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British Pens...show And Tell.


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137 replies to this topic

#1 MalcolmH

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 13:11

I thought it might be nice to have a thread where we can share our British Pens. Daily users, new aditions, favourites, anything really...as long as it's of British manufacture. So, a lot of scope there.

 

One for starters...

 

I'm not well up on Mentmore, but I have this Diploma lever-filler model:

 

28435025721_f279ec840a_c.jpg

 

That should read Osmi-Iridium nib.

 

I think the pattern is known as green Snakeskin...but I'm willing to be corrected on that. The date...1940's? Again unsure.

 

Not one of Mentmores premium models maybe, and certainly not in a collectable condition with its scratches and gouges.

 

It is, however, a great user grade pen who's semi-flexible nib starts first time, has a good flow (with this ink), and writes with some nice feedback.

 

If there's anyone out there who can provide more information on this pen, I'd be ever so greatful.

 

Thanks,

Malcolm

 



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#2 jar

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 13:20

Some Conway Stewarts.

 

medium800.jpg

 

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#3 Bobje

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 13:40

Wow, nice still life photography, jar. Rose Hill Studios does nice work!

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#4 jar

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 13:42

Wow, nice still life photography, jar. Rose Hill Studios does nice work!

 

My sister does good work.  Someone had to get the talent.


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#5 Cob

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 17:09

A "thank-you" to the OP for an interesting idea for a thread.

 

Whilst I am perhaps better known for Mabie Todd Mania, I do have a very strong soft spot for Croxleys; there seems to be very little information about this marque.  As is well known, Croxleys were manufactured by the John Dickinson paper concern (of Croxley Green Hertfordshire) using plant acquired, I have been told, from Lang's of Liverpool.  It is said that production lasted only a few years, from the late 1940s to the early 'fifties.

 

In that short time Croxley did produce various models; here's a snap of six I have here at present.  Sadly I don't currently own one of the "torpedo" shaped pens which might have completed the picture.

 

fpn_1469379523__six_croxleys.jpg

 

The first pen I believe to be an early model; whilst it has the famous arrow filler lever, the clip looks very like a Lang's one apart from the C stamped on it.  The next two are perhaps the best-known shape; Croxley offered plain black and a number of delightful marble materials.  I have never seen a Croxley of this type in a plain solid colour. Pens three and four in the picture are distinguished by their wider cap bands - these are the only two thus equipped that I have seen and I am glad I have them.  Lastly the pen on the right is called the Silvern Cap model.  This one is a beautifully made button filler, with a bi-colour 14ct nib; for some reason the section, screw-fitted of course has a left-hand thread.

 

A Croxley is a high-quality product, being at least equal in my view say to a De La Rue or indeed any number of its contemporary competitors, my one criticism being that the nibs are slightly on the small side to be pleasingly in proportion to the substantial dimensions of the pen.  Most nibs are usually semi-flexible and come in fine, medium and broad.  I have never seen a stub on a Croxley.  Incidentally the pen with the inscription  (fourth from the left) has a delightful flexible nib making it a pleasure to use.

 

I would love to hear from anyone who has any information about this manufacturer.

 

Cob


fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


#6 MalcolmH

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 19:14

A "thank-you" to the OP for an interesting idea for a thread.

 

Whilst I am perhaps better known for Mabie Todd Mania, I do have a very strong soft spot for Croxleys; there seems to be very little information about this marque.  As is well known, Croxleys were manufactured by the John Dickinson paper concern (of Croxley Green Hertfordshire) using plant acquired, I have been told, from Lang's of Liverpool.  It is said that production lasted only a few years, from the late 1940s to the early 'fifties.

 

In that short time Croxley did produce various models; here's a snap of six I have here at present.  Sadly I don't currently own one of the "torpedo" shaped pens which might have completed the picture.

 

fpn_1469379523__six_croxleys.jpg

 

The first pen I believe to be an early model; whilst it has the famous arrow filler lever, the clip looks very like a Lang's one apart from the C stamped on it.  The next two are perhaps the best-known shape; Croxley offered plain black and a number of delightful marble materials.  I have never seen a Croxley of this type in a plain solid colour. Pens three and four in the picture are distinguished by their wider cap bands - these are the only two thus equipped that I have seen and I am glad I have them.  Lastly the pen on the right is called the Silvern Cap model.  This one is a beautifully made button filler, with a bi-colour 14ct nib; for some reason the section, screw-fitted of course has a left-hand thread.

