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Wyvern Models, Top To Bottom


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Maethelwine

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:05

Posted this elsewhere as well, hoping to catch the attention of someone who knows Wyverns.

Can I trouble anyone for information on Wyvern pens? I got two on eBay recently, both "Perfect Pen" lever fillers, from a seller in Israel. I promptly cracked the barrel on one trying to replace the section after a resacking. I'll be sending it off for repairs soon. I used heat on the second, moved a lot more carefully, and ended up with a fairly fragile feeling but pleasant little writing pen.

What, if any, were Wyvern's 'iconic' models? If I was going to buy, say, one or two more and wanted to shoot for the top end of their product line or the company's peak era, what direction would you point me in? I've emailed a couple of people directly who seem to collect the brand heavily, and for whatever reasons I haven't received a reply. I hope one or more of you can throw a little light on this for me. I'm especially interested in the models which display the Wyvern image on the nib, barrel or both.

Thanks a lot! I've been asking a lot of questions here and the community has been very helpful.

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

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#2 red52ripple

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:56

Hi Maethelwine,

Wyvern is one of the oldest British pen manufacturers, going back to 1880s, so there's a big range of models to choose from. They made good eyedroppers with over-and-under feeds in the early days, but they're seldom seen now. You're most likely to find their 1940s and 50s models now, like the Perfect Pen, the 60C, the Ambassador and the De Luxe (to name but a few). The De Luxe usually has the Leicester Dragon (the Wyvern image) on both the barrel and the nib, though there doesn't seem to be absolute consistency about which models had the nibs with the images. Some clips have the Wyvern image too. At the very top end of the post-war range there were crocodile-skin, lizard-skin and pigskin pens. These are highly regarded and go for a high price.

Wyvern made excellent nibs, varying from rigid to very flexible. Some of the later pens had very small nibs. The gold plating on the post-war pens tends to be pretty poor. It pays to approach repair with caution, as some Wyvern sections have a left-hand thread.

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~Deborah

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#3 Maethelwine

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 10:42

Thanks Deborah. Very helpful. I'll start trying to follow up some of those leads.

Among the pens you mention, the Perfect Pen, 60 C, Ambassador and Deluxe, were any of those "flagship" models for the company? All of them? On the other end of the spectrum, did they run budget lines or sub-brands? Read somewhere that they apparently made a lot of promotional and advertising pens, most of them not branded with the Wyvern name.

Thanks again for the help.

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

Wide Island Blog


#4 red52ripple

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 11:36

Hi,

Yes, Wyvern made lots of pens for other companies so they can turn up under many other names.

I'm no expert on the brand, and I can only go on those I've seen. The Perfect Pen was probably about the bottom of the range, but plating aside it was a good pen and has survived in large numbers. Some of the others like the De Luxe and the Ambassador were clearly higher in the range, often with broad cap rings, boldly patterned celluloid and cowled clips. I hope that someone with a better knowledge of the various models will chime in.

Regards,
~Deborah

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#5 Maethelwine

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 12:43

Thanks again! I suspected as much about the Perfect Pens. Charming, but they just don't have the feel of something made for the high end of the market.

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

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#6 northlodge

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 12:51

I can only add to what Deborah says, most of the models she mentions are at least decent pens, some are big and solid.

I think they made some cheapies under the "Orium" brand name. I would also avoid the 202, 303, 404 series, which I have often found to be wanting.

Without wishing to plug my own wares too much, there is a very nice Ambassador set here;




Paul








#7 Maethelwine

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 14:01

That is nice! Too bad about the 303s, after the Perfect Pen they seem to come up for sale pretty often. And the pricing is all over the map. Your Ambassador set is beautiful though. And that site is a great resource for Summits, another brand I'm interested in. Not a lot about Wyvern and Summit online.

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

Wide Island Blog


#8 vejavi

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 15:29

I wonder what is the position of the 707 model Wyvern with the hooded nib among the other models. Is it considred as less attractive model because it possibly was the last one in Wyvern's production line? Any comments?

#9 red52ripple

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:47

It was certainly among the last. I've seen 1948 given as the beginning of production of the 707, and Wyvern stopped making pens in 1955. I don't know how well it sold when it was new, but it doesn't appear to have survived in great numbers. Those that do turn up are often in poor condition because of shrinkage of the plastic. New Old Stock examples turn up occasionally, but even then there doesn't seems to be a lot of interest in them. Which means, of course, that when a good one is offered, you can pick it up for very little.
~Deborah

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#10 rhosygell

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 11:53

The larger models such as the 80, 84 series are very good pens that can be considered on a par with the top tier makers in terms of performance and build quality. What we have to consider is that from September 1939 onwards production reduced steeply and in the later years of WW2 material, manpower and tooling shortages took their toll with finish, quality and model variation suffering as a result. Even so, their pens remained solid, workmanlike instruments judging by the numbers surviving. The early hard rubber pens stand comparison with absolutely anything you care to name.

Shameless plug here - I will soon be listing a new, unused Wyvern 81 Perfect pen, broad nib in plain black, fully overhauled in its box with papers.
Iechyd da pob Cymro

#11 garnet

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 15:15

The iconic Wyvern pen is the 101 models which were made from the middle 1940's until the early 1950'2s. These are all button fillers and covered in animal skin. Namely Snake, Alligator, Lizard and Pig skin. There were also variati9ons between the colours of each. Also pen and pencil sets. None of the other Wyvern's carrying the nomenclature of a x0x are of very good build quality compared to the pre-WW11 models of which the 84 was by far the 'top-of-the-range'. Sadly the build quality of all Wyvern models took a seroius nose dive after the war and the company never really recovered by widening their customer base and they stopped production of pens in 1955. The old factory in Woodboy Street Leicester is still standing and the name on the front was only painted over two years ago putting the final nail in the coffin of the once prestigious pen manufacturers. The name WYVERN FOUNTAIN PEN COMPANY LIMITED could be made out on the panel above the windows.






Lamy 2000 xf
PELIKAN 800 (Binder xxxf) Green striated.
Pelikan 140 f & xf
DuoFold (1955) italic
PFM V xf
Collection of 200+ Wyverns

#12 Wardok

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 23:13

My favourite Wyverns are the Torpedo shaped ones like this

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To show that they also made pens for others, you can get these saying Ingersoll, Kenbar, Regent on them.

The leather covered ones are fun:

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and as stated earlier the very old ones are nice:

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but the vast majority are just a little inferior - the cap bands are often loose as well as brassed. However the big button fillers do have quite a presence.

#13 Maethelwine

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 14:04

Just checked in for the first time in a good while, and the last few comments have been extremely helpful, both the definitive i.d. of a couple of major model numbers and these fantastic photos. Thanks a lot!

I have two Wyverns at the moment, one is a Perfect Pen 60C and the other is tucked away and I can't get to it at the moment, but it's very similar to the 60C, if not the same model. Pretty, like I said, but I would like to step up a notch. Not sure I could expect to be taken seriously if I hauled out a pen wrapped in alligator, though it would be fun to have hidden away at home. But a prewar 84 would be interesting to try.

Wardok, are those all your own pens? If so, what a fantastic collection! I'd like to see garnet's too.

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

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