Altura Pen & Pencil Company is the least known large British manufacturer of fountain pens. It’s probably best known as the manufacturer of English Waterman pens in the 30s and early 40s but Altura also made pencils and probably pens for De La Rue. In addition they made many pens for advertising. It is impossible now to tell which unbranded pens were made by Altura.
Of course they made some pens under their own name. Commonest and best known is the Altura 752 which I illustrate here. Another pen with the mid-cap clip is the 762, a black chased hard rubber pen with two barrel bands.
The 32 is a very Duofold-like pen. The only one of these I have seen is in red plastic. Altura also made a combination pen and pencil, the “Two-in-One” in mottled hard rubber. The 202, also an early pen, is a lever filler in woodgrain hard rubber. The 760 is a 1930s celluloid lever filler.
Though it is reasonable to guess that the mottled and woodgrain pens were made in the 20s and some of the celluloid pens might date to the 30s, I don’t have the information to assign accurate dates to them. I have only seen references to some of them but have not handled them. Most, apart from the 752, are quite uncommon.
The 752s I have had all bore warranted 14 carat nibs but some of the other pens reportedly had Osmiroid 35 nibs – a common replacement but often original equipment. I think the Altura Pen & Pencil Company remains an opportunity for research.
I have written about the Altura 752 before. The search box at the top will find it.
4 thoughts on “The Altura Pen & Pencil Company”
By coincidence I took delivery of a 202 from E-bay yesterday. As you say it is RMHR and is a chunky pen, over 5.5 inches long and a bit more than 0.5 inches barrel diameter.. The nib is indeed warranted, size 6 (and horribly worn). I think it had a riveted clip (now gone}. The lever filler is totally plain and the section has a marked step in it unlike the 752. You can’t miss it if you look at sold listings on Ebay (17/7). I don’t know if I am allowed to post a link or use the picture.
That IS a coincidence! I have the photos from the listing. Nice MHR. Thank you for telling me about that one, Simon. You can post links in comments. I’ve never been able to include pictures.
Thanks for the informative post on the elusive Alturas. You have given me more insight into my #201 – a plain BHR example of the #202 above, huge warranted nib, and medium cap band. Yes Simon, the clip is riveted, and marked ‘RG’. Luckily still with box (marked London) and generic filling instructions, all vgc, showing the overall Altura quality after nearly 100 years.
If I may add I have a #730 (5.1 inches) similar in design to the #752 in your blog but with two cap bands and a very torpedoed cap with same but lesser degree to the barrel end, and a warranted A3 nib. I had no idea of its age. but could now presume it also to be 1920-30s.
Both pens were purchased here in Australia so it seems they ‘got around’ even back then!
Could you send me photos for inclusion in the blog (firstname.lastname@example.org)? I would credit you of course. It would be nice to let people see these uncommon pens.