The De La Rue Pen

I can generally estimate the age of a De La Rue Onoto fairly closely, but I confess I’m all at sea with their non-Onoto pens.

 

This is The De La Rue Pen and it’s my guess that it’s immediately post-war, but I could be wrong. I say that because I have it in the back of my mind that De La Rue made these pens with black ends before WWII too. I must have read it somewhere but the source is long gone.

 

These pens with black ends are among the best of the non-Onoto output. They’re really well made, and so they’re a pleasure to restore. This one needed a new sac and a polish. That was it, and ready to go again. The black ends are memorable, in that the one at the base of the barrel is a piece of black celluloid grafted on to the patterned barrel, in much the way that Waterman and Mentmore did. Waterman’s and Mentmore’s examples generally ended in disaster with the ends cracking, fragmenting and falling off. I’ve never seen that happen to a De La Rue Pen. The other end, the top of the cap, is a shallow-domed clip screw made out of black hard rubber. Most have faded to brown now, so the black ends effect is a little spoiled.

 

The worst failing in De La Rues – Onotos too – is poor plating and this one’s no exception. A tiny vestige of gold clings to the clip just above the ball end, but the underlying metal polished up well.

These pens make a decent price, but they’re much cheaper than the Onotos. What’s in a name? After all, quite a few later Onotos are lever fillers too, and despite having something different engraved on the nib, they write the same – that is, superbly! If you care about the plunger filler, or if the name means a lot to you, then you have to have the Onoto. Otherwise, you might decide to settle for the De La Rue Pen – a splendid and beautiful pen in its own right – and have all the value and quality of its more prestigious brother for half the price.

Advertisements

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

3 Responses to The De La Rue Pen

  1. Joanna Matthews says:

    I’ve just recently bought this exact pen and you’re the first site I’ve found that talks about it, as I haven’t been able to find anything about it even on the Onoto website, so thank you so much for that. I was dubious about the top finial being original, as sadly the clip currently on it isn’t, but you’ve reassured me that the finial is original but faded to brown. It is a lovely pen, though needs a bit of TLC, but very happy to have it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: