Here we are, back with the Golden Guinea again. Paul S has provided me with a photo of his very beautiful Golden Guinea, complete with the twenty-one shillings pricetag which proves my theory wrong. The Golden Guinea did cost a guinea! I think that means the pens must have been later than the thirties as I had surmised. Beautiful as these pens are they are hardly first rate; why would anyone pay twenty-one shillings for these pens when a much better one could be had for far less money? The riddle remains…
Paul also kindly gave me a photo of a pen called “Guinea Pen 21/-“. Going on appearance alone, I would say this is a mid-twenties pen. Never having handled it, I can’t say with certainty, but it looks like a quality pen. Is there any connection between the pens other than the word “guinea”? I suspect not, but at the moment there is no evidence one way or the other.
Incidentally, this pen had had its nib replaced, and with a beautiful New York Mabie Todd overfeed. I’m sure a better home could be found for such a nib!
These pens are indicative of how prolific the fountain pen industry was in Britain. While we enjoy our knowledge of the big names, there is so much that we do not know about the everyday pens that people used for work and correspondence. We are right to congratulate ourselves on how much has been recovered from the past, but there remains so much that is beyond our knowledge and may always remain so.