The Corona Company

Though I handle others from time to time, most of the pens I restore are British: Swans, Conway Stewarts, Summits and Mentmores, those pens we know so well and rightly appreciate for their quality and style. However, there are older British pens of equally high quality that are rarely seen and are unknown to most people.

The Corona company made such pens for a few years between 1916 and the early 20s. The company was run by Henry Dixon and between leaving Mabie Todd and joining De La Rue. His brother James, later the originator of the Summit pen ran the Maxim pen company at that time. Both these companies were based in Southport.

Probably made for the British Industrial Fair in London in 1918, these amazing over-feeds were purely exhibition pieces; the pens for sale had ordinary nibs. The chasing on these pens is worthy of note, quite unlike anything else at the time.

This splendid matchstick filler is also beautifully chased. No matchstick was actually required. The turned spigot on the cap fitted the aperture exactly.

These pens are exceptional for that or any other time. Had Henry Dixon not moved to other things, how might Corona pens have developed in the era of lever and button fillers?

Many thanks to Andy Russell for information and excellent photographs.


2 thoughts on “The Corona Company

  1. Corona did continue long enough as a manufacturing company after their move to London c1920 to at least advertise a number of lever fillers. I have an original flyer featuring these showing their High Holborn address, but I have no idea as to whether these were actually ever produced – I have not yet been able to find any examples of them. At about this time, the company was taken over fully by De La Rue to become the main service depot for their pens, and in this guise they survived until after the end of WWII.

    1. I should add that the oval and round recessed lever paddles on the pens shown in the flyer mentioned above are very typical of DLR pens of the early 1920s (‘Onoto the Pen’ page 92 for those who own a copy). This raises the question as to whether Corona originated the design that was taken up later by DLR, or whether DLR actually produced (or intended to produce) the pens for Corona.

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