I can find no reference to this Le Tigre No 3 fountain pen. A Google search found a later No 3, a post-war pen with a metal cap.
This one is a large pen:
Cap 8.3cm long, 1.6cm wide
Nib 2.7cm long from section to end of nib, 1cm wide at the widest part
Capped it is 16.2cm long (perhaps a touch over)
The closest example I found was in Jonathan Donahaye’s list. It was an earlier pen with a flange lever. For comparison, to show its size, I include it in a photo with several other Conway Stewart pens.
From left to right – Duro 20, 26, 30 CS 35, Le Tigre No 3, Duro No 1, Duro No 1, Duro 2 (then some eye candy).
The very large nib with deeply incised engraving.
The tiger head clip imprint.
Thanks to Nick Lane for photographs and information.
8 thoughts on “Le Tigre No 3”
This appears to be another example of what I call ‘CS Directors’ Pens’, which are rare. I believe they were never a standard production item, but only produced in very small quantities specifically for the Directors of CS and related companies. They were probably produced between about 1924 and 1930 in essentially the same style, with minor differences according to the main production changes that occurred over the years.
From the pictures of this Le Tigre model it looks like there is a difference in pattern and/or wear between the cap and barrel, though it is hard to be sure without handling the pen. It may well be that the barrel is a later replacement for a damaged original. They are hard to date exactly, but the oversize clip looks quite early, while the nib inscription looks rather later. I might also hazard a guess that the No3 barrel inscription may just indicate this was the third such example supplied to the Kintz family rather than a typical model number, No.3 having also been used for a more mainstream Dandy 726 equivalent Le Tigre model of the 1920s (reference the Le Tigre tables in the appendices of FPFTM, originally compiled by David Wells).
A similar pen is pictured in FPFTM, page 61. The length of that pen is also about 16.2mm capped (if you remove about 0.3mm for the washer of the clip.) The caption implies that the pen is a Duro, but I don’t recall it being imprinted as such. The cap is slightly shorter than Nick Lane’s example, again I don’t recall whether there were any filled mounting holes indicating that an earlier clip was ever fitted, however the washer-style clip may be a later addition. The barrels of these two pens do though appear to be identical, other than the logo on the lever paddle. The nib of the FPFTM pen also appears to have been hand-engraved in an earlier style.
The levers are rather longer than the locking levers normally seen on the big Duros of the period. I assume this is because the standard locking levers weren’t long enough for the larger barrel diameter of these Directors’ pens.
The other evidence for all this is a widely reproduced picture, c1925, of Howard Garner sitting at his desk in the CS factory showing him using a similarly massive pen, apparently with a fixed side clip. This picture is also shown in FPFTM on p45, bottom right.
Thank you very much, Andy. That’s very comprehensive. Nick will be very pleased, as am I. It’s nice to put the pen in context.
Many thanks, Andy and Deb. It is very kind of you to share your insights. It’s difficult from to show with photos because of the discolouration of the cap, but it has the same chased pattern as the barrel. That, coupled with the way the cap screws on, makes me think that the cap is original to the pen, but it doesn’t matter. It’s an interesting piece of history and it is remarkable how well balanced, despite its size, the pen feels in the hand. I was thrilled to acquire it from the US for the princely sum of $56.
A very good price for such an outstanding and rare pen!
We do our best! I get a lot of help from my correspondents.
Hi, does anyone know the selling price of a 30’s Celluloid marble pattern Le Tigre #3 fountain pen? Would appreciate any feedback. Nib is 14K gold. Thanks.
Probably your best way of establishing a price is to check completed sales on eBay. Unfortunately as Le Tigres aren’t common it may take some time before one turns up.