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Newsletter of The Onoto Pen Company

October 2010



Welcome to the latest issue of The Onotoist.

In this issue, we will take a look at what we have been up to during the summer; let you see the latest pens we have issued and keep you up to date with our ever-increasing list of retailers
in the UK and around the world.

In addition, there's news of our distributor in the USA, a
fascinating look at some old Onoto vehicles and news of a brand new Onoto overlay by Henry Simpole - it's simply stunning!

If you wish to email me with any comments on any item in this edition of the Onotoist, or would like to make your own
contribution to a future issue, please feel free to do so.
Ad 5c small new.jpg

Onoto Pillar Box advertisement dated April 28 1920 from "PUNCH" - otherwise known by its subtitle of "The London Charivari.
Dave Cooper
 
Editor
Email: david@onoto.com

 Another Classic Onoto!

The very latest issue from Onoto is the Magna Classic range. It's based on the original 1937 Magna shape and style and is available in 3 colours initially (with more to come!):

Black and Sterling Silver - a truly classical look
Blue and Gold - a vintage colour scheme
Sterling Silver and Gold - the epitome of good taste

We have recreated one of the most famous features of the original 1937 classical styling by featuring 3 cap bands (all sterling silver, two thinner bands separated by a broader band). On the Black/Silver and Blue/Gold versions, the middle thicker cap band is hallmarked with the Onoto Pen Company maker's mark, and the Birmingham Assay Office Mark of the Anchor, and "925" Sterling Silver standard, and the year letter.

All Magna Classic pens have the famous "Onto The Pen, Made in England" engraved on the barrel as a link to our heritage and the tens of thousands of Onoto pens made in the last century.

Images of the Blue/Gold, Black/Silver and Silver/Gold Magna Classics are shown below.

Onoto Magna Classic

Magna Classic
Silver-gold

You may also be interested to read what world-renowned nib "guru" Richard Binder had to say about his Magna Classic on Fountain Pen Network (The Old, The New, The "Done Right") here.

 Around the world

Prestige pen shops in India and Australia - countries which have long histories of selling Onoto - have recently joined the swell of stockists asking for our pens.

In India, the impressive Editions group are now promoting Onoto in their Delhi and Chennai stores, while in Australia, the equally impressive Pen-Ultimate chain with several stores in Sydney and in Brisbane have also taken delivery of their first stocks of Onoto.

In Japan, stationery group Maruzen, which has been selling Onoto pens in its 20+ stores since 1909, is not only selling the Magna 261, but has ordered its own special version of the Magna Classic in a limited edition of just 50 pens.

A surprise visitor to the London Pen Show at the beginning of October was Herman Chan, owner of Singapore retailer Elephant & Coral who has been stocking Onoto since 2006. It was good to see you Herman!

 "Happy Birthday, Mr President!"

As part of the celebrations to commemorate the 30th 'birthday' of the UK's prestigious Writing Equipment Society, Onoto has been commissioned to create an exclusive limited edition pen. The President's Pen not only celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Society, but also the retirement of its president, Dr Geoff Roe, in November.

Geoff has been a stalwart of the Society since its inauguration in 1980 and having an exclusive Onoto issued in his honour is no more than he deserves. Anyone who has been involved in the pen/writing industry in the UK over the past 30 years could not fail to be impressed by Geoff's wholehearted dedication to WES and its members.

For full details of the WES President's pen, go to www.londonshownews.cathedralpens.co.uk/page7.html

Why not join WES?
If anyone on the Onoto list would like to join the Writing Equipment Society (and we think you should: It's a marvellous organisation with a hugely popular and worthwhile magazine published 4 times a year) - go to http://www.wesonline.org.uk/

 History on Wheels

La Rue for the first Onoto pen, here's another wheel-related article. This time it's a little less "off the wall" - much more "on the road"!


In the early days of Onoto (1905 onwards) the principal method of distributing pens to retailers, particularly those in and around London, was by van. This extraordinary vehicle, from around 1909, was decorated to make it look like a giant mobile red pillar box following the highly successful advertising campaign featuring Peter Pen and the pillar box! Look carefully and you'll see the line of painted rivets around the top to make it look like the top of a pillar box, plus decorated panels showing the collection times and there are even some holes at the top so you could post your letters! I'm sure Health & Safety rules would have it banned today.

For motoring buffs, it's a Crossley chassis and the 'pillar box' was assembled and decorated by J C Clark.


The second photo comes from a later era, around 1940, and was taken at Strathendry in Fife, Scotland where Onoto production was undertaken between 1927 and 1958. This van was used for much longer distance deliveries - as far as Newcastle and even London. It's decorated with 'De La Rue Stationers Ltd - Onoto the Pen'.

