Henry Simpole's new Onoto Overlay
Just released... a reproduction of a 1907 'Exhibition' Onoto Plunger-filler
A unique Spitfire tribute
Two WWII icons combine to make a highly unusual gift
Conway Stewart Dandy in Woodgrain
Your last chance to add this beautiful pen to your collection
Flexible nibs - available to purchase
After much demand from collectors, our flexible nibs are available to buy
I'm delighted to welcome you to this fifth edition of 'Manuscript', the official newsletter of Bespoke British Pens. We have just passed our first company 'birthday' and can't believe how quickly the past 12 months have flown by!
So, what's new in this issue? Certainly a couple of big new releases to tell you about including something of a surprise - a product that's not even a pen - with an extraordinary history, that I'm sure you will enjoy. There are also full details of how you can buy our new flexible nibs to fit other CS pens in your collection - and have them customised to italic, stub, oblique by the UK's top nib technician.
It's certainly a bumper edition and if you enjoy it, please forward a copy to your pen friends and colleagues and express your enjoyment by 'liking' us on Social Media. It all helps to spread the word!
Flexible nibs - Now available to buy
After an overwhelming number of requests from collectors, we have decided to release a quantity of our new flexible nibs for direct purchase, so you can swap them with your existing Conway Stewart nibs. There is a choice of Fine, Medium or Broad flexible nibs which fit the majority of the recent CS core pens (everything except the Dandy and Coronet ranges).
To avoid complications with screwing in the nib/feeder, we have decided to supply each nib with a black acrylic nib holder section. (We simply do not have sufficient coloured acrylic sections to supply everyone with a matching coloured section).
If you would like to have your flexible nib ground to a stub, italic, oblique or any other custom finish, you can do so by indicating your exact requirement when ordering the nib. There is an extra charge for this custom grinding service.
A magnificent 75th anniversary tribute to 'The Few'
Two icons of the Battle of Britain
In the 75 years since the Battle of Britain took place in the skies above southern England in the summer of 1940, two icons of that period have become forever entwined in the fabric of British history: Sir Winston Churchill and the Supermarine Spitfire.
How appropriate then, that these legendary, war-winning companions should come together in these exquisite cufflinks to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain… Churchill in his most pugnacious pose, cigar protruding, crafted from material recovered from a 1940 Spitfire.
Made from a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine recovered from a Spitfire
The metal used for the Churchill cufflinks has been recovered from the Mark III Rolls-Royce Merlin engine fitted to Spitfire X4276 KL-B which was flown throughout the latter stages of the Battle of Britain by RAF ace, Al Deere.
X4276 crashed on 28th December 1940 after a mid-air collision with another Spitfire during a training sortie in North Yorkshire. Deere baled out and parachuted to safety, landing in a cess-pit on a farm! The remnants of the Spitfire, including the engine, were excavated in the 1980s. The engine was subsequently acquired by TMB Art Metal, the company responsible for manufacturing these extraordinary cufflinks.
The cufflinks have been enamelled in deep blue on the reverse – a simple but enriching touch – and have sterling silver ‘arms’ engraved with the word ‘CHURCHILL’ on one side and ‘1940’ on the other. They are supplied in a high quality wooden case with an illustrated Certificate of Provenance.
You may be wondering why we are selling cufflinks. The answer is that with a long association with Churchill through both the Onoto Churchill pen range and, more recently, through the Conway Stewart Churchill and Winston ranges, we have spoken to many, many pen collectors who are inspired by Sir Winston.
Also, we are currently making a pre-production prototype of a Spitfire pen made from genuine Spitfire metal, so if you buy these stunning cufflinks you will soon be able to buy the pen to match!
Just imagine wearing these cufflinks at a meeting or at dinner and explaining their provenance. Priceless!
"The Waterloo anniversary pen is an outstanding example of British craftsmanship. The first fountain pen that I have bought from BBP, it writes as beautifully as any of my older 'traditional' CS pens. I recommend both the Waterloo and BBP to you, unreservedly."
Customer 78422405, UK
Conway Stewart Wellington
Last few remaining - Battle of Waterloo 200th Anniversary edition
The Conway Stewart Wellington has a lovely, slightly curved shape and this Battle of Waterloo 200th Anniversary edition has been extremely well received by collectors around the world. There are now just a few of the original edition of 50 remaining, so if you would like to add this beautiful pen to your collection, don't delay!
