Less Common British Pens: Selsdon

Not exactly rare but by no means common, Selsdon pens don’t attract a lot of attention when they do appear. They’re not without their points of interest, though.

The most commonly seen Selsdon is a late forties pen, quite large, with a straight barrel and a curved stepped clip. It can appear with either a warranted 14ct nib or a plated one, and I suspect that the company had no nib-making facility of their own, but bought them in.

The other Selsdon that appears quite frequently has a strong resemblance to the Eversharp Skyline, with its tapered barrel and domed cap. Again, this appears to be a nineteen-forties pen.

These designs were not exactly inspired, and the execution was not quite in the first rank either. The pens would be without interest were it not for the plastic they are made from. I can’t identify what it is, except to say that it is heavier and more dense than celluloid, and appears to have been machined from the rod rather than moulded. I haven’t seen anything quite like it elsewhere. It has lasted well, without the barrel distortion one sees on some other economy pens of the period.

Selsdon made a number of commemorative pens for the 1953 coronation, both fountain pens and ballpoints. Unlike the earlier pens, which were invariably black, some of these pens were produced in attractive, colourful patterns. Boxed pen and pencil sets were also on offer.

In 1958 the company faced court action over unpaid copyright fees relating to a mechanical pencil, and later that year the company accounts were questioned, giving rise to another court case which changed the role of company auditors. That, I think, was the end of the production of Selsdon pens.


2 thoughts on “Less Common British Pens: Selsdon

  1. Hi, i found this very interesting. I am trying to find out about a pen that came into my possession about 20 years ago. It is marked “selsdon rubex” pat ap 015123 made in England. This pen has an ink sac and lever like a fountain pen but has a ballpoint not a nib.

    1. Hi Richard,

      I’ve seen a Selsdon Rubex before, and I believe it’s a stylo, not a ballpoint. These are quite uncommon though probably not at all valuable. Selsdon is an interesting firm which became involved in plastics after it stopped making pens. There is a plastic called Rubex which might be connected.

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