Fountain pens were big business for more than a century and still manage to continue at a greatly reduced rate. Many fortunes were made and, more importantly, hundreds of thousands of people were employed in skilled trades. Incalculable numbers of manufacturers made pens. Various lists have been made of all the pen manufacturers there have ever been. Those lists will never be completed. Interesting smaller pen makers keep turning up.
This elegant pen is an Aristokrat. No-one seems to know very much about this company, even among German pen enthusiasts – it is undoubtedly German. Some say Aristokrat has some relationship with Soennecken, others say that this is untrue. The company seems to have been based in Fuerth, near Nuremberg. Hard rubber and celluloid – and maybe moulded plastic – pens continued to be made until as late as the sixties.
On this pen and some of the other Aristokrats I have seen, the highly decorative clip stands out. Some Aristokrat nibs bear an eagle image. Quite rare and poorly documented, the Aristokrat remains a mystery for now. Who knows – someone may come along with a history for this independent German manufacturer one of these days.
Thanks to Scott Paden for photographs.