Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Shackleton's Onotos - with "patent self filling pen" imprints in 1921?


KLscribbler
 Share

Recommended Posts

Recently, I came upon some photos of Onotos formerly owned by Ernest Shackleton. It seems they have not been shared on FPN before, so here they are:

The first one is from a Christie's auction in 2012 (picture can be magnified by clicking on it) :
https://www.christies.com/en/lot/lot-5605380

 

The second one, which looks so similar to the one above that it may be the same pen, is pictured in an online exhibit made by the Osher Map Library of the University of Southern Maine. Scroll down to item no. 67 on this page and you'll see it (picture can be magnified by clicking it) :
https://oshermaps.org/exhibitions/to-the-ends-of-the-earth/section-7

 

If the pens above are one and the same, I wonder if it is currently in the collection of the Osher Library. (Any FPN folks work there, perchance?)

In any case, here is a third one, obviously not the same pen as the above, with much more barrel wear but less discolouration. This photo is from an earlier Christie's auction in 2001. Unfortunately, the photo of this pen is lower resolution than those above. Moreover, the imprint is worn down and quite hard to read on this one:
https://www.christies.com/en/lot/lot-2778060

 

All of the pens are engraved on a barrel band with Shackleton's initials and the year 1921. It seems he must have obtained them shortly before embarking on his final expedition; perhaps he even carried them aboard the Quest. Now, both (or all three?) of them are typical 1920s hard rubber Onotos in most respects - the shapes of the sections, caps, and plunger knobs; the chasing pattern; the absence of an over-under feed. But interestingly, they all bear this style of imprint:


"ONOTO"
PATENT SELF FILLING PEN
DE LA RUE, LONDON

 

The imprint on the last pen is so worn that I can't tell for sure that it isn't the "Onoto THE Pen" type of imprint instead, but based on what I can see, and word placement etc., it seems reasonable to say that it was most likely the same "patent self filling pen" imprint.

I've always assumed the "patent self filling" imprint was early; certainly by 1921 I would have expected to see "Onoto THE Pen" imprints, especially on pens with the newer design of section/cap/filler knob. Clearly my assumption was wrong. That said, I don't have Steve Hull's Onoto book, so I don't know what the best of current knowledge is regarding when the imprint change happened. (Does the book say anything about when the redesigns and imprint changes happened for N and O model Onotos?)

In any case, these are pens that accompanied the great explorer in his last adventures. It is heartening to see them preserved till the present day in such a fine condition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • KLscribbler

    1

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
      amberleadavis
      37978
    2. PAKMAN
      PAKMAN
      31104
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
      28220
    4. jar
      jar
      26101
    5. wimg
      wimg
      25602
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • A Smug Dill
      @Texas42 Thank you. I myself have recently had the experience of cleaning out a Wing Sung 699, in which the iron-gall ink has been sitting for six months. No damage to the metal piston rod (whereas, in a Wing Sung 3013 vacuum-filler, it would have been corroded, turned green, and contaminated the ink in mere weeks), but there was a ring of colour at the far end of the barrel that wouldn't budge, and I found it impossible to unscrew the filling mechanism to clean the interior wall of the ink rese
    • Texas42
      Dang. You are a great friend!   One comment as a relative newcomer would be within the cleaning section: issues/differences in cleaning vacuum filler, piston filler in addition to cartridge/converter. I just cleaned out my Pilot 823 and while it wasn't particularly difficult I was a little paranoid about the drops of water that I could not get out. Perhaps this is something you are already including.   Anyway, great project and very thoughtful of you. I know it's a project fo
    • Splat
      Ah Ruaidhri ya wee heid banger, you do indeed have an Irishman’s way wid dose words now. I’ll be from outer Aberdeenshire up in the blizzard riven braes of the Grampians.  Amateur medicine and surgery is it? Well what noble aspirations you do possess, we need to encourage such noble experimentations.  I pondered on leaving my own battered shell to science, but, until I read your pearls of wisdom and lament, I had comedown on the side of leaving my body to Findus frozen foods.  However, your rema
    • austollie
      Hi Smug Dill,   Nice project.  If it were me, I'd cover stuff like: - nib types available, i.e. styles, materials (SS vs gold), flex vs nails; - filling systems (I love the "thingie" comment) and how once can use them in practice (e.g. fill cartridges with a syringe); - pen body materials and their consequences (pen not balanced of too heavy and big for the hand); - and, whilst you've made it clear that you do not like vintage pens, a discussion of these beyond "I d
    • A Smug Dill
      Thanks for your input! Yes, not putting wood in the list of body materials warranting a mention was an oversight. I love pens with wooden bodies, but my main concern, or chagrin, is that I have not come across a wooden-bodied pen with a wooden cap that seals well. Actually, there is one, but it isn't really wood per se: the Pilot Custom Kaede's maple body is resin impregnated. All other wooden pens I have can dry out while capped and undisturbed; that includes several Platinum #3776 models.
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. arthurm
      arthurm
      (22 years old)
    2. BMS
      BMS
      (61 years old)
    3. cacatua
      cacatua
      (72 years old)
    4. Cmg.sweet
      Cmg.sweet
    5. Dennis B
      Dennis B
      (74 years old)





×
×
  • Create New...