This black chased hard rubber flat-top turned up in a collection of pens I bought last week.
When I checked out the imprint neither “Loxley Bros, Sheffield” nor “The Atlas” appeared to have any connection with pen manufacture. Loxley Bros. turned out to be a large printing firm which had been liquidated a quarter of a century ago. In their day, they produced a range of materials from books to wartime propaganda and safety-at-work posters as well as greeting cards which appeared to be their mainstay.
The promotional pen for a firm of printers is quite a common theme in British pens, Kenrick & Jefferson being a good example. As the pens reflected on their business, regardless of whether they were sold or given away, printers’ pens tended to be a cut above the average, as this one is. Whereas cheaper pens of the day (perhaps the late twenties) had straight-sided barrels and caps, this one is noticeably streamlined, in the barrel at least. Despite being well-used the chased pattern is clear, as is the barrel imprint. The threads are well cut and everything goes together very well.
But why “The Atlas”?
This is the stately entrance to Loxley Bros’ Atlas Works, proudly illustrated in one of their later promotional leaflets. Happily, though Loxley Bros. is long gone, this dignified building remains and it’s still a printing works.
My enquiries didn’t get anywhere in establishing who made this fine pen, but did uncover a corner of history.