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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: London 1894 Silver Inkwell

Stock number: 9201

Inkwell London 1894 Silver

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Condition: Good

Sold

Price: £175.00
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 inkwell - London 1894. This square inkwell in classical style is hallmarked London 1894. It has an internal glass liner, measures 9cm x 4cm and is 4cm in height. It is in good condition with some minor wear to the lid but no pitting.


Desktop Item: Plumes de Sergent-Major No.500 Nib box

Stock number: 9240

Nib box Plumes de Sergent-Major No.500

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Condition: Fair-Good

Sold

Price: £20.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £5.00
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 nib box is one of a commemorative battle series produced by Gilbert & Blanzy-Poure in France around 1900. This particular box depicts the Battle between France and Austria on 16th October 1793 during the French Revolution. I believe it took place the day Marie Antoinette was executed. The box is in fair to good condition. Whilst it is unoped it has a cut through along the front edge and on the right hand side. It appears full of nibs – the side of the box stating “100 plumes”. An interesting piece of vintage writing equipment to add to a collection. 


Desktop Item: Asprey Horseshoe Paperweight

Stock number: 9221

Paperweight Asprey Horseshoe

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Condition: Fair-Good

Sold

Price: £120.00
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 unusual and rare desk item was produced around 1879 and retailed at the time by Asprey of Bond Street, London and has the Registered Design mark of 26th July 1879 on the top lozenge. On the reverse it is stamped “Asprey 106 Bond Street, 22 Albermarle Street, London. By Appointment to HRH Prince of Wales”  Presumably, given its registered design date, the Prince of Wales referred to is the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and was King Edward VII of Great Britain and Ireland from 1901. It is an unusual item which can be used as a paperclip (the paper is held in place by raising the steel horseshoe and releasing, thereby clamping the paper at the point of curve) or as a paperweight. You will see from the photographs, there is some age wear to the steel horseshoe and in my view fairly extensive wear to the purple velvet base. Having said that considering its age and purpose it is in fair to good condition and priced accordingly. It is quite a heavy object measuring 12cm long by 10cm wide at broadest point. A rare desktop item, perhaps of particular interest to an equestrian.


Desktop Item: Mappin & Webb Crocodile Portable Writing Wallet

Stock number: 9218

Writing Wallet Mappin & Webb Crocodile Portable

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Condition: Very Good

Sold

Price: £228.00
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 rare and exceptional portable writing wallet was made for retail by Mappin & Webb around 1920. It has a genuine crocodile leather exterior with a leather carrying handle and a dark green leather interior. The outer clasp is silver with a lion hallmark but no date lozenge. The clasp is in working order but has no key. Despite its compact carrying size of 26cm wide by 22 cm deep, as can be seen in the photograph it opens to reveal a number of letter compartments including one running behind the main paper holding panel. The folder increases its extended size to 51cm deep fully open and so is a good size to also use as a desk item whilst folding to a compact size for easy transportation. It has the Mappin & Webb branding in gold on the interior leather pen/pencil holding strip which reads “Mappin & Webb Oxford Street London W.” The main interior panel has the additional attraction of a leather covered wooden central pen/pencil case with working clasp. On either side of this are leather holders containing on one side a match striker (Lights) and on the other a travelling inkwell (Ink). The striker still has its striking plate and the inkwell its internal ink bottle, although the seal on the well is such that I would not recommend you carrying ink around in this. The leather, both external and internal is in very good condition with only minor signs of age. You will note that it has been initialled “GC” but this does not detract from the overall attractiveness of this genuine and unusually rare item of writing equipment.


Desktop Item: Parker 51 Pencil leads

Stock number: 9194

Pencil leads Parker 51

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Condition: Mint

Sold

Price: £5.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £0.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £3.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £4.00
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 phial of pencil leads for the Parker 51 rotary pencil is in mint condition and contains 12 leads. In this instance the price does not include postage in the UK and the item will be sent by standard mail. This is in an effort to keep the cost to a sensible sum. A special price can be agreed for multiple purchases of this item.


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: Diamine Ink bottle

Stock number: 9211

Ink bottle Diamine

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Condition: Mint

Sold

Price: £5.95
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 modern fountain pen ink is specially formulated in the U.K. for vintage fountain pens by Diamine Ink – ink manufacturers since 1864. It is packaged in an attractive bottle and outer carton which means it is suitable as gift or a desk item. It comes in a variety of colours however I currently have for sale Blue/Black, Jet Black, Washable Blue, Prussian Blue (dark), Brilliant Red, Saddle Brown (dark brown), Crimson (Pink) and Burnt Sienna (light brown). I also have boxes of cartridges which are standard European size and come 20 to a box. You will see from the picture above that there are two variations of mixed boxes. If you enlarge the picture you will have a better view of the variety in each. Be aware that the ink colour is not noted on the outside of the cartridges but it is marked on the top of the ink bottle. Items will be sent by Royal Mail Recorded Delivery. UK postage is included in the price. 


Desktop Item: Birmingham 1920 - amethyst lid silver capstan Inkwell

Stock number: 9200

Inkwell Birmingham 1920 - amethyst lid silver capstan

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Condition: Good

Sold

Price: £148.00
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 capstan inkwell with amethyst lid – Birmingham 1920. This capstan style inkwell is hallmarked Birmingham 1920. It has an amethyst enamel inlay lid and an internal glass liner. It measures 8cm circumference and 4.5 cm in height and is in good condition.


Desktop Item: Arnold's Inks c1890 Rolling Ruler

Stock number: 9272

Rolling Ruler Arnold's Inks c1890

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Condition: Fair-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.

 

This rare ebony rolling ruler was issued by “Arnold’s Inks” to advertise its wares and celebrate the longevity of the company and dates from around 1890. The text on the ruler states “Arnold’s Inks Have Stood the Test of a Century”. It is 310mm long. It is as useful today as it has always been and is in fair to good condition – there are chips on both ends but the writing is still very visible and there is no doubt of its age. An interesting piece of writing equipment history.


Desktop Item: Targa Amber Ronce Ballpoint

Stock number: 9223

Ballpoint Targa Amber Ronce

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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: £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 vintage ballpoint pen is one of the successful Targa range produced by the Sheaffer Pen Company during the 1980's. Its official pattern name is "Amber Ronce" but is also known as "Mother in Law's Carpet" and it is a rare finish. It is a match for the cartridge filling fountain pen available in the pen section under item number 4143. It is in full working order and good condition overall. As you would expect it has the Sheaffer "Lifetime" dot on the clip. It measures 13cm. 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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