 

A Croxley is a high-quality product, being at least equal in my view say to a De La Rue or indeed any number of its contemporary competitors, my one criticism being that the nibs are slightly on the small side to be pleasingly in proportion to the substantial dimensions of the pen.  Most nibs are usually semi-flexible and come in fine, medium and broad.  I have never seen a stub on a Croxley.  Incidentally the pen with the inscription  (fourth from the left) has a delightful flexible nib making it a pleasure to use.

 

I would love to hear from anyone who has any information about this manufacturer.

 

Cob

 

A nice selection of Croxleys there, Cob. I don't know much about them, sadly, but I'm sure I have a pen and pencil set somewhere. I shall have to dig them out, and compare the pen against the ones you have here.

 

Malcolm



#7 Cob

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 19:44

 

A nice selection of Croxleys there, Cob. I don't know much about them, sadly, but I'm sure I have a pen and pencil set somewhere. I shall have to dig them out, and compare the pen against the ones you have here.

 

Malcolm

Thanks,

 

Yes, Croxley did offer matching pencis - I have a couple, which match the conventional Croxley pens.  Croxley made a matching pencil for the "torpedo" models, but Ideally I should like to find one with a wide band!

 

Cob


fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


#8 peterg

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 22:39

Was going to ask why you excluded the Torpedo from the photo.

 

My interpretation is that Dickinson decided to go into selling fountain pens as part of their stationery range post war and Langs produced the first pens for them. When Dickinson's found out Langs were going to re equip to produce a new type of pen they purchased some of the surplus equipment and installed it in their plastics factory, which was also in Liverpool, and produced the pens with the distinctive 'arrow feathers' filling lever.

 

Why they got out of pen manufacture so quickly is a real mystery. There are so many 'standards' and torpedo's around that they must have sold well, although the Silverns are a rarity. My conclusion is that either they were not profitable or the equipment was so worn out that it needed replacement and they were not willing to make the capital investment to buy new machinery.

 

Here are a few of my pens. The first is a National Security made by Lang's to show the similarity, the second a Henley, almost certainly made by Lang's, but who for? The rest are Croxley's, all with the arrow feather lever. The clip on the first may be a replacement but is identical to those used by Lang's and the pen next to the Torpedo has an unusually short clip screw.

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#9 praxim

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 00:55

A basic Onoto to which I referred in another thread is ready for inking after I finished repair yesterday. I have another Onoto arriving today, I believe, so will put them both up later.


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#10 wastelanded

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 16:49

Here's a Wyvern 84 I recently had the pleasure of acquiring. Lovely smooth, fine nib.

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#11 tmenyc

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 17:09

Great thread, nice pens here!  I have a bunch of British pens, but happen to have my "new" Victory with me today, just off my bench, auditioning to stay in the collection or get waived to the selling bench.  Sorry for the unedited cell phone picture. 

 

28465562291_c41d711c99_z.jpg

 

Typical late '40s-early '50s, deep blue, nice wet nib.  

 

Tim



#12 Goudy

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 18:18

Here's a Ladies' Ford, the smallest of the 4 models of the Ford's Patent Pen, produced in the 1930s.

 

Nf9OC7n.jpg

 

At 16cm posted, it's still quite a big fountain pen. This one has an extra-fine, fairly firm nib:

 

48V3ixn.jpg

 

The pen has a number of interesting features. When you uncap it, a spring mechanism opens a valve allowing the ink to flow. When capped, the valve keeps the pen from leaking. It's a piston filler. You start by unscrewing the knob at the rear of the barrel, then slide off the sheath which covers the transparent ink reservoir (this sheath also probably helps to insulate the ink reservoir and prevent blobbing).

 

cylzXjk.jpg

 

Ford's patented sliding seal filling system is described by Laurence Oldfield here. I find it normally takes about 5 cycles of the plunger to fill this pen. The large reservoir plus the fine nib means that refills are a relatively rare occurrence.

 


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#13 jar

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 21:14

A few modern Conway Stewarts.

 

medium800.jpg

 

medium800.jpg

 

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medium800.jpg

 

medium800.jpg

 

medium800.jpg


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#14 Cob

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 21:24

Was going to ask why you excluded the Torpedo from the photo.

 

My interpretation is that Dickinson decided to go into selling fountain pens as part of their stationery range post war and Langs produced the first pens for them. When Dickinson's found out Langs were going to re equip to produce a new type of pen they purchased some of the surplus equipment and installed it in their plastics factory, which was also in Liverpool, and produced the pens with the distinctive 'arrow feathers' filling lever.

