The firm of Sampson Mordan is best known for the wonderful silver mechanical pencils they produced throughout the nineteenth century and into the first half of the twentieth century, until the company’s premises were bombed in the Blitz in 1941. They did also occasionally make pens, but not many, with the result that Mordan pens are very rare today.
The Royal is an eyedropper filler. It’s a little hard to date. It has a slip cap which suggests it’s early, as does the large, plain 14ct nib. It doesn’t have an over-and-under feed but a slightly more modern type and the tapered section suggests later rather than earlier. If I was forced to guess I’d opt for the mid-teens, possibly just on the eve of the First World War.
It has a discreet little personalisation. It’s as if Joyce Crispin wanted the world to know this was her pen, but only in a whisper. I thought that was quite an unusual name and went searching to see if I could discover the pen’s owner. There are many Joyce Crispins, though, several of them on Facebook. I suspect that they’re not our Joyce who has probably been kicking up the daisies for a few decades now.
Though the rest of the pen is in remarkably good condition, the nib has lost the tipping material from one tine. It would be my guess that that won’t matter much, as this pen will never be used again, given its rarity, and it is destined for a collector’s cabinet.