A Jade National Security Button Filler
June 12, 2013 Leave a comment
This National Security button filler is an unashamed copy of the Parker Duofold. If it was a Duofold the twin cap rings and streamlined profile would date it to the early thirties and that date will probably be right for this pen too. I have no doubt that it was made for National Security by Valentine, as they seemed to have carte blanche to copy Parker pens for their own range and for those pens they made for other companies.
I haven’t set to work to restore this pen yet. Like many jade pens it has a fair degree of discolouring on the barrel, though the cap is as fresh as the day it was made. There’s nothing I can do about the discolouration but it isn’t really unattractive. The warranted nib has no tipping material left, so I’ll have to find a replacement. That indicates a lot of use, but the barrel imprint is sharp and clear.
I’m very fond of the smiley lion. He’s my avatar in Fountain Pen Board, though that example was on a lapis lazuli pen.
National Security pens are by no means rare but we know surprisingly little about them. They along with Rosemary were the house brands of British Carbon Papers. Other than the fact that they were wound up in 1948 I can find little information on BCP. They shared premises at Farringdon Ave with Henry Stark, Son and Hamilton who made most of their early pens, while later ones appear to have been made by Valentine and Langs. Apparently BCP was not popular with the rest of the pen industry as they refused to join the price-fixing arrangement of the time and undercut their competitors.
A tremendous range of pens was sold under the National Security imprint, and you never know what you might find, from obvious Duofold copies like this one, to bulb-fillers and snake-skins. They’re very collectable.