An Unusual Kingswood

I wrote about Eversharp Kingswoods before, back here: http://wp.me/p17T6K-3k but I found out two new things about them today.

First, they were produced in this glorious pattern:

And second they were offered with this superb oblique stub:

This is the earlier Kingswood with the Art Deco stepped clip and the pierced cap ring. The section is black hard rubber but, oddly, the clip screw is plastic. It shows the results of time and hard use. The plating (which is thin on these pens) has completely gone from the lever and the clip is little better. More remains on the cap band. The BHR section is a little faded and there are some nibbles on the clip screw. The nib has been bent and straightened. None of that makes much difference; this remains a glorious pen.

This pattern, in various forms, appears on several makes of pen: Swans, Blackbirds, Summits and Wyverns to name but a few from the British manufacturers. It’s sometimes called brickwork, I’ve seen some American collectors describe it as web, and here it’s mostly known as lizardskin. The fact that the pattern varies from dark to light is, I think, meant to evoke reptile skin. Here, it’s at an angle, whereas on Swans it tends to run parallel to the pen. I think this is because, rather than being machined from the rod, this cap and barrel are made from wrapped celluloid sheet. The pattern ran along the sheet, but the forming of the pen has set it at an angle.

The nib is unlike the Eversharps I’ve seen in previous Kingswoods. “Eversharp 14K 0.585 Flexible Made In USA” is stamped on the nib. Along one side of the nib, in tiny writing is “A 14. 585©”  and on the other “WECO” .  I’ve long suspected that Parker began making Kingswoods to use up Eversharp nibs. Maybe this nib appears in other Eversharp models. Tell me if you’ve seen it elsewhere, please. The nib is soft rather than flexible (which might be because it has been bent and straightened) but the shape of the stub imparts some line variation.

In conclusion, this pen has caused me to reassess Kingswoods. I thought of them as no more than competently made workaday pens with really good nibs. This strikingly beautiful pen suggests that, on occasion at least, they could be more than that.

 

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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

12 Responses to An Unusual Kingswood

  1. Jonathan says:

    That’s a lovely pen, and an interesting nib. I have a couple of Wahl Eversharps from the late 1920s/early 1930s with Eversharp, Flexible, and Made in USA on them, and another marked with ‘Stub’, but I’ve never seen the other markings before. I think they also made oblique nibs and helpfully labeled some of them as such. I guess the nib must be a few years older than the pen?

  2. Thanks for telling me that, Jonathan. It may be that when Parker took over the remains of the defunct Eversharp company they found that there were many nibs waiting to be used, and of course they were worth more in use than they would have been as gold scrap. In that case, yes, the nib might be a lot older than the pen.

    Of course I may be wrong about that, and Parker manufactured new Eversharp nibs for use in their Kingswood pens, but there seems to be so much against that case that I can’t really believe it. Perhaps the truth will come out one day.

    Best Regards,
    Deb

  3. Jonathan says:

    I remember reading an old discussion in the Fountain Pen Network’s Wahl forum that the 585 gold content marking, for a while at least, was put on the nibs the company was exporting. I’m not sure if that is the case, but it could make sense here.

    I’ve never had a Kingswood but most of the ones I have seen online with Eversharp nibs have just had something like 14CT and Osmi-iridium on them.

  4. I think you’re right on both counts. I’ve had a few Kingswoods, both of this type and the more streamlined version which I think is later. All had the basic Eversharp nib.

    Regards,
    Deb

  5. paperandhand says:

    Ahaha! So it was you that outbid me on this pen 😉 I’m glad because now I know it went to someone who will appreciate it.

  6. Guilty as charged! Keep an eye out. It will be going back into eBay in restored condition in a couple of weeks. I really wanted to handle and record it but I don’t want to keep it.

    Regards,
    Deb

  7. Thank you for saying so. Being a Kingswood, the price is unlikely to go through the roof.

    Regards,
    Deb

  8. Waudok says:

    I’ve always thought that this design of Kingswood was made by Unique (for Wahl) and the button fillers were made by Valentine. I think this nib has probably been swapped in from a “proper” Wahl as these generally have Eversharp 14Ct nibs

    • Hi Waudok,
      You may be right. There are several stories about Kingswoods but very little certainty about any of them. It would be wonderful to get a good explanation of the Kingswood backed by evidence, but so far it just hasn’t happened. I would dearly love to know what the Unique story is, as well.
      Best Regards,
      Deb

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