Osmia 223

A very generous friend made me a gift of an Osmia 223. This is the button filler version from the nineteen thirties. Many German pens are very good; some are great, the Osmia 223 being among them.

It measures 12.9 cm capped and is a typical tapered pen of its period. The blind cap fits well and is almost invisible when it’s in place.

The button filling system is well-made and the pen takes a good draught of ink, but like many great pens it’s all about the nib.

The nib is semi-flexible and a medium with no pressure applied. The tines separate with only the very slightest of pressure.


Many flexible pens require concentration to write well at speed; this little beauty does not. The gentle flexing gives noticeable line variation and does so with grace. It is truly a delight to write with. This pen will always be on my desk.


7 thoughts on “Osmia 223

  1. In my humble opinion, Osmia were the ne plus ultra of German pens. Top build quality, beautiful looks, and nibs that were miles above anyone else’s. Even Osmia’s steel nibs put many other gold nibs to shame.

  2. Agree this is a stylish pen – black, when wearing a shine and with a gilt clip and gold nib has an executive appearance, and although an unpopular colour generally, I wouldn’t turn one down if it appeared amongst my usual pen trawling. There was a time when all pens were BHR with only a minority of expensive models in filigree or overlay – how things have changed.

    Regret I’ve zero knowledge of Osmia, and it’s the same with most other Continental f.ps.
    I see a few aero Duofolds with 18 k. nibs intended for the French market, the usual Chinese Jinhao types – I’ve a pre WW II Italian Aurora fully overlaid in 18 k r.g. (the size of a Dinkie, but clipless because of someone’s accidental mis-use no doubt) – couple of Pelicans – a rOtring 600 Newton – a M.B. Monta Rose – a nice piston activated Luxor and a Matador Click …….. apparently the name derives from the sound made by installing the cap – mine doesn’t appear to be working in that case.

    Maybe if you don’t wander far from home, you aren’t going to see pens such as Osmia – but ordinarily my venues includes some very ecletic mixes – so a bit surprised I’ve yet to find one.
    Little known fact No. 427 – as most folk will know, Osmia (started around 1919) was bought out by the Janesville people although it remained under Parker’s ownership for only a year or so and was sold back to Germany.

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise that German made pens, for most of the C20, were of a high build quality ,,,, their optics and technical instrument output was, for many decades, second to none, and had been that way for a century or more. Some of the Janesville output can no doubt rival that quality, but Parker concentrated more of appearance, perhaps, rather than the engineering side of things.
    But it does come home to most collectors that you can’t collect everything – and it’s hard going on the overdraft if you try – but almost impossible to resist a pen not yet in the collection, that I live in hope of finding an Osmia.

  3. for people like me who need an ‘edit’ button, typing can be a disaster……….. had meant to include …..Parker bought Osmia around 1928, apparently, and sold to Osmia GMBH around late 1929.

  4. thanks Deb. Wouldn’t doubt your suggestion re eBay, but I try these days to avoid buying from that source – too much potential for problems – and I’m fortunate in having access to fairs, markets, yourself, and of course my favourite charity shops, from which to acquire pens. I’m sure one will turn up eventually. Swore once I’ve never collect foreign pens, and seem to recall something similar with CS – of which I now have nearly forty. 😦

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