 

Why they got out of pen manufacture so quickly is a real mystery. There are so many 'standards' and torpedo's around that they must have sold well, although the Silverns are a rarity. My conclusion is that either they were not profitable or the equipment was so worn out that it needed replacement and they were not willing to make the capital investment to buy new machinery.

 

Here are a few of my pens. The first is a National Security made by Lang's to show the similarity, the second a Henley, almost certainly made by Lang's, but who for? The rest are Croxley's, all with the arrow feather lever. The clip on the first may be a replacement but is identical to those used by Lang's and the pen next to the Torpedo has an unusually short clip screw.

Thanks very much Peter.

 

An interesting point about the clip screw.  Croxley clip screws are a subject on their own (memo to self - must get out more).  They are hardly ever the same - of course the inner cap is part of the screw as with many pens.  Some bewilderingly have threads over their entire length making them very often a pig to remove (the lower threads becoming entirely caked with old ink), whilst others have much of the lower part plain - a great improvement.  However many of them are not interchangeable.  If you look at my picture of the six Croxleys, you will see that the pen with the widest cap band has an unusually tall screw.

 

The feed is a good design I think; I seldom if ever, have had to reset them unlike those on my beloved Swans!

 

And I have just bought a torpedo!

 

Rgds

 

Cob


Edited by Cob, 25 July 2016 - 21:25.

fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


#15 Cob

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 21:29

Here's a Ladies' Ford, the smallest of the 4 models of the Ford's Patent Pen, produced in the 1930s.

 

Nf9OC7n.jpg

 

At 16cm posted, it's still quite a big fountain pen. This one has an extra-fine, fairly firm nib:

 

48V3ixn.jpg

 

The pen has a number of interesting features. When you uncap it, a spring mechanism opens a valve allowing the ink to flow. When capped, the valve keeps the pen from leaking. It's a piston filler. You start by unscrewing the knob at the rear of the barrel, then slide off the sheath which covers the transparent ink reservoir (this sheath also probably helps to insulate the ink reservoir and prevent blobbing).

 

cylzXjk.jpg

 

Ford's patented sliding seal filling system is described by Laurence Oldfield here. I find it normally takes about 5 cycles of the plunger to fill this pen. The large reservoir plus the fine nib means that refills are a relatively rare occurrence.

 

I love the Ford pens, although from what I have read it seems that the nibs might perhaps not be to my taste, however the filling system is so ingenious and clearly the quality was of the very best.

 

Dr Oldfield says that the Ford pens may have been made by Wyvern.  ANd it would seem that they were made post-war too.

 

Thanks for showing us this wonderful pen.

 

Cob


fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


#16 Goudy

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 22:08

Thanks, Cob. Goodwriterspens's Blog has some thoughts on the maker behind the Ford pens. The link with the Valentine company is interesting. I think I can even see some design elements from the Valentine Whytwarth Safety Pen in the Ford's Patent Pen.


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#17 praxim

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 04:54

Onotos both.jpg

 

These two Onotos have different clip markings. Does anyone have one or other of a record of when clip markings changed, or at least some photos of clips of Onotos whose date is at least approximately known?

 

At the moment I am dating one 1928-48 and the other 1920-40.


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#18 Matewan

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 14:02

Hello everyone
Here is my latest pen from UK that is
The Shakespere pen.
This pen was made by BBP in order to commemorate Wiiliam Shakespere!s 400 annyversary.

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#19 MalcolmH

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 07:31

Hello everyone
Here is my latest pen from UK that is
The Shakespere pen.
This pen was made by BBP in order to commemorate Wiiliam Shakespere!s 400 annyversary.

 

That's a handsome pen, Matewan. The clip is very much like Onoto / De La Rue. Have you inked it yet?



#20 MalcolmH

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 08:50

attachicon.gifOnotos both.jpg

 

These two Onotos have different clip markings. Does anyone have one or other of a record of when clip markings changed, or at least some photos of clips of Onotos whose date is at least approximately known?

 

At the moment I am dating one 1928-48 and the other 1920-40.

 

Hi praxim. I have six De La Rue / Onoto pens, and there are three clip types between them. Seems to me, that they might have been featured concurrently.

 

Have I read somewhere that the lever fillers tend to be post WWII? Maybe.

 

Anyway, all will hopefully be made much clearer, when Steve Hull's book 'Onoto the Pen: De La Rue and Onoto Pens 1880-1960' is released in a couple of months time.

 

Malcolm








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