The caption says 'Iron-bound and padlocked strong boxes leaving the despatch department at Strathendry .' We are informed that inside the iron-bound and padlocked strong boxes may have been newly printed bank notes - this refers to the printing of bank notes at the Onoto factory during the second World War War after the Blitz of London when the De La Rue printing works was bombed.

If anyone can let us know the type of van, we would be very grateful!

 It's a secret... Simpoles!

Shhhh! Keep this one under your hat! We are working on a new sterling silver Art Nouveau overlay design for a brand new Onoto pen due for release in December. Celebrated silversmith Henry Simpole has come up with a stunning design with an intriguing hidden message.

As you are probably aware, there is a fine tradition of Onoto silver overlays dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, so this is a very significant part of the 'new' Onoto tradition - linking the heritage and history of Onoto past and present. Here is a sneak preview of the first pierced overlay prototype, sitting alongside one of Henry's previous masterworks.



Look very closely and you'll see the secret message entwined in the design!

We showed the design to a small number of interested collectors at the London Pen Show - and immediately took several reservations!

The overlay is likely to be produced in a relatively small limited edition - after all, each one is hand-made by Henry so if you would like to make a no-obligation reservation at this stage, we will make sure you are the first to receive details of the completed work.

Yes please, put my name on the reservation list!


 And finally...finally, in the USA

It's taken a while, but at long last we have appointed a distributor in the USA! Steve Braun is based in Butler, Maryland and can be contacted on ussales@onoto.com or cell: 001 312 282 1170. Steve is an experienced 'pen man' so if you have any questions about Onoto availability in the US, give him a call. He'll be happy to talk!

He has a full range of Onoto pens which are available to US buyers and collectors for sale direct - and we are currently working on a US dollar website which will make ordering much easier.

In This Issue

Another classic Onoto

Around the world

Happy Birthday Mr President!

History - On wheels

It's a secret... Simpoles!

Onoto stockists

And finally... finally in the USA
We're on
Facebook & Twitter
Now you can keep in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter (@OnotoPen) and get the latest information on shows, news releases, special offers etc.

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WE ACCEPT PAYPAL
You can now use PayPal to purchase Onoto pens and accessories.

Onoto stockists
In the UK
Asprey London Limited
167 New Bond Street
London
Tel: 0207 493 6767
W1S 4AY
http://www.asprey.com/

Penfriend (London) Limited
Burlington Arcade Piccadilly
London
Tel: 020 7499 6337
W1J 0QA
http://www.penfriend.co.uk/

Howards Jewellers
Stratford upon Avon
Warwickshire
Tel : 01789 205404
CV37 6JG
http://www.howardsjewellers.com/

ABC Lloyds, Vintage Pens & Inkwells of Kendal
Kendal
Cumbria
Tel: 01539 723026
LA9 4BN
http://www.abclloyd.co.uk/

Andy's Pens
Tonbridge
Kent
Tel: 01732 361381
TN9 1NX
http://www.andys-pens.co.uk/

F. G. Thomas
Sheffield
Tel: 0114 275 7147
S1 2LG
http://www.thomaspens.com/

Penbox
Epworth
North Lincolnshire
Tel: 01427 874433
DN9 1EG
http://www.penbox.co.uk/

Write Here
Shrewsbury
Tel: 01743 245950
SY1 1SP
http://www.writehere-uk.com/

Tora Pens

Spalding
Lincolnshire
Tel: 01775 718319
PE11 3FL
www.torapens.co.uk

Websters
Webster Pen Shop
U001 Upper
Rose Gallery
Bluewater
Kent
DA9 9SP
Tel: 07900218943
http://www.websterspenshop.co.uk/
Onoto stockists
Overseas
CANADA
Phidon Pens Limited

63 Dickson Street Cambridge, Ontario
N1R 7A5
CANADA
Tel : 519 624 8787
Fax : 519 624 2044 http://www.phidonpens.com/

SINGAPORE
Elephant & Coral Pen
Co Pte Ltd

501 Orchard Road,
#03-07,
Wheelock Place
SINGAPORE
238880
Tel: 65 6736 1322
http://www.elephant-coral.com/

JAPAN
Maruzen Co Ltd

Stationery Kikakubu
Store Division, 4th Floor Nihombashi 3-9-2
Chuo-ku, Tokyo
103-8244
JAPAN
Tel : 81-03-3273-1215 http://www.maruzen.co.jp/

INDIA
Editions (Pens of the World)

S016 Ground Floor
Express Avenue
Whites Road
Royapettah
Chennai € 14
India
http://www.editions.in/

AUSTRALIA
Pen-Ultimate QVB

Level 2, 15-17 455
George Street
Sydney
NSW 2000
AUSTRALIA
http://www.pensdeluxe.com/