Whytwarth Valentine sterling silver guilloche safety pen with beautiful turquoise enamel overlay, hallmarked London 1928.
Whytwarth Valentine was the successor company to John Whytwarth from 1922 continuing to produce the Whytwarth safety pens.
Enamelled guilloche Whytwarth pens are rare, much rarer than the silver and gold overlays.
The pen is 13cm closed (just over 5 inches) and 16.5cm (6 ½ inches) open. The big nib has the Valentine Whytwarth imprint and is an expressive stub with some flex.
Condition: the pen was in surprisingly good condition when I bought it in 2010 but it had lost its cap. It was beautifully restored for me by Lawrence Oldfield (co-author of Pen Repair) who made a new BHR cap in the correct style for Valentine Whytwarth and re-blackened the barrel hard rubber. (It is most likely that the original cap would have matched the enamelled barrel but the black cap looks good.) The turquoise enamel has at some time been apparently deliberately scraped in one narrow area on the back of the barrel to reveal the silver beneath, but is otherwise in sparkling condition. The nib is in excellent condition with good iridium and is a very smooth and expressive writer.
So not a perfect pen but still a lovely example of a rare pen for collectors of Valentine and Whytwarth pens. I have not seen another come up for sale since I bought it.
b]John Whytwarth was a name under which the City Pen Company of London sold pens from 1913 until 1922. In 1916 the City Pen Company became John Whytwarth Ltd. But there does not appear to have been any person called John Whytwarth associated with the company throughout its history; it appears to been simply a marketing name. The company became Whytwarth Pens in 1922 and as such produced the Valentine Whytwarth safety pens through the 1920s, in 1929 becoming part of Valentine & Sons in 1929 with manufacturing in Newhaven, and the story ends with the acquisition of Valentine and the Newhaven plant by Parker in 1945. An interesting if often tortuous history, well documented in the Spring 2011 issue of the Writing Equipment Society Journal by Stephen Hull. (I can email the buyer with a scan of the article if interested.)
Price: $670, £475, 550 plus postage:
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