Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Small works of art

Recently, I acquired some beautiful pen nib box wrappers that had never been put around the boxes for which they had been made.  Below are a few:

In a world where there were many manufacturers of pen nibs it was very important to be noticed on the shelf in the stationer's or in a magazine.  A great deal of money was spent on product and advertising artwork so a Company and its pens would stand out.  As you can see from the pictures a great deal of gold has been used on all the box wrappers.  The name of the individual pen was also vital as it helped to encourage customers to buy the product.  The names here:
  • King's Own
  • Queen's Own
  • Prince's Own
  • Grace Darling Pen
are all named after prestigious and famous people, as if they are endorsing the product!  There is even a picture of Edward VII on the front of his box.  You will see on the King's group that the original trade mark of C Brandauer & Co is also printed twice on each box - the kneeling archer in a triangle.  This is still a trade mark of the Company today and originally came from Mr Brandauer's Father-in-Law, Carl Kuhn & Co as they used it on their products, too.

These pen box wrappers were all registered at the Stationer's Hall until the mid-1920s and are now held at Kew. I am looking forward to going and finding them all in the near future and will let you know how I get on.


  1. Hi Marie-Louise,

    I'm a film-maker based in Birmingham, and over the next few months I'll be filming a series of short documentaries, each centering around a building, object or person that represents Birmingham's manufacturing heritage.

    One video I'm making is about the Brandauer Pen Factory in Newtown.

    I was wondering if you'd be interesting in collaborating with me at all? It would be fantastic to get some insight into the firm from a family member.

    If you're interested, and would like to get in touch, please e-mail me at michael@limefiresmedia.co.uk

    Really look forward to hearing from you.

    Best Wishes,

  2. Hi,
    Thank you for your message on my Blog and I'm pleased we have made contact since then. Hope you had a great visit to the Birmingham Pen Museum. Malp

  3. I have bought some of the pen paper covers including all the ones above pluse some different ones, about 300 in total