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Conway Stewart No476 'the Universal Pen'


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#1 Malcy

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 13:55

I just happened to pop into a local antiques shop on the off chance that there was something there. As my eyes passed across the shelves I spotted a blue P51 with a lustralloy cap - £80 - no deal, got several anyway. Next, a Waterman's W3 in a lovely dark orange striated celluloid - again £80 - too much. Then I spotted this Conway Stewart - £15 - now that's more like it. B)

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So after a bit of a haggle I walked away with the pen for £13 which was nice.

The Conway Stewart No476 also labeled 'The Universal Pen' is a mid range pen I believe from the mid-late thirties. The styling is pretty conservative owing more to the flat tops of the twenties with a bit of streamlining as an update. It is however pleasing to the eye. Another old fashioned feature is the washer clip with a ball end, a style of clip used perhaps as much as twenty years earlier on pens such as Parkers.

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The stand out feature is the plastic. I don't know if it is celluloid or casein as Conway Stewart used both during this period. I have been told (by Deb - red52ripple - see next post) that the pattern that I thought was marbled slate-grey/blue is actually an unlisted pattern a sort of light blue/tan/black marble. Whatever it is called or made of it is a very pretty pattern. A poster is another thread likened the pattern to a piece of cloud flowing, you could also say that it resembles a fast flowing stream.

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The pen is in excellent condition, no scratches on the plastic and no brassing as can be seen. I don't think that it can have seen much use. The pen is light in weight and 130mm long. The lightness of the plastic makes it comfortable to use posted.

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The Conway Stewart no 476 is an uncomplicated pen. It has a lever fill with decent capacity and easy to service. The feed is of a basic design without lateral collector finning but it has a high delivery capacity. The nib is a No1 14ct gold nib which has a degree of flex, it is also a wet writer and a bit scratchy (as most vintage CS pens that I have tried seem to be).

So overall a lovely pen with a gorgeous plastic pattern and a so-so nib. The nib could be improved by someone more expert than my self I am sure so it isn't really an issue. I don't know what the market rate is for these pens or how common/uncommon the pattern is but for the £13 that I paid, the pen is a good deal.

An overall score of 7/10, higher with the nib sorted.

Edited by Malcy, 21 January 2012 - 17:06.

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#2 red52ripple

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 15:03

Hi Malcy,

Excellent deal and a stunning pen! And it gets better... I don't think yours is the pattern Donahaye identified as marbled slate grey/blue, which is this one:

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In fact the pattern of your pen isn't listed by Donahaye at all, but I believe it's the one shown second from the bottom of P. 116 of Stephen Hull's history of Conway Stewart. The blue one isn't all that common, but yours is something of a rarity.

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#3 Uncle Red

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 16:33

Malcy, I'm sure that nib could be smoothed into a good writer. Check out pen shows in your area, or maybe a pen club.

#4 Malcy

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 17:09

Hi Malcy,

Excellent deal and a stunning pen! And it gets better... I don't think yours is the pattern Donahaye identified as marbled slate grey/blue, which is this one:

Posted Image

In fact the pattern of your pen isn't listed by Donahaye at all, but I believe it's the one shown second from the bottom of P. 116 of Stephen Hull's history of Conway Stewart. The blue one isn't all that common, but yours is something of a rarity.

Regards,


Thanks for the information, it's nice to know.

Malcy, I'm sure that nib could be smoothed into a good writer. Check out pen shows in your area, or maybe a pen club.


The Northern pen show is in April, so I may take it along.
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#5 79spitfire

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 20:25

That celluloid is stunning :thumbup: nice score, I'd of given the money for that too!

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#6 Malcy

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 00:14

I was just looking at the sample pages of 'fountain Pens For The Million: The History Of Conway Stewart: 1905 - 2005' By Stephen Hull in the Conway Stewart brand section here on FPN when I spotted a picture of a CS No476 in exactly the same pattern as this one on page 116.

I wonder what the pattern is called?
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#7 red52ripple

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:11

With a few exceptions, it isn't recorded what Conway Stewart called (if anything) the patterns that they used. Most of the pattern names that we use now were coined by collectors; quite a few originated with Jonathan Donahaye. I don't know what that one's called, but it's a real beauty. That £13.00 might be one of the best investments you'll ever make!

Regards,
~Deborah

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#8 Beechwood

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:45

Interesting price differntial between teh Cs and the Watermans/Parker.

Nice pen, nice to see something out of the ordinary.

 







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