Every now and again Unique becomes an issue again. It has a truly complicated history as this comment from Peter Greenwood makes clear:
“The relationship between the Union Pen Company and Unique is quite complicated. The Union Pen Company was one of many small pen manufacturers and appear to have developed a relationship with Unique in the 1920’s.
Unique, like Stephens sold their own brand of pens but had them manufactured for them. It wasn’t until the early 1930’s that Unique became a stand alone company and took on their own manufacturing facility which was actually owned by Union Pen Company, by now an associated company, so Union made pens for Unique and others and Unique sold pens.
It is also clear that Unique/ Union also outsouced production when demand was high. Lang’s being a strong contender as they also supplied nibs (at least prewar). I didn’t believe Altura/ Watermans were involved, as Lambrou had claimed until I found a Unique sporting a boxed lever.
It is quite possible that production was out sourced to Valentines as they would make small batches for anyone. Early in the war Eversharp entered the market and had pens produced by Langs and Valentine’s. What isn’t clear is whether Eversharp were procuring those pens themselves or if it was through Unique who produced most if not all their later fountain pens.”
As if that was not enough, Joao Mourato of Portugal sent photos of this gorgeous Duofold-like Unique. It carries a Parker nib. Nibs can be changed, of course, but not the Unique imprint on the barrel.
Isn’t that a beauty?
With thanks to Peter and Joao