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Our Sold Archive provides information to budding vintage fountain pen/writing equipment collectors and social history students.

Lily of the Valley writing set

Each fountain pen or piece of writing equipment forms part of the collective history of its period and has a history unique to that particular item. In the 1930’s a silver banded fountain pen was purchased by estate workers, with no doubt hard earned wages, and inscribed to present as a silver wedding gift to the land owner. It was reported recently that, in the days before the National Health Service, when health care had to be paid for, a man pawned his fountain pen to raise funds to enable his wife to be released from hospital. A recently sold writing cabinet was originally a presentation piece to recognise 40 years of loyal service in a period when jobs were for life. Just three examples which only scratch the surface of the lifetime of memories held within each item. A treasure trove of history that no new fountain pen could convey.

The French Lily of the Valley writing set (above right) is an example of the language of writing equipment. Lily of the Valley is a symbol of purity, humility and sweetness and this set was purchased by a soldier to present to his fiancé on his return home.

Below, and on following pages, are all the desktop items in our Sold Archive, displayed in a random order. If you wish to search the sold archive, then the Search Catalogue page gives you an opportunity to do so. On another page you can find the vintage fountain pens part of our Sold Archive, as well as lists of our current stock of vintage pens and desktop items.

Desktop Item: Brass with Claw Feet Desk Pen Holder

Stock number: 9264

Desk Pen Holder Brass with Claw Feet

Click for a larger version of this picture.

Condition: Fair-Good

Sold

Price: £45.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £7.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £10.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £12.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

  

This is a useful and unusual desk item – in brass with claw feet, it will hold five fountain pens. It has no markings but from its style I believe it dates from the late 1890’s/early 1900’s. I have illustrated the underside to give you a better indication of its age and shape. It measures 10cm long and 7.5cm in depth. Height is 2cm. Weight 184grms. Condition is fair to good – there are pitting marks on each of the pen sections and this is reflected in the price. It is an attractive item that will sit well on a desk or hall chest. The pen and pencil set illustrated is not included in the price.


Desktop Item: Hinks - The Boxer Nib box

Stock number: 9253

Nib box Hinks - The Boxer

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Condition: Fair

Sold

Price: £30.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £6.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £8.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £10.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

 

This tiny nib box was made by a manufacturer called Hinks Wells & Co. in Birmingham around 1900. The Boxer is one of a sporting series which included Cricket, Cycling and Football. It is in fair to good condition – fair because it is rusty on the back of the tin and good because the image of the Boxer is still clear on the front. It is a delightful piece of vintage writing equipment measuring only 45mm (1.5 inches) long by 15mm (half an inch) wide which I am sure will be of interest to collectors and sporting enthusiasts.
Source: La mémoire des Sergent-Major, Jean-Pierre Lacroux & Lionel Van Cleem, Ramsey Paris 1988.p.74

 


Desktop Item: Victorian Stationery Box

Stock number: 9220

Victorian Stationery Box

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Condition: Very Good

Sold

Price: £508.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £0.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £68.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £145.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

 

This triple opening late Victorian oak stationery box c1890 is an oak chest with sturdy handles on either side - hence making it portable between rooms. As you will see from the photographs, the oak lid lifts to reveal various wooden compartments (including one which will take slightly longer than A4 size paper), a folder into which one would place blotting paper and writing paper if wished (again slightly longer than A4 size), two metal topped inkwells in good condition, a pen tray with cavity underneath for storing pens/pencils etc., a pleasing set of small drawers down the side to hold various stationery items, and a small wooden edged white slate which has its own slide in slot. The box opens further to reveal a leather covered writing slope in the same colour as the lid which has a hinged compartment to hold paper/envelopes. As illustrated, the interior lid of the box is leather with sections holding a bone handled pencil (working), a bone handled dip pen with a Birmingham nib (in good order), two bone rulers (in good order), a pair of Sheffield steel scissors and a bone handled penknife the latter two having seen better days. The stationery box is in very good condition internally and externally having a pleasing aged patina to the oak with original handles, knobs and leather.  It measures 43cm (17inch) wide, 23cm (9½ inch) deep and 29cm (11½ inch) high. It is a very heavy item as it is almost a piece of old English furniture - weighing about 45lbs. The price includes UK despatch. Its weight unfortunately makes it expensive to mail overseas. I propose sending it by Parcelforce with insurance and you will note from the listing the prices I have been quoted for that. If you are an overseas buyer and wish to purchase and can think of an alternative/cheaper shipping method please let me know. An excellent example of English writing equipment of a certain era which will be a pleasure to own and use.
 


Desktop Item: Portable flat folding Desk Pen Holder

Stock number: 9266

Desk Pen Holder Portable flat folding

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Condition: Good

Sold

Price: £25.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £7.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £10.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £12.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

 

This wooden pen holder is ideal for the travelling writer – it folds flat to a size of 155mm high by 100mm wide and will easily hold three fountain pens. The montage illustrates it open and closed and also shows in more detail the flower design on the lozenge at the top. You will find the remains of a “mark” on the reverse but it is too feint to read and so it is difficult to date, but it is typical of the type of item that would have been taken on a Grand Tour. Condition is good with some anticipated age wear. An unusual and attractive pen holder – easily packed and reassembled for use by pushing the sides and centre strut out.

