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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: Silver London 1893 and 1894 Stationery Box & Blotter

Stock number: 9230

Stationery Box & Blotter Silver London 1893 and 1894

Click for a larger version of this picture.

Condition: Excellent

Sold

Price: £995.00
Postage and packing
U.K. via Royal Mail Special Delivery: £10.00
Europe via Royal Mail International Signed For: £15.00
Rest of World via Royal Mail International Signed For: £20.00
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 Victorian silver mounted stationery box(1893) and blotter pad (1894) bear London hallmarks. The silversmith, William Comyns and Sons was founded by William Comyns in 1859 with his sons joining him in 1885. His work was, and is today, felt to be of exceptional and astounding quality and by the early 1900’s he is reported as supplying a number of top retailers in London and New York, including Tiffany & Co. These particular items with their open-work scroll, lattice flower head and leaf decoration, both with vacant cartouche reflect that quality of workmanship. The sides and rear of the stationery box are covered in crocodile leather as is the rear of the blotter pad. The interior of the box has a brown silk lining and the blotter contains brown blotting paper sheets. Condition is excellent with, as you will see from the photograph montage, very little age wear. These exceptional vintage writing accessory items are believed to have originally formed part of the estate of a Welsh castle. They are quite rare and exceedingly decorative items in addition to their usefulness - even today.
 


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: Silver Sliding Cedar Pencil

Stock number: 9216

Pencil Silver Sliding Cedar

Click for a larger version of this picture.

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.  


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: Diamine Ink bottle

Stock number: 9211

Ink bottle Diamine

Click for a larger version of this picture.

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: 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: Portable flat folding Desk Pen Holder

Stock number: 9266

Desk Pen Holder Portable flat folding

Click for a larger version of this picture.

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: French Silver c1890 Writing Set

Stock number: 9239

Writing Set French Silver c1890

Click for a larger version of this picture.

Condition: Good

Sold

Price: £195.00
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 exquisite French silver writing set c1890, sits within its original jeweller’s presentation box and includes a dip pen, letter opener, scraper and seal. It is an exceptional item of vintage writing equipment. The ornate chasing wraps itself around the handle of each item both front and rear making it extremely decorative and elegant. The set is in near mint condition with a clear lozenge on the seal. The nib states “Joseph Egerton & Sons (London) Ltd. – The Q R Pen” whilst this is an old nib it is unlikely to be the original. The name on the delicately patterned fabric on the interior of the lid is “Dufour Brassart, Arras”.
 
The dip pen measures 19.5cm in length from top to tip of nib, the letter opener 18cm, the scraper 14cm and the seal 7cm. The presentation box, which measures 24cm wide x 12cm deep x 4.5cm high, shows minor wear on the interior as can be seen from the photograph. The exterior covering has a ribbon banding design with only minor wear to the lid and a working clasp.
 
It is an exceptionally beautiful set of vintage writing equipment which I am sure will provide much pleasure to its next owner.


Desktop Item: Turquoise Enamel Perpetual Desk Calendar

Stock number: 9247

Desk Calendar Turquoise Enamel Perpetual

Click for a larger version of this picture.

Condition: Good

Sold

Price: £170.00
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 is a superb example of a 1920’s perpetual desk calendar – with exquisite turquoise coloured enamel facing – in working order. The wheels on both left and right should be turned together to change the date and month. The wheels on the furthest top edges change the date (by moving the red line) on all but the first week, and the wheels one in from each end change the month in the centre window. The bottom wheel changes the way in which the numbered dates appear under the days so you can fix the first of the month on the correct day for that month. So changing this by using the bottom wheel ensures that the calendar will always be able to show the correct date no matter what the year – hence it is termed a perpetual calendar. They are usually found with a silver or plated facing and this beautiful turquoise enamel is a rare find and a delight to see. It measures 12.2cm across for the calendar itself with the wooden base measuring 14.5cm across. It is 9.4cm high from base to top of wheel. The condition is good with some age wear to the turning knobs and the wooden base. The mechanism is obviously old and would not take rough handling but is still in working order. The glass front, whilst in good order, is a little loose in the fittings. The colour is a little deeper than is shown above. A lovely example of vintage desk furniture.


Desktop Item: London 1894 Silver Inkwell

Stock number: 9201

Inkwell London 1894 Silver

Click for a larger version of this picture.

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.


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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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