Period: Mid-Twentieth Century
Length: 6.5 inches
Width: 0.5 inches
Practical and decorative vintage at its summery best is this flamboyant Dip Pen by Perry & Co. Delicate yet surprisingly robust, the glass phial is layered with Alum Bay sand and the nib is electroplated and stamped with the Perry & Co name.
James Perry, a schoolmaster, being dissatisfied with the quality of existing pens, began making steel pens by hand in 1819, at first in Manchester and then, from 1824, in London. He did much to popularise steel pens with his patented Perryian pens. In 1876 the Perry company was merged with other distinguished makers of the time in Josiah Mason and Wiley, under the Perry name. The business was sold to British Pens in 1961 meaning this pen dates to well before that.
A traditional product of Alum Bay, the westernmost point of the Isle of Wight, and a fixture of tourist shops, is the creation of ornaments using the coloured sands layered in vials and jars. Visitors are no longer allowed to dig out their own sands, and signs on the beach warn tourists not to climb the cliffs because of the danger of landslides.
In consideration of the above, not only is this is a tactile and attractive pen, but one that has survived many a British summer thus far.