Less Common British Pens – The Wyvern.

The Leicester Dragon on a Wyvern De Luxe Nib

Despite being one of the oldest British pen companies, and producing a variety of high-quality pens, Wyvern does not have a strong following these days. From the 1880s onwards, the company went through various stages of development, importing pens, buying them in from outside contractors, assembling pens from parts and finally going into full production. By the late nineteen-twenties they had their own nib plant and as well as producing their own-branded nibs bearing the Wyvern logo, they made nibs for other manufacturers and warranted 14ct gold nibs for the wider industry. You may have bought a Wyvern without realising it, as they made entire pens for other companies and produced a great many promotional pens.

An Early Fifties Wyvern De Luxe

Though not often seen now, their early eyedroppers and safety pens are excellent examples of the period. More commonly offered now are their pens from the nineteen-forties and fifties. These range from the Wyvern Perfect Pen – a good economy-priced student pen – through their larger numbered models like the 60c to the crocodile-skin, lizard-skin and pigskin-covered pens at the top of the range. These pens were highly esteemed and the company enjoyed royal patronage during this period. The weakness of the middle-range Wyverns lies in the gold plating, which is often little more than a gold-wash and wears away easily, especially on the clips. Their great strength are the nibs which are of consistently high quality and among the very best of the time. They are usually firm or semi-flexible, but the occasional full flex Wyvern turns up and is a true delight.

A "Perfect Pen" No 81. Low Cost With A Great Nib

An innovative and progressive company, Wyvern made such a wide range of pens over the decades of their existence that they offer good opportunities for the collector. For the writer looking for an excellent and characterful pen to use, Wyverns still offer great savings over comparable Swans and Conway Stewarts.

The Wyvern Logo on a 1950s Ambassador

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About goodwriterspens
I restore fountain pens, and used to trade as redripple52 in eBay. I also have my own fountain pen sales website, www.goodwriterssales.com

17 Responses to Less Common British Pens – The Wyvern.

  1. paperandhand says:

    I just wanted to tell you I really enjoy reading your articles.
    I found this website looking for informations (and photos) of less known Wyvern pens and I stayed reading!

    Btw, I recognized your handwriting straight away πŸ™‚

  2. Hi,

    Glad you’re enjoying the articles.

    You have the advantage of me now. You know who I am but who are you?

    My handwriting’s a dead giveaway πŸ™‚

  3. paperandhand says:

    Oh, I just bought a simple Waterman some time ago but it had a nice nib and started me on vintage pens πŸ™‚

  4. tony says:

    I HAVE A ‘WYVERN PERFECT’ FOUNTAIN PEN SET WITH PENCIL IN GREEN MARBLE EFFECT.
    THE INCISION ON THE BODY OF THE FOUNTAIN PEN READS ‘WYVERN PREFECT’. PREFECT!?
    CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME THANKS, TONY

    • Hi Tony,

      Wyvern made both Perfect Pens and Prefects, which can be a little confusing! The Prefect was an inexpensive pen, often chosen by schools students. In British schools, a prefect is a student on whom limited disciplinary powers have been delegated.

      Does that help?

      Regards,
      Deb

      • tony says:

        hello deb, yes it does help, i did not know about the prefect version. many thanks. tony

  5. Dave Ismay says:

    Seems like the pen world has taken heed of you!
    I have several Wyverns and was always able to acquire them for a modest outlay until they suddenly jumped up in price about 18 months ago!

  6. linda arnold says:

    hi my auntie has just passed away and i have a pen and pencil set called wyvern 707 although not for sale could you tell me if it is worth much many thanks in anticipation

    • Hi Linda,
      I wrote about the Wyvern 707 back here: http://wp.me/p17T6K-jk It’s not easy to put a price on these sets. In good order, with the art deco presentation box, I think they might make as much as Β£40. Without the box, quite a bit less. I suspect that they are one of those items that will eventually be recognised as an icon of its time, and values will rise.

  7. Sharon cordwell says:

    Hi I have some really old pens of mums that we have found one is the wyvern no 7 it is a reddy black motley pen lever fill and the lid has a bess bit on the top that a ring went in . Is this a unusual pen as cannot find any info on the no 7 regards shai

    • Hi Shai,

      What you are describing is a mottled hard rubber chatelaine pen which would hang on a chain or ribbon. The mottled pattern is one that is commonly used by most manufacturers, especially during the period 1910 to 1930. Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on the Wyvern No 7 either. In their early years (they began around 1896) Wyvern imported pens and copied the designs of other manufacturers, with the result that there is a tremendous variety of earlier pens sold by Wyvern. Given that there is no reference to your pen online or in any of my reference books it’s probably quite a rarity. I would be extremely grateful if you would email some pictures of the pen to me (goodwriters@btinternet.com.

      • sharon cordwell says:

        Hi Please find attached photos , its not a rubber type pen its like bakelite, lovely pen if it is rare that would be nice , but have found out this was one of my Nanas pens , she was born 1902 , I have a collection of 15 of my 78 yr old mothers Fountain Pens , This pen was her mother’s my Nana’s and is from the 1920’s and boy i’ve spent some time researching this pen ,dont think this is the rubber version this is a almost bakelite type feel and apparently rare , this is my 2nd favorite pen out of my mum’s box , just wish I could put new sac on and write with the pen my Nana used but I will leave that to the experts , All these fountain pens were given to her on her birthdays from her uncle who was a R C priest in Rome, The 1st one given in 1942 ,we are selling for my mother as they have no significance to us so she may as well have any profit from these pens for her enjoyment instead of them sitting in a box when someone else can enjoy them , my youngest( 21)uses fountain pens as she thinks they write with more depth and prefers the feel of the pen , but has no antique ones , i have put this on ebay with a reserve of 50.00 , but if this is rare then will remove and give to my daughter as she only just turned 21 , any help would be much appreciated. kindest regards Sharon

        Date: Sun, 2 Aug 2015 12:22:09 +0000 To: cordwellsharon@hotmail.com

      • Unfortunately I didn’t get the photographs. The best we would be to email them to me as I suggested and I can blog about them which will help your sales. If it isn’t hard rubber, it’s probably celluloid. Bakelite was hardly ever used for pens as it is so fragile. The pen is certainly rare – I have never seen one in more than 20 years of involvement with pens. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s very valuable. Its demand that forces up pen prices rather than rarity. However, that’s not to say that you won’t get a decent price for it.

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