Yard-O-Led Demonstration: Edinburgh

The Pen Shop, with leading pen manufacturer Yard-O-Led, will hold a demonstration of chasing (engraving) on silver pens on Friday, 19th August 2016 from 10.30am – 4.00pm at the Pen Shop Edinburgh branch at 21 Multrees Walk, Edinburgh.

The Pen Shop Limited is the only chain of writing instrument specialists in Europe and has a long association with the Yard-O-Led brand; both companies were originally founded in the 1880s.

Yard-O-Led branded pens are the only brand to be exclusively handmade in the UK, being based at the Imperial Yard factory in the jewellery quarter of Birmingham, where skilled crafts people work silver to hold ‘a yard of lead’ refills included in the original pencil design.

Image of Jessica Mobley, and Workshop Manager Alexander Roden

Image of Jessica Mobley, and Workshop Manager Alexander Roden

The most recent Yard-O-Led ball pen and pencil designs to be launched are the Elizabeth XC range, issued in a limited edition of 90 units each ball pen and pencil to mark the 90th Birthday of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. These are available to buy at selected branches of The Pen Shop at a retail price of £475.00 each.

Jessica Mobley who will take part in the demonstration, has worked at the Imperial Yard factory since May 2016. Before this, she studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 2009-13 to gain a BA (Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing and she also worked in the Edinburgh Assay Office until July 2015.

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Celebrities and Their Pens

Last week David Dimbleby visited our Regent Street store to purchase a Parker Sonnet Black Lacquer Gold Trim Fountain Pen which he used on BBC Question Time. This made us curious as to other famous people and which pens they used. After researching this we were delighted to discover we are not the only pen lovers, here we have listed a few fellow celebrity collectors.

Patterson

1.    Robert Patterson famously bought pen collector Kirsten Stewart a $46,000 limited edition Tibaldi Bentley Crewe fountain pen for her birthday. From a limited edition of 40 the pen has a two-tone 18-carat yellow gold nib covered in rhodium and ruthenium.

2.    Stephen King used a Waterman Fountain Pen to write his novel Dreamcatcher and even mentioned this in the Author’s Note: “One final note.  This book was written with the world’s finest word processor, a Waterman cartridge fountain pen.  To write the first draft of such a long book by hand put me in touch with the language as I haven’t been in years.  I even wrote one night (during a power outage) by candlelight.  One rarely finds such opportunities in the twenty-first century, and they are to be savored.”-Stephen King

Doyle

3.    Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his later Sherlock novels with a Parker Duofold Fountain Pen. The new BBC Sherlock series pays homage to this when Holmes comments by looking at a letter that it was written by a Parker pen.

4.    Anne Frank apparently wrote her now famous diary with a Montblanc Fountain Pen. When her pen was destroyed after she accidently threw it into the fireplace she was so devastated she wrote an ‘ode’ to her pen.

5.    The Queen has used a Parker 51 for personal use since 1959 and both HM The Queen and The Prince of Wales have given Royal Warrants to Parker.

6.    Walt Disney himself was often seen in pictures with Sheaffer pens. A well-used Sheaffer Balance Fountain Pen was found in Walt Disney’s desk in 1970 when his office was being inventoried.

Stallone

7. Sylvester Stallone loves Montegrappa pens so much he is now the brands ambassador and collaborated with the company to produce the Chaos pen range which he used in Expendables II. Sylvester Stallone’s “Chaos” pen is fashioned from precious materials and produced in limited numbers.

8.    Author Neil Gaimen is an avid Fountain Pen collector telling the BBC: ‘My current favourite is a Visconti because it has a magnet in the lid which goes clunk when I put the top on – I am easily satisfied. I probably have between 40 and 60 fountain pens, which is a bit silly, but once people are aware that you like them, they like to give them as gifts.’

9.    Dragons’ Den regular Peter Jones is thought to favour a Yard-O-Led Viceroy, which is hand made from English Hallmarked Sterling Silver.

Einstein

10.    Albert Einstein used both a Pelikan 100 N and a Waterman Taper-cap Fountain Pen which he used to develop the Theory of Relativity. The Waterman pen is on display at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden.

11. Nick Hewer, Lord Sugar’s adviser in the BBC series The Apprentice, is often seen chewing on the end of his Lamy pen as he takes notes on the misadventures of candidates. In an interview with the Daily Express he said: “I’m not one for ostentatious treaty-signing type pens but I do think in business making an effort with the little things sends out a signal that you are serious about what you are doing.”

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