A Shabby Wyvern 60C

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This Wyvern No 60C came in a bunch of pens that I bought for spares. It was in a very dirty condition and the engraving on the nib was impossible to read because it was deeply coated in black ink that didn’t want to come off – iron gall black or some calligraphy ink perhaps. In other respects the pen showed that it had been heavily used: the imprint on the barrel is worn to the point where it is just legible and no more. The pen has been dropped at some time and the nib has been “straightened”. As the tines are quite well aligned and the pen writes well I’ve left well alone. Though the clip isn’t too bad the plating has worn entirely off the lever which, being steel, has rusted.
I’ve tried to date this pen and I suspect that it’s from the 1930s. The 60C was introduced in 1921 but I think that this is a later model. I would think that the spatulate end to the lever and the short, narrow section would help in dating. If Wardok were to read this, I’m sure he could pin it down.
A pen like this that is in very shabby condition but writes very well goes into my “bargains” section on the sales site. It’s not the kind of pen that you can wave around to make your colleagues admire your taste. It’s more of an everyday user that you can leave lying around the desk in the certain knowledge that no one will steal it. I like pens like this and often have one in use.


8 thoughts on “A Shabby Wyvern 60C

  1. Shiny, immaculate old pens are nice to ooh and aah at, to be sure. Long ago, I was given a very sound piece of advice regarding pens: chase the nib. Does it matter if there are scratches, plating worn off etc., if the nib is a winner? In my opinion, if you use pens for writing and not collecting, it matters not.

    I had an old German post war pen that looked like it had been dug out of someone’s back garden. But the steel oblique nib was like a perfectly tuned engine, still one of the nicest writing nibs I’ve ever tried.

    1. That’s excellent advice! Quite a few of my favourite pens won’t stand close scrutiny in the bright light of day but they write superbly and that’s all that matters to me.

  2. Nice job on this pen Deb, considering your comments on its condition! Pretty writer too 🙂

  3. I like the writing – the semi-flex always looks good, and great to have the original nib even if a bit naff. Would agree with the other replies, but there are lot of folk who seem to want all their pens to look like the ones in Lambrou’s books – that ‘just come out of the factory shine’. But for a cheapy pen that writes well this is a great addition to any collection (as they say on ebay:)).
    I also have too many brassed and distressed pens, but I do like to run my eyes over some of my classy looking pens on occasions, and Deb is good at making pens look great, usually.

    Talking of pens dug out of the ground…………. some thirty odd years back and long before I contemplated collecting these things, I did a little metal detecting and one day dug up a Pullman. Having been in the ground, probably since the 1920’s, the plastic covering had deteriorated and disappeared, and all I could see was a dirty brassy coloured tube.
    When cleaned this tube pulled in two to reveal more grubby parts, but to my amazement the original Pullman nib (14 CT.) was still mint.
    I kept this through the years and only recently parted with it, since it’s unlikely that I can afford to collect Pullmans.
    Presumably steel nibs are of the stainless variety, so guess they would fare well even in the ground.
    P.S. for some reason it seems that I don’t possess a single Wyvern – perhaps I should buy this one:)

      1. fortunately it came out of chalk downland which is very alkaline (non-acidic soil), which no doubt helped reduce the rate of decay.
        Regret I didn’t take any pix and don’t think I ever knew which model it was…………. it’s now gone to Laurence Oldfield, who promised to give it a good home:) Guess you might ask him if he knows which one it is.
        Along with the Brenna, their hinged flip top makes for a very distinctively designed pen.

  4. apologies – I had in fact taken some pix which were sent to Laurence, and which I’d assumed had since been deleted, but it seems not and I still have them:)
    Will send these to you direct, and you may be able to determine which Pullman it was – but the ravages of soil and time may defeat you. You might let me know some time.

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