By 1940 Art Deco was a thing of the past, except in one area: fountain pen design.
This case holds a Wyvern 707 pen and pencil set. The 707 went into production in 1949 and appears to have proved popular. There are still quite a few of them around. That said, it’s not the pen that grabs me here so much as the presentation box. It’s made of ivory-coloured plastic with a strong metal hinge. It’s altogether impressively well-made. The thing is heavy.
Where did you last see a design like that? On a Wurlitzer Juke Box? Or a nineteen-thirties cinema foyer? Or a snazzy gangster-era car? Though it might be a little anachronistic, it impresses. This set would have made a nice Christmas or birthday present, just as the second half of the twentieth century was about to begin.
The Wyvern 707, unlike its box, looks forward. It’s Wyvern’s shameless reinterpretation of the Parker 51, a design that would still have appeared futuristic then. It’s not quite what it seems, though. Concealed beneath the blind cap is the same old button filler that Wyvern had been making for years. So under the hood it maybe is more of the Art Deco period than of post-war Modernism. And the little Leicester dragon is still around:
In reality, it’s a pretty good pen. It writes well, which is what matters when you get past the veneer of style. If I’d been around in 1949, I think I’d have wanted one. This set has survived in such an “as new” state (except for the shedding plush) that it’s like it’s 1949 all over again.