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Wyvern Models, Top to Bottom


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#1 Maethelwine

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 08:36 AM

Hello everyone. I am a nearly perfect specimen of the dread newbie, which is why I've been trying to keep my mouth shut and just read.

I was happy to see there's some Summit info here. I'm interested in the brand and it's not as extensively covered, obviously, as many others.

Can I trouble anyone, though, for some information on Wyvern pens? I got two on eBay recently, both "Perfect Pen" lever fillers, from a seller in Israel. I promptly cracked the barrel on one trying to replace the section after a resacking. I'll be sending it off for repairs soon. I used heat on the second, moved a lot more carefully, and ended up with a fairly fragile feeling but very pleasant little writing pen.

What, if any, were Wyvern's 'iconic' models? If I was going to buy, say, one or two more and wanted to shoot for the top end of their product line or period, what direction would you point me in? I've emailed a couple of people directly who seem to collect the brand heavily, and for whatever reasons I haven't received a reply. I hope one or more of you can throw a little light on this for me. I'm especially interested in the models which display the Wyvern image on the nib, barrel or both.

Thanks very much. I'm really enjoying reading the posts here.

#2 david i

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 12:14 PM

SNIP

Can I trouble anyone, though, for some information on Wyvern pens? I got two on eBay recently, both "Perfect Pen" lever fillers, from a seller in Israel. I promptly cracked the barrel on one trying to replace the section after a resacking. I'll be sending it off for repairs soon. I used heat on the second, moved a lot more carefully, and ended up with a fairly fragile feeling but very pleasant little writing pen.

SNIP


Hi,

I fear I know essentially nothing about Wyvern, though I've seen a few here and there. I hope someone else here knows a bit and can comment.

Peeking about the web I found the following at a pen collector's blog (not sure who runs it).



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http://goodwriterspe...ens-the-wyvern/




Despite being one of the oldest British pen companies, and producing a variety of high-quality pens, Wyvern does not have a strong following these days. From the 1880s onwards, the company went through various stages of development, importing pens, buying them in from outside contractors, assembling pens from parts and finally going into full production. By the late nineteen-twenties they had their own nib plant and as well as producing their own-branded nibs bearing the Wyvern logo, they made nibs for other manufacturers and warranted 14ct gold nibs for the wider industry. You may have bought a Wyvern without realising it, as they made entire pens for other companies and produced a great many promotional pens.

Posted ImageAn Early Fifties Wyvern De Luxe

Though not often seen now, their early eyedroppers and safety pens are excellent examples of the period. More commonly offered now are their pens from the nineteen-forties and fifties. These range from the Wyvern Perfect Pen – a good economy-priced student pen – through their larger numbered models like the 60c to the crocodile-skin, lizard-skin and pigskin-covered pens at the top of the range. These pens were highly esteemed and the company enjoyed royal patronage during this period. The weakness of the middle-range Wyverns lies in the gold plating, which is often little more than a gold-wash and wears away easily, especially on the clips. Their great strength are the nibs which are of consistently high quality and among the very best of the time. They are usually firm or semi-flexible, but the occasional full flex Wyvern turns up and is a true delight.

Posted ImageA "Perfect Pen" No 81. Low Cost With A Great Nib

An innovative and progressive company, Wyvern made such a wide range of pens over the decades of their existence that they offer good opportunities for the collector. For the writer looking for an excellent and characterful pen to use, Wyverns still offer great savings over comparable Swans and Conway Stewarts.

Posted ImageThe Wyvern Logo on a 1950s Ambassador



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Regards

David
David R. Isaacson MD. Website: VACUMANIA.com for quality old pens with full warranty.
Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#3 AndyR

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 12:15 PM

Wyvern were founded in Leicester in the 1890s by the Finburgh Brothers and they were trading for about 70 years in all, though their pen sales were effectively finished off some years earlier by the rise of the ballpoint, as with many of the famous names of the UK pen industry.

The post war iconic Wyvern models must be the skin covered pens and sets launched in 1948. Lizard, crocodile and pigskin covered button filling pens and matching pencils were all available.

Though I've never seen one, I would guess the pre-WWII iconic range would be the 'San Toy' series of hand-lacquered pens & pencils from the late 1920s. I guess they are not very common, so if anyone reading this owns one, I'd love to see a picture!

I now only own one Wyvern, a black chased vulcanite Wyvern Baby lever filler, made c. 1922 to compete with the Conway Stewart Dinkie, though I've just (reluctantly) sold a beautiful mint brown crocodile skin pen & pencil set in an ivorine casket that I owned for a couple of years (I don't think this had the Leicester Wyvern displayed anywhere on it, though).

I don't have any pictures to show you unfortunately. Though I have a few stored on my computer (including one of a beautiful mint & boxed Wyvern 'Prize' no.22, c. 1930, which seems to be a copy of a red Parker Duofold Junior), I didn't take the pictures myself so don't want to infringe anybody's copyright by posting them here. There's also a handful of pictures in Lambrou's 'Fountain Pens of the World'.

I only know one serious Wyvern collector, so I hope he wasn't one of those who didn't respond to your e-mails! However, shame on them. Most true brand enthusiasts are only too pleased if they find that someone else shares their interest.

Andy

#4 Maethelwine

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 01:26 PM

Thanks for your help. Both of you have offered some useful leads.

I'm trying to find a point of entry, as a beginning collector, that focuses at least initially on one or two (or three...) largely overlooked brands. I picked up a couple of Eagles, and while the celluloid bodies are pretty the nibs didn't exactly make me break into song. Gathered up a few hints here and there that some Wyvern pens were well made, and came with good nibs for writing.

I didn't take the lack of response personally. I don't always respond to e-mails that appear out of thin air either, especially if I'm in a busy period. And one of the people I wrote seems to have all but stopped their online activity. For all I know they're ill.

Anyway, thanks again.

#5 vintage penman

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:14 PM

I have a ripple rubber Wyvern 61 from the late 20's, about the size of a Waterman 56, equally well made, and a superb writer. One of my favourite user pens up there with my Wterman 15PSF.

#6 Hugh

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:56 PM

Handled a couple over the years, apparently a favorite with the late Queen mother ( so I read somewhere) so "well connected" in the UK !! Again another brand that seems to have made the same model number in different pens, they made some slimmer models ( iirc the "81" came as both thick and thin) which I find don't sit well in the hand due to the small section and it's shape. Stick with the larger ones, all seemed to be well made pens that I think of as "second tier" (behind Swan, Onoto, CS and Valentine/Parker).

Regards
Hugh
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#7 Maethelwine

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:03 AM

Thanks everyone. A 1920's ripple hard rubber Wyvern sounds like a handy thing to have lying around. Have to keep an eye out.




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