WyvernI’ve always been a fan of the vampire genre (‘cept never seen nor read any Twilight) and recently there’s been a big surge in popularity of vampires, zombies and other such mythical and mystical horror things. It all got me thinking about links between such mythical beings and pencils. Pretty much the first thing that popped into my mind was Wyvern.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with dragons, a Wyvern is a dragon-headed winged reptilian sort of creature, and is a fairly common symbol in mediaeval heraldry. I have two Wyvern brand mechanical pencils. I have actually attempted to do something more than just a quick Google search to find out about the history of Wyvern pens, and I even found a book in the library that mentioned them, but I still don’t really know much. In a nutshell though, Wyvern dates back to the mid 1890’s in Leicester. They originally manufactured eye dropper pens and also sold pens made by others. The coat of arms of the City of Leicester includes a Wyvern, hence the brand name. By the 1920’s they were also manufacturing gold nibs for other pen manufacturers and in the early 1930’s they began manufacturing mechanical pencils after recruiting a mechanical pencil expert from Germany. I don’t know what went wrong later, but manufacturing ceased in the mid 1950’s.
So, I’ve got a Wyvern pen case. ‘Made in England’, it’s plastic with cream lid and black base. Kind of like a little mini art deco coffin.
Inside are my two Wyvern mechanical pencils. I bought them separately, sans fountain pen.
The rather large company logo of a wyvern, and the words ‘WYVERN’ and ‘MADE IN ENGLAND’ are impressed into the bodies. Additionally, the black and gold pencil has ‘707’ between ‘WYVERN’ and ‘MADE IN ENGLAND’ so I assume that is its model number which I believe dates it c1950’s.
Unlike the 707, the blue one also has the Wyvern logo on the metal pocket clip.
Both are screw mechanism tip feeders using 1.18mm lead. I quite like the look created by the dark blue striations down towards the tip.
The quality of the metal pocket clip on the 707 and its method of attachment to the body seem rather questionable to me.
Apparently many Wyvern fountain pens were of very high quality. From my two examples I’m not sure you could say the same about their pencils, although I’d guess that they are both from late in Wyverns history so perhaps economic circumstances had lowered the quality by then. Still, irrespective of that I’m glad to have a couple of Wyverns in the collection.