The Wyvern No 33 Clip Filler

Like the matchstick filler which it so closely resembles, the clip filler was temporarily accepted as a solution to the problem of getting ink into the pen, not because it was so technically elegant, but because the better methods were covered by patents that hadn’t been hacked yet.

I wrote about a clip filler before, back here: and I had assumed that like this Aiken Lambert, all clip fillers were American. It turns out not to be so. Wyvern had their own clip filler.

By the late teens of the twentieth century, Wyvern was experimenting with self-filling pens. There was a matchstick filler of 1918 and it seems likely that this pen followed very soon after. It’s a slight improvement in convenience; you might not have a match handy but you’ll always have the cap at hand.

It’s a well-made pen of a very traditional appearance, straight-sided except for a gentle taper at the barrel end. This example looks like it has never been used. The black of the black hard rubber isn’t at all faded and the chasing is sharp, as is the barrel imprint.

Actually, though I suggest above that the filling system isn’t elegant, there’s something to be said for minimalist simplicity. When it comes down to it, there’s no real need for a lever, crescent or hump if you can apply pressure directly to the pressure bar! It works unfailingly because there’s so little that can go wrong.

The nib is warranted and is likely to be original. Wyvern bought in nibs until the mid-twenties when they established their own nib plant. The nib has a modicum of flexibility.

All in all, this is an interesting, historical and practical pen. It’s an intriguing stage along the trail to the modern fountain pen.


My thanks to Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy for allowing me to see and photograph his beautiful pen.

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