The Velvatip

The Velvatip appears to have been made by Langs, having the stepped Art Deco clip that Langs applied to all their pens. I don’t know whether it was produced for some retailer or was part of the Langs range.

Langs made some very good pens, like the Summit or the Stephens but they made some pens built to a price as well. The New Bond Easiflow, made for Woolworths, is an example of their low-end pens and the Velvatip is, sad to say, another. Though it is perfectly capable of being restored to usefulness, it is a pen that hasn’t aged well. The gold plating on the clip and the straight lever has mostly disappeared and the black hard rubber clip screw has faded to a dull brown. The plated nib is discoloured. At least it is a nib with tipping material, not the cheapest type with a folded tip.

I must confess that I hate to be negative about any pen. This pen, after all, has a lot more potential for restoration than some others, for instance those 50s pens marked “foreign” which were never intended to be serviced and defeat all efforts to open them.

This Velvatip is a challenge, I think. It’s worth trying to bring it back to an acceptable appearance. I’m sure it can be made to be a good writer. After all, despite being built down to a price, it has the good basics of a Langs construction. Of course, a pen like this can’t be restored economically – no one would be prepared to pay any more than a token price but I don’t like to see a potentially good everyday writer cast aside.

Edit to add:  I replaced the sac and broken pressure bar, cleaned the plated nib, polished the barrel and cap and the results were mixed.  It writes well.  However, cleaning showed up previously invisible chips along the lip of the cap and beside the lever.   I suppose I could have rubbed the clip screw down with Micromesh but I couldn’t find the energy.  In its current state, I’ve seen many worse pens.

It would be interesting to know if this pen was made for a retailer or was the entry-level pen in the rage of the Langs pens.

5 thoughts on “The Velvatip

  1. think I’d be tempted to move on to something a tad more ‘worth while’ Deb – but that’s just my opinion of course:-) You have already made the pen useful, in the sense that you say it writes well, but it might be economical to leave the matter there.
    Very small chips from the cap lip can be made to appear that they’ve gone by simply removing a mm., or less, from the lip – it’s a procedure that shouldn’t be obvious, but the others you mention are probably more difficult.

    As you say, oxidation on the clip screw cap can be removed, though I hate the smell of BHR when it’s being rubbed hard and removed, though presumably the barrel and cap are cellulose – and that’s the table tennis ball smell I love

    I’d like to have a go at re-plating, but the machine used by Marshall & Oldfield, for example, isn’t cheap – have you tried re-plating clips etc.?
    The nib looks to be a fine. Best of luck if you continue.

    1. The nib is a medium. If it was a fine I might keep it. I don’t plan to do any more – it isn’t worth it. I just wanted to get it back in working condition as an alternative to binning it. I haven’t tried replating. That’s not really the kind of restoration I do. I’m rather against that sort of restoration that has the pen looking shinier than it did when it was made. They’re old pens – it’s a good thing if they’re growing old gracefully.

  2. “it’s a good thing if they’re growing old gracefully.” ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, my feelings exactly …. a little patina, some wear etc., – it’s un-natural for an eighty year old pen to look pristine.

  3. I’m a little late to comment but….
    The Velvatip was a cheap variant made by Lang of the Velvetip made by Summit. It was aimed at the lower end of the market during the War years. As Lang pens go it was ummmm… if you know what i mean. I have a couple that I have restored completely. Mark Hoover’s Deoxidiser works really well on the BHR components and brings them back to life in their original black glory. I have had them with Warranted nibs, Summit niobs and Star plated nibs. The Warranted and Summit nibs were the best and produce smooth jucy flows. All in all when you follow the history of the companies like I do, they are a great addition to a collection simply because they show the adaptability of Lang Pen Company and its sucessors.

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