 


Desktop Item: Italian leather - hand made Pen wallet

Stock number: 9227

Pen wallet Italian leather - hand made

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Condition: Very Good

Sold

Price: £35.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £0.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £6.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £8.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

This modern pen pouch was made in Italy and is hand made of good quality leather. It has a pleasing polished finish and a leather loop which slips under the strap to keep it secure. As they are hand made they vary slightly in size but all will accommodate a standard size fountain pen and, in some cases, a larger size such as the Parker Duofold Senior. They are an excellent way of protecting, transporting or even just storing your vintage fountain pen.


Desktop Item: Silver Coronation George VI Letter Opener

Stock number: 9248

Letter Opener Silver Coronation George VI

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Condition: Very Good

Sold

Price: £65.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £0.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £6.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £8.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

 

George VI was crowned King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions on 11th December 1936 following the abdication of his brother Edward VIII. He was the last Emperor of India and the last King of Ireland. Edward VIII who, being the elder son, had been crowned King on the death of his father, decided to abdicate to marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.
 
George was not expecting to take up the role of King and his temperament and health were ill suited to it. However he overcame his reticence and his stammer by his will to serve his country and by the support of his wife – the late Queen Mother (Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon) who is depicted on the reverse head of this commemorative silver letter opener. King George VI and The Queen Mother will always be remembered with pride and affection by the British people for their devotion to duty and their refusal to leave London during the blitz of the second world war, preferring to remain with their people - visiting the bomb sites the day following bombing raids to express their sympathy and to try to lift the spirits of the nation.
 
George VI coronation took place on 12th May 1937 – the day previously reserved for Edward’s coronation. This commemorative letter opener is hallmarked Birmingham 1936 – prepared in time to be issued for the coronation the following May. The maker’s name is GWL&Co. but I have not been able to trace the silversmith referred to. One side of the blade is plain with a strong hallmark, the other has a four inch ruler. The text surrounding the head of King George states “George VI crowned 12 May 1937”and for the Queen Mother states “Queen Elizabeth 12 May 1937”. It measures 15.5cm (6inches) in length and is in very good condition – having come from a private collection. An excellent piece of vintage writing equipment which, to many, is worth more than the sum of its parts.


Desktop Item: London 1915 - silver mounted desk Blotter

Stock number: 9202

Blotter London 1915 - silver mounted desk

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Condition: Good

Sold

Price: £115.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £0.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £4.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £8.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

Silver mounted desk blotter – London 1915 This silver mounted wooden desk blotter with leather backing is hallmarked London 1915. It is in good condition and measures 29cm x 22.5cm.


Desktop Item: Brown leather Pen/Cigar holder

Stock number: 9263

Pen/Cigar holder Brown leather

Click for a larger version of this picture.

Condition: Fair

Sold

Price: £25.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £7.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £10.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £12.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

 

You may be thinking that this is an unusual item to find on a vintage fountain pen website – but cigar cases are very useful for providing protection when carrying around a few fountain pens – and particularly if you are going out hunting for some. This example in brown leather has obviously been well used over the years it has scratches and ink stains that let it down (or add to its appeal - depending on your point of view). If you should use it for cigars it has a striker strip on the bottom. I have listed it in "fair" condition which I think sums it up but it remains a useful and tactile item.


Desktop Item: Eagle - Just For Fun Pencil

Stock number: 9271

Pencil Eagle - Just For Fun

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Condition: Good

Sold

Price: £20.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £7.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £10.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £12.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

 

Whilst this pencil company was founded in 1856 in Bavaria it moved to New York in 1860 and adopted the eagle as their symbol when setting up in America. The owners were called Berolzheimers – who subsequently shortened their name to “Berol” in 1970 - which no doubt rings a bell. The pencil shown in the montage is a good example of their work. They called it “Just For Fun” and what else could it be? The full text reads “Just For Fun” Eagle Pencil Co. New York U.S.A.” and it carries the Eagle logo. It is a very large, fat pencil measuring 200mm long from pencil lead to top of ring and dates most likely from the 1940’s. It’s just a fun thing to have on your desk or hanging around – and it’s in pretty good condition too. 

Source: Fountain Pens and Pencils, Fischler and Schneider. p.271

 
 


Desktop Item: Silver Sliding Cedar Pencil

Stock number: 9216

Pencil Silver Sliding Cedar

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Condition: Good

Sold

Price: £65.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £0.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £4.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £6.00
The postage and packing charge is per order not per item, so if you buy more than one item you pay only one postage and packing charge (see our terms). These costs will be added to your invoice at checkout. Please select UK, Europe or World delivery to ensure you pay the right amount.

 

This lovely silver pencil dates from around 1880. It was termed a “Cedar Pencil” as the sliding mechanism was made to hold a wooden pencil made of Cedar which retracts into the pencil body when not in use, protecting the point. It has the silver mark of 925. Whilst I am unable to read the maker’s name it is typical of English pencils of the period. As you can see it currently has a cedar pencil and the gripping and sliding mechanism is in working order. It measures 9.5mm in length and is in surprisingly good condition for its age. A gift box is available free of charge on request.  


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If you would like us to try to source another copy of a previously sold item, please stating the stock number of the item in question, which you will see above its picture on the right.


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