Pelikan Engraving Machine

This pen engraver would have been used at a Pelikan dealer to engrave the name of the owner.

The system is a pantograph, where the operator uses a stylus to trace letters that are arranged in the block on the bottom right of the above photo. The engraving motor sits directly above the pen, which is held in place by a clamp that is released with a button on the back of the machine.

The engraving motor is started by pressing the white button on the bottom left of the device. You then place the stylus in the appropriate letter, and lift the pen up to the engraving bit by rotating the chrome lever on the front of the machine, to the left of the open drawer.

The built-in drawer contained a number of old grease pencils that were used to make the engraving obvious for the purchaser. Over the years, these also left their mark on the inside and outside of the drawer, as can be seen. Removing this results in the paint coming off the metal with it, so I’ll leave it there.

The set comes with two sets of scripts – cursive and block capitals. The extra letters necessary for Danish (Æ, Ø, Å) and German (Ä, Ö, Ü – but not ß, strangely) are included, as are s number of extra engraving tips.


I’m debating whether to bring the machine back to an apparently new condition – meaning that I would strip and re-paint it. However, part of me thinks that it’s better to leave it as-is… For now, I’ll do the latter. Although I’ll probably fix the glue joints on the three boxes that contain the letters.

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