A Tant and a Kumar

Rob Parsons has kindly provided me with photographs and details of these two pens. The first is a Tant (on the left), a pen I have heard of but not seen. It’s a rather odd-looking lever filler. The step down from the barrel to the section is abrupt and severe. I suspect that it might be quite uncomfortable in use. The nib is gold plated steel.

Tant, according to Stephen Hull’s book* was primarily a manufacturer of parts pens for other firms. Tant began production in the early years of the twentieth century and survived until the late thirties. They do not appear to have made many pens under their own name. This pen appears to be a real rarity.

The other pen, a Kumar eyedropper, is rather a puzzle. I can find no record of a Kumar pen but the word is Indian, being a Hindu or Buddhist title and a forename and surname in South Asia. It is the most common surname in Uttar Pradesh. I would suggest, with no more evidence than that, that this is an Indian pen, despite being quite British-looking.

A crack in the cap has been repaired and the ornament attached to the cap seems to be later, not original. It is an elegant pen. The nib is a replacement, a steel Nova nib, so that doesn’t help in identifying it.

*The English Fountain Pen Industry 1875 to 1975.

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4 thoughts on “A Tant and a Kumar

  1. I believe pens for India tended to be eyedroppers (as the sacs deteriorated quickly in the Indian climate?) so that supports your theory that the Kumar is Indian.

    What are they made of – both hard rubber? The Tant looks to be a slip cap which is even stranger with that step.

  2. Hey folks . The Tant is both hard rubber and a slip cap. And the Kumar , which I agree has a very Indian sounding name , is also hard rubber , and , just to dispel all speculation, has Made In England on it just under the word Kumar.

    There was a Bakelite ashtray for sale a few days ago…made by W.H. Tant and co . I nearly bought it just to rest the pen on , for a bit of a story.

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