Unbranded Small Silver-Plated Pen


I bought this tiny jewel of a pen out of curiosity, never having seen anything quite like it before.  There is no manufacturer’s name on it, just “800” on the clip and a “D” on the lever.  It isn’t hall-marked so it’s probably silver plate.  It’s quite tiny at 8.8 cm long capped.  Nonetheless, it’s a practical pen.  It took a bit of hunting around in my boxes but eventually I found a sac small enough to fit this pen.  The small warranted nib is semi-flexible.
I can find no clue as to who made it.  The warranted nib is stamped “14ct” which suggests to me that it was British made, but it has a blue transparent section which I’ve never seen on a British pen, though they are common enough on the continent, particularly in Germany.
Recently, I have seen people putting forward the opinion that silver pens and pencils have a patina which should be preserved.  The only metal that I am aware of that takes a true patina is bronze, which becomes coated with an oxidised layer which protects the metal underneath and enhances its appearance.  Silver, on the other hand, becomes tarnished.  This is no patina, but an accumulation of dirt and oxidisation which is quite unattractive.  Anyway, I dug out the silver polish and gave it a rub and it looks 10 times the pen it did when I got it.
If anyone has an idea who manufactured this pen or even what country it came from, let me know.


15 thoughts on “Unbranded Small Silver-Plated Pen

  1. Iron certainly does!

    I have seen an English pen with a transparent section: a Wyvern I worked on; I have forgotten the model name, but it was a button filler and I am sure, post-war..

    I cannot offer any clue as to who made this delightful example however; what a lovely thing it is.

    1. Of course iron oxidises. You misunderstand me. What I was saying is that though many metals oxidise, the only oxidisation that is valued is the patina on bronze. To try to extend that to silver which oxidises in a completely different way is in my opinion wrong.

      I’ve occasionally seen clear sections on lower cost British pens too. However, I have yet to see a blue transparent section on a British pen.

  2. 800 is the mark for 80% silver, aka coin silver, mostly used on the Continent in the 19th and early 20th centuries, according to various hallmark sites. May not this be a ‘jeweller’s’ pen, and the D perhaps the maker’s mark?

  3. Much better cleaned, Deb. I think some people see themselves as curators, but it would be a shame if this pretty little pen wasn’t allowed to shine.

    Iron, or steel at least, is interesting. If the surface is encouraged to rust evenly and the red oxide is converted to black oxide as in the old fashioned but effective rust bluing process, the result is a very durable – and corrosion resistant – finish. It’s hardly a patina though because it’s done deliberately.

      1. Yes, I presume that this is the process used traditionally on gun barrels? I have long wondered how it was done; it’s a very attractive finish.

  4. Yes, that’s correct about the gun barrels, pderl – there are some tutorials around and they’re mostly to do with firearms, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be used elsewhere. It’s definitely attractive, and highly wear resistant compared to the chemical bluing process.

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