Pocket dip pen

In the days before the fountain pen was invented, people used dip pens. In the days before the Kaweco Lilliput and the Pilot pocket pens, people needed a pen that fit in a pocket. Hence, this little gem: a pocket dip pen.

I’ve placed it side-by-side with a Lamy Safari to give an idea of the scale of this pen. When “closed”, it’s about the same size as a cigarette. It’s probably made of tin – the yellowish colour in the photos is somewhat exaggerated by the white balance and contrast I’ve applied to the photos, and I don’t think that it’s brass…

Of course, the body of the pen is hollow, which means that it can house extra nibs. With a total weight of just over 3 g, and a length of under 9 cm when in use, this must be the smallest pen in the collection. There are no indications of where it was made, although the two nibs that came with it are from A. Sommerville & Co. in Birmingham. This is not a surprise, since in the mid-1800s, more than half of all pen nibs were made in Birmingham.

Total weight: 3.1 g
Total length (with nib): 86 mm
Total length(closed): 69.2 mm
Barrel max diameter: 6.5 mm


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