A Sterling Silver Propelling Dipping Pen & Pencil by James Allen, Birmingham, 1893


Origin: English
Period: Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: 1893
Compact length: 4 inches
Extended length: 5 inches
Maximum width: 0.5 inches

The hexagonal shaft profusely chaste on five sides with foliate scrollwork, one side with a scroll and leaf motif slider, the blank area engraved CHARTGILL, with another similar slider opposite. One slider propels the pen nib, designed to take up ink when dipped into a bottle, the other slider propels the pencil, which still has some lead in it. The shaft terminates in a scrollwork top inset with a hardstone matrix, engraved with the initials CW.

The pen is offered with an associated velvet lined box.Beautifully and expensively made, but robust enough to withstand daily use, this item of stationery would in the Victorian period comprise all that one would need to go about their daily business. Examples with matrices are always more desirable, and this example is just crying out to be used.

For those of you that prefer ink on paper, than letters on a screen (and we count ourselves among you), this is surely a must.