Two 1920s BCHR pens

Any thoughts?  I suppose it’s safe to assume that the Rothman refers to the cancer merchants?  I’m sure I’ve seen a Royal before but I know nothing about it.


8 thoughts on “Two 1920s BCHR pens

  1. I’ve seen a few Royal’s. They have always struck me a rather good quality pens, especially the cap ring. Unfortunately I don’t know any of their history. Is the nib gold? I have a feeling mine were pinchbeck.

    The Rothman is more likely a small third party. A quick check on E-bay shows that the cigarette company was Rothmans

  2. sorry – only just seen the replies. Nib in the ROYAL has the colour of steel (so assume it is), and probably not pinchbeck, which I understand is an alloy of copper and zinc with the appearance of gold. Part of the nib imprint says ‘PLATERNAL’ – REGD. – there is more but it’s hidden under the section, and I’m disinclined to knock the thing apart at the moment. Part of the hidden wording is GEO… might that be for George Mitchell? – a nib maker I believe.
    It’s spoon-tipped and looks to be a good broad, and reminds me of the 1930s-40s Platignum nibs – it’s a smooth writer and I’m really quite impressed – it takes a lot for a steel nib to impress me.
    I’m going to suggest that this nib is a replacement – overall the pen is of good quality particularly with that g.f. cap band, so my thoughts are that the original would have been of equal quality and likely a 14 ct. job – though of course I could be wrong. The black remains nice and black.

    As for the Rothman No. 7 – it’s less black, but not bad for 1920s f.p. I’ve look up Rothman’s tabacco, but wasn’t aware of seeing any particular reason why the pen should adopt this No. as part of the imprint, though no doubt there was a reason at the time. I don’t doubt that it’s a Rothman’s cigarette promotional example.
    Oddly, the nib here may well be pinchbeck – it has a coppery colour rather than that of gold, and carries the imprint EMU – MADE IN ENGLAND – unfortunately the very tip has broken away at some time, so no good for writing.
    The lever is substantial and well made – it reminds me of a Waterman box lever and with a very large lollipop, though made of steel rather than g.f., and the lever carries the imprint PAT. NO. 151753, about which I no nothing at the moment.
    As Peter has commented – probably a third party production.

    Whilst not remotely top drawer, these are interesting with much history, and are usually inexpensive with the added benefit that they can actually be used (though not by me:-))

    1. I have seen those Emu nibs and pinchbeck seems likely. Peter makes the point that Rothmans, the cigarette people, always had it as a plural, as it were. I don’t know. I see several modern Rothman businesses but they probably were not around in the 1920s.

  3. Looking through a box of pens I came across a ‘Bonzo’ pen which looks identical to the Royal. According to Steve Hull it was a Mentmore pen, introduced in 1925. King George V visited their trade stand in 1924. With their perchant for producing ‘royal’ pens – king(s), Popular Prince etc and the vast number of ‘own brands’ they had, it is possible that the Royal came from their stable

  4. thanks Peter – I think you’re right about manufacturers use of names that have a perceived association with grand and important things in life – such as royalty – though for this pen we may never get a more precise or accurate attribution – anyway thanks again for looking.

    who writes this rubbish …………. quote “…..about which I no nothing at the moment” cringe.

  5. I have a very similar Royal – which I bought on gut feelings as a Wyvern chaser.
    Mine has an Orium nib [sub-brand of Wyvern] but Steve Hull dates Orium to 1933 which may be a little late [?] for a BCHR Royal – and the nib may be a swap, though it’s suggestive…
    Wyvern had the same pretensions to royal patronage as Mentmore, and circulated postcards of George V buying a Redwing at their Holborn shop to their retailers for display purposes.

    1. It’s always hard to know for certain when a nib has been swapped. Wyvern was certainly very productive and must be responsible for a proportion of these straight-sided, flat top BCHR pens.

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