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De La Rue / Onoto Identification Help Requested



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This is the catch from yesterday's pen show in Tilburg, NL. I'm not knowledgeable about vintage pens, so some help would be welcome. Ignoring the Sheaffer PFM for the moment, I found what is supposed to be a ca. 1938 Onoto 5601 in green marble with a 14k #3 Standard nib. Very nice pen, writes extremely well. I put J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage in it - great match! The other pen, which was bought by my son, is a very, very beautiful De La Rue / Onoto lever filler in brown-flaked marble. Exact model and year of manufacture as yet unknown. Any corrections and additional info are welcome!

 

fpn_1538251149__8678428b-572d-4916-a43e-

 

fpn_1538250975__5bc8f4bc-992a-4eda-b9ca-

 

fpn_1538305175__img_0270.jpg

 

Thanks!

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  • TheDutchGuy

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Of the 5601, you say standard #3 nib but in the photo I see a 3/ST, the stenography nib which should offer more variation.

 

Can you see the number on the nib of the lever filler, or clarify the writing on it? From the cap clip and jewel it looks like one of a few different lever fillers that came out around 1950 and were present before the 1955 K series (and later in Australia).

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Thanks, praxim! The 5601 definitely has a stub nib. I guess the "st" was misinterpreted to mean "standard". It's a lovely stub, too. Such a pleasure to write with. I'll be using that pen a lot. I'll have a look at the other nib later today. I seem to remember that it has both brand names on there, but does not have a 14k label on it. Will post a clear pic later today.

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On a hint from the cap band I am wondering whether the lever filler will prove to have a No 5 nib, except that should have a normal DLR/Onoto/14k inscription on it. Otherwise, it is fairly likely to be a 22 or 33.

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My best guess is a 1613 or 1614 from 1949-1950. Does it say Onoto on the barrel, or what does it say?

 

All of the nibs on my Onotos where the general labelling is the same, have 14c or 14ct between the words Onoto and London. I found a 5601 in Steve Hull's Onoto Pens book where (under magnification) the nib has the same labelling as yours, and would probably be a 3/ST or 5. You may need to knock it out to see whether there is a number hidden. However, your pen is not a 5601 because that is a plunge-filler just for starters.

 

There is a picture of what looks exactly like your pen except that it has a nib with 14c on it, as discussed above. That particular picture does not have a model label. Looking further at the advertisements and chronological list of pens, a 1613 or 1614 seems to be it. If your pen says De La Rue and not Onoto on the barrel then it would be a 1612, just a matter of imprinted brand I think. It is likely that the difference between 1613 and 1614 would be in the cap band fitted. That was the usual minor differentiation for Onoto.

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Hi,

 

I think Praxim is spot on here. Is looks like a 1949-50 "new range" pen, as on p.268 of Hull. Notice the rounded tail. Should say "Onoto Lever Pen" in the imprint, with "De La Rue-London" in the second line.

 

The book makes it look like a number 5 would usually have gone with the wide cap band, but yours is a 3 or 3/ST. Some variation in nibs was quite usual, I believe.

 

These are very nice solid, good-writing pens!

 

Ralf

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Should say "Onoto Lever Pen" in the imprint, with "De La Rue-London" in the second line.

That's exactly what it says! Regarding the nib: I looked back into the section with a lens and there is no 14c label visible. It's definitely not a 3/ST. The nib very, very fine. By today's standards I'd say a Western XF.

 

Thank you, Ralf and praxim.

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Quick update: I showed the Onotos to my colleague and FPN founder Wim, who knows a thing or two about pens (Wim is solely accountable for dragging me into this hobby ;-) ). He suggests that the brown "new range" pen has an accountant's nib. It really is that fine. To me, that nib is magic. Very fine nibs often make me struggle with my handwriting, but this one suits me perfectly. Alas, it is my son who spotted and bought the pen, so I occasionally borrow it from him.

 

The green ca. 1938 Onoto 5601 definitely has a 3/ST nib, and it is what I would call a stub. Wim observed that its grind is very basic and straightforward, but it writes wonderfully. I love it.

 

Not sure what the difference is between a stenographer's nib and a stub, though.

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