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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: Victorian Stationery Box

Stock number: 9220

Victorian Stationery Box

Click for a larger version of this picture.

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: 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: Birmingham 1920 - amethyst lid silver capstan Inkwell

Stock number: 9200

Inkwell Birmingham 1920 - amethyst lid silver capstan

Click for a larger version of this picture.

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

Click for a larger version of this picture.

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.


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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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