Limited to just 50 pens
Issued to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, this Conway Stewart Wellington model, in Prussian Blue acrylic, is complemented with 18ct gold and gold-plated fittings.
The edition is limited to just 50 pens and each one is accompanied by a special Certificate of Authenticity confirming the edition number and comes in a Conway Stewart black leather presentation box which may be converted to an elegant desk display stand.
For collectors who like to connect with British history, there's no finer tribute than this elegant Wellington pen. It is available with either a Conway Stewart BB nib or one of our Flag Flexible nibs in Fine, Medium or Broad.
“I received my CS 'Borealis' yesterday. I cannot describe how beautiful it is. Certainly the pictures do not do it justice! I chose the Flag fine nib and it writes beautifully.
I am delighted with this pen - unfortunately I may just have to have another one!”
The Conway Stewart Dandy in Woodgrain
An ebonite rarity
The Dandy has long been a favourite of Conway Stewart collectors. Its smaller size belies its classic styling and good looks and many agree that it's a perfect ‘writing’ pen that sits easily in the hand. This particular version is also something of a rarity too, as it’s manufactured from ebonite, a hard rubber material rarely used these days, but traditionally used by Conway Stewart and other manufacturers in the early part of the 20th century.
Another 'plus point' for the Dandy is that it takes the smaller Conway Stewart gold nib of which we hold plenty of stock. We currently have EF, IF, M, IM, B, IB, BB available - so there's something to suit most writing styles.
Hurry! Only one remaining
We had sufficient components to make up just 12 Dandys in Woodgrain ebonite of which 11 have already been sold, so you will need to place your order quickly if you'd like to add the remaining one to your collection. It's first-come, first-served and once it's sold there won't be any more.
By postcard "I just received my Conway Stewart Edwardian pen today and I must say that I am absolutely thrilled with it. In fact, I am writing this note to you using this lovely writing instrument. I would like to thank you for the wonderful purchase experience and extremely high quality product. I will not hesitate to recommend Bespoke British Pens to my colleagues, friends and family.”
RD, California, USA
And last - but by no means least...
Henry Simpole's wonderful new sterling silver overlay pen
The 1907 'Exhibition' Onoto Plunger-filler
Issued in a worldwide limited edition of just 35
What makes 'The Best of British'? Consummate design skills? Meticulous craftsmanship? Hallmarked sterling silver, rich enamelling and a smooth-as-butter nib? Combine them all and the result, shown here, is the closest you can get to British pen perfection. Add a plunger-filling ink reservoir that's more than double the capacity of a standard cartridge or converter and you'll understand why pen aficionados have been looking forward to its release for months!
In this latest example of his exquisite craftsmanship, Henry has turned for inspiration to one of the earliest overlay examples ever made in the UK – a 1907 ‘Exhibition’ pen hand-crafted in Birmingham by a firm of silversmiths over an Onoto plunger-filler body. At that time, many silversmiths chose to make ‘exhibition’ pieces which they could use to display their talents at shows and exhibitions. The original pen was acquired by a private collector in 2013 and he was so impressed with its magnificent design and structure that he invited Henry to make a replica of it in a small limited edition.
An unquestionable pedigree
The result, shown here, is a stunning tribute to British pen-making – with an unquestionable pedigree stretching back more than 100 years.
Issued in a limited edition of just 35, the 1907 ‘Exhibition’ pen is sure to be in great demand by Onoto collectors and fans of Henry’s superb craftsmanship around the world. Early reservation is advised.
In the next issue of Manuscript we will have a feature on the importance of keeping your pen clean, inside and out. How do you prevent ink clogging? How regularly do you flush your pen? What do you flush it with? If you would like to share your cleaning methods with our readers, I'm sure they would love to read them. Just email your thoughts to: Pen Cleaning.
And on the subject of cleaning, we have just taken delivery of the first batch of BBP Cleaning Cloths specially designed to keep your pens looking 'out-of-the-box' clean. Each pen purchased now includes a cleaning cloth free of charge, and they will be available to be purchased separately from our 'Accessories' page in the next few days.
Thank you for taking the time to read this issue. Please forward it to your pen friends and contacts and click on the buttons below to share it on Social Media.