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Macniven & Cameron 'waverley' Fountain Pen

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Malcy


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Posted 25 October 2012 - 20:24

MacNiven and Cameron were a printing and stationery company from Edinburgh Scotland. They had an origin as far back as 1770 and were in business until 1964. They are best known for their Waverley nib design which featured an upturned point to improve smoothness. However, this pen does not feature a Waverley nib despite carrying the name. It was not even manufactured by MacNiven & Cameron but was made by Burnham (probably late 1940s) and can be seen here in the Burnhamography web site.

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Despite not being quite what you what you would have been expecting, this is a good looking, substantial pen. It is very smart in glossy jet black celluloid with gold trim including triple cap rings and is well made, I doubt that it was cheap. Both ends of the pen are rounded and the clip is the washer type. It's Burnham origins are probably given away by the Gothic 'B' stamped into the top of the clip. Overall the pen is very well made. If I have one issue, it is that I find the section a little narrow for the size of the pen. Talking about size, the pen is 135mm long capped, 162mm posted (which it does nicely) and about 11mm barrel diameter. Being celluloid, the pen is not heavy at 17g including ink.

The imprints:

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Technically this is a classic British fountain pen that could have been made any time over several decades. The filler consists of a lever fill mechanism with a J-bar and a lollipop shaped lever which carries a Sun imprint, it takes a size 20 ink sac so should have plenty of capacity. The section is a friction fit to the barrel and the nib/feed are also friction fit. Nothing out of the ordinary but reliable and simple. The nib is a 14ct warranted 1st quality nib, I think that this is original. The nib is a little scratchy but usable, it just needs a little tweak to smooth it. It has a small amount of flex but nothing really usable, rather it makes this medium nib feel soft in use.

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The nib writes with a medium/broad stroke and is reasonably wet. You can see a writing sample below:

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So all in all, it is a well made, largish traditional British fountain pen. The condition is great, I doubt that it has seen a lot of use. The simplicity of the design means that it is easy to fix when it goes wrong. The cost to me was £25 which seems reasonable for this type of pen, especially considering it's good condition. It was a curiosity purchase and curiosity sated, it will probably be sold on along with a few other pens as I want to slim things down a little. It would make a great purchase for anyone wanting to get into vintage pens.


Appearance & Design 7
Construction & Quality 9
Weight & Dimensions 7
Nib & Performance 7
Filling System & Maintenance 9
Cost & Value 7
Conclusion 46/60 or 77%
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#2 The Royal Pen

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 22:43

Wow...that's one beautiful pen.
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#3 Drone


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Posted 26 October 2012 - 09:33

When I saw the title of this review my interest was peaked. But this pen seems to have only borrowed the "MacNiven & Cameron Waverley" names.

I have an older (don't know how old) "The Waverley Cameron Pen" with a real upturned Waverly style semi-flex gold nib. The pen is a BHR eyedropper and is like new with the original box. A wonderful pen - if you can find one. They pop-up from time to time and aren't too expensive.

There is some interesting history about how origins of the the Waverley Cameron and MacNiven & Cameron names here:


Thanks for the review...

#4 longhandwriter


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Posted 06 June 2014 - 10:28

This is a very nice pen but has clearly missed the MacNiven and Cameron heyday. Their early eyedroppers are something to behold, with, in some cases, g

old bands and in my case of my own pen, a rose gold cap top. Their Waverley dip pen nib, named after Sir Walter Scott's 1814 Waverley novel is a gem amongst dip pen nibs with its famous upturned end. The story of MacNiven and Cameron is one that all pen collectors should read up on.

#5 ArchiMark


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Posted 06 June 2014 - 15:16

Classic looking pen!


Thanks for sharing it....

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#6 Gloucesterman


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Posted 07 June 2014 - 22:19

The writing sample looked really good. The thing about pens like this, imo, are that they let the writer add some character (no pun intended) to one's writing. From my pov, even regular cursive it more interesting and attractive with a little bit of flex!

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

#7 GerseSjaak


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Posted 11 April 2016 - 20:44

NIce writing sample! And thanks for sharing. :)


I just acquired this exact pen, and because of the top of the B on the clip, I thought I had bought a Waverley pen, with a Burnham cap (and therefore a Waverley with the wrong cap).

But now I see this type of Waverley's was produced by Burnham? Looks like Burnham produced so many of these brands that disappeared from the market. Interesting stuff!

#8 DGH_Nomad


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Posted 11 April 2016 - 23:02

Very nice pen, I have been hunting for one of their "Leaf" nibbed Waverly pens for a while now. It's a brand that isn't as widely known, but I have heard great things about their earlier models.


Thanks for the review!



Edited by DGH_Nomad, 11 April 2016 - 23:04.

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