Thaddeus’s Silver Onoto

Some time ago my good friend Thaddeus Butts asked me what I thought was the “Best of British” fountain pen.  After some consideration I concluded (and this is my opinion, I know yours will differ) that a solid silver 1920s Onoto would be about the best you could get.

Thaddeus went looking and eventually one turned up as part of a “miscellaneous silver lot in an auction.”  It was in quite sad shape at that stage.  The silver section was gone, the inside of the cap had to be rebuilt and threaded. The turning button cover needed to be built up to fill the hole made from removing the silver pin holding it for restoration of the filling system (1mm x 1.5mm elliptical).

It was passed to Eric Wilson.  He had some difficulty obtaining a silver blank to fabricate the section and eventually a section from a donor pen was adjusted to fit.  To say the least of it, this was an exceptional repair, restoring this superb pen from scrap metal to its original condition.  It has a splendid Onoto nib and it writes beautifully.  Thaddeus is very pleased with it.  Full credit and a round of applause to Eric Wilson.  There aren’t many pen restorers around these days who can do work of this high quality.

Here it is:Barnie-Assay-Marks Barnie-uncapped


About goodwriterspens
I restore fountain pens, and used to trade as redripple52 in eBay. I also have my own fountain pen sales website,

3 Responses to Thaddeus’s Silver Onoto

  1. Peter Watson says:

    Simply a delightful story about returning life to a pen whose enduring quality truly deserved this level of effort: Thanks for sharing this.

  2. ubikchip says:

    I bought a small size onoto on ebay recently at under £100 which I was delighted at – it is hallmarked for 1919 and although it doesnt have a silver section the silver overlay on cap and barrel are crisp and clean. It came with its original box and instruction leaflet and its a great buy. It still surprises me that ebay don’t have a section for onotos as yet – although I do buy through auction houses etc now that most auction hoses are online pen prices are going through the roof and ebay still represents good value at times,

    • That does sound like good buy. I still use eBay quite a lot for sourcing pens. Prices, I’m afraid, have gone up by leaps and bounds everywhere, in the last few years.

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