives.

In the meantime, I rely on my copy of Rosler's excellent book, in much the same way as the auction house below seem to have done in their 2006 advert:

Lot 218C

RARE SIMPLO [MONTBLANC] "TATRA" 6/7f, c1912-19
Sign In to see what this sold for
A SIMPLO "TATRA" 6/7f German for the Hungarian market, circa 1912-19
chased black hard rubber safety with "tatra" cap imprint and green cap dome, with Simplo Pen Co 7 New York nib, very good/excellent extremely rare.

***The Simplo Filler Pen Co decided to market their pens as brand products early in the company's history. However, many retailers wanted to carry their own exclusive brand rather than promote the Simplo, Rouge et Noir and Montblanc models and so Simplo pens often reached the customer disguised as a shop brand with a slightly different name or appearance during the firm's first decade or so of manufacture. Excelsior Fullhalterwerke was established in 1913 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Simplo to conceal from the public the direct link between Montblanc and these 'own' brands, enabling the supply of a large number of Simplo products under numerous different names, of which Diplomat, Reflex and Monte Rosa are best known today due to their longevity. There were a greater number of sub-brands before the first World War, of which the "Tatra" pen produced for the Hungarian market was one. Hungary, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and an affluent country at that time, would have been a market with customers for a pen like this with its expensive New York-made 7 nib. The survival rate, however, of these pens is very small, suffering as has Hungary herself, from the vicissitudes of the interwar years, the depredations of the second World War, and the cold hand of communist rule followed by the icy-steel grip of Soviet control. Literature: Jens Rösler: "The Montblanc Diary and Collector's Guide" Christians Verlag, Hamburg, 1993 pp31-33. .


Pavoni :thumbup:


Hello Pavoni,

thank you for the information about Simplo-Tatra pens. It is very interesting. I was thinking you were talking about 1930´s Tatra pens.
Until 1918 Slovakia (where Tatra mountains are located) was part of Hungarian kingdom and so maybe it was considered as one country. I think subsequently the highest mountains in Hungarian kingdom were actually Tatra mountains.
The Tatra pens i have seen are more modern, 1930´s. I have seen massive piston fillers and one or two button fillers.
Best regards!
Khufu

Edited by Khufu, 01 January 2013 - 08:38.


#7 Kaweco

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 17:22

.............
Tatra
Orgea
Extra
Duna
Garcia
Turcsany ...........

If anyone can shed light on any of the above brands, or add to this list of Hungarian fountain pens, I would be most grateful.

Hello Pavoni
"Orgea" is from Germany and "Extra" is mentioned several times.
The discussion among "Tatra" is very long. I actually think it was a Hungarian trade mark. But, alas, when something obscure appears that some trademark could have to do something with MB, the prices begin to inflate dramatically and the sellers begin to laugh.
Kind Regards
Thomas

Edited by Kaweco, 31 December 2012 - 17:23.


#8 Azuniga

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 17:28

I have some MELBI pens, Safeties and PBF and as far as I can remember I was told when I bought the first one in Germany years ago it is Hungarian...
I do not know for sure but I will start a research and correct if I am wrong.
The best 2013 for all

Ariel

#9 Kaweco

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 17:35

I have some MELBI pens, Safeties and PBF and as far as I can remember I was told when I bought the first one in Germany years ago it is Hungarian...
I do not know for sure but I will start a research and correct if I am wrong.
The best 2013 for all

Ariel

Hello Ariel
No, MELBI is Merz & Krell in Gross Bieberau/ Germany
T

#10 Khufu

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 17:43

.............
Tatra
Orgea
Extra
Duna
Garcia
Turcsany ...........

If anyone can shed light on any of the above brands, or add to this list of Hungarian fountain pens, I would be most grateful.

Hello Pavoni
"Orgea" is from Germany and "Extra" is mentioned several times.
The discussion among "Tatra" is very long. I actually think it was a Hungarian trade mark. But, alas, when something obscure appears that some trademark could have to do something with MB, the prices begin to inflate dramatically and the sellers begin to laugh.
Kind Regards
Thomas


Hello Kaweco,

what do you think about F.J. Jedlička and his Tatra pens made in Prague? He did good pens. I have already seen his pens sold on Ebay listed as MB subbrand, so probably wrongly described under the influence of the earlier Simplo-Tatra. If i remember well, Jedlička advertised Tatra pens as his own products in the press (i have seen a couple of them in Prague prewar newspapers some time ago). I hope to uncover its mystery soon.
Have somebody consulted prewar hungarian version of MOOS adressbooks? I think they should exist in HU version.
Best 2013!

Khufu

Edited by Khufu, 31 December 2012 - 20:24.


#11 Azuniga

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 17:58

I have some MELBI pens, Safeties and PBF and as far as I can remember I was told when I bought the first one in Germany years ago it is Hungarian...
I do not know for sure but I will start a research and correct if I am wrong.
The best 2013 for all

Ariel

Hello Ariel
No, MELBI is Merz & Krell in Gross Bieberau/ Germany
T


Thank you Thomas, you gave me good correcting information in the past about an Adler, and I have not forgotten, so thanks again...
Regrads, All the best, Ariel

#12 Kaweco

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 21:09

.........

what do you think about F.J. Jedlička and his Tatra pens made in Prague? He did good pens. I have already seen his pens sold on Ebay listed as MB subbrand, so probably wrongly described under the influence of the earlier Simplo-Tatra. If i remember well, Jedlička advertised Tatra pens as his own products in the press (i have seen a couple of them in Prague prewar newspapers some time ago). I hope to uncover its mystery soon.

Hello Khufu
Alas I do not have informationes about Czech and Slovakian fountain pens. But I really think everywhere in Europe, Usa and other countries best quality of writing articles had been made. Good ideas, new materials and constructiones had been made everywhere. Prague was a center of science wisdom and progress. I expect that tha original Tatra pens were best quality.
The commercial montblancisation of so many historic fountainpens is annoying.
I thank you for your outstanding investigationes about the fountainpen industrie around where you live. I wish you all the best and hope that more of our buddies will learn from you.
Kind Regards
Thomas

#13 pavoni

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:56

Thank you for your valued input Khufu, Thomas and Ariel. :clap1:

The History of this part of Europe, during the period in question 1912-1919 is fantastically complicated but makes for a facinating challenge in establishing the extent (if any) of any Hungarian Fountain Pen brands. It seems that, until I return to Hungary in April 2013, I am forced to settle on the notion that the Tatra brand/sub-brand was a Hungarian trade mark but probably manufactured somewhere in, what was then 'Greater Hungary' before it disappeared (together with the Hungarian Kingdom) after WWI and Trianon. It is highly likely that Khufu is right about the then Hungarian view of the Tatra Mountains.

My wife points to central and Eastern Hungary being very much agricultural at the time, and that (and this is where Thomas is most certainly right about the importance of Prague), manufacturing for the Habsburg Empire, particularly of the lighter type, was centred around Bratislava, Prague and Vienna, given the Empire's natural preference for trade with the West (rather than East). This Western, particular German, influence is obviously why, as Ariel and Thomas point out, so many of the brands mentioned are German or Germanic names.

An interesting subject. If you have anything further to share on Hungarian pens, I would be very grateful. :thumbup:

Happy New Year

Pavoni.

#14 Kaweco

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 22:16

.........
The History of this part of Europe, during the period in question 1912-1919 is fantastically complicated but makes for a facinating challenge in establishing the extent (if any) of any Hungarian Fountain Pen brands. It seems that, until I return to Hungary in April 2013, I am forced to settle on the notion that the Tatra brand/sub-brand was a Hungarian trade mark but probably manufactured somewhere in, what was then 'Greater Hungary' before it disappeared

My wife points to central and Eastern Hungary being very much agricultural at the time, and that (and this is where Thomas is most certainly right about the importance of Prague), manufacturing for the Habsburg Empire, particularly of the lighter type, was centred around Bratislava, Prague and Vienna, given the Empire's natural preference for trade with the West (rather than East). This Western, particular German, influence is obviously why, as Ariel and Thomas point out, so many of the brands mentioned are German or Germanic names.
......

Hello Pavoni
Remember that the estimated period 1912 - 1919 stemmed from a pen auction. I have not read Rösler`s MB diary, which they tell it depends on, but there are some objections:
so: < cui bono ? > (who benefits ?) Each seller makes antiquities minimum 10 years older than the last seller has estimated
The MB archieve burnt down during a bombing attack in ww2. Many "facts" we can read today are historic constructs.
ww1 took place 1914 - 1918. The production, the import of rare materials (eG rubber, sulphur, gold etc) and the export was limited.
<<<
<<<
When you return to Hungary visit a town archieve. The branche department of old adress books are the best source for making basic research. But I also agree, that we should push away some research borders of today.
It would be good to find out more about Theodore Kovacs who made the best inventions about writing articles during his time. He had been living in Meran (today Alto adige/ Südtirol/ Italy) when he invented the piston filling fountainpen.
Kind Regards and best wishes for the New Year
Thomas

#15 pavoni

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 00:19

The quest continues.......

Keen to find an answer to my original question - whether there were any Hungarian pens worth collecting from the period 1934-1954 - I have been unable to sit on my hands until my trip to Hungary, hopefully in April. I have therefore continued with my exploration of the Montblanc sub-brand ‘Tatra’.

My curiosity was first heightened whilst browsing my copy of Rosler’s excellent book. I have not applied for permission to publish any of his pictures so, please accept that page 32 lists some pre-1920s boxes of Montblanc sub-brands. I was immediately drawn to the Tatra box, given its Hungarian writing which typically extols the virtues of the Tatra pen within. These particular pens ceased being manufactured in or around 1919, and as such, are outside the period I am interested in. They are however, the only link I currently have between fountain pens of any reputation worth collecting and Hungary, so I felt compelled to explore further.

Page 33 of Rosler shows a retailer’s poster for the Tatra pen. As a retailer myself of over 30-years and with a couple of Montblanc pens to my name ;) the obvious similarity between the often advertised peak of Montblanc and the Tatra mountain peak depicted in this advert, is not lost on me.

Tatra is a mountain range between Poland and Slovakia, then (pre-WW1) part of the Kingdom of Hungary and an area of natural beauty to where wealthy residents of Budapest would retreat for convalescence or recreation. As to whether Hungary ever manufactured pens for herself, the replies to my original question, posted above, suggest that Tatra pens were likely manufactured outside of Hungary (as we know it today) in the Slovak Tatra region, and possibly by the Tatra company. On this point, I have written to Tatra but as yet await a reply.

Posted Image

I found this postcard of the Tatra area. It was sent on 13th July 1917 by a woman to her family back in Budapest and she talks about her convalescence, which seems to be going well.

Posted Image

I also found (and purchased) this unopened box of pen nibs, clearly showing a similar area in the Tatra region, written in Hungarian ('Toll' means pen), with the Hungarian flag shown on both ends of the box (which is about the size of a matchstick box).

Posted Image

Posted Image

The retailer in the aforementioned poster (Rosler page 33) is Jozsef Ede Rigler (Hungarian convention has the family name listed first, i.e. Rigler Joszef Ede). Judging from what I could find on the internet, Rigler (1847-1909) seems to have been in business from 1871 as a manufacturer of stationery and office accessories and seller of writing paper, drawing equipment and other such items. Whilst I have seen a very brief reference that includes ‘pen manufacturing’ as one of his businesses’ activities (hope!) Unfortunately, I can find nothing else on this reference so will have to wait until I go to Hungary to substantiate this tease.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

The fabulous art nouveau (szecesszio) advert above, advertises for Christmas and New Year presents made in Hungary, and fashionable writing paper. It also advertises the addresses of the three Rigler stores, one of which was at No 19 Erszebet Ter (Elizabeth Square) Budapest. Upon seeing this address, my wife and I got quite excited (luckily she just about appreciates my interest in pens) as she lived at number 3 Erszebet Ter when we were dating (oh the good old days :rolleyes:). Looking forward now to returning just to see whether we can see any trace of the Rigler business that was.

Whilst it seems as though it is going to be difficult to prove whether Rigler actually manufactured pens, he certainly sold them. He seems to have been quite an important person. Indeed, I noted that one writer called him a “pioneer of Hungarian light manufacturing.” I am therefore hopeful of someone more resourceful finding out the extent of his involvement in pens, as he seems to be my main hope at the moment in answering my original question.

Mr Rigler senior, seems to have committed suicide in or around 1909. The Rigler Joszef Ede business itself was eventually compulsorily purchased (privatised) by the Communists in 1948:

Posted Image

the document showing the Rigler business listed as number 25......

Posted Image

With so few records seemingly remaining of the period in question, this glimpse into a little piece of Hungarian retail history has moved me a little further on. In the meantime.........

Posted Image

My hope is to come across a decent photo of one of Rigler’s shops so that I can have it enhanced sufficient to be able to determine the shop advertising, in the hope of coming across some pen names that might help in answering my original question ;).


Oh, I recently learnt that my wife’s late father was a Hungarian migrant worker, who worked in Slovakia for 10 years as a automotive engineer. Guess where...........the Tatra factory. Smaller world than I thought!

Pavoni.

Edited by pavoni, 21 January 2013 - 00:26.


#16 Khufu

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:35

Hello Pavoni,

Tatra company was established and is located in Moravia not in Slovakia. It was established as Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriks-Gesellschaft in 1850 in Kopřivnice, Moravia. In 1920´s the company was known under name Kopřivnická Zbrojovka (1923-27) and later it was renamed as Závody Tatra, a.s. (1927-1936) and later Tatra-Ringhoffer (1936-45).
They started to use Tatra as brand name in 1927 probably because Tatra mountains were the highest mountains of Czechoslovakia in that time. Tatra machinery company has nothing to do with Slovakia itself until the coup d´état in 1948. Then two branches of Tatra Co were opened in Slovakia in mid 1950´s in Bratislava and Čadca town.
They have not produced any fountain pens but only cars, trains, trucks and other heavier machinery.

So far i have not found any FP company located in Slovakia according to the adress registers from the era 1918-1938. It is not surprising because Slovakia was agricultural. For example all 8 car makers of prewar Czechoslovakia were located in Czech lands not in Slovakia. It was similar with all kinds of industry.


Best regards
K.

Edited by Khufu, 21 January 2013 - 16:21.


#17 pavoni

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 22:03

I see, thank you Khufu.

I had a horrible suspicion that the Tatra company (automotive) was a bit of a red herring. :bonk:

Tatra is clearly a convenient name but not useful in my quest. Your information is therefore useful and I thank you for taking time to share what you know.

Now I am interested to find out who manufactured the box of nibs and Tatra pens!

Oh well, I will keep looking and share my findings.

Pavoni.

#18 Hanoi

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:29

This is a very interesting thread. I've been looking into Czechoslovakia made pens but haven't seen many of them around.

#19 tinta

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:52

Pavoni, this is a fascinating thread,... particularly yesterday's post with the pictures & Magyar script.
I've written with fountain pens since the early 50s (while still living in Hungary). At that time we used pens manufactured in the USSR & DDR, but I cannot remember any of the brands.
My best friend's father ran a pen repair shop in the lobby of our apartment.

Looking forward to any new revelations about the Tatra (or other Hungarian) pens.

Regards.
Istvan
*Sailor 1911-M, Black/gold, 14c. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *2 Sailor 1911-M Burgundy/gold pens: 14c. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 1.1 mm. CI (JM) *Sailor Standard sized Brown Marbled Mozaique,(machined acrylic/rhodium),14c. 1.0 mm.CI (JM) *2 Kaweco SPECIAL fountain pens: 14c."M" "B",-0.5 mm & 0.7 mm (BLS) *Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14c "B" -0.6 mm. (BLS) *Montblanc 254, 14c. "BB" (1.1 mm?) flügelfeder factory stub

#20 basterma

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:12

For those looking for contemporary Czech makers, Centropen makes student pens to this day.






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