Unique

unique

I said in comments some days ago that I had never seen a lizardskin Unique. Peter Hinchcliffe kindly supplied me with an excellent image of one.
uniques
He also gave me a picture of several other beauties. How can these pens be so under-appreciated?

I’ve discussed Uniques before, if you care to search. I have nothing to add, really, except that my earliest speculation as to their history is pretty wide of the mark!

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11 thoughts on “Unique

  1. Hi Deb,

    At least their under-appreciation means I can still afford them!

    I have an identical lizardskin which is branded “Richard-Morges” but perhaps that is a story for another day.

    I chose the other four pens because I thought that they represented four decades (at least) of the “Unique” pen quite well.

    The first is a hard rubber No. 6 from the 1920s which is fitted with a wonderfully flexible nib.

    The second is the only button-filler “Unique” I have been able to find. This was almost definitely 1930’s production and why they are so rare I have no idea. Incidentally the named clip appears to be made of brass and again I haven’t seen another.

    The third was my first ever “Unique” and is the most magnificent colour. The dark green and dark brown marble pens seem to have been produced in large numbers but this is a very unusual almost luminescent green.

    Finally the fourth pen is something of a mystery. I think this is a very late 1950s or even early 1960s pen and almost definitely produced after the closure of the Union Pen Co. Ltd. The pen itself is good quality and fitted with the type of “Unique” steel nib usually found on the Juniors.
    I believe the material is what Parker referred to as “Laidtone” and they stopped using it around 1948 (please correct me if I am wrong). I bought the pen from Portugal and it is simply marked “Unique” – “Foreign” but fitted with a “Unique – Made in England” nib which seems to be original. The other pens I have of that period have been made in France and are marked as such. Where was this made I wonder?

    Regards.

    Peter

    1. It sounds like you have a fine collection, Peter. Have you thought about getting something together about the history of Unique? In any case, thanks for your generosity with the photographs and information.

  2. Looking at Peter’s picture I was clearly wrong. That lizardskin has all the hallmarks of being of Unique manufacture.
    I’ve never seen the fourth pen but agree that is probably a fairly late product. If so, it may have come from Italy as Unique built up extensive contacts there.
    I’ve recently acquired a ball pen and pencil set where the box has a crude ‘Unique’ insert inside and the pens are only marked ‘Unique’. Interestingly there is a ‘K’ stamped on the clip.
    As said previously, what I believe to be the last ‘Unique’ pens sold are generic 51esque syringe fillers with no markings at all. I only know that they are Unique’s because they are still attached to a Unique sales card. Again I now believe that they are also Italian in origin.

  3. Just yesterday, the the twin to the 1920s No 6 arrived – a recent eBay capture. I had to use a loupe to see the Unique makers detail, so either well used, or well polished. Mine has a stunning wet, broad, semi-flex nib. Excellent pen and I am most pleased.

    1. Hi Peter / Deb,

      “The Unique Pen” was forced to register under the 1916 Registration of Business Names Act and although they did not register the company until November 1921 they declare that they were trading prior to the 1916 Act. In actual fact the owners first take premises in London in 1900.

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