The Coronation Scroll

Like other manufacturers, pen makers cashed in on great national occasions like the Coronation of 1953. Many of those commemorative pens were at the lower price end, some very low indeed to make for an easier impulse purchase.

This Scroll is a case in point. The company was around making cheap (and mostly shoddy) pens from about 1950 until Scroll merged with Scripto Pens Ltd in 1955*. The other Scrolls that I’ve seen have generally written well enough but the build quality has been poor. And I mean poor. These pens make Platignums look good.

If this pen has any value it is as a commemorative item. As a pen, it’s very bad indeed! It’s a bulb filler, probably the cheapest way to make a fountain pen. Maybe the blow filler might be cheaper but there can’t be much in it. I’ve seen bulb fillers by Mentmore and Langs that are sound, high-quality pens but the Scroll is at the other end of the scale. I have returned the pen to full writing functionality but I can’t guarantee it continuing to work for very long and that isn’t something I would normally say.

The nib appears to have had some gold wash but it has mostly rubbed off. The barrel and cap are very light injection-moulded plastic, the cap with a gold-alike coating. The parts fit together but not in the satisfying way that they do in a better pen. Perhaps the best looking aspect of the pen is the crown and gold lettering.

This is not where the British pen industry was in 1953. Yes, the ballpoint was proving an efficient competitor to the fountain pen and it was beginning to cast a shadow. New ideas were being anxiously sought and there may have been economies applied by some makers, but all the major British brands were still turning out very high quality pens. This tawdry rubbish was presented in the hope of making a quick, cheap sale to people who were inspired by the Coronation.

By far the best part, and probably the most expensive, is the box. The lid has a velvet finish, the gold lettering is excellent and the design is appealing. Unlike the pen.

Don’t let me depress you too much though. I shall be writing about better pens shortly – much, much better pens. Watch